Park City firefighter Scott Greenwood loves his job
Park City fireman Scott Greenwood is a self-confessed adrenalin junkie. It’s not an unusual personality trait in his profession. In fact, it’s almost necessary. "Most of us are a little that way. I can’t imagine doing anything else," says the 12-year PCFD veteran doing anything else, adding a 40-hour desk job is "unthinkable."
Greenwood has never been one to sit still. As a child growing up in near Ann Arbor, Michigan, he hunted "crawdads" and frogs, rode his bike everywhere and dreamed he was Kirk Gibson of the Detroit Tigers, hitting a world series-winning homerun.
When the family relocated to Salt Lake City in 1988, Greenwood was a fish out of water but not for long. "Places to go catch things and forests to explore were no longer in my backyard, so I learned to do what everyone else was doing skiing!"
After graduating from Olympus High School in 1996, Greenwood promptly moved to Park City, where he had learned to ski just eight years earlier. He worked as a ski instructor at Park City Mountain Resort from ’96 through 2000 while attending college at the University of Utah and, later, Utah Valley University.
His decision to take a degree in Fire Management at UVU came late in his college career. "I really didn’t think about it until I took am EMT [emergency medical technician] course so I could transition to the Ski Patrol. It’s funny, most kids want to be firemen when they’re eight years old. I wanted to be a vet when I was that age."
After taking his degree, Greenwood worked as a PCMR ski patrolman and took part-time off-season jobs while waiting for a job opening with the Park City Fire Department. "I didn’t know much about the PCFD back then, I only knew I wanted to continue to live and work in Park City.
Though he was offered jobs with four other area fire departments, he jumped when a PCFD job finally opened up in 2003. Based at the Deer Valley station, he works alternating 48-hour shifts.
Almost 13 years later, Greenwood says he still loves his job. "I’ve never had a single day that I’ve regretted going this route. No day is the same as the last one or the next. Every day I go to work I have no idea what’s ahead of me until I get there."
Though he admits there are bad days when he’s seen terrible things, he chooses to focus on the good days. "I’ve pulled kids out of wrecked cars and taken care of them and delivered two babies. Days like that are the super memorable ones."
Greenwoods work ethic is impressive. In addition to his full-time job with PCFD, he also works one week a month as a flight paramedic with a helicopter rescue crew ATV based in Moab, Utah. There, he works a six-day shift, always on call. "We see a lot of highway wrecks and back country ATV and mountain bike accidents and injuries. That’s when a helicopter is most important, so we can get to remote areas quickly. It can mean life or death," he says.
Greenwood likes a full plate. "I figured it out and I average 91 hours a week on the job," he says, though he’s quick to add that he’s able to sleep when not called out on an incident.
Greenwood is engaged to Park City local Stephanie Chase Bass, a figure skating coach, choreographer and former member of the U.S. National Figure Skating Team. The couple met four years ago during the Park City Follies, the venerable annual show at the Egyptian Theatre that lampoons Park City life. Bass was choreographing and Greenwood was part of a PCFD "dance" team that did a provocative striptease, though stopping well short of the Full Monty. "She’s amazing and a breath of fresh air, with a great sense of humor. Did I mention gorgeous?" They plan to marry next June at the Town Lift Bridge. "We added it up and the guest list is already around 600. It should be quite a party," he says.
Greenwood is passionate about work, family, friends and fun, but his work trumps all. "I read somewhere that 87 percent of Americans hate their jobs. I can’t imagine that. My job is the best," he asserts. "The camaraderie with the guys at the station is just awesome. They are like family to me. I’ve never had a single day that I’ve regretting going this route."
While on duty, Greenwood says everyone takes a turn in the kitchen. "We have some really good cooks at our station, so I don’t spend as much time in the kitchen as some," he admits. Too bad; word has it he whips up a mean firehouse enchilada.
Steve Phillips is a Park City-based writer and actor. Send your profile comments and suggestions to him at email@example.com
- Favorite activities: skiing, bicycling, summer concerts
- Favorite foods: "We eat a lot of great food at the firehouse, but my favorite is sushi."
- Favorite authors: Richard Dawkins
- Favorite music/performers: classic rock; Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin
- Bucket list: run the original marathon in Athens; retire young enough to enjoy it