Sunset says farewell to city’s fire department after 61 years of service

Posted at 9:55 PM, Jul 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-01 23:55:25-04

SUNSET, Utah -- The sun has officially set on the Sunset City Fire Department.

"It's tough, you know, that we're closing the doors after 61 years,” said Interim Chief Anthony Bott late Friday night, just before the station closed at midnight.

Fire Captain Matthew Maass said it was sad to close this chapter in their lives.

"This is my family here, so I'm kind of sad to see everybody go," he said. "Hopefully we'll all keep in touch and see each other again soon."

In May, the Sunset City Council decided to shutter the department in favor of services from North Davis Fire District.

“I did it because I loved it; I mean, there's no other way to say that,” said Firefighter/EMT Deana Ortiz.

Ortiz is a single mother of two.  Her job, like most at the department, was a volunteer position.  With a full-time job as well, she often worked seven days a week but said it was worth it for the example it set for her kids.

“They were proud of me, and that's what kept me going too, was I was setting an example for them to follow their dreams no matter what,” Ortiz said.

Friday night after a barbecue, the entire department gathered to hear dispatch call over the radio for their station one last time.

“Thank you to all past and current firefighters who served Sunset Fire Department,” a dispatcher said.

The broadcast was played to a quiet crowd, many with tears in their eyes.  Above their heads read signs of support with the words: ‘Thank You’, ‘We Love You’ and ‘You Inspire Us to be Heroes’.

“Your dedication will be remembered by those in the community,” said the dispatcher.

“I feel like a family's been torn apart,” Ortiz said.

“Met a lot of good people here, made some friends,” said Captain Maas.

“You don't want to hear the last tones and your end of watch, you know, you hope you can still respond tomorrow,” said Interim Chief Bott.

But for the men and women of the Sunset City Fire Department, there is not tomorrow in uniform.

Interim Chief Bott replied to dispatch, ending the department’s 61 year run, with a simple and formal response.

“Davis, Fire 102 copy is end of watch.”