It’s time to put the spotlight on another of our board members – Tony Allred. With the Professional Firefighters of Utah for 23 years, Tony knows what it means to serve the community. He is now stationed at Station 6 – which serves the downtown, Glendale and Poplar Grove area – and is the Fire Captain over the supervising crews. These are the people who provide emergency medical, fire, hazardous material and other types of emergency responses to those who live in Salt Lake City as well as visitors to the area.
Tony is an advocate for the safety and working conditions of the city’s firefighters. In his job with the Professional Firefighters of Utah, he serves the community by responding when people need emergency assistance. He loves that he can make a living by making a difference.
Tony is a perfect fit to our board. As a member of the fire service, he works 48-hour shifts. This means that he lives in the community in which he serves. It is his community … his people. From spending time in local schools to helping residents when they experience big or little emergencies, he is there. He even shops for groceries in the area. Basically, Tony is a resident.
When we asked him about the challenges that he’s experienced while working in the Pioneer Park and/or Rio Grande neighborhood, he said, “When I first got involved with the PPC, the open lawlessness was startling.” He went on to say, “I was also struck by the perception that advocacy for safety and law enforcement in the neighborhood was seen by some as an insensitivity to the challenges faced by the homeless.” Everyday, Tony was seeing that the area’s homeless population were frequently the victims of violence and crime.
In joining the Pioneer Park Coalition board, Tony is in a position of being able to continue the hard work of making gains when it comes to pushing for the neighborhood to be safe for those who live and work in it. Before Operation Rio Grande, Tony’s department had concerns about the area being one of the most dangerous ones to work in, and this was coming from personnel who regularly respond to car accidents on slippery freeways at night, enter buildings that are on fire and handle hazardous material spills.
It’s important to Tony that people know that he and his crew respond just as fast to emergency calls from a homeless service provider as they do those that come from a business office. They believe that everyone deserves their best response regardless of their living situation. We’re so glad to have Tony on board. Thanks for all you do Tony!