Syracuse City Fire Department History
Prior to 1955 the only fire protection for Syracuse City came from Davis County. Because this coverage was inadequate, the county hired Clearfield Fire Department to service the calls at the cost of $50.00 per call. Davis County would pay half and Syracuse City would pay the other $25. In April of 1955 the county discontinued their part and Clearfield increased their price to $100 per call. Layton City Fire Department offered their services for $50, but distance and time made this not practical. It was time for Syracuse City to think about having their own fire department.
When Clearfield City declared, in December of 1964, that they would no longer give fire protection to Syracuse, Lawrence Briggs of the city council proposed on June 23, 1965 that if we had our own department, fire insurance rates would decrease. A joint meeting between West Point and Syracuse City Council took place almost immediately. A 1946 Ford Pumper, was purchased and by September a small fire station was built. A siren was ordered (believed to be the same one used today).
Volunteers were trained by Mr. Tanner, State Fire Marshall. Keith West was selected as fire chief and Syracuse and West Point were in business. Twenty-five volunteers were needed to man the force with half of them living close to the fire station. Through the next 30 years, many volunteers gave good service. Fire-Chief West resigned in December because of extended hours in his regular job.
Roy Miya was appointed by the city council as the new fire chief on January 5, 1966 with Val Cook elected by the volunteer firemen as his assistant.
Besides serving Syracuse and West Point, the county gave the fire department $500.00 a year to answer fire calls in the unincorporated area belonging to Davis County below the Bluff.
In January of 1968 the city council with the recommendation of the fire department decided to purchase a larger fire truck and build a meeting room for the firemen. The chief received $25 a month and volunteers received $2 for each meeting, and for performing at a fire they received $3 for the first hour and $2 an hour after that. A few pieces of equipment like a smoke inhaler were purchased. Roy Miya served faithfully for 19 years, retiring the last day of December 1984. Chief Miya passed away September 4, 1998.
Thomas Jensen was appointed January 1, 1985 by the city council as Fire Chief with Gary Hamblin elected by the volunteers as his assistant.
With better water pressure from newly installed water mains and fire hydrants placed throughout the city at key places, fire insurance did go down. A new grass fire truck was purchased in January of 1986 for $14,120. A the fire department moved into a new 3 bay fire station that was constructed during the winter of 1993-94. This was a much needed facility to keep up with the demands of the ever growing city.
Dale Snyder became the Fire Chief in 1998, and was involved in managing the rapidly changing needs of the fire department for the next nine years.
In 2002 Syracuse City purchased two ambulances (one used) and began providing ambulance service to its residents; a service that was previously provided by the Davis County Sheriffs office. In order to staff the ambulance Syracuse City hired its first full-time Firefighters. Four Firefighters began to staffing the fire station 24 hours a day in August of 2002.
Also in August of 2002 the fire department purchased its first ladder truck a 75’ Quint from Pierce Manufacturing in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Additional full-time Firefighters were added in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
The city was still seeing explosive growth when Craig Cottrell took over as Fire Chief in February of 2007. A new ambulance was purchased to replace the used ambulance and plans were made to move the Fire Department to a new fire station that would serve both the current needs of the city and the future needs when the city reaches its build out population.
A transport engine (Combination Fire Engine/Ambulance) was purchased in 2008 again from Pierce Manufacturing. The fire department moved to the new station at 1869 South 3000 West in January of 2009. This station includes integrated training space, a large training room as well as offices and living quarters for the Firefighters.
The latest fire apparatus is a brush truck assembled in-house by the Firefighters. It is classified as a Type 5 brush engine and is built to cover our needs within the city as well as Antelope Island and other wildland fires that we would respond to.
Syracuse Fire Department continues to find ways to improve their service to the residents of our city. We have an insurance rating (ISO) of 5 within the city limits and 9 in the county areas we cover. The reason the county area is so high is due largely to the lack of hydrants in un-incorporated land. The fire department personnel are trained as EMT-Intermediates. We are also trained in Ice Rescue, Hazardous Materials and Technical Rescue skills.