Pleasant Grove Fire Department names new medical director
Laura Giles
Pleasant Grove's fire department has a new medical director with a familiar name.

Dr. Gary Sanderson is the brother of Pleasant Grove Fire Chief Marc Sanderson and they share not only the name, but also a heavy involvement and commitment to the department. City Council members approved hiring Dr. Sanderson at the July 27 City Council meeting.

According to city administrator Scott Darrington, the city conducted a request for proposals for the position before Sanderson was chosen.

"He will report to Deputy Fire Chief Dave Thomas because he is Marc Sanderson's brother," Darrington said of the line of authority.

Thomas also was the one to choose Dr. Sanderson from among the applicants.

"We're very excited about the skills that he brings," Thomas said, adding the state requires that agencies providing emergency medical services have a medical director.

As medical director, Sanderson will be in charge of ensuring that the paramedics receive the proper training and meet state standards for recertification. Paramedics must re-certify every four years.

"He will make sure that they are competent," Thomas said. Additionally, Sanderson will act as a medical adviser to the department.

"He was my first choice because of his availability. He is very accessible," Thomas said. Sanderson is an emergency trauma physician at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, which is one of the hospitals where Pleasant Grove paramedics take patients.

According to Thomas, Pleasant Grove's department always has a minimum of two paramedics on duty. They average three to five emergency calls per day. The majority of those are acute sudden illnesses and trauma, such as car accidents.

"I'm very excited and looking forward to being involved," Sanderson said to the council. "I want to make sure that the citizens of Pleasant Grove have the highest quality medical service."