Firemen from throughout Utah will be honoring Grant R. Walker, former Salt Lake City fire chief and Utah state fire marshal, Saturday at an Invitational Fire Muster at Magic Waters, 14295 S. State St., Draper.
Fire stations from all over the state are expected to field teams that will compete in a variety of water sports activities Saturday and Walker, 73, of Bountiful, who spent nearly 40 years in the fire service, will be grand marshal.A native of Lindon, Walker graduated from Pleasant Grove High School in 1933 and joined the Salt Lake City Fire Department in 1942. He was a chief officer for 10 years and fire chief four years before retiring in 1970. He was a canyon patrolman and spent four years as fire warden in Parleys and City Creek canyons, from 1970 to 1974. He was state director of fire training at Utah Technical College at Salt Lake from 1974 to 1976, and state fire marshal from 1976 through 1981.
Walker is still active on the State Fire Advisory Committee and the Utah Crime Prevention Committee and is president of the South Davis Chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers.
The ex-fireman survived several accidents and fire-related injuries during his long career. His most memorable escapes, he said, were being overcome by smoke in a 1943 theater fire and being dragged down three flights of steps by a fellow fire-fighter to safety; and surviving an explosion at a 1948 department store fire that seriously burned his face and hands.
"Firemen's clothing and equipment has improved a great deal over the years, but fighting fires is still the most dangerous job in the world. I salute firemen everywhere for their courage and dedication," he said.