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Summit County dispatch logs detail fatal shooting response — and show North Summit Fire’s non-response

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Courtesy of the Summit County Sheriff's Office
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A recent shooting in Echo Canyon resulted in a woman’s death. Summit County’s dispatch logs reveal more about what happened that morning.

The 911 call came in at 10:58 a.m. Monday, Jan. 31, according to Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright. Someone had been shot in Echo Canyon.

The events of that day will likely stay with the victim’s family forever. And the fallout continues to reverberate through the North Summit community. On Sunday, all of the district’s firefighters were suspended after one allegedly refused a chief’s order to respond to the call.

Officials said they don’t believe the firefighter’s non-response changed the outcome of that incident. The suspension stems from what the district’s leadership said were multiple incidents of insubordination, including an organized effort not to sign up for shifts.

Summit County dispatch logs from last Monday show that North Summit firefighters indeed did not respond to Echo Canyon. And the records illustrate the realities of how East Side emergency services are staffed, and how response times can go up when an ambulance is out of service.

About an hour before that 911 call came in, dispatchers received a more routine notification, but one that would impact how the rest of the day unfolded.

“Just calling to let you know we need to go out of service,” said an operator of an ambulance based in Coalville. “I have to go in for a random drug test. I don't know if we were going to have cover, but they’re working on figuring that out right now.”

“OK, so Ambulance 21’s going out of service?” a dispatcher asked.

“Yep.”

The ambulance was called out of service at 10:02 a.m. Wright said it would return at 11:37 a.m.

When the North Summit ambulance can’t respond, standard practice is for the ambulance at the Kamas station in South Summit to move to a central location, generally near the Rockport Reservoir. Wright said that’s what happened last Monday.

That leaves one ambulance to cover both North Summit and South Summit, with Park City notified of the situation and ready to respond.

The Park City Fire District runs all ambulance operations in Summit County and staffs one ambulance each in Coalville and Kamas 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. One centralized dispatch center located at the Summit County Sheriff’s Office supports all agencies operating in the county.

When the Echo Canyon call came in, dispatchers quickly mobilized units to help. According to dispatch logs, those first page-outs came 30 seconds after 11 a.m. They went to the North Summit and South Summit fire districts.

Two seconds later, dispatch paged out a Park City ambulance staffed with paramedics, which was at a station near the intersection of Interstate 80 and U.S. 40.

The Echo Canyon incident happened in northeastern Summit County, about 20 miles from the Wyoming border. According to the Sheriff’s Office, a 58-year-old woman was accidentally shot while hunting with her family. She had gotten into a side-by-side off-road vehicle and a rifle inside the vehicle discharged, shooting her in the midsection.

Wright said family members drove the injured woman about a mile down the canyon toward Interstate 80 to get help.

Responses to the dispatcher’s pages came in quickly. The South Summit ambulance said it was en route at 11:01:47, 1 minute and 17 seconds after receiving the page. Summit County Sheriff’s deputies and Utah Highway Patrol troopers responded soon after.

The North Summit ambulance would not be back in service for more than half an hour.

Just before 11:15 a.m. —15 minutes after the first pages — Highway Patrol troopers were the first to arrive on scene. Sheriff’s deputies arrived about 30 seconds later and the law enforcement officers began lifesaving measures.

The first medical personnel, an AirMed team in a medical helicopter, arrived at 11:30 — 30 minutes after the first pages went out. Ambulance 41 from Kamas, which had mobilized to the central location near Rockport to cover the North Summit area, arrived at 11:33. The Park City ambulance arrived at 11:38. North Summit Fire did not respond to the initial page and did not respond to the scene, according to the call logs.

The incident occurred about 16 miles on Interstate 80 from the North Summit fire station in Coalville. Firefighters are limited in what medical aid they can provide, both by their personal training and by a designation the district must get from the state.

Summit County Manager Tom Fisher said he did not think a response from North Summit Fire would have changed the outcome of this particular incident.

“That really isn't the issue,” Fisher said. “The issue is that their own internal policy and practice was to roll in support of emergency medical services. So that's what's being investigated.”

The North Summit Administrative Control Board was set to meet with the County Council Wednesday to chart a path forward. The board is scheduled to meet again Thursday.