The Tooele City Fire Department was recognized earlier this month for its efforts battling the wildfire that destroyed 11 homes and damaged 17 more on July 19, 2016.
Tooele City firefighters were recognized as the Utah State Firefighters Association Fire Department of the Year during the association’s convention from June 7-10 in Richfield.
Grantsville Mayor and Fire Captain Brent Marshall nominated the department and presented the award at the convention. He highlighted the difficult conditions crews faced, with the grass fire spreading to homes within 9 minutes of the initial call and heavy winds causing the blaze to spread with extreme speed.
Marshall commended the department’s 44 firefighters who responded and prevented the spread of the fire with no significant injuries or loss of life. In his nomination, Marshall also emphasized difficulties firefighters faced due to limited water volume between four engines on scene.
Tooele City’s mutual aid partners were also recognized — Grantsville City Fire Department, North Tooele Fire District, Tooele Army Depot Fire Department, Stockton Fire Department, Rush Valley Fire Department, State Fire Marshall’s Office, Tooele City Police Department, Tooele County Sheriff, Grantsville City Police Department, Tooele County Dispatch, and Mountain West Ambulance.
Marshall said Tooele City Fire Chief Bucky Whitehouse’s leadership had a calming influence on crews battling the blaze, as they became more excited due to the severity and difficulty.
Whitehouse said the award is a demonstration of the dedication and hard work the Tooele City Fire Department puts toward serving and protecting the community.
“The department is obviously very humbled at receiving an award from our peers from around the state,” he said.