Utah Firefighter of the Year announced
Woodland Hills mother named top Utah firefighterBy Rodger L. Hardy
Published: Monday, June 14, 2010 1:05 a.m. MDT
WOODLAND HILLS, Utah County — Utah's Firefighter of the Year is a 40-year-old mother of three.
The Utah State Firemen's Association honored Marci Shaver-Adams with the prestigious award Thursday during the association's annual conference in St. George.
The Woodland Hills volunteer fire department has been a member of the century-old Utah State Firemen's Association for just a year.
While running a Park City marathon in August, Shaver-Adams worked with other medical personnel to save the life of a fellow runner, Las Vegas attorney Ted Kurtz, when she stopped to give aid after the man collapsed with a heart attack.
When she came upon Kurtz, others were administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and she "traded in," Shaver-Adams said. Kurtz's heart started briefly and then stopped again. When paramedics arrived, they used defibrillators to get his heart going.
"It was a team effort," she said.
Shaver-Adams stayed with Kurtz until an ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital. Kurtz underwent heart surgery and eventually recovered.
"Not my best time," Shaver-Adams said of the marathon, "but definitely one of the best days of my life."
Story continues below
In October, Kurtz and his family honored Shaver-Adams and the Woodland Hills volunteer fire department.
That experience encouraged firefighters to continue their medical training program, she said.
Shaver-Adams, who holds a master's degree in biology, became a volunteer firefighter for Woodland Hills in March 2004 and for the past three years has served as assistant fire chief. She and her husband, Byron Adams, have applied for fire department grants, raising more than $50,000 for firefighting and prevention equipment and materials, she said.
Most of Woodland Hills' volunteer firefighters work outside of the bedroom community, which leaves her as one of few firefighters available to respond in an emergency.