Chief William Pope | Forty Under 40 Recipient 2015
Chief William Pope
“Chief Pope’s dedication to his firefighters and the community goes far beyond the title of Fire Chief. He is a leader that goes out of his way to offer additional training opportunities to all of his staff when they are made available. No matter what program, initiatives or class that Pope has implemented at Uintah City Fire Department, it has all been completed without pay, on his own time and under his own volition. He has proven time and time again his level of commitment to the department, his firefighters and the community that he serves.” – Kirsten Stuart
Forty Under 40 Entry Form:
When I decided to do this nomination for Chief I asked him in passing what it was he liked about being a firefighter, his response was that he enjoys the complexity of the job. Firefighters are constantly challenged and required to be knowledgeable in many areas. From fire suppression, fire prevention, emergency medicine and hazardous materials, nothing is every the same. He told me he likes the way the job challenges him to be his best, keep educated and motivated to protect himself, his co-workers and the public no matter what the world is throwing at you at the time. A little about Uintah City Fire Department. We are a city of more than 1,300 residents in the two square mile area along the southern border of Weber County, Utah. The fire department is a 100% volunteer organization that provides fire suppression and prevention, life safety and rescue services as well as other support functions to the citizens of Uintah City as well as Weber County.
Chief Pope is a true leader in every sense of the word. He is a man of integrity and a leader who not only walks the walk; he talks the talk. Never once have I, or any of the firefighters had to question the integrity of Chief Pope or his decisions. He has always had the safety of his firefighters and support staff first and foremost. When I think of the best words to describe Chief Pope’s leadership style they would be honesty, great communicator, confidant, sense of humor, commitment and ability to inspire. There is never a time you have to wonder where you stand with Chief Pope. He is clear as to what his expectations are, and his confidence in his leadership styles never makes you second-guess what it is you need to do or what it is he asks you to do. Chief Pope can mix the right amount of humor into a situation to minimize the stress of a given situation; no one has ever doubted the Chief’s commitment to his department and more importantly to his firefighters. But what I personally admire most is Chief’s Pope’s ability to inspire. He sees potential in his staff and firefighters that sometimes we do not see in ourselves. He knows how to tap into this to inspire and motivate us to see in ourselves what he has seen all along. Chief Pope has a remarkable devotion to the community whether in times of peace or a crisis. He has organized and overseen disaster response exercises with city leadership/council to allow the city to strengthen their plan and fix areas of opportunity. He created the Community Emergency Response Team program within the city of Uintah. His the desire and passion of helping others is paramount in this job, but the things he said he does today were the same things that were done 200 years ago, and that history of bravery – men going into situations with maybe less understanding but probably more intuition than us doing the job today. They are large boots to fill, and there is a quote that the US Navy SEALS have, that kind of falls into to tune with this sentiment ” Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. – I WILL NOT FAIL”
– Kirsten Stuart