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Emergency workers in Salt Lake County praised during Super Bowl ad

SALT LAKE COUNTY – Some first responders across the country were honored in one of this weekend’s Super Bowl ads.  A Salt Lake County emergency official was one of those people who were featured in what he calls an emotional commercial.

Verizon Wireless sponsored the ad, and it took segments of real conversations between emergency workers and the people they saved.  It’s a phone call that Salt Lake County Search and Rescue Commander Wayne Bassham says it’s the kind of call they don’t normally get.  Bassham says they get thankful posts on social media, but, “To have somebody physically call you, or come by and pay you a visit, it just shows that all of our volunteer work on a team level does pay off.”

The call came from Abby Ward, who had to be rescued after falling several stories in the Lisa Falls area of Little Cottonwood Canyon in 2016.  She thanks Bassham for doing an amazing job, says she felt like she was surrounded by angels.  “To get that phone call, to me, it’s priceless,” Bassham says.

Bassham was attending a Mountain Rescue Association Winter Conference when he saw the commercial, and admits he got choked up.  He says, “It’s all the inner emotions that you have, and you feel proud.”

Looking back on that day, Bassham says it was a large team effort between their department and Life Flight.  “If you were to say all the stars were in line and everything was just perfect… it was one of those days.  It was absolutely perfect,” he says.

However, he says the biggest hero was Ward’s little brother, who made the initial 911 call.

(Photo Credit: Ravell Call, Deseret News, file)