Hoses uncoupled in Basin

By Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

With the Park City Fire District experiencing a growth spurt, firefighters performed the traditional uncoupling of the water hose Saturday at the site of one of four new stations the department plans to build over the next few years.
Though crews have been responding to calls from a station near The Canyons since March, Park City Fire Chief Kelly Gee was waiting for contractors to finish landscaping before conducting an official grand opening last weekend.

"This is centrally located," Gee said about the new 14,166-square-foot station, located in the Snyderville Basin at 1977 Canyons Resort Drive.

The district's response times have improved to places like The Colony, ParkWest and The Canyons lower village, Gee said.

As a condition of the permit approval, development partners agreed early on to house a fire station at The Canyons, Gee said.

But when American Skiing Company, parent company to the resort, fell on tough financial times a few years ago, development stalled.

"Everyone agreed that we needed that station here," Gee said during an interview at the fire station Saturday. "We were very deficient. This backs up the entire district."

But problems obtaining the property near The Canyons forced the department to consider other options. "The Fire District was pursuing backup plans you always have a plan B," Park City Fire Battalion Chief Steve Zwirn said.

The fire station at The Canyons cost roughly $2.3 million to build, Gee said, adding that new stations are also planned in lower Deer Valley and on the western edge of Park Meadows, near S.R. 224.

All battalion chiefs and the district's 100-foot ladder truck are now based at The Canyons, which has become the fire department's hub.

"Our response time to areas such as Silver Springs and Bear Hollow has dropped in half," Gee said. "We filled a gap."

Park City firefighters began planning a decade ago for explosive growth in western Summit County and the number of calls from Snyderville has increased dramatically, he added.

A group of firefighters and citizens met at the new station last weekend to dedicate the building and recognize men from Utah and Summit counties who were recently credited with saving a man's life in Promontory.

When an employee of the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District crashed his truck in the subdivision a few months ago, Kamas resident Rick Gines and Ross Davis, of Provo, were first on the scene. With help from Summit County sheriff's deputies Sherm Farnsworth and Merrick Pack, the men kept the victim alive until paramedics could arrive, Park City Fire Captain Randy Scott said.

"[Family members] were so thankful that bystanders cared enough," Scott told the crowd. "Because of these four individuals, he's going to be able to enjoy [the] time."

The man is still recovering from injuries sustained in the crash. Gines is an employee at Summit County's Mountain Regional Water Special Service District. Davis is a contactor with Ames Construction. The men were working on infrastructure in Promontory when the crash occurred.

"I'd like him around if I get in trouble," Davis' wife Carole said about the man.