S. Springs fire dept. moving forward
LANCE MADIGAN - Daily Herald
After the tragic loss of Saratoga Springs Fire Chief Mike Penovich on Thursday, some residents may be concerned about compromised service in case of emergency, but city officials are confident in the department's organization.
"We don't expect any changes in our emergency services," said Ken Leetham, Saratoga Springs city manager. "We are going to need to replace Mike as fire chief, of course, but there is a good structure in the fire department. We have no reason to think that will really change things."
Penovich died Thursday morning after his truck plunged 100 feet into Deer Creek Reservoir.
Deputy in Charge Rick Scott agreed that service would not be interrupted as he reported to the Saratoga Springs City Council on Tuesday evening.
"Of course we still have to continue with business," Scott said. "I want you to know that when someone calls 911, nothing will have changed."
Leetham did say they were turning to neighboring agencies for assistance this week while they coordinated and regrouped.
"These are all part of mutual aid agreements," Leetham said. "This week we are just involved in arrangements to be made."
Scott said the surrounding areas would provide all fire and emergency response services on Thursday and Friday, but that by 9 p.m. on Friday it would be "business as usual."
As for the transition, Scott said he had been working closely with "Mike" -- he refused to call his fallen chief by any other name -- for several months. They had even laid contingency plans for a tragedy such as losing their chief.
"I have been working very closely with Mike the last six months to make the department stronger," Scott said. "There are a lot of things Mike and I were working on, and I want to put them into place. Mike did a lot, even on his way out."
City and fire officials also took the time to express gratitude for the help from surrounding areas. Cities, fire departments, police and others have all volunteered assistance from across the state and even out of state.
"Rick has done a great job helping to direct the team," said Mayor Timothy Parker. "There has also been tremendous input and support from volunteers from across the state."
Parker praised the teamwork as well.
"It is important for fire personnel to understand how appreciated they are," Parker said. "Mike is the focus right now, but they are a strong team."
Besides Saratoga Springs and his hometown of Cedar Fort, where he served as chief for six years, Penovich also was a leader in the broader firefighting community. The Saratoga Springs Fire Department built close ties with other fire service departments in the area, including Lehi, Eagle Mountain, Cedar Fort and the Utah County Fire Marshal.
"Mike has taken a lot of barriers away," Scott said.
Plans are being finalized now for the services for Penovich on Thursday and Friday. A viewing is planned for Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. and Friday morning from 9-11 a.m. at the LDS church located at 587 S. Saratoga Drive in Saratoga Springs.
Friday morning, family pallbearers will take Penovich's casket out to fire personnel, who will place it on Saratoga Springs Fire Engine 262.
"That was his favorite engine," Scott said.
Scott explained that when a firefighter is killed in the line of duty, it is tradition to place his or her casket on an engine for the procession.
All the other Saratoga engines are to follow as the casket makes his way to the Alpine Tabernacle, at 110 E. Main Street in American Fork, for the noon service. Saratoga Springs Police will provide an escort. Many other departments will also participate.
"We expect about 60 engines," Scott said.
Dignitaries from around the state are planning to attend. Scott said that while an invitation hadn't yet been extended, he was told Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. was planning to attend. The Penovich family was planning on asking Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert, a family friend, to speak at the funeral.
As for the accident itself, Police Chief Gary Hicken told the City Council they expected a report within the next week or so.
"We have received numerous ideas of how to honor Mike," Leetham said. "We want to be very deliberate, and not overdo it or underdo it."
"We need to take some time and make sure it is done right," Parker said.
The Penovich family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made at Bank of American Fork to the Michael Penovich Memorial Fund.
"He will leave a huge hole," Leetham said. "He was a great guy. He will be a huge loss for the city, the community and surrounding communities."
Parker echoed the sentiment.
"I don't know of anyone who affected more people," he said. "You would have a hard time finding someone that impacted more people, either in a personal or a professional way."
Interment will immediately follow at the Lehi City Cemetery. For more information on funeral arrangements, visit the Saratoga Springs Web site at www.saratoga-springs.net. Online condolences can be made at www.wingmortuary.com.
Results 1 to 8 of 8
07-11-2007, 12:49 PM #1
Saratoga Springs moves forward after LoddFront line since 1983 and still going strong
07-11-2007, 09:20 PM #2
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
My sincere condolences to the Saratoga Springs Fire Department, the Penovich family for their sad loss.
Sleep with angels, Chief
08-23-2007, 03:20 AM #3
Photo of memorial
Photo of MemorialFront line since 1983 and still going strong
10-02-2007, 04:16 PM #4
I would like to thank everyone for the support we have received in the past two months since the loss of Chief Mike Penovich. Not a day goes by we do not think of him and his care for all members of this department. Our best tribute to Chief Penovichs' legacy is to continue to answer the call for help knowing that he is always with us.
Special thanks to you, UTFFEMT for the jpg. It will serve to remind us that life is precious.
Stay Safe and Godspeed. jack
Last edited by dchomen; 10-02-2007 at 04:18 PM.Godspeed-Stay Safe.jack
25 Year Career Union Firefighter
ME115 - IACOJ
12-13-2007, 05:23 PM #5
Firefighter Tree Dedicated
Fireman tree dedicated to Penovich
Lance Madigan - NORTH COUNTY STAFF
When you first walk into the Saratoga Springs City Offices, you notice a rather unimposing Christmas Tree off in one corner. At first glance, it looks like any other.
But after a moment, you can't help but notice the boots sticking out of the bottom. Then there is the greyish "ribbon" that wraps around the tree, which on closer inspection you notice is a fire hose. It winds its way up to a child's fireman hat that tops the tree.
