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The City Journals

Holladay Unified Fire Authority goes above and beyond

Feb 20, 2017 01:35PM ● By Bryan Scott

Randy Stevens, UFA paramedic, shows den packs fire-safety gear and respirator. (Patrice Taylor/Den Mom Pack #3384)

By Aspen Perry | [email protected]
While the primary role of a firefighter is emergency response, firefighters have other responsibilities residents may not be aware of, reaching above and beyond the call of duty. On Thursday, Feb. 2, Cub Scout pack #3384 received fire-safety education and had the opportunity to tour the Holladay Unified Fire Authority (UFA) firehouse.
Patrice Taylor, den mom of pack #3384, appreciated the care the Holladay firefighters put into providing the information both the Wolf Den and Bear Den kids needed for fire-safety merit badges.
“The fire department is great because they asked us what information we wanted them to cover … we could have fulfilled the requirements in our regular den meetings, but felt the boys would get more out of (hearing) it from firemen,” Taylor said.
Taylor further added, “Plus, big trucks, sirens and hanging out with our local heroes is pretty cool.”
The den packs kicked off the evening with a fire safety and emergency preparedness discussion lead by Koby Saurey, UFA paramedic, with Rod Sellers, UFA captain, encouraging further questions.
Once questions were wrapped up, the next stop on the tour for the cubs was the fire-station kitchen, complete with three large fridges, two islands and a dining table large enough for firefighters on duty to sit down to a family meal with their second family at the fire department.
Last was the garage. Jason Bosen, UFA engineer, explained the different truck features, which included explanations of the truck tools utilized and the importance of ensuring tools are returned to the correct place.
Another crowd pleaser came when Randy Stevens, UFA paramedic, modeled firefighter gear complete with respirator to show how firefighters are given their “super power” when responding to fires, as well as providing a visual for why it is not safe for anyone other than firefighters to enter a structure on fire.
In addition to providing safety information through group tours, the department offers demo talks for schools in an effort to help bring the importance of fire safety and emergency preparedness education to the community.
To further the outreach of education for the public, UFA also helps communities run CERT programs, has a Juvenile Fire Setters program to help troubled youth and participates in community fairs or civic events whenever possible.  
For those unable to attend fairs or participate in various community events, Matthew McFarland, of UFA Public Relations and Information Bureau, recommends visiting the UFA Facebook page for fire-safety education and announcements.
Despite each firefighter going through extensive training on how to handle the threat of fire, McFarland said over 80 percent of calls UFA responds to are actually medical in nature. For this reason, every firefighter is also either an EMT, completing 120 hours of training, or is a paramedic, which requires an additional 1,200 hours of school.
This is often why the public will see both fire and ambulance vehicles at homes when medical problems are called in or at the scene of an accident, not to mention in matters of well-being and survival. The general rule, as McFarland stated, is, “We’d rather have too many hands on deck than not enough.”
Given how much our UFA does for the community, for residents curious about how to show their appreciation, McFarland recommended they call the UFA administrative number at 801-743-7200 or contact the Holladay City mayor when they have a good experience with UFA.
“It goes a long way with our command staff to know that (UFA) is having positive impacts in the community,” McFarland said.
For more information on events coming up in Holladay, visit, send an email to [email protected] or contact Kathy DeVoogd at 801-562-9129.