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Summit County wants to hear from residents as it plans future emergency services

Emergency crews respond to a hazardous material incident at the Best Western in Coalville
Emergency crews respond to a hazardous material incident at the Best Western in Coalville in June 2022.

A third-party study is currently analyzing the structure of emergency services countywide.

Summit County began a master planning process for the future of local emergency services in August. The county now wants to hear ideas and concerns from residents.

Most calls to firefighters are for medical emergencies, making proximity crucial for first responders.

Starting Thursday, the county is hosting three listening sessions to get community feedback about how local emergency services should be designed in the future as districts consider changes.

Earlier this year the Park City Fire District told the Summit County Council that it wants to become financially independent, making the case that its taxpayers subsidize service in the rural parts of the county. Park City Fire Chief Bob Zanetti said it had an over $2 million budget deficit this year, and it can’t continue to operate at those levels.

The North Summit Fire District is currently going through the Truth in Taxation process to fund crucial upgrades to its equipment and buildings, and to retain staff.

North Summit’s chief Ben Nielson has expressed interest in becoming financially independent, but he has conceded the district must be patient. Nielson was brought on as North Summit’s first-ever full-time fire chief in March after the district’s entire crew was suspended for insubordination.

The South Summit Fire District, which is currently not entirely EMS-trained, plans to continue to be subsidized by the county.

The county hired consultant SafeTech Solutions to study the current set up of emergency services and help establish a plan going forward.

The county is hosting three meetings to address questions and comments: Oct. 20 at the library in Kamas, Oct. 27 at the Ledges Event Center in Coalville, and Oct. 28 at the health department building in Quinn’s Junction. Each event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m.