November, 2012

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11/30 Bill,

I am glad to see others that have offered thanks for your articles and passing of knowledge. In today's day and age we are all so busy and it's easy to take things for granted. I know I appreciate these articles that get sent out and I have a file in my desk full of them. Likewise I send them on to the crew, especially during the winter months. I encourage them to stay engaged during their time off and this is a great way for them to do so. I also hear back from those that appreciate the material, but that fails to make it back to you.

Again thanks for the commitment to helping IHC community, as well as the fire community in general.

Kris Bruington
Lone Peak IHC, Supt.
11/30 Hello All,

Thank you to so many of you for the feedback as well as noting something many of people feel regarding EMS in relation to wildland fire operations. I often wonder at times when I post to WLF about EMS articles that have a care concept if people are getting the message and actually having those discussions within their agency or crew. I have included a specific email from one such person that send me a note of thanks. Their life or the lives of their co-workers could potentially benefit from it.

To follow up the second item, many states and even the NREMT do accept "self-study" as a standard practice. While it cannot be your entire recertification or Continuing Education (CE) hours, it provides another source of free CE (which is part of my goal here), keeps people updated as to research that is being done to improve care, allows for wildland fire personnel to go out and practice something that they may have read about (again, more CE logged under "Hands-On"), and it also keeps people on the same sheet of music in relation to Standards of Care.

An example of that is tourniquets. For many years people thought them to be very bad. And yet the US Military (being often at the forefront of medical changes due to combat) changed the way urban EMS thinks and here we are today using them on a regular basis. Ironically we still do not have them included in the NIFC 10 person kit. People have said "oh well, use your belt". About three months ago I posted an article about tourniquets and Dan Kleinman (Boise NIMO) followed up with how first hand this summer during the Custer Mob assignment he saw how effective they are to an incident that happened when we all were in camp.

To close out the the "Self-Study" topic, as you log article reviews onto your CE tracking sheet or CE software, that you, your training officer, and medical director will then sign that form that is turned into the state ems office or NREMTP. By signing that document all interested signature parties are validating that they are being honest. As you are probably well aware, there are a number of individuals who have had licenses audited and pulled from them because they did not have any validation of reading that article or doing that hands on. Personally, I keep every article I read and have many of them with highlighting all over them as important points within the article for me. Additionally, I often use them as teaching tools in classes I present. The person reads the article then must take a test and get an 80 percent to pass and they then receive a certificate of completion. That way it solidifies it even more.

I have attached the Idaho version of recertification form for all to see as an example

http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/ Portals Medical EMS/Paramedic Renewal Application Apr 2012.pdf

I have used this method as well as many other agency provided topics to CE for both NREMT and State (I am licensed in a number of states) and not once has it been a problem. Again, you must have a way to validate and often your training officer or medical director can do that.

I do hope this helps KSENGB and so many others.

FYI: For December I will be doing a full write-up on the Custer Cluster Arterial Bleed and posting for review. January I will be doing a write up on how to get all the hours maximized for State and NREMT as recertification will be coming right around the corner for NREMT (3/31/13), and guess what, you have more than you know about; trust me.

If others have questions about licensure, training, or such related, please feel free to give a shout. Just google my name and wildland firefighter/paramedic and you'll find my email and phone.

Bill Arsenault
Wildland Firefighter/Paramedic

Bill – I appreciate the info you forward on WLF.com and elsewhere. EMS care on wildfires has been a concern of mine for a number of years, as I’m an EMTP and MEDL and have noted as many others have that EMS has been haphazard at best in many areas (order some EMTPs or EMTs and problem is solved, right???)

I had a quick question, you’ve posted several CE articles and noted that a person can log them and get CE credit for them. I know here in KS, for state credit it has to be a pre-approved CE program with an instructor, or an online class with CECBEMS approval. Are you aware if there’s a mechanism for NREMT credit for articles such as these, or is it just a regional thing some states do? My understanding was that NREMT required either CECBEMS or state approval to get credit, but if I’m missing something, I’d sure love to get credit for the stuff I’m going to read anyway.

Thanks, and keep advocating for good EMS on fires!


11/30 Great news on KRS Evans car!

Today was a great day. We were able to give Krs Evans his new car. We were able to purchase a 2010 Honda Civic Coup LX. The car was in excellent shape (looked brand new) with a 7 year 100,000 mile warranty. Also was a “Honda Certified “used car so we can be assured Krs will get many worry free years out of this car. In addition had some money left over to pay his insurance for some time to come.

I must say this was one of the most fulfilling things I have been a part of. The fire community is a very generous group of professionals and to see us take care of one of our own is incredible. I can truly never express to all those who have helped how much this has meant to me. I just wish you all could have been there when Krs received his car.

I hope this is a start of more good things for other survivors. In the years to come I want to continue to help other survivors and continue to remember there are many that still need their fire community.

Thank you all very much.

Jody Prummer/Union IHC

Photos of Krs' car. and Krs and Jody with the car. Nice! Thanks Jody, hotshots and rest of the Fire community! Ab.

1 Honda Civic coup thumbnail   2 car thumbnail   3 car thumbnail 
4 krs and jody with car   5 krs and jody with car 
6 krs and hotshots with car  (hotshots, I presume)
7 krs in car   8 krs in car 
9 krs and jody in car, smiles 
10 krs in car, nice fit  
11 close the door and ride!

