LOCAL NEWS

New UFA fire station in Midvale designed with firefighter mental health in mind

Dec 14, 2022, 9:47 AM | Updated: May 15, 2023, 1:59 pm

MIDVALE, Utah — The Unified Fire Authority’s newest station in Midvale was designed with mental health in mind.

Station 125, located at 655 W. Center Street, not only features private rooms and bathrooms for firefighters working long hours, but also larger common rooms. 

Capt. Kelly Millard said those areas will help to build a sense of connection throughout his team.

“We are able to sit down, talk, joke, and that’s how a lot of us get through those hard calls,” he said.

Unified Fire Chief Dominic Burchett feels these small improvements will end up making a big difference.

“We deal with a lot, we see a lot stuff that we can’t forget often times,” Burchett said. “So now, we are trying to predict the future, of what’s going to be an issue and try to resolve it with things like this station design.” 

UFA also has a Behavioral Health and Wellness Office available to firefighters who feel they need to talk with a professional.

KSL has been reporting on mental health trends among our first responders extensively since this pandemic began.

When surveying firefighters statewide, we found 77% of the 364 participants said trauma from their job impacted their life and relationships. Seventy five percent noted disruption of sleep or insomnia, while three out of five were easily angered. Nearly 66% said they felt emotionally numb, and half reported having negative thoughts.

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New UFA fire station in Midvale designed with firefighter mental health in mind