After Seeing Living Conditions, Box Elder County Woman Says Firefighters Deserve Better

Jan 25, 2019, 11:03 PM | Updated: Jan 26, 2019, 12:15 am

GROUSE CREEK, Utah – After nearly 20 miles of driving on a snowy, dirt road with nothing to see, it’s natural to think you have gone the wrong way.

But, if you keep going on Grouse Creek Road, eventually you’ll come to the small town of Grouse Creek.

A little further, you’ll notice a small building with a large radio antennae.

Corey Barton teaching EMT class

On this particular night, a handful of people were taking an EMT class inside that building.

Even in the middle of nowhere, medical emergencies happen and it’s important to make sure there are trained people ready to help.

“To even be able to get the five we have in the class here, that’s huge,” said Michele Green, who has served on the ambulance crew in Park Valley for close to 16 years.

Park Valley is another small community in this part of Box Elder County.

Michele Green

“We’re all volunteers,” said Green. “And we cover a lot of space. We’ve had runs as long as four hours, even five and six hours up over the mountain.”

It’s just part of living in such a rural environment.

For as many times as Green has helped teach this class, though, she never really noticed something she felt deserved some attention, until now.

Old Bedding

“I remember having these blankets in the 1970s,” she said while holding tan-colored blankets that are in the bedroom portion of the building. “And these pillows, these are the kind that used to be a hospital pillow. They’re kind of plastic.”

Not only is the building a place to hold classes, it’s also used as a cabin for sheriff’s deputies with the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office to stay when they’re out here patrolling.

Grouse Creek cabin

The cabin is also used by firefighters during wildfires.

“I’ve spent many nights in these cabins,” said Corey Barton.

Barton is the fire marshal for Box Elder County.

This past summer, when several wildfires were burning in the area, he says firefighters loved having a building to sleep in.

“It’s a lot better than the tent and the hard floor. It really is,” he said.

That’s why, when Green saw the old bedding on the dozen or so bunk beds, she felt firefighters deserved better.

“I wanted them to come to a place where they go,” said Green. “This is comfortable, and someplace I could feel comfortable sleeping and not just a place to stay.”

She’s raising money to buy nicer stuff for the three cabins the county owns.

Besides Grouse Creek, there are cabins in Park Valley and Yost.

Even for a seasoned firefighter, new bedding sounds pretty good.

“Typically, I bring my sleeping bag and sleep out on the bed,” said Barton, with a laugh.

It’s certainly not the biggest issue in the county. But, Green feels, for everything firefighters do for the community, why not try?

“They don’t need these incredibly expensive blankets, but how nice to be able to come here and go, ‘oh, that’s a good place to sleep,’” she said.

If you would like to help her out, you can contact the Box Elder County Fire Marshal at 435-734-3333.

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After Seeing Living Conditions, Box Elder County Woman Says Firefighters Deserve Better