11/29 Need JHA (Job Hazard Analysis)

We built an obstacle course at our station and we’re trying to track down an appropriate JHA that includes climbing a rope and cargo net; everything else is covered in the physical training JHA.


11/28 Pleasant Valley IHC change of duty Station

Ab- Please post.

For any individuals wishing to apply to the Pleasant Valley IHC for the 2013 fire season, please note that our duty station has been changed. The crew is now quartered on the Mesa Ranger District of the Tonto NF. Applicants will need to select “MESA, AZ” as a duty station to be considered. The crew’s new base is at the Goldfield Ranch work center on the Salt River.

Thank you,
Patrick Moore

11/27 cervical spine immobilization

Hello everyone,

In continuing the tradition of finding Emergency Medical Service articles that relate to what we do and the care we provide for our fellow firefighters as well as the public at times, I have found an article that discusses the need for cervical spine immobilization.

As supervisors and others, please feel free to distribute this article to EMRs, EMTs, and Paramedics or other Emergency Medical Providers (OEC, WFR) within your crew wither they are on still or have taken a winter down for R&R so that they may log it as Continued Education under the "Self-Study" category of Trauma. Also, please feel free to send to others as you see fit.

www.emsworld.com; Why we need to think C-spine Imobilization

Please note that this is not a change in Scope of Practice or Standard Care Guidelines, but simply an informational learning tool.

Until next time.

Bill Arsenault
Wildland Firefighter/Paramedic

Thanks, Bill. Ab.

11/27 We have two wildland firefighters for the high school guy to interview.

Good luck with your assignment and in choosing your career.

Thanks, firefighters.


11/27 I got this request from a high schooler. Anyone willing to talk with him? Ab.

Dear editor,

My name is <snipped guy's name>. I am doing a project in my high school english class and am wondering if you had any way you could contact me directly with a wildland firefighter. For our project, i have to interview a person who is doing the career that i would like to go into after college. It would be appreciated if you could help another firefighter out. If you have any luck please contact me at this email address.

Sincerely, <snip>

11/26 Couple Drowns Trying To Save Family Dog, Teenage Son Missing; dad was fire ecologist on the Six Rivers NF

We had 3 deaths on the north coast yesterday. A family of 4 and their dog were on the beach at Big Lagoon. Three of the 4 and the dog were swept out by a large "sneaker wave". The only survivor is the 16yr old daughter who was calling 911. Our daughter-in-law had the son in her high school class. Great kid. I just heard that the dad was the fire ecologist on the Six Rivers NF. Tragedy!

This is hard for me. It's so easy to forget the power of our rivers and ocean and the unexpected very large waves we get in the winter. When I taught in NR at HSU I warned my classes every new session about our ocean and the killer whirlpools of our rivers, even the ones that seem placid. Seems we always had someone washed off the Humboldt Bay jetty or into the ocean with broken legs or worse.

Please keep well back from the water during the winter if you visit us. Please be very careful if you swim in our rivers (Klamath, Trinity, Smith, Eel, Mad, etc) on R&R on fire assignments in the summers. It's absolutely tragic to lose those we love this way!




11/26 Anthony Escobar's Retirement Party Flyer - Saturday, January 12, 2013

Escobar Retirement.pdf

11/25 Richard Rockwell Millar has passed on...

Richard ("Dick") Millar, born on June 27, 1923 in San Diego to William Syril and Opal Kemp Millar, died on November 17, 2012 at his home in Alameda surrounded by his family and his beloved dog Molly. Richard grew up in Palo Alto, graduating from Palo Alto High in 1941. He attended San Mateo City College working summers for the US Forest Service until 1943 when he joined the Navy and served in the war's Pacific Theater on the destroyer USS Ault as a Pharmacist's Mate First Class. In 1946, after the war he returned to San Mateo City College where he met Norma Jane Nettle of San Mateo. They were married in 1947 and moved to Ogden Utah where Richard earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management from the Agricultural College at Utah State in 1949.

By 1952 Richard (Dick as he was known to his colleagues) was working full-time with the US Forest Service, where he worked for 34 years before retiring. He worked on the Plumas, Klamath, Modoc, Sequoia, Los Padres, and Mendicino National Forests in California in positions that included District Ranger, Fire Management Officer and Forest Supervisor. After a four year stint in the national office, Richard's final position was back in San Francisco where he served as Assistant Regional Forester in charge of Fire and Aviation Management for the Pacific Southwest region of the US Forest Service; virtually the same position now held by his youngest son Joseph.

In almost 65 years of marriage, Richard and Norma built a strong partnership, raised six children and enjoyed eleven grand-children and one great grand child. Richard was a handsome, athletic, fun-loving, hardworking, generous, and kind man who loved nature, building and planting things; and golf and swimming. Together with Norma, he nurtured a family impelled by a strong work ethic and personal integrity, passion for physical activity, and diverse interests and beliefs. Being a husband to Norma, a father, a grand-father, a great grandfather, a companion to his beagle Molly, and a San Francisco Giants fan were his greatest joys in life. In addition to the national forests they lived in early on, Richard and Norma lived in Santa Barbara, Willows, Arlington, Va, and Alameda where they had lived since 1972. They spent a year in Seoul, Korea in 1983-4 during Richard's stint with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. They also traveled to Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, and Europe and around the U.S. But their most important travels were on Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and Seattle to visit children and grandchildren.

