Jed Colovich was recently promoted to
fire chief in Tooele City’s all volunteer
Colovich, who has been in the fire department for about 23 years, started out as a regular fireman and worked his way up to chief.
In Tooele City, the chain of succession for a new fire chief begins with the second assistant chief, then first assistant chief, and then the firefighter becomes the chief. Each officer serves in their position for two years before advancing.
“I thought I could do some good things for the department and I was excited to join the ranks of the chiefs,” Colovich said. “I was a secretary for about seven years. I worked closely with the chiefs before me, and the mentorship that they gave me allowed me to see what they did and how they served the city and the department. I think that made me want to accept the nomination to become chief.”
Growing up in Tooele, Colovich watched his father serve in the fire department for many years and always knew he would be a firefighter like his dad.
My dad got into the department in 1982,” he said. “I’ve been around the fire department for most of my life…My dad was my hero growing up and he still is. I wanted to be just like him. I knew from day one that I would be a firefighter.”
Colovich’s favorite thing about being a firefighter is serving people.
“I was raised to serve people and it’s a good way to give back,” he said. “There’s nothing better than getting on the scene of a fire and helping someone out or saving someone. I like to make one of the worst days of people’s lives just a little bit better.”
Colovich is inspired when he sees all of the firefighters working together.
“As a chief, you don’t really get to fight too many fires with hoses. You are usually sitting back making decisions and gathering information, but to sit back and watch everyone do their job is absolutely remarkable,” Colovich said.
One of Colovich’s biggest fears is a fire rekindling.
“You hope that you’ve done enough mop up, so that it doesn’t rekindle,” he explained. “If you go to bed that night and you get paged out in the middle of the night and you hear the same address you were at earlier, you’re like ‘Oh crap’.”
Colovich is also concerned about the safety of his fellow firefighters.
“When we get a call for a structure fire, my first thought is, ‘Is everyone out? Is everyone safe?’ It kind of hit me one night when I became second assistant chief. I knew I had to make sure everyone made it home safe to their families,” Colovich said.
Colovich will be responsible for 49 firefighters. He will also fill out paperwork, attend important meetings, and make sure that department’s equipment works.
Colovich has worked at Mountain West Medical Center as an emergency medical technician, an ambulance service in Salt Lake City, and has worked as a mortician at Tate Mortuary.
Colovich is married and has three children and he jokes that he is an “unpaid Uber or Lyft driver,” because he spends his free time while he isn’t volunteering for the fire department driving his children around.
In his free time, Colovich also enjoys spending time with his family, especially traveling with them. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, target shooting, attending plays, and watching his children’s sports games.
Colovich is a huge BYU fan, he said.
“This is a great department,” Colovich said. “Tooele City is so good to us and we love to serve the citizens of Tooele. Helping protect the city is first and foremost on our minds.”