DRAPER — Fire crews called for a moment of silence Sunday as they mourned the passing of one of their Unified Fire Authority Battalion Chiefs, Dave Lehnhof.

Lehnhof, who died June 13 following a short battle with cancer, had been an active firefighter, EMT and battalion chief for the past 36 years. He joined a paramedics program in 1974.

"He worked right up until he wasn't feeling well a couple months ago. He had quite an extensive cancer," UFA Capt. Clint Smith said. "It's a sad day for us. We hate to lose any of our guys."

Friends and co-workers said Lehnhof, 58, was one of the leaders in the early 1970s when fire agencies started the switch from solely fighting fires to going out on medical calls.

"He was pretty instrumental in setting up our medical protocols," said Battalion Chief Jeff Johnson. "I liked having him respond on my calls as the second chief. We were able to bounce ideas off each other, make sure the guys were safe."

Lehnhof was key within the medical bureau until about 7 or 8 years ago when he made battalion chief. He was assigned to the south battalion that covers Draper, Riverton, Herriman and Alta about a year ago.

Johnson described his co-worker as being at the forefront when defibrillators were introduced and coordinating medical responses quickly to save lives.

"He wasn't afraid to say, 'We've gotta pull these guys out' if a structure fire was too serious," Johnson said. "His track record proves it. We haven't lost a firefighter to a fight in a lot of years. That's due to the dedication of guys like Dave."

— Lana Groves