Richard suffered from Parkinson's disease and degenerative disk disease. At the age of 89 he succumbed peacefully following a serious stroke. The family thanks Hospice and his caregivers of several years for their compassionate care during his illness. He is survived by his six children and their spouses and partners, Linda (Ed) Cavaille; Susan Millar (Jim Loy); Norman Millar (Tam Tran); Mitchell (Sharon) Millar; Joseph (Gina) Millar and Leslie (Frank) Harris, his eleven grandchildren, one great grandchild, his brother James Millar and his many nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life is planned for early February, following the one year anniversary of the loss of his beloved wife Norma.

On this day of Thanksgiving, his family and friends are blessed and grateful to have been part of his beautiful and productive life. He will be greatly missed.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on November 22, 2012

Our great condolences to Joe, the rest of Dick's family, friends and co-workers of yester-year. Ab.

11/21 2013 FLA guide (FLA = Facilitated Learning Analysis)

Making the rounds...

2013 FLA guide - sharpening the saw

Hi folks,

As you may recall, every year over the holidays the FLA guide is revised, adjusted tweaked and updated based
upon actual user feedback and experiences.

     - It’s that time of year again.

We have some excellent feedback on the 2012 version of the guide! It was used frequently, all across the country, on incidents as diverse as: fire entrapments, deployments, burn overs, a campground flood event, a retardant misapplication, fatalities, vehicle roll-overs, aviation mishaps, and even to learn the effect of the safety journey!

Please send me your revision/improvement suggestions by December 14th.

If you’ve already sent me your comments or your AARs - you don’t need to re-send it.

You are on this mailing list because you’ve either been to the FLA training, or you’ve been a user, or a victim, or you’ve provided feedback in the past, or I just know you want to know what’s going on with the guide revision process.

Here’s the link to the 2012 version; If you want to print it out and send me hand written comments on certain pages, that’s fine too.


Steve Holdsambeck
Firefighter Safety Program Manager
Intermountain Region
U.S. Forest Service
sholdsambeck@ nospam fs.fed etc

In this giving thanks season, I give thanks to all of you who work for firefighter Just Culture and to make sure that lessons can be learned in a non-judgmental way when things go wrong. Thanks, Steve, and all of you across agencies, for the work you do! Ab.

11/21 Kiwanis Club’s “Outstanding Firefighter of the Year”

Los Padres NF Engine Captain Ryan Bridgen was recently honored as the Ventura County (Calif.) Kiwanis Club’s “Outstanding Firefighter of the Year” for 2012. This recognition comes as Bridgen returned to work after more than a year of rehabilitation following a September 2011 lightning strike that left him and four of his colleagues seriously injured.

Read the whole story on the R5 website

Great news! Ab.

Original News Story about the accident:


11/19 Angeles National Forest Headquarters Dedication:

Making the rounds, with the comment: "BEAUTIFUL – Angeles NF new SO!" Ab.

Dear Honored Guests, Friends, Partners, Co-workers and Retirees,

Angeles National Forest Supervisor, Thomas A. Contreras would like to invite you to join us for the Dedication of the new Angeles National Forest Headquarters Building on December 11, 2012, in Arcadia, California. Please see the attached invitation and feel free to share it with others that my be interested in attending. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the event.

Sherry Rollman
Public Affairs Officer
Angeles National Forest

11/18 Lightning Victim  & OWCP

I experienced similar problems with OWCP when I was seriously injured on a jump about 20 years ago. Despite the facts that I went to the hospital on the same day I was injured, and that 4 different physicians all said that my injury was clearly an on-the-job injury, OWCP initially denied my claim, and denied it again after I went before a panel of OWCP physicians. The Forest Service HR person who was assigned to my case was rude, slow to respond, not very competent, and largely unhelpful. Same goes for the OWCP claims examiner who was assigned to my case. It took me over 3 years of struggling with collection notices for medical bills, dealing with constant pain, going to physical rehab, being examined by OWCP physicians, writing letters to my Forest Supervisor, sending documents to various people, etc before my claim was finally accepted. Overall, dealing with my injury and the aftermath was one of the worst and most demeaning experiences of my entire life.

What finally made the difference for me was writing my congressman to ask for help. I didn't know it at the time, but all senators and congresspersons have staffpersons whose main responsibility is dealing with OWCP claims and helping injured federal employees cut through bureaucratic red tape. The congressional staffperson who helped me was courteous, sympathetic, and effective. Within 2 weeks after my congressman's staffer contacted OWCP, my claim was finally accepted.

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't waste my time trying to get my claim accepted by working through agency and OWCP representatives. I would write my congressional representative or senator, explain my situation, and provide them with all the documentation I had.

Good luck to you. If you want additional advice or want to visit about this, Ab knows how to contact me.

Misery Whip

Here's the hotlist thread on " crashed airtanker as art". Thanks to The Brush Slasher for finding it. I merged your new question in with the old thread. Ab.

