~UPDATED 07/01/2013~ONE MEMBER, 21 YEAR-OLD BRENDAN MCDONOUGH, WAS MOVING FROM HIS POSITION AS A LOOKOUT FOR THE TEAM AND WASN'T WITH THE OTHER 19. MCDONOUGH HAD RADIOED THE TEAM THAT THE WEATHER WAS CHANGING AND THE FIRE HAD CHANGED DIRECTION WITH THE WIND.
NAMES OF THE FALLEN...REMEMBER THEM...
Monday evening, the city of Prescott released the names of the men who died. They are:
- Andrew Ashcraft, 29
- Kevin Woyjeck, 21
- Anthony Rose, 23
- Eric Marsh, 43
- Christopher MacKenzie, 30
- Robert Caldwell, 23
- Clayton Whitted , 28
- Scott Norris, 28
- Dustin Deford, 24
- Sean Misner, 26
- Garret Zuppiger, 27
- Travis Carter, 31
- Grant McKee, 21
- Travis Turbyfill, 27
- Jesse Steed, 36
- Wade Parker, 22
- Joe Thurston, 32
- William Warneke, 25
- John Percin, 24
THE ABOVE LINK HAS A VERY GOOD ARTICLE ON ALL THOSE LOST YESTERDAY.
IN AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN APRIL, 2012, 4 OTHER NAMES ARE MENTIONED AS MEMBERS OF THIS ELITE GROUP, 4 NAMES THAT ARE NOT ON THE LIST OF THOSE KILLED.
~Phillip “Mando” Maldonado, a squad leader,
~Shane Arollado, first-year hotshot
~Daniel McCarty, another squad leader
~Brady Higgs, in his second year with the crew
originally published April 25, 2012
WHETHER THESE 4 DROPPED OUT OF THE GROUP OR WERE REPLACED WAS UNKNOWN AS OF JULY 2, 2013.
All 19 killed were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew from Prescott, AZ .
“We grieve for the family. We grieve for the department. We grieve for the city,” he said at a news conference Sunday evening. “We’re devastated. We just lost 19 of the finest people you’ll ever meet.”
CONFIRMED THAT ALL CREW MEMBERS DIED.
YARNELL, Ariz. — Gusty, hot winds blew an Arizona blaze out of control Sunday in a forest northwest of Phoenix, overtaking and killing 18 [NOW WE KNOW IT WAS 19] members of an elite fire 20-member crew in the deadliest wildfire involving firefighters in the U.S. for at least 30 years.
The group was certified as a "Hot Shot" crew in 2008, elite firefighters who often hike for miles into the wilderness with chain saws and backpacks filled with heavy gear to build lines of protection between people and fires. They remove brush, trees and anything that might burn in the direction of homes and cities.
The “hotshot” firefighters were forced to deploy their emergency fire shelters — tent-like structures meant to shield firefighters from flames and heat — when they were caught near the central Arizona town of Yarnell, state forestry spokesman Art Morrison told The Associated Press.
This season alone, the crew responded to 13 wildfires in four states while also helping Prescott residents create wildfire-defensible space on 95 acres around 12 homes. And they spent 2,000 hours in the classroom.
They had been training for five years and waiting 3.5 months to hear whether the federal government had approved their request for "Hot Shot" certification.
Granite Mountain Hotshots Superintendent Eric Marsh was getting worried that much of his crew would disband for the season before the news arrived.
Soon the news spread, and it felt great when other Hotshot crews that had supported their efforts told them they deserved the title.
His crew's motto comes from his college motto: Esse Quam Verdi (To Be, Rather Than To Seem).
Crew members ranged in age from 19 to 39 and came from Prescott as well as other states and Canada.
“One of the last fail safe methods that a firefighter can do under those conditions is literally to dig as much as they can down and cover themselves with a protective — kinda looks like a foil type — fire-resistant material — with the desire, the hope at least, is that the fire will burn over the top of them and they can survive it,” Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo said.
He said the firefighters had to deploy the emergency shelters when "something drastic" occurred.
“Under certain conditions there’s usually only sometimes a 50 percent chance that they survive,” he said. “It’s an extreme measure that’s taken under the absolute worst conditions.”
The National Fire Protection Association had previously listed the deadliest wildland fire involving firefighters as the 1994 Storm King Fire near Glenwood Springs, Colo., which killed 14 firefighters who were overtaken by a sudden explosion of flames.
IN AMERICA, WE TEND TO OVERPAY AND "HERO-WORSHIP" HOLLYWOOD CELEBRITIES, POLITICIANS, CEOs, AND SPORTS FIGURES, WHILE MEN AND WOMEN WHO WORK TO KEEP US SAFE AND WELL EACH DAY, MANY WHO DAILY PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR US, ARE UNDERPAID, UNDER-APPRECIATED AND OFTEN OVERWORKED...THE FIREMEN, LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS, EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS, MOST OF OUR HOSPITAL STAFF PERSONNEL, ON-THE-GROUND MILITARY, AND VARIOUS AIR/SEA/LAND RESCUE SQUADS SHOULD BE THE TRUE "HEROES".
19 FAMILIES GRIEVE TONIGHT, MORE WILL TOMORROW, AND THE NEXT DAY AND THE NEXT.
WHAT PRICE CAN POSSIBLY BE ENOUGH TO PAY FOR MEN AND WOMEN WHO PLACE THEMSELVES BETWEEN US AND DEATH, WHO GIVE THEIR ALL SO WE CAN LIVE, BE HEALTHY, GO ON?
THERE ARE NO WORDS MEANINGFUL ENOUGH TO EVER EXPRESS SYMPATHY FOR THE LOSS OF A LOVED-ONE. NOTHING WE SAY CAN MAKE THE GRIEF ANY LESS.
SO, TO ALL WHO HAVE SERVED, TO ALL WHO DO SO NOW, THANK YOU.
THAT'S NOT EVER GOING TO BE WORTH WHAT YOU ARE TO ME, BUT THANK YOU.