A collaborative effort of many members of the Saratoga Springs city staff, the tree is dedicated to a fallen hero, friend and father, the late Saratoga Springs Fire Chief Michael Penovich.
Penovich, 38, was tragically killed on July 5 when the vehicle he was driving veered off U.S. Highway 89 and into Deer Creek Reservoir. He had been driving to Saratoga Springs from a meeting in Heber for the fire department when witnesses say the truck swerved off the road. Officials say it is unlikely that they will ever know the exact reason the truck left the road.
Debbie Elms, city treasurer, said the plan to dedicate a tree to Penovich started last summer as a group discussion of what could be done to honor the chief.
"We wanted to remember our fire department, and Mike specifically," Elms said.
Talking of the pictures, sticker, hat and other decorations, Elms said, "Almost everything came from the fire department. Some people around the office also had pictures of Mike as well."
"Mike was just one of those people that really loved kids," Elms said.
She recalled a time some staff member's children were in the office, and asked her of Penovich, "Is that a real fireman?" When told, "yes," they immediately went over and sat with him.
On other return visits, the children would see other firefighters, but it was Penovich they said was the "real fireman."
"The reaction to the tree has been so positive," said Elms. "It is nothing big. We just wanted to remember Mike. He was a really nice guy and we all miss him."Front line since 1983 and still going strong
12-18-2007, 12:40 PM #6
- Join Date
- Jun 2006
Media, Reporter Courtesy
The following email was sent to Firehouse.com regarding the content of this thread. We believe that the best way to resolve this matter, is to show you what was sent and add our own supporting statement. Please keep in mind that as your read this, the writer is in no way attempting to divert you from the memory of Mike Penovich, but to ensure in his job, that certain responsibilities are understood.
"From: Lance Madigan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org m]
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2007 10:58 AM
Subject: Saratoga Springs Penovich posts
One of your members has posted a copy of my article that ran in the Pony Express newspaper in Saratoga Springs. Actually, over the last year (since I was writing for the paper), it has been done a couple of times, directly in relation to the loss of Saratoga's Fire Chief, Mike Penovich, last July.
First off, as a representative of the paper, I have to ask that the articles be sited for their source. The first one ("Saratoga Springs moves forward after Lodd" (typo) at http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?p=895671) is sited (The Daily Herald is our parent paper). The second is not ("Firefighter Tree Dedicated"). The preferred reference would be "Reprinted from the Pony Express News" (or the Daily Herald). They both seem to have been posted by the same member (UTFFEMT), so you might just make them aware of this request (I am sure it is a fire fighter from Saratoga Springs, or Mike's home town of Cedar Fort, in Utah). Because I am not a registered member, I don't have access to find out who the individual is or to contact them directly.
Second, if you are interested, I am including a couple of photos that went with the second story. Feel free to use them.
We all still miss and honor Mike, and appreciate the courageous work of other fire and public safety individuals. Your forum serves as a way to remember and honor them. Thank you.
Lance D. Madigan
Pony Express Correspondent
We encourage you to again see this from Mr. Madigan's perspective, and we ask as part of the Terms of Service, that if in the future you chose to cut and paste someone else's work, that you include the source and author as well. Most news comes from various feeds and services, with one attributed to another. Our understanding of Mr. Madigan's statement is that all sources of a story be credited, to avoid any potential problems with all parties involved. We have include Mr. Madigan's photos below.
12-18-2007, 01:27 PM #7
Response to Editors Request
Lance, I am not sure what your issue is with. the first article is noted as are you in the second article as well. I try and post as per your request whenever I cutt and paste articles.
As for your request to have your articles restated from the" Pony Express News" I am or was unalbe to accomidate since I got this article directly from your Parent company and have no information as to thier source. I did however make a simple mistake and apparetly left out the Daily Herald as the source but did include you as the writer. this was a small and simple mistake and was not made on purpose or with malice. Nor do I feel it warrents such a response from you.
I will ensure that if I post anything especially from you in the future, I will try and not leave out any importent information that might concern the authors and give the correct credit as to the origin.
Paid Professional Firefighter 24 Years still working in Utah Valley
Founding and First Fire Chief Eagle Mountain Fire Department 1996-2000
Last edited by UTFFEMT; 12-18-2007 at 01:29 PM. Reason: typoFront line since 1983 and still going strong
12-20-2007, 12:08 PM #8
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
Apology - intellectual property rights
I am sorry ... I didn't mean this to be blown out of proportion (which apparently it has). Intellectually property rights and copyright is a very big deal to a newspaper. Personally, I have no problems with “reprinting” (it just expands my readership). It is just the policy of most newspapers, scholarly journals, etc. to require such notation.
Please know, I didn’t feel you had done this with any sort of malice or ill-intent. My email was sent with the same purpose. To be quite honest, I was trying to offer some protection to Firehouse.com ... the last thing both of us want is the corporate lawyers to somehow get involved. I was hoping to simply educate a little to curb potential problems in the future. I understand your business is protecting lives ... I was just trying to lend my experience to intercept a potential problem before it became one.
Likewise, I really didn’t expect this to be generally posted ... I couldn’t send an email directly to you (I wasn’t registered, and I couldn’t identify you in anyway other than “UTFFEMT”, so I sent it to the blogs “contact info.” AGAIN, I APOLOGIZE THAT THIS BECAME A MUCH BIGGER ISSUE THAN IT DESERVED. To be truthful, I would hope all three of these posts might be erased as it was way beyond anything I ever intended. My apologies to anyone else who read this and felt an offense either for themselves or on your behalf.
I have the deepest respect for public safety personnel, and have nothing but fond memories of my interactions with your brethren. Please accept my apology for the confusion and realize my intent wasn’t an attack.
P.S. I will also copy this in an email directly to Firehouse.com's content editor, Bill Carey.
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