HOTLIST: Airtanker as "Art" Incredibly Insensitive

11/17 Philadelphia old crashed CDF tanker plane sculpture


So I'm wondering if anyone out there knows about the old CDF tanker plane that is being used in Philadelphia as art/ greenhouse? Came back to run a race. When I walked out of the civic center and looked across the street I see what looked like a crashed tanker plane. My wife thought I was nuts, but I told her the red markings were from a tanker plane. I walked across the street and I'll be dammed if it didn't have CDF the wing and pink dried retatdant on the tail rudder. I'll send pics and with tail # when I get back to my own computer. Truth is I was a little taken back. Not sure if it was in bad taste, or in honor. Anyhow just curious.


There was discussion of that when the "sculpture" first went up. Don't remember now when that was. I'll post this on the hotlist. Someone will remember. Ab.

11/16 MAFFS Accident

As many may wonder and contemplate what, how and why this happen, we can only hope that the agency will look at their own policy and contemplate this:

2012 Red Book

Chapter 5 - USDA Forest Service and Aviation Program Organization and Responsibilities

Page 2 - Leadership and Accountability

Line 17 - #10 "The hall marks of Forest Service leadership are action, attitude, and accountability "


11/16 Lightning Victim & OWCP

Response to JW, Strangel, SG:

I have to respond to your message cautiously with only the information you have given. Without knowing the history of the case it is hard to know what decisions were made and if any help can be provided at this point. While I sympathize with anyone in this predicament, I cannot find fault in this case without the facts.

First of all ASC or any other employer does not have the authority to approve or deny Workers’ Compensation claims. We can only approve or deny the initial authorization for medical treatment based on the criteria for authorization under the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA). Agency personnel cannot deny an employee filing a Workers’ Comp claim under threat of fines and/or imprisonment under the law. Employee often confuse this issue and believe that we have the power to make decisions that we do not.

If the claim was denied by the Department of Labor (DOL), who administers OWCP, there could be many reasons for that. There has to be an injury or illness resulting from the lightning strike. This condition must be diagnosed by a medical provider who also has sole responsibility for relating the cause of the condition to the work related incident (lightning strike). If the physician does not relate the condition to the lightning strike, a letter will be sent to the claimant or medical provider asking for the missing information. If the information is not provided by the employee or the physician in the timeframe allowed by DOL (usually 30 days) the claim will be denied. The reason for the denial would have been explained in a letter sent to the claimant by DOL.

When a claim is denied by DOL, the letter sent to the claimant contains options for requesting a reconsideration or appealing the decision if the employee wishes to do so. These options also have timeframes that have to be adhered to. An employee has appeal rights for most decisions DOL renders and they are always attached to the decision letter with the timeframes so the appeal process can go on indefinitely. But not responding within the allotted timeframe could end the employee’s entitlement to any further appeals.

If the injured worker is not getting the assistance they need from their case manager, the WC supervisors and program manager names are on the ASC Workers’ Comp website so they can be contacted.

Ab can also forward any request for assistance from the injured worker to me. Due to the Privacy Act and HIPPA regulations we are unable to communicate with anyone else about this case without written permission from the claimant.

I hope this information helps.

Thanks Ab, for the chance to respond.

WC Advocate

Thanks, WC Advocate. Ab.

11/16 JW, Lightning victim & OWCP

I too was struck, but my claim was approved (Noon fire 2004, Safford AZ). There were quite a few follow ups for me because of the damage it did to my body. It might be a bit of work, but due to the injury and the extent, it can be re-opened for further treatment. That is what I did. One bummer was that my OWCP claim started immediately, so as I laid up in the hospital ICU, I wasn't getting paid because it was my day off. Weak!

As for your friend, if mine was approved why wouldn't hers be? Hit on the hill while on a fire! Lightning is lightning and she was struck while performing her job! I will never forget my experience, I am willing to help in any way.

Pass it on Ab,


11/16 JW, Lightning strike victim & OWCP

First of all ASC can not deny an injury claim. I had a case a few years back where someone at ASC had denied a claim and when I told the claims examiner from DOL about it, they were livid. They said it's against federal law. Get a hold of DOL.

NFFE is trying to start a team of SME to help work on these problems at ASC, but this is just a small part of the many problems with federal OWCP. It's a good start to work on getting the people that are supposed to be our advocates to be less adversarial. The new R5 NFFE RVP sent out a call for examples of such cases and only two came in, this being one of them. We asked for more details and haven't heard anything back. We can't work magic, but maybe we can help.

R1 has a couple of SME on OWCP that are willing to help, Bob Beckley and Ron Angel, but they can't do it unless you are willing to help yourself and answer their questions. They both have other jobs and dealing with OWCP is very time consuming and frustrating. Start by keeping good notes with names and times.


11/16 Human error/weather caused accident

This being our third post, and still no official IWP, FLA, 24 hour report, not even a Safe Com from the responsible agency. BLM roll overs, Firefighters riding in buckets and reports follow immediately. An Air Tanker accident involving 4 fatalities and not one word months later. Once again, tragic on more than one front.


11/15 Lightning Victim Needs Help -- OWCP

Hello. In my fire assignment travels this summer, I befriended an employee who needs help. She was hit by lightning while in the line of duty; however, ASC has refused to approve her OWCP claim. This incident has forever impacted this employee's life... physically, emotionally, personally, and financially.

What are her options now? She needs some real help! Can you post this?
Thank you, in advance, for your assistance.


