Price City Fire Chief Fitzgerald Petersen was the emcee for the annual event.
By Taren Powell
The fourth annual First Responders Banquet organized by the Carbon County Chamber of Commerce was hosted last week in Price. Those in attendance gathered to give thanks and celebrate the selflessness of local first responders.
Max Jones, Carbon County Chamber of Commerce President, welcomed guests before turning the time over to Price City Fire Chief Fitzgerald Petersen, who was introduced as the emcee for the evening. The American Legion then conducted the posting of colors and led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Guests were next welcomed to dish up dinner, courtesy of USU Eastern. Peterson took the time to introduce the guest speaker, Frank Peczuh, who is a longtime member of the Price City Fire Department.
Peczuh first spoke about the recent passing of two beloved local first responders. He wanted to pay respect to those before him, especially those who taught him how to be a firefighter. He said one of the most important things as a firefighter and first responder is to train, train and train some more to be prepared and confident in the field of work. As first responders, is it vital to respond to a call prepared, trained and confident in order to handle the situation.
Peczuh then explained that as first responders, they have a love for their community and a desire to serve those around them. Compassion may not come naturally to some, and he shared that he has had to learn how to have sincere compassion for other human beings.
“As first responders, you are here to help ease the pain that others may feel,” Peczuh said. He explained that a first responder may be experiencing someone’s worst day of their life or someone who is at their lowest, and in that instant, it is their responsibility to mitigate a situation to move it into a positive direction.
Peczuh wanted to encourage those in attendance to share their hurts and pains that they carry with each other. First responders deal with difficult situations and he wanted to let them know that although there is success, there is also failure in these jobs, but the “effort is never forgotten.” COVID has been especially tough for first responders and Peczuh praised all for their hard work.
Petersen echoed Peczuh sentiments. He shared his thoughts on the quality of the local departments and thanked everyone for their excellent work and dedication. Petersen then distributed awards to the various first responding entities throughout Carbon County, including the Bureau of Land Management, Carbon County Adult Probation and Parole, Carbon County EMS, Carbon County Hazmat, Carbon County Search and Rescue, Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety Price Communications, Division of Wildlife Resources, East Carbon Fire, Police and EMS, Helper Fire Department, Helper Police Department, Price Fire Department, Price Police Department, Scofield Fire, USU Eastern Police, Utah Forestry Fire and State Lands, Utah Highway Patrol, Utah State Parks and Recreation, Wellington Fire and Wellington Police.
The night ended with a raffle complete with great prizes. The Carbon County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all of the sponsors for this event, including Cache Valley Bank, Carbon Print and Design, Castle Gate RV Park, Castleview Hospital, Emery Telcom, Flawless Sheeting, Marietti Monuments, Nikki Jeffs, Peczuh Printing, Pierce Oil, Pinnacle Nursing, Rural Power and Light, Southeast Utah Association of Local Governments, Southeast Utah Title and USU Eastern. The chamber would also like to thank those who donated items to the raffle, including 911 Pawn, Barbie and Gary Haeck, Castleview Hospital, CJ’s, Conoco, Harbor Freight, Jones & DeMille Engineering, Dustless Ash, Market Express, Marketing Elevated, Uptown Steakhouse, Willco and Bookcliff Workwear. The chamber board looks forward to hosting this event again next year!