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Bedont assumes chief position, leadership responsibilities at Price's fire department

Sun Advocate reporter

As Price's fire chief, Paul Bedont plans to continue the established training system, remain current with building inspections and increase public awareness about the department. Bedont assumed the position on Dec. 1.

On Dec. 1, Price city got a new fire chief.

Paul Bedont assumed the helm at the Price City Fire Department for the retiring Kent Boyack.

Bedont has been a member of Price city's fire department for five years. He served as the assistant fire chief for one year before assuming his new duties as chief.

To be named as chief, Bedont applied for the job, passed a review board of his peers, and was then selected as the best candidate by Price City Mayor, Joe Piccolo.

The new fire chief grew up in West Valley City. He is married and the father of four children.

Bedont worked for Utah Power & Light for 14 years before relocating in Price. While working for UP&L in the Salt Lake Valley, he ran a private animal control business from his home.

In 1997, Bedont's animal control experience landed him a job with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. He moved to Price as a new DWR officer and worked with animal control issues until 2002.

Bedont then hired on as a deputy sheriff for Carbon County's law enforcement department. He worked at the sheriff's office until assuming the fire chief duties on Dec. 1.

Bedont brings a wealth of experience to his new job. He has worked as a volunteer fire fighter on the Price City force since 2000. He has a good background in law enforcement and is a certified EMT.

Bedont is a level two firefighter and is licensed to do certification testing for other firefighters. He has worked part-time for the county recreation department as an instructor of rappelling and climbing.

Bedont is also a state certified Hazmat Technician. In fact, Bedont may be the only Hazmat Technician in Utah to have provided his services for free as a volunteer firefighter.

There are currently 22 firefighters in the Price City department. The department is authorized to have 24. The firefighters work as on-call volunteers. At one time the city provided medical insurance for members of the department, but new members are now given $500 per month instead.

Individual firefighters must attend three hours of training per week or meet a minimum state standard of 35 hours of training annually.

The Price fire department is divided into three groups, each with two officers and six firefighters.

Each group is on-call for 10 days each month, but every firefighter in the department carries a beeper and is expected to respond to fire calls or any major incident.

Carbon County has an interlocking system of emergency responders. Each city has it's own fire department and they provide mutual aid to each other.

The county contracts with the cities to provide fire coverage for rural areas in the county. The county provides ambulance service for the cities. Each city police department and the county sheriffs department respond as backup to every other police force or fire department as needed.

In the Price City fire department, the fire chief is the only full-time employee. The fire chief handles all of the administrative duties and takes care of scheduling, training, and personnel matters. He represents the department at meetings and official functions and is the ranking officer at all fire scenes.

As the new fire chief, Bedont expects to continue the established training system and keep current with the many building inspections he is required to perform. He plans to increase public awareness and public information about the department.

One way is to implement a cadet firefighter training program for 16- to 18-year-old youth in the community. Bedont would like to start such a program as soon as possible.

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