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Davis Journal

Kaysville firefighters keep things light on Facebook

Jan 05, 2023 11:21AM ● By Cindi Mansell

Kaysville Fire Department; left to right Mayor’s intern Kalia Merrill, Mayor Tami Tran, Kelton Vine, and Cameron McKinnon. Photo courtesy of KFD

Recently, Mayor Tami Tran and her intern Kalia Merrill interviewed Fire Department employees Kelton Vine and Cameron McKinnon on her podcast show. She called them “mysterious, intimidating and awesome” and referred to McKinnon as the “Fire Department Social Media Megastar.”
McKinnon said he’s never thought of himself as being mysterious, but he has worked for Kaysville Fire Department for almost 13 years. He started immediately following his graduation from Davis High. He is currently an Engineer Driver/Advanced EMT and the administrator of the Fire Department Facebook site. “His posts are hilarious and have been featured on national news,” Tran said. Wit and humor used by McKinnon really presents boring subjects in a fun and engaging manner.
McKinnon said about five years ago, he asked if he could start some social media accounts for the Fire Department. He said for the first one-two years there really wasn’t a great deal of engagement and so he decided to use his wit and sarcasm in an “ask for forgiveness” manner. People ended up really liking it (luckily including the Fire Chief and City Manager).
Tran said it is “so fun to poke fun at ourselves whilst sharing a great message.” She said the public is always asking about the writer of the funny posts. McKinnon said he lays low but if people ask, he will admit it is him. He agreed the site has been positive for the department and they have followers from all over the world. Tran said she loves the interactions between the city and other cities, (especially the Police and Fire Department jabs back and forth).
McKinnon said the banter had been good for the Fire and Police relationship and has been a group effort. They are out in the emergency responder trenches together and this back-and-forth rivalry is a great relationship builder. Tran said she thinks it makes the city quaint and the engagement is incredible, including the hundreds of shares, likes, and comments while people are learning safety tips while laughing.
Vine said he has been with the department almost six years and is a Paramedic as well as an Engineer Driver. He explained the differences between Basic EMT, Advanced EMT and Paramedic, including abilities and functions (starting at basic patient assessment to IV’s, medication and then expanding the scope to patient assessment, advanced lifesaving, and pain management). He said every Kaysville Fire Department employee is required to be an Advanced EMT.
Vine said the emergency calls are coded by dispatch and that defines the situation and determines who on duty will respond to the call (and which equipment and/or vehicles). He said often, people are confused why various vehicles respond (fire truck, ambulance, SUV) and that is why. Vine said as a Driver, it is really insane how some people react to emergency responders (such as not pulling over or trying to race or outrun them). The law is to pull over to the right.
Vine said Engineers do not go into burning structures. They arrive on the scene safely, run the pump and ensure firefighters going in have water (with not too little or too much pressure). McKinnon said they carry 750 gallons on the engines and basic attack lines can flow up to 150 gallons per minute, so they have between three-five minutes before the engine itself is out of water. “An engineer’s focus is to get a hydrant hooked up to the truck to ensure constant water supply,” he said. Hydrants run off the culinary water system so water is available and fortunately, at great pressure in Kaysville. Vine said this job is important at the scene because that water is their lifeline and if disrupted, they could potentially die or get hurt inside a fire scene.
McKinnon said he has had a lot of experiences, both good and bad. He said there have been some funny ones like last summer when they had a gentleman show up at the fire station who said his garage caught on fire, he wasn’t sure what happened, but had put it out. He asked them to come and look at it to make sure everything was safe. After they had been there for a while investigating, his little boy showed up covered in black soot and they had solved the mystery and found the culprit.
Vine said their schedule is 48-hours on for two days and four days off. He said the schedule 8-5 involves training, public interaction, inspections, gas leak checks, fire/carbon monoxide detector issues, etc. and afterwards they go to the gym together, eat dinner, attempt to sleep, and just revolve their entire schedule around calls. Firefighters can retire after 25-year of service. He said it is great because firefighters work 10 days a month and have the other 20 days off and when you frame it that way, it really is an incredible career.  
McKinnon and Vine love their jobs; both have special circumstances or history that encouraged their career choice.