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Michael James Penovich

Fire Chief

Chief Penovich was returning to his community after going to Heber City to look at a water tank that his department was considering for purchase. Chief Penovich was driving his department-issued F150 Ford pickup truck. For unknown reasons, Chief Penovich's vehicle veered off of the roadway, over an embankment, and into the Deer Creek Reservoir. Witnesses stated that the vehicle did not slow down as it left the roadway. The vehicle submerged immediately. Bystanders on the roadway and in boats attempted to provide aid but could not reach the vehicle. The Wasatch County Search and Rescue divers entered the water at 1048hrs and surfaced at 1055hrs. They reported that they had located Chief Penovich in his vehicle. They found his seat belt across chest but not latched. Chief Penovich was halfway out of the passenger side window. An autopsy showed that Chief Penovich had drowned.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Michael James Penovich was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Saratoga Springs Fire Department
1307 North Commerce Drive, Suite 200
Saratoga Springs, Utah 84045

Chief: Captain Rick Scott

Age: 38
Rank: Fire Chief
Classification: Career
Incident date: July 5, 2007 10:00
Date of death: July 5, 2007
Cause of death: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft
Nature of death: Drowning
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Other On-Duty
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Last updated: March 27, 2018