Readers, any ideas, advice or contacts? JW, please stay tuned in to her. There's a new little spiral flip safety guide that someone showed me called US Forest Service New Employee Safety Guide, Region 5. Employee safety is very important. See if you can find the little guide and get some ideas. There are guidelines in it for dealing with many things, from poison oak to personal safety and accident reporting. Supervisors are the first and best resource. Forest Safety Officers can also help. Help her lay out a plan of action. If she is unable to document the steps she has taken in trying to work through the process of getting help, please help her do so and begin to build her case. Thank you for speaking up on her behalf.

Readers, any ideas? Who can get through to ASC to get her help?

Can someone please share experiences with lightning strike? Depending on the type of strike, people can appear and sound fairly normal but feel befuddled, "not all there", irritable, and be unable to sleep normally. If a serious strike, they can have cardiac and respiratory effects and neurological injury. Ab.

Signs and Symptoms of lightning injuries:

11/15 Not a flattering article:

Government documents show why Rincon fire crew was sidelined

Fire crew members say drug and alcohol abuse, fighting, and even murder threats were just some of the reasons a Forest Service fire crew was grounded over the summer...

More at the link above...

11/15 Richard Stone LODD 1967

I stumbled on your website when researching someone in the USFS. I saw the name, Richard Stone, and it sounded very familiar. I called my husband and asked, "who was that guy killed in the hotshot truck accident you were in?" Of course - it was Richard Stone. My husband is Ray Valenzuela (or "Ray Val" as he was known for years) - former Del Rosa Hotshot. He spent his career in fire on the San Bernardino (Cajon, Arrowhead,then San Jacinto as Keenwild Helitack foreman) before working for the State and is now retired.

He was one of the worst injured in the accident but has quite the memory of the situation. The one thing he does NOT remember though, was where it happened exactly, as he was in the back. The driver of the truck that rolled was Sterling Walker (now deceased) and the Foreman was Rod Wrench, who retired as the FMO of the SanJacinto District of the BDF when I was there in the 90's.

I showed him the maps and other postings from your site and he only knows that he was taken to the hospital in Palmdale (not LA) which indicated that it was closer. Ray also described the conditions - the road had been opened up during the night by dozers or a grader. The road actually gave way and the truck slid sideways and then rolled. Ray's cousin Rudy happened to be in the other hotshot vehicle - which stopped after the accident and they helped the others. Ray said that Richard was pinned between the truck and a tree. Remember that at this time, the hotshot trucks were stakeside types with canvas covers over the back. Ray said that the bus that he was in was a wider wheelbase and that may have been why it slid and not the other.

So, I'm sorry I don't have an answer to exactly where it happened but I thought it was interesting that folks are trying to piece info together on Mr. Stone. Good Luck!

Kathy Val (formerly of the San Jacinto RD, BDF)

11/15 24 hour report for the BLM New Mexico Highway 68 vehicle rollover:

24hr Report on NM Highway 68 Motor Vehicle Accident (pdf)

text on the HOTLIST

11/15 Human error, weather caused fatal South Dakota air tanker crash: MAFFS 7


A combination of human error and a severe "microburst" during a thunderstorm caused a military air tanker to crash while fighting a South Dakota wildfire in July, killing four airmen, according to an accident report released on Wednesday.

The U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules crashed on July 1 while battling a blaze near Edgemont, South Dakota, killing four North Carolina Air National Guard airmen. Two others were seriously injured.

An Air Force Air Mobility Command accident investigation report released on Wednesday found that an "inadequate assessment" by the cockpit crew of "operational conditions resulted in the aircraft flying into a microburst and impacting the ground."

The report describes a microburst as a severe, localized wind gust, blasting down from a thunderstorm, typically covering an area less than 2.5 miles in diameter and lasting less than 5 minutes.


Fair use disclaimer


Always Remember

Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, age 42, of Mooresville, NC; Lt. Colonel in the N.C. Air National Guard & Evaluator Pilot
Maj. Joseph M. McCormick, age 36, of Belmont, NC; Major/Instructor Pilot
Maj. Ryan S. David, age 35, of Boone NC, Major/Navigator
Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon, age 50, of Charlotte, NC; Senior Master Sergeant/Flight Engineer

11/13 New Mexico - At least 8 injured in BLM truck rollover


At least eight people have been reported injured in the wake of a Bureau of Land Management truck rollover just north of the Horseshoe on State Road 68. Scanner traffic indicated that EMTs transported one man to Holy Cross Hospital to meet a medical helicopter for “serious head, neck and chest injuries.” Another person was transported to the hospital with “severe abdomen injuries” and another was transported for a head injury. Four other people were also taken to the hospital and classified on the scanner as “walking wounded.”


Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured, their families and their fire families. Ab.

11/12 Abs,

Bart Singley didn't die of natural causes, but took his own life. Sad and surprising.


Very sad. Sad loss of a good man. Condolences.

Readers, this is the time of year when depression following a very busy fire season can hit hard. Please track your own feelings and be aware of friends and what they might be going through. I'm reposting a message about the Life Challenge Program below. Help is out there. Ab.


The WFF Life Challenge Program gives their sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of those wildland firefighters who have chosen suicide. We are sadden by the wildland firefighters who have committed suicide last month and throughout the years past.

