Lone Peak Fire spearheading in American Fork Emergency Phones

AMERICAN FORK, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Lone Peak Fire District wants the community to help raise money for an emergency phone at Tibble Fork Reservoir in American Fork Canyon. The phone is in honor of Ashley Nicole Cox, the young BYU student who lost her life after being trapped in an avalanche in February.

Each year over 1.2 million people use the canyon for recreational purposes, but if you've ever been there you probably know there is no cell phone service and no phone in sight if there is an emergency, but for just $5,000 in donations that could all change.

“It's tough to get a hold of somebody and you always think about if in an emergency what would you do? Somebody has to run down to the ranger station to get help,” said Tyler Smith who frequents the canyon cross country skiing and biking.

Smith tells ABC 4 Utah, not having cell phone service is concerning for not only himself but others.

“I do a lot of off roading up here and lots of people come up here with their dirt bikes and their toys and stuff happens,” said Noah Christensen who also frequents American Fork Canyon. The closest phone service is at the mouth of the canyon 15 to 20 minutes down and it’s a situation that proved deadly last month.

“The call with Ashley Nicole Cox that was trapped in an avalanche, it brought a lot of attention to the need up there and so we're spearing this again trying to use her as a platform to get this enacted, and we hope to get enough money to get a phone up there in her honor,” said Joe McRae, the battalion chief for the Lone Peak Fire District.

The phone costs $5,000 and will be located in the parking lot of the Tibble Fork Reservoir. Lone Peak battalion chief says the new phone could cut 20 minutes off their response time.

“Right now were averaging about 30 calls a year that are trauma calls in that canyon and I would imagine were not getting some of those calls because people are putting the injured person in a  car and bringing them down the canyon,” said Chief McRae.

Chief McRae says the goal is to buy more than one emergency phone, but the problem is a lack of funding. “We put up a news brief four days ago for Bank of American Fork, where we're asking funds to be deposited, and we haven’t had any donations, not one,” said Chief McRae.

To donate, the fund is set up under the name "Lone Peak Fire District Emergency Phone." You can donate at any Bank of American Fork or online. For more information visit http://lonepeakfire.com  

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