Logan firefighters dip flag for Massachusetts brothers
By Ben Bagley
In the wake of the warehouse fire this month in Worcester, Mass., in which six firefighters lost their lives, many local firefighters have turned their thoughts toward their fallen brothers.
"It is a real tragic occurrence I would not wish on any fire department," said David Harston, Logan Fire Department's assistant chief. "Our flag is at half mast and will remain there until all those [missing firefighters] are found.
"There is a real feeling among firefighters even though it was in Massachusetts and we are in Logan. We still feel for them and their families."
According to www.firehouse.com, an Internet site for information on fire, rescue, and EMS services, Utah has only lost three firefighters since 1981. In 1998 there were 98 firefighter deaths in the United States. Logan has been lucky enough not to have ever lost a firefighter in the line of duty.
"Our hearts go out to the families [of the lost firefighters] first," said Jeff Peterson of the Cache County Fire Department. "We now have to look what went wrong [in Worcester], and not let it happen again."
The fire in Worcester was the second worst firefighter casualty of this century.
Logan has a full-time fire department with 35 full-time firefighters. Cache County is served by one full-time fire department with 40 firefighters, and 12 volunteer fire departments with more than 275 volunteer firefighters.
Logan's fire department responded to about 350 calls last year, and Cache County responded to an estimated 400 calls. Harston said the risk for fires is high right now, with everybody having Christmas lights up.
"Christmas trees can be quite volatile," said Harston. "Keep trees well watered and make sure your lights are in good working condition." Harston said everyone needs to be smart, safe and obey general fire safety.