This month, as we remember our freedoms we enjoy in our state and in our country, we celebrate our local heroes for working hard to keep us safe.
Sometimes, our freedoms can be taken away from us in an instant in case of an emergency, but luckily our heroes at North View Fire Station work tirelessly to protect us and do everything in their power to protect us.
For instance, last year, as I was driving home on a Friday evening, a pickup truck hit my van with me and all four of my children inside. Coming to our rescue to save us were some of the firefighters/EMT’s from North View Fire Department. They pulled us out, helped clean off our wounds, and made a thorough assessment before speedily transporting us to the hospital by ambulance. Without their quick response, we would not have received the help we needed. Although we were full of cuts and bruises, we miraculously had no broken bones.
These, our heroes at North View Fire, have served our community tirelessly for 53 years. Since opening its doors in 1965, the station has had three fire chiefs, Terrel J. Call, Lynn Froerer, and current Fire Chief, David Wade. In talking with Chief Wade, he said, “If you stay here long enough, you’ll see about everything.”
In 1985, Wade joined North View as a volunteer firefighter. There were only four full time employees and 35 volunteers. The volunteers each received a pager and when the pager went off, that meant you hustled to the address to help if you were available. The volunteers still got paid, but it was an on-call, paid-per-call job. Wade said, “I have never dreaded coming to work. I always like to come over here because of the guys, the camaraderie, and what we do. We’re helping people. We’re all service oriented.” He continued, “That’s all I wanted to do as a volunteer. When I answered the ad in the paper, they asked why I wanted to be a firefighter. I said that I just want to help. I appreciate living here and I want to help my neighbors. That’s how we all feel. With that said, we’re all a family and families squabble sometimes and have disagreements. But when the chips are down, you still rely on each other. They do a great job together and get along.”
The North View Fire District proudly serves North Ogden, Pleasant View, and Harrisville communities. It was originally established as a volunteer department by community members. Due to the growth of the communities, from 8,000 to more than 35,000 residents, it has evolved to a 24 hour/365 day staffed facility. Just in 2017 alone, they responded to over 2,600 calls for service.
Because of the high call volume and to accommodate the safety needs of the growing communities to the north, a new substation was built in 2002, Station 22. It was finished being built in July of last year.
Since the new station has opened, the response times in the northern areas of the area have been reduced by 75%. The substation has an engine and a brush truck for wild land firefighting. Chief Wade said that they were able to split their people and resources and put three firefighters at Station 22 and four at Station 21. He said it’s working out well so far.
Long ago, before there was ever a North View Station, there was a six bay station located on 12th Street between Wall and Washington and it operated until the 1970’s serving all of Weber County.
However, because of all of the growth in the North Ogden and Pleasant View Area, a fire department was needed and was built in 1965 by collective funds from North Ogden City and Pleasant View City. The original station had one bedroom, a small office area, a little kitchen, and two bays. It was located on Elberta Drive, just North of Lee’s Grocery Store.
Chief Wade talked about the good memories made at the early days of the first North View Station. For fun, the department did salmon bakes every year as a fundraiser up at Lomond View Park.
For years, the Station did not offer an ambulance service. All they had was a brush truck with a first aid kit on it. In 1991, they bought an ambulance for $6,000. When they started the ambulance service, they were able to give people more medical help in the ambulance before they got to the hospital.
When talking about his feelings on the importance of the help they offer, Wade said,“We stand on the shoulders of those people who came before us. The people 20 years from now will stand on our shoulders and the work we’ve done.”
In 2003, he had a stroke. Again in 2012, while he was the deputy chief, he had another stroke. The North View EMT’s responded quickly after receiving the crisis call. He said, “We respond to all these calls and lots of times we aren’t on the other end of it. I got to be a patient a couple of times and it gave me different perspective as to what we actually do to help people. We don’t really see the other side.” He continued, “Firemen are humans like everyone else. Obviously we have problems like everyone else. We are as susceptible as anyone else to have medical problems or get in wrecks or have an emergency.”
He said he felt helpless but grateful when he was the one in crisis. “I appreciated it. It really hit home to me because I then knew that people appreciate what firefighters do in general and in the service we provide. It reinforced why I wanted to do this job.”
Chief Wade helped make a challenge coin when the station turned 50. He said it reminded the department to prevent harm to the people you help and to yourself. Next, it reminded them stay alive. Wade said, “The most important thing we can do is go home the next day to our families.”
Last, it reminded us to be nice. He said it doesn’t cost anything to be nice, to your coworkers, the public, and anyone with whom you come in contact.
He also added that passion, integrity, and teamwork are the qualities that make any organization successful.
I was able to meet one of the heroes that rescued us after our car accident, Captain Dan Fisher. He said he was grateful to have the opportunities he’s had in helping others. He also said that he’s noticed how much our community gives back. “I’ve never seen people bring so much food to firefighters before. It’s awesome. We have an awesome community. But, it’s not really good for losing weight when people are bringing stuff every other day,” said Captain Fisher.
As members of this community, we are forever in debt for the service these heroes give. Let us reach out and thank our everyday community heroes who give so much to make us enjoy this wonderful and safe community we live in.