The image of a fire engine or an ambulance stirs the blood in every young boy. So it was with me. Prior to 1955, the only fire protection for the city came from Davis County. In April of 1955, the county discontinued its share ($50.00/month), and Clearfield increased the cost for coverage to $100.00. In December of 1964, Clearfield declared it would no longer provide fire protection to Syracuse. By June 23, 1965, the Syracuse Fire Department was established, serving both Syracuse and West Point. A 1946 Ford pumper-truck was purchased by September of that year. A small fire station was built, a siren ordered, and volunteers were trained by the State Fire Marshal. Keith West was selected as the first Fire Chief but resigned in December 1965. On January 5, 1966, Roy Miya was appointed by the council as the new Fire Chief. Roy served faithfully for 19 years, retiring the last day of December of 1984.
Emergency, a television series of the mid-to-late 70s, drew the nation’s attention on the heroic efforts of two paramedics from LA’s Station 51. That series seemed to focus discussion on the need for local paramedic services elsewhere. The first call logged in Davis County for the fledgling paramedic service provided by the Sheriff’s office was in August of 1978. At that time, paramedic services were linked with law enforcement. Davis County was unique in this pairing; however, because of growth and the expansion of municipal boundaries, the county will discontinue providing this service on December 31, 2022. It will fall to our city to provide this service from that date forward.
The mid-70s through the mid-80s were fertile times for the expansion of emergency services. In 1976, Bountiful and Salt Lake City became the first to establish a 9-1-1 service. By 1985, this service was effectively available throughout the state. Now, with land-line abandonment, 9-1-1 service can track not only by the cell phone location, the number dialed, and address, but also alerts the proper jurisdiction of the emergency. Syracuse residents have come a long way from the old party lines of yesterday. I personally remember a day when there were only two ambulance services available to the community: Moss and Ace Ambulance Services. They were both based out of Ogden. If you experienced an emergency, you had to call them directly. Can you imagine their response times?
Fortunately, community leaders saw the need for an ambulance service offered by our fire department. The city has generally staffed those crews with Advanced EMTs.
The city will be preparing for this transition of service through 2022. We will be adding three paramedics teams to our fire department, which is one team per shift, to allow for 24/7 coverage. I’d like to encourage all residents to become actively engaged in learning about this change. We will be providing many avenues for resident engagement, including a public hearing on the budget to be held in August 2021. Hope to see you there!
Mayor Mike Gailey