Each day wildland firefighters face new and old challenges that test the physiology of the body which can alter the psychology of the mind. It is okay to admit if you are not feeling right or need help - it is okay to ask for help, and as leaders, we should embrace open dialogue with our employees who are dealing with these life challenges. The mind is a very powerful machine and, if not taken care of, can lead one down the path of the unknown, a lonely path that one can only imagine, leaving others to speculate and doubt the actions of the unknown.

The WFF Life Challenge Program has recently updated their website with helpful information for those wildland firefighters who may be dealing with the demons of life, or for those who have lost a loved one to the unknown. Please visit our site, ask for help and/or help those who are struggling. We all have demons, yet we may not admit that we are struggling as this can be seen as a sign of weakness. It is not a weakness but a sign of self-leadership to understand and know yourself and the challenges you face, day in and day out, now, the past and in the future. For only you know the challenges you face.

Life is precious. One cannot get yesterday back, so reach out and help yourself or help other wildland firefighters in need.

Rest in Peace those forever gone and God Bless the Survivors.

Keep On Keeping On.

11/12 Bartley "Bart" Singley has passed on:

Does someone know if Bart died of natural causes? I saw his obit in the paper.
I worked with him in Oklahoma on fires in 1996. He was a 25 year fire vet. Sad to hear of his death.


William Bartley Singley obituary
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 2:21 pm

William Bartley Singley, known as “Bart” to family and friends, passed away in Joseph, Ore., on Oct. 11, at the age of 47.

He was born July 14, 1965, in Salida. Singley graduated from Lake County High School in Leadville in 1983 and attended Wenatchee Valley College. He was an avid outdoorsman. He was said to love skiing, hiking, mountain-bike riding, golfing, camping, and running.

For the past 25 years, Singley was employed in Virginia, Washington, New Mexico, and Oregon with the U.S. Forest Service as a firefighter in various capacities. He was said to be extremely dedicated and passionate about his profession. (More at the link, plus his photo.)

Bart was ATGS Trainee on the NAZ Type 2 team. Ab.

11/12 From Anthony Powers:

I have created a blog page to help to get the word out about our event. Please share this with your friends and the fire community to help get this out!!

Dalton IHC 60 Year Reunion at the Dalton HS website

Check it out! Sign up for the reunion in Glendora CA on April 6, 2013. Ab.

11/11 Thanks to the many Veterans for your service. Ab.
11/11 FEMA Assistance

2013 FY Budget Heaven!!!! Sandy here we come!!!


11/10 The new deadline was half an hour ago, but DOI (BLM, NPS, etc) folks might check in with their superiors. Ab.

Call for FEMA assistance--Your Response needed by 1:30 East Coast Time

Making the rounds...

The following FEMA Tasker for ESF -3 below is provided for your situational awareness and/or action:

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency is requesting the Department of the Interior’s assistance in recruiting up to 1,000 personnel to support a residential damage assessment mission under Emergency Support Function – 3 (ESF -3, Public Works and Engineering) in support of the Hurricane Sandy recovery operations.

FEMA is looking for government employees in pay grades GS-7, GS-9, and possibly GS-11, to function as non-technical damage assessors for residential housing. This work will expedite the delivery of FEMA assistance to families whose homes have been damaged or destroyed in the storm. The mission should begin late next week, with personnel beginning assessments in New York, by November 16 for a 15 day deployment. FEMA will provide all necessary training prior to deployment.
All Emergency Management Coordinators are requested to determine how many personnel, as described above, your office or bureau could provide in support of this mission. Departmental leadership requests your proactive participation in this mission. Please provide the number of available persons who could deploy for this mission to the Interior Operations Center (IOC) at DOI_Watch_Office@ nospam ios.doi.gov not later than 2 p.m. on Friday, November 9. Bureau of Reclamation will manage this mission as DOI Principal Planner for ESF-3."


EM Coordinators and Alternates

EM-NRF Planners

Bryan K. Green
Interior Operations Center
U.S. Department of the Interior
Office of Emergency Management

11/9 Some info on applying for Forest Service jobs. www.fs.fed.us/fsjobs/USAJOBS Instructions.pdf

YouTube video for Fire Jobs. www.youtube.com (leave a comment on why you like to FF please)

FAQ's for the new FS /USAJobs application process.

Outreach with info for applying for Fire jobs in R3.

And There I Was


11/8 Mellie, Gerald and Rick -

Thanks for the responses and information on Mill Creek and the Station Fire. I thought that might be the date, but was never really sure.

Former ANF

11/8 Re Mill Creek Station from Gerald and Rick:

They did burn the same day approximately 8 hours apart....August 30th. The residence at Monte Cristo also burned that day earlier. I was at Mill Creek about 3 to 4 hours before it burned.

11/8 After the election dust settles...what now?

With the dust settling over some of the most expensive, ($ 6 BILLION) contentious campaigns in recent memory, what does it mean for our Nations' federal wildland firefighters?

Those of you in California truly had a congressional election tantamount to throwing a deck of cards up in the air. While many incumbents retained their seats, redistricting led to a number of retirements by those who have previously supported federal wildland firefighter legislative proposals. Several long-time supporters on both sides of the aisle lost their seats. Additionally, there are a number of new districts and thus new rookie members of Congress within the largest congressional delegation in Washington.

While the Administration remained Democratic, historically, many cabinet level positions change hands during the 2nd term of a President. While Democrats slightly increased their majority in the Senate, Republicans still maintained a strong hold on the House of Representatives. Will this lead to the maintaining of the status quo or will the elections send a signal to both sides of the aisle that the era of political extremes, regardless of what side you're on, must end?

