As wildfire raged, Park City, Summit County first responders honored |

As wildfire raged, Park City, Summit County first responders honored

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD
Rickie Taylor, the leader of the Park City Elks Lodge, left, presents the organization's annual First Responders Awards. The winners, from left, are: Park City firefighter Zane Thompson, Park City police detective Jeremy Eaton, South Summit Ambulance EMT Alyce Bone, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Thomas Simpson and Vince Nguyen, a Summit County Sheriff's Office deputy. Christopher Reeves/Park Record

With a wildfire raging a few miles away, a diverse group of first responders was honored on Saturday for their work patrolling for criminals, fighting fires and providing life-saving medical services.

The Park City Elks Lodge presented its annual honors to first responders during an event at Rotary Park on the edge of Thaynes Canyon on an afternoon when many area firefighters were battling the Rockport 5 Fire close to Rockport Reservoir. A haze hung over the area as the smoke continued to rise from the fire.

"These guys, a lot of them go without thanks. They work anytime, day or night, any day of the week, to keep our communities safe," Craig Cooper, the chaplain and a trustee of the Park City Elks Lodge, said in an interview.

Cooper noted the closeness and the severity of the fire as he spoke about first responders, saying fighting the Rockport 5 Fire was a coordinated effort that involved many people.

It was the eleventh year the Park City Elks Lodge gave the awards. The winners received certificates for dinners for two at the St. Regis Deer Valley and a small cash award from the local Elks Lodge.

The winners were introduced by their peers. The event drew a crowd of other emergency responders and the families of the winners to enjoy a picnic.

The winners were:

  • Jeremy Eaton, a detective in the Park City Police Department. A memo from the Police Department nominating Eaton said he works with commitment and professionalism.

    "Jeremy has always offered a high quality of service to the community, He has done this with not only integrity and fairness but also caring for some of the vulnerable, our senior citizens and children," the nominating memo says.

    It says Eaton has handled tough cases in the last year, including an investigation into a suspected embezzlement within the Police Department.

  • Alyce Bone, an EMT with South Summit Ambulance. A memo nominating her indicates she has worked for the ambulance service for 10 years as well as being a firefighter in South Summit.

    "Alyce always goes above and beyond what is required, many times changing her plans to help others. Her dedication, skills and great attitude have earned her the respect and admiration of every member of our ems/fire team and community," the memo says.

  • Vince Nguyen, a Summit County Sheriff’s Office deputy. A memo from the Sheriff’s Office says Nguyen is a detective who is assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The memo indicates Nguyen and the team he works with have seized millions of dollars in cash, more than 20 vehicles, three handguns and five rifles.

    The memo says he is working with Davis County authorities on a methamphetamine case. It says he has seized more than four pounds of the drug locally that is related to the work with the Davis County authorities.

    "Vince is the consummate professional and has a tireless work ethic which makes him so successful in his desire to eradicate narcotics operations in the State of Utah," the memo says.

  • Zane Thompson, a firefighter with the Park City Fire District. A memo says Thompson has a "passion for wildland firefighting." It says he spent lots of time developing a program for fighting wildfires. The program is able to provide resources to the region if need be, the memo says.

    "Zane is currently working on a long-term strategic plan for the wildland program to ensure its continued success," the memo says.

  • Thomas Simpson, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper assigned to Summit County and Wasatch County. A memo says Simpson pulled over more drivers between 2009 and 2012 than any other trooper in his section.

    Simpson has stopped people who were transporting drugs, the memo says, indicating more than 100 pounds of drugs were seized on Interstate 80 through his work.

    "Through training and a strong work ethic, Trooper Simpson has become proficient in identifying and apprehending people moving large quantities of drugs through Summit County on I-80," the memo says.

    It also says Simpson apprehended two armed suspects in July who were sought in a kidnapping case in Salt Lake and an aggravated assault case in Summit County.

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