MAGNA, Utah (News4Utah) While hundreds of firefighters paid their respects to Chief Matt Burchett Monday, volunteers from other agencies stepped in to take over shifts at Draper and Unified Fire Stations.
Four firefighters from Hildale never stepped foot in Magna until Monday, when they volunteered to work a 12-hour shift.
Capt. Barlow and his crew answered emergency calls while Unified Fire Authority staff grieves Chief Burchett. It’s the least they could do, Capt, Barlow said.
UFA spent more than a week near the Utah/Arizona border helping Hildale fire when 12 women and children died during flash flooding in 2015.
“It’s part of the brotherhood. It’s taking care of what needs done,” Capt. Barlow said.
Hildale is among several agencies covering emergency calls during the hours-long funeral. Volunteers came as far as Spokane, Washington.
Battalion Chief Kohl Furley traveled from Hurricane in Washington County.
“It’s our opportunity to honor the life of Chief Burchett, to pay respects in the best way we know how,” Battalion Chief Furley said.
Going from rural communities to 23 stations in 14 cities is a challenge for the volunteers. Sunday night, the group was briefed on the procedures and learned how things are done in the largest fire agency in the state.
“They are volunteering, they’re not getting paid to be here. They’re taking their own time to come up and support us so those who were close to Matt can go support the family,” Unified Fire Authority firefighter Bruce Larsen said.
“We are really grateful to be here,” Capt. Barlow said.
The firefighters from Hildale will finish their shift Monday night and will immediately head back home to continue their full-time jobs on Tuesday.