Blake Hopkins and family
Dec. 5, 1998
1 year old Harlans morph Redtail, Yala, on a cottontail. Photo taken at 1998 NAFA field meet, Vernal, Utah On a river trip down Westwater Canyon, looking for Peregrines
Prairie Falcon photo taken by Dylan Hopkins, Dec. 2007
The scene is of Dylan and his father, Blake, building Dylan’s first mew in 1997. It was custom all the way with safe flat walls
inside. Dylan definitely wanted to take care of his bird. Dylan became an apprentice falconer on his 14th birthday. His father
became Dylan’s apprentice after Dylan received his general falconry license.
At Firestation #5, Salt Lake City, where he served as a firefighter paramedic and heavy rescue technician
Crash Victim Remembered As a Dedicated Firefighter
By Laura Hancock and Jared Page
—The Deseret News
Dylan Hopkins, a Salt Lake City firefighter who was killed
in a plane crash in the Uinta Mountains on Friday, is be-
ing remembered as an unassuming man who took his
life’s work of rescuing people and saving lives seriously.
Flags at all Salt Lake City fire stations are being flown
at half-staff in honor of Hopkins, 25, who served at Fire
Station No.5.
He was traveling to Colorado Springs, Colo., with fellow
firefighters Craig Weaver and Byron Meyer for a weekend
trip. Weaver was piloting the single-engine Cessna 172
and attempting to make an emergency landing.
Meyer and Weaver were listed in critical condition
Saturday evening, said Scott Freitag, spokesman for the
Salt Lake City Fire Department. The crash is under inves-
Hopkins was part of the city’s heavy rescue team at sta-
tion No. 5, 1023 E. 900 South. The elite group of fire-
fighters – including Meyer and Weaver – specializes in
low frequency but high risk operations, such as rope res-
cues, and heavy machinery entanglement and extrication.
Hopkins worked for Salt Lake City for five years. Before
that he worked as a firefighter in West Valley City, hired at
age 18, said his uncle, Tom Yeager.
“He was writing essays when he was 6 years old for
school classes that he wanted to be a firefighter,” Yeager
said. “He would do ride alongs when he was young with
any place he could.”
As a teen, Hopkins’ friend went through a plate-glass win-
dow at school. After 911 was called, Hopkins used first
aid. “They say he saved his friend’s life,” Yeager said.
Hopkins attended Judge Memorial Catholic High School
and graduated from Olympus High.
Hopkins was one of the first responders at the Trolley
Square shootings in 2007 and the Wasatch Junior High
School fire in 2005, Yeager said.
“Dylan Hopkins was a committed, dedicated public ser-
vant,” said Mayor Ralph Becker, who called for the tribute
Saturday. “On behalf of Salt Lake City, I extend deep sym-
pathy to the Hopkins family and gratitude for Dylan’s life
of service.”
Flags will be flown at half-staff in Salt Lake City until after
Hopkins’ internment.
“I also send condolences to Dylan’s firefighting family at
station No. 5,” Becker said, “and express my wishes for
the healthy recovery of firefighters Meyer and Weaver.”
Hopkins enjoyed skiing, boating, climbing, whitewater
rafting and kayaking. He practically lived on the Colorado
River in the Grand Canyon each summer of his life, start-
ing when he was 3 months old, his uncle said.
“Dylan and my daughter, they consider themselves sib-
lings,” Yeager said. “They grew up going down the Grand
Canyon with Dylan’s father and myself. We were grand
canyon boatmen for 30 years.”
The children worked as staffers on their fathers’ trips,
which lasted 8 to 10 days and had 28 passengers and 4
crew members. They helped run the kitchen, assisted
on hikes and helped with other chores, beginning when
Hopkins was 5. As an adult, he continued to spend time
at the Grand Canyon during his vacations.
Despite an interesting life and work that required loads
of courage, Yeager said his nephew wasn’t boastful.
“He wasn’t afraid of anything,” Yeager said.
I am interested in this subject be-
cause I like birds. Birds are one of
my favorite types of animals. I am
also doing this to gain knowledge so
I can possibly have a future working
with birds. Birds are a great part of
our environment and I want to help
preserve them. I have been around
birds all of my life and hope to stay
around them for the rest of my life.
I love birds and that is why I am
doing this project. Hopefully I will
someday get a career working with
birds so that I can be around them
all day long. And who knows maybe
this will help me later in life so that
I can be more knowledgeable of