Our focus at the FWFSA will be to immediately attempt to educate the rookies in Washington (predicated on committee assignments) by using our existing relationships on the Hill and to continue to develop both legislative & administrative strategies designed to focus on the benefit to taxpayers.

Much of what will transpire during the "lame duck" session of Congress when it returns next week will have to do with fiscal issues. Thus it is imperative that we get the message across that 1) federal wildland firefighters provide the best "bang for the buck" to our taxpayers and 2) fundamental organizational changes must be made to create a more efficient and fiscally effective federal wildfire response.

Now, more than ever, our firefighters will have to invest in their own future by being willing to let their voices be heard by those both new to Washington and those who may now have gotten the clear message that extreme partisan politics produces nothing and that they will now need to look inward ( those on the Right looking towards the left and those on the Left looking towards the right) to find solutions.

It remains to be seen whether there will be leadership changes at OPM, the USDA/Forest Service or the Dept. of Interior. Until then we will continue to work with those in place who now have a clear understanding of the issues and who have made commitments to pursue remedies, both legislatively or administratively. Voting is a great way to have your voice heard. Hopefully elected officials have now heard those voices and we can fine-tune the message and focus those voices on ensuring that the attacks on the federal workforce come to an end and an understanding as to the benefits to this Nation of its federal workforce resonates throughout Washington.


Casey Judd
11/8 There's a reference to the Mill Creek Station burning in the Hotlist. It was prior to 9/28/09.


Rick might know the exact date or be able to find it if he's reading.

From that date, you might look forward through the archived 209s, paying special attention to the Remarks and Values at Risk sections.

I don't know socal or the ANF, but if you do, there might be other clues to where the fire was burning that can narrow your search.

also Theysaid: September, 2009 archives

Good luck


11/7 Does anyone know the date that Mill Creek Summit Station was destroyed in the 2009 Station Fire?

Former ANF
11/7 Ab,

Hola amigos!

Here is a wildland fire news piece from NY about Hurricane Sandy.


What this article fails to mention is that Mr. Fonda continued with his duties in spite of that fact that his home was threatened by Sandy and ended up with major flooding from the storm surge.

Vaya con Dios!


Thanks, Tim. Ab.

11/6 President Obama has won re-election.
11/6 Ab,

Thanks for your wonderful response to the question on why we don't raise more money to help others. You hit the nail on the head. It takes all of our community to get such a huge undertaking off the ground. It may just take one to start but needs all of us to see it work.

Vicki Minor (who is an incredible person with a big heart) and myself have been talking about just that thing. I agree there is a big need for us firefighters to help our own. I hope someday we have such an organization to help extend a hand to those firefighters we tend to forget about (the survivors).

If you think it is easy to run a foundation just spend some time with Vicki. I would not want to see any less given to the WFF to start another foundation. What the WFF does for us is nothing short of inspirational.

Why did we want to do this for Krs?

  1. I knew him and his story well.
  2. Krs has a lot of drive to better himself so he doesn't have to depend on OWCP.
  3. Krs has gone through things I couldn't possible imagine and shares his experience with his firefighting community, only asking to cover expenses.
  4. Krs spent time back in Kentucky after the accident to help put a face with the price of arson fires.
  5. Krs has a need but wouldn't ask.
  6. There is one big personal reason, Krs's story could have been one of my crewmember's story.

Anyone who has ideas or wants to help see what more we can do, feel free to give me a call. I feel this is the starting point; let's see where we can take this. It has been an incredible experience to see what a great community we have. Once again thanks to you all.

Jody Prummer

11/6 If you haven't already done so, please be sure to vote today.

The Abs at wlf.com

11/6 Fundraising for Injured Firefighters with disabilities

Not to be offensive but when do we help other victims from the OWCP morass?

Some keep working and get no recognition for their injuries.

Probably because their disabilities are “invisible……?”

Why not raise as much as we can for every wildland firefighter that ever has been hurt…..?

Not meant to be offensive


Hi there. I removed the bold from your post. I understand you're emphatic, and maybe even angry, on this issue.

Set up that organization and we at wlf.com will support it, as we support other efforts and organizations that benefit or create a safety net for wildland firefighters. If you begin an organization, others may join you.

We do our share, but we can't do it all. We at wlfcom have

  • helped individuals get legal help with their OWCP claim(s) and mitigating other legal unfairness;
  • have helped raise money for wildland firefighters with brain and other cancers;

as well as supporting

Much appreciation for those organizations!

What is great about the WFF is that someone (Vicki Minor) stepped up into leadership in the 1990s, got others on board, and created our safety net for families of the fallen. Same with the Life Challenge Program (initiated by Shawna Legarza and affiliated with the WFF). In a limited fashion the WFF does help other wildland firefighters who are injured, for example most recently a burn victim and his family.

Challenge to you: Create the (non-profit) organization that focuses on helping wildland firefighters who are victims of the OWCP morass. It would be a worthy organization! People are injured every season and often we never hear of them again. They give their youth, their physical well-being, their psychological well-being and more.

As a result of your email, I'm sending an additional donation for KRS' adapted vehicle.
Readers, please give!

