GRANTSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – If you’ve ever thought about becoming a firefighter, now may be your chance. Fire departments across the country, including Grantsville here in Utah, are looking for some good volunteers. ABC4 News explores what it means to be a volunteer firefighter, in this edition of Behind the Badge.

You may be surprised how many firefighters in Utah actually do it for free. It’s a job that’s in demand and takes a high level of dedication, one which volunteer firefighters do every day in Grantsville.

Being a firefighter in Grantsville in Tooele County requires more commitment than you may expect. Once you finish training, you don’t get paid. Grantsville is one of 145 Utah fire departments – all complete volunteer.

“It’s a lot of hours, a lot of time away from birthdays. I’ve been called away from my kid’s birthdays, stuff like prom night and what not to be called away,” said Chief Travis Daniels, Grantsville Fire Dept. 

Grantsville Fire Chief Travis Daniels said he and his team all work regular day jobs.

“I work for Xfinity. I’m a network technician,” said Daniels.

But when he gets the call, he goes to the fire.

“If you’re within city limits, you’re expected to respond when the page comes in,” said Daniels.

Although the job doesn’t come with a paycheck, it is one these firefighters enjoy.

“It doesn’t matter to me if I get paid to do it or not, it’s what I love. It’s the lifestyle I like,” said one Grantsville volunteer firefighter.

Each with a strong sense of service.

“Want to serve my community, grown up here my whole life,” said another volunteer firefighter.

“Serve the community, help my brother out,” said a third volunteer.

“I guess it’s in my genes. Haha,” said Daniels.
For the Fire Chief, it’s all in the family. He and his wife both volunteer as firefighters for Grantsville, sometimes even working the same fire, on the same fire hose (seen in a photo posted by the Tooele Transcript Bulletin, 2019).

“She still wants to be my wife when we’re here. Like when I’ve told (her) we got to be honest. Haha. When we’re here, you’re a firefighter just like everybody else, I can’t give you no special treatment,” said Daniels.

Regardless of who’s suiting up with Daniels’ team, he said they train hard, so if you have a fire, you can expect the same firefighter response as if it was their only job.

Chief Daniels said one of the biggest challenges of a volunteer fire department is finding enough volunteers. He said it’s an issue nationwide. So, if you want to volunteer to fight fires in Grantsville, they can always use the help. According to the Utah Fire Marshal’s Office, Utah has 208 fire departments across the state, 70% of which are volunteer-based.