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NEWS – “Batis leaves the Tremonton Fire Department - and an explanation”

TREMONTON – December 7, 2020

Steve Batis - Courtesy photo

Tremonton City Fire Chief Steve Batis has retired after 40 years serving Tremonton and surrounding communities in the local EMS and fire service field. Batis joined the department in 1980 and grew a great interest and love for community service.

He was hired at Thiokol in their fire department in 1983 and continued his EMS/fire certifications and gained a Fire Science degree from Utah Valley University. Batis spent many years testing other departments and building great friendships throughout the state. He moved up through Tremonton Fire department ranks alongside the many dedicated members.

Serving as Tremonton City Fire Chief the past 16 years, Batis led and grew the department through many challenges and changes to meet the growing demands of public safety and emergency services. Batis gives credit to the men and women in the department for their dedication and family sacrifices for running the department self-sufficiently without city funding for all these years.

Batis and his wife George Ann will always treasure all the unforgettable memories, friendships and adventures this path in their lives has given them. He would like to thank the citizens and businesses of this great community for the many years of their support.

“Over my 16 years as Tremonton City Fire Department’s Fire Chief working with many city officials the fire department has felt the support of some and struggled with others. In efforts to help the current officials understand the impact of increasing emergency calls, I asked the council to approve some full-time day help to work with volunteer-on-call/paid to ensure public safety in emergency response. Unfortunately, the mayor and members of the Tremonton City Council did not agree with my recommendation and hired an outside auditor to evaluate the fire department.

After six months of an extensive audit of call volume, financials, budget, department member’s survey input from that outside auditor was presented the council with recommendations. It was recommended that the department had sustained a volunteer-on-call/paid response years past the city’s growing population and praise was given to the department members for their overwhelming support and sacrifices.

The auditor recommended a full time 24/7 department to work with volunteer on-call/paid members. The council and mayor declared it the fire chief’s responsibility to solicit public support for a truth in taxation tax increase to cover the costs and told current members, ‘we appreciate what you’re doing but you need to recommit and overall do more.’

For those who might not understand, the Tremonton Fire Department is a volunteer-paid on call department. It is made up of men and women who have full-time jobs that support their families. They have obligations that take them outside of city limits (response area) daily for work, religion, recreational, educational, entertainment and children’s activities.

I felt strongly, after working with the fire department's self-sufficient budget for over 16 years, it would be able to support the additional costs and asked Tremonton City Manager Shawn Warnke to consider freeing up department revenue not included in the departments spending budget to avoid tax increases. It was met with silence.

The resolution was approved to hire a full-time fire chief and although I applied and moved to the final three candidates, it was decided by the some of the council members to go outside our community, and state, for a new full time fire chief.

I have personally welcomed new Fire Chief Robert LaCroix and his family to Tremonton and I’m confident the great citizens of our community will do the same. I encourage all citizens to get involved in local government to be aware of future planning and where tax dollars are spent.” – Steve Batis, December 7, 2020


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