Union Hotshots
3502 Highway 30
La Grande, OR 97850

Again, many thanks to Jody Prummer and the Union Hotshots for walking the walk to help KRS!!! Ab.

11/5 Hoist Crew Recognized:

Helicopter crew awarded for help with wildfires and fast response

KEENE -- As wild forest fires raged around them, the crew from the Kern County Fire Department's Helicopter 407 lifted injured firefighters to safety and medical help in less than an hour, a feat that earned them an honor from the U.S. Forest Service.

At a ceremony Monday at the Keene Helibase, the Forest Service awarded the fire department for its aid during two August wildfires in Northern California. The helicopter crew performed three separate rescues, each in less than an hour, a time the Forest Service said is unprecedented. (More at the link)

11/5 Photos from Space Shuttle Recovery days?

i was wondering if anyone has pics of the camp of hemphill texas during the space shuttle recovery i was there and just wanted some pics to share with my kids.


11/5 Fire People (especially seasonals) USFS,

I have a few question regarding USAJobs.

1.) where are all the seasonal GS-4 and GS-5 positions (announcement numbers?)??? I can only find a seasonal GS-3 listed as "Forestry Aid (Fire)", but I cannot find ANY seasonal fire jobs at the 4 or 5 level.

2.) how does USA jobs work? do you apply to jobs listed as "Forestry Technician (Fire)" and that will cover you for all module types (helitack, handcrew, engine?)???

3.) or do you have to apply to specific modules like those listed as "Forestry Tech (helitack) or Forestry Tech (engine operator)??? If this is the case then where are all these seasonal jobs listed cause all I have been able to find are PERM jobs which tell me I am unqualified for, due to Time and Grade rules.

Any help with this new system would be immensely appreciated. At least I knew how to use AVUE----for whatever its worth.


Seasonal looking to apply for my job again.

11/5 Richard Stone LODD 1967


I made it down to the cross on ANF road 4N18 and the name on the cross was not that of Richard Stone.

Although the road is similar in appearance, this site was extremely steep and narrow.

I believe exfed was right that the incident occurred on ANF 3N90 after reviewing the picture.

There are trees in the picture which makes it more likely in that area.

I am obligated to find the spot.

retired BDF Born Green

Take a look at the second topo map (red line) in the Always Remember thread, link above. Ab.
Here's the MAP.

11/5 Devore Fire on the BDF, just south of the Glen Helen Road: HOTLIST
11/5 Krs Evans Fundraiser:

I thought I had a car for a great deal but when I had Krs sit in the car, it wouldn’t work. I have narrowed the car that fits Krs down to a Honda Civic Coup. This is one of the few cars that Krs can get himself and his chair into unassisted. The Civic has good ratings, gets good gas millage, and is reliable. However, they cost a bit more than I had anticipated. I am actively looking for a dealership in the Oregon, Boise, and SE Washington area to assist our efforts.

I am sure people are tired of me asking for money but our goal has not been reached yet.

Also if anyone has any car dealership contacts, that may help.

Once again thanks to all who have given.

I included a PDF of the flyer. KRS Evans Fundraiser This one has two pages.

Jody Prummer

Thanks, Jody. Readers, please give. Ab.

11/5 A FLA is underway for the Serious Rappel Accident.


11/3 Please contribute to KRS's second-hand vehicle that is being adapted for his use.

I sent in my contribution.
Large or small, the donations will be put to good use.

I made my check payable to

Union Hotshots and sent it to
3502 Hwy 30
La Grande OR 97850

More money is needed to complete the project. It would be great to cover KRS's insurance as well as the car. With an adapted vehicle KRS can continue to do his good work telling his story and sharing his insights with the firefighting community. He'll also be able to get to the grocery store, the doctor's office and get to the University to finish his degree. You can't keep a GOOD MAN down. Having friends and fire family help. It's called Social Capital. We all need that at some time or other.

Many THANKS to Jody Prummer and the Shots for taking this on. It's the Proud Legacy of that Union Hotshot crew to really help their brothers facing what seem to be insurmountable physical and medical challenges as a result of job-related injury. Great Leadership! Great values!

If you're not a firefighter, just a lurker or a member of the public, please shoot off a check in support of wildland firefighters everywhere. It's not tax deductable, but it will make you FEEL GOOD!



KRS Evans Flyer

11/3 Re Serious Rappel Accident (non-helicopter related):

It was a State of Oregon Milepost 66 fire; members of a FS engine were rappelling. One crewman was struck by a rock in the face. He has impaired vision.

MTDC is not, and apparently will not, be involved.

Everyone connected with the accident has been instructed not to talk.

There have been no reports or FLA or OSHA investigation report released. It's unknown what investigations are planned or underway.


11/3 Re Serious Rappel Accident (non-helicopter related):

Back in the swing of things after a warm detail in So. Cal. If anyone is wondering, it’s still awfully dry down there.

I'm trying to dig up info on the rappelling situation that happened last month or the month before, does anyone have any current information on it? From older posts it looks like there was an FLA posted, but I can’t find it. I also can’t find any 24 hr or 72 hr - or whatever the postings are immediately after an accident. Does anyone know where I could find that?

Does anyone know the nature of the injuries? How many people? Why were they doing it? I’m assuming they were doing some sort of rescue.

Anyone have an update?


Original theysaid post: Rappel 1 scroