Who Should Get The Money for Wildland Firefighting?

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By Julie Johansen

The Emery County Fire District discussed how the money brought in by fighting wildland fires should be allocated during a meeting on Tuesday.

Questions asked included: Should Emery County be able to pull any of the money? Should the city that was qualified to fight wildland fires and responded get the money? What portion of the money?

The county provides the engines through Community Impact Fund Board (CIB) grants but the city maintains the engine and purchases the equipment. Volunteers must be trained and hold a red card before they can fight wildland fires and the cities are liable and hold insurance for the fighters.

After much discussion, the motion was made that the city that responds receives the money. The motion passed unanimously. Emery County Commissioner Gil Conover was present at the meeting and will take the recommendation back to the commission, which can take desired action on the motion.

Jeremy Jorgensen, fire warden from the Department of Natural Resources, also addressed the group, listing several training sessions for certifications and recertification needed to fight both wildland and structure fires. A reminder was given to the chiefs to update their rooster with the state.

As the meeting concluded, a short discussion on the declining numbers of volunteers both for fire suppression and emergency medical services seemed to find no remedy.

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