Weight of the Call: Remembering Firefighter Doug Robison

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Many first responders are mourning the loss of one of their own. The news broke late Monday night that the man who championed peer support in Davis County, Doug Robison passed away.

“Firefighters need help too, and there is nothing wrong with that,” he told ABC4 News in September of 2019. “I believe very much in the fire service. I believe very much in what it can do. What it does for people.”

We caught up with Robison at a Firefighter Behavioral Health Summit in Syracuse City before we launched our Weight of the Call Series.

Doug Robison Sept. 2019

First responders from all over the state attended the one-of-a-kind event to learn better ways to deal with mental health.

“I know if it wouldn’t have been for other firefighters being there, for people to talk to, that I don’t know if I would have made it through my career,” he said at the time.

Robison started his career in 1978. He’s worked for Davis County Sheriff’s Office, Kaysville, and Layton Fire Departments, along with Unified Fire Authority.

Doug Robison Photo Courtesy of Davis County Sheriff’s Office

He told us he’s saved more than 28 people from taking their lives while serving as a peer support specialist in Syracuse.

Little did he know he saved many more by championing the Davis County Peer Support Task Force.

“Firefighters are the ones who help others, they don’t need help. That’s what firefighters think. And, firefighters need it just like everyone else does,” he said. “You can only take the responsibility of the community on yourself for so long before you need some help.”

Doug Robison Photo Courtesy of Kaysville Fire Department

Many consider Robison a bright light that dimmed too quickly.

Price City Fire Chief Fitzgerald Petersen says, “He was smart about our future. He was an advocate for peer support. He was about service.”

Brian Edwards adds, “I ran my first cardiac arrest with him. He helped me more on that call than anyone else during my career.”

UFA Capt. Ben Sharer says, “What a great mentor/man/example. Gonna miss him.”

Doug Robison Syracuse Fire Department

On Facebook, Syracuse City Fire Chief Aaron Byington tells us,

Today, the Utah Fire Service lost a well-known and respected paramedic firefighter. Doug Robison, a 42-year veteran of the fire service began his career with Kaysville Fire Department in 1978. Throughout his prestigious career, Doug worked for Davis County Sheriff’s Office, Layton City Fire Department and for Unified Fire Authority, retiring in 2015. In 2018, Doug joined the Syracuse Fire Department as a volunteer peer support mentor where he helped create the Davis County Peer Support Task Force. Doug was a good friend to us all and positively affected so many lives throughout his career; a debt that can only be repaid by continuing his legacy of love and compassion for our fellow brother and sister firefighters. Doug’s family would like to thank all who have reached out and ask for continued privacy as they work through the grieving process.”

Peer support teams across the state are available to talk to first responders about the loss of Doug Robison or anything else that may be troubling them.

The Utah Critical Incident Stress Management Team tells ABC4 News its counselors are available 24/7 at (801) 779-2865 for any first responder who needs to talk.

Click here to download the ABC4 Utah News app for the first alerts on your phone. Sign up for the ABC4 Utah breaking news and daily newsletters.

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