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Park City Elks Club honors first responders

2022 Summit County First Responder winners gather in front of Miner's Hospital Saturday.
Summit County Sheriff's Office
2022 Summit County First Responder winners gather in front of Miners Hospital Saturday.

The Park City Elks Lodge on Saturday celebrated the 20th year of its First Responders awards. The honors were given before a crowd of police officers, firefighters and EMTs gathered at the Miners Hospital in City Park.

The honorees were applauded for their dedication to both team members and the public, and their willingness to take on any task.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Deputy of the Year is Jeff O’Driscoll, who has lived most of his life in Summit County and is a current resident. During his tenure of nearly seven years with the Sheriff’s Office, O’Driscoll has been, among other things, a field training officer, K-9 handler, SWAT sniper, drone pilot and firearms instructor.

Sheriff Justin Martinez said O’Driscoll is willing to go the extra mile.

“This is a guy that, I could ask him to sit out on 224, in one hour, tell me how many red trucks went by,” Martinez said. “In that one hour, he would report back to me, this many red trucks went by, this many green trucks went by, this many blue trucks went by, this is how many women are driving, this is how many men. He is that detailed, that task oriented. During this past year, he had two situations, one incident where there was a veteran that was stranded here in Summit County. Jeff provided him with food and water and helped him get back to where he needed to go.

Another situation, we had a mother who had been recently widowed, her car had been towed, and she was falling on hard financial times. He was able to get her to school to help her pick up her kids.”

The Park City Police Officer for the Year is Ryan Dunaway, a five-year veteran with the city who is a lead officer in field training. He was recently selected for the traffic team and also became a full-fledged operator for the SWAT team.

His citation noted, “Officer Dunaway’s calm temperament, clear understanding of the law, and department policy and procedure, make him an exceptional mentor for our new hires.”

From the Utah Highway Patrol, Jeff Steiner was honored as Trooper of the Year. UHP Sergeant Kade Loveland reviewed Steiner’s record for 2021.

“Jeff intercepted the most DUI drivers in all of our section, and he also conducted over 1000 traffic stops the last year,” Steiner said. “There’s no doubt that Jeff’s enforcement efforts have made our roadways safer and saved lives. Not only does Jeff make contact with the motoring public, but each encounter leaves most people with a better representation of what law enforcement is and should be.”

The Park City Firefighter of the Year is Jonathon Jahp. A native of the Chicago area, Jahp’s passion for big mountains led him to attend the University of Utah. Working as a Deer Valley ski patroller sparked a passion for emergency medicine, and he joined the Park City Fire District in 2015. Notably, he now leads the committee overseeing the district’s fleet of fire trucks.

Finally, Cody Duell Smith was honored as EMT of the Year. Smith has been with the Park City Fire District nearly four years. Battalion Chief Ashley Lewis, talked about how Smith interacts with the public.

“A lot of times, we focus on two things—getting there quickly and solving someone’s problems,” Lewis explained. “And a lot of times, that problem is maybe the worst day of their life. And Duell’s bedside manner, the way that he talks and helps people through those difficult times is exceptional.”

The Park City Elks Club sponsors the annual event and hosted a barbecue dinner for recipients and their families.