SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — The Park City Fire District is handling emergency calls in northern Summit County after an estimated eight firefighters with the North Summit Fire District were accused of insubordination.
“There is an organized effort by some of the firefighters to simply not take shifts,” Summit County Manager Tom Fisher told KSL. “And they’re doing that because they have some level of grievance.”
The arrangement kick-started when one North Summit firefighter allegedly refused to respond alongside medics to the accidental shooting of a 58-year-old Sandy woman last Monday in Echo Canyon.
The day after the Echo Canyon incident, the acting North Summit Fire Chief stepped down and told district board members that some of the firefighters out of its volunteer crew of 25 were disobeying orders and abandoning on-call shifts.
Then on Friday, the administrative control board of the North Summit Fire District suspended all of its firefighters indefinitely during a special meeting.
At the meeting, Park City Fire District Deputy Chief Pete Emery said his department can handle North Summit’s duties for 30 to 60 days.
Emery said Park City may choose personnel to temporarily staff the district in the northern part of the county, which includes Coalville, Wanship, Henefer, and stretches all the way to the Wyoming border.
The plan will be discussed further at a meeting scheduled for 6:30 pm on Monday.
In November, the contract of North Summit Fire District Chief Ian Nelson was terminated by the Summit County Council for undisclosed reasons after receiving a unanimous recommendation from the administrative control board. Weeks later, firefighters accused the board of a “toxic leadership environment.”
Monica LeCates, who served as a firefighter with North Summit from 2017 to 2020, told Fox13 on Sunday:
“The community is told that the firefighters are refusing to help them; this is not true… The firefighters are there. They are part of the community. They live in this community.
“I have, with my own eyes, seen they had sacrificed everything to go on those calls, no matter the daytime, the effort, put their lives at stake. And all of a sudden, all this is wrong.”
Friday’s full meeting: