‘Top of the line’: Three new firefighters join Washington City Fire Department

Firefighters Russel Nield, Jesse Christensen and Nicholas Peterson introduce themselves to the Washington City Council, Washington, Utah, Sept. 14, 2022 | Photo by Truman Burgess, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Right arms raised, firefighters Jesse Christensen, Russell Nield and Nicholas Peterson swore an oath of office for Washington City Fire Department last Wednesday, officially beginning their city positions. 

Firefighters Russel Nield, Jesse Christensen and Nicholas Peterson swear their oath of service for Washington City Fire Department, Washington, Utah, Sept. 14, 2022 | Photo by Truman Burgess, St. George News

“We are very fortunate to get the caliber of people that we have, and these three represent the top of the line and continue to surprise you every time you see them,” Fire Chief Matt Evans said.  “These three individuals represent your support in the three positions that were approved in this budget year that started in July.” 

“Three people really equate to one, since we work three shifts,” Evans said, referring to why he always hires in groups of three.

Each firefighter introduced himself and his family and friends at the pulpit. Afterwards, the fire fighter swore an oath of service and received official badges in front of the council.

Christensen was born and raised in Utah County. He graduated from Pleasant Grove High School, near where his immediate family still resides.

“My extended family is mostly from Vegas, where my parents were raised,” Christensen said. “We would frequently make trips down to the area when I was younger, and I quickly fell in love with the heat and beautiful red rock of Washington City. I moved to (Washington City) in 2019 and have lived here since.”

Christensen said he used to commute from Washington to the South Jordan Fire Department before receiving this position in the town he lives in.

“I was very lucky and blessed to be selected for employment in the city I live and love so much.”

Nield turned 23 years old on Wednesday, making his Washington City Fire Department badge an evening birthday present. Nield grew up in Hurricane and he’s the middle child of three boys.

“I started getting into the fire service because my ex-father-in-law worked for Clark County Fire, and I saw how much he loved it,” Nield said. “He helped me study and learn.”

Fire Chief Matt Evans and firefighters Russel Nield, Jesse Christensen and Nicholas Peterson stand with their families after swearing an oath of service, Washington, Utah, Sept. 14, 2022 | Photo by Truman Burgess, St. George News

“I chose to work for Washington City because it’s a part of the community that I am around a lot, and I found out this department is the best and really is a family. I’m so grateful and excited to be a part of such a great department where I can serve and help the community.”

Peterson is originally from Orem. He lives in St. George and has a wife and five young children. Peterson said he used to be a firefighter in St. George, “but great things are happening here in Washington, and it shows,” he said.

Lining up side-by-side before the council, the three new firefighters followed their fire chief in swearing an oath of service as firefighters in Washington City Fire Department.

The oath is as follows:

“I do solemnly swear that I will support, obey, and defend the constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Utah, and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.”

For more information about the  Washington City Fire Department, or to schedule a tour for a time between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday contact Fire Chief Matt Evans at [email protected], or call the department’s main station at 435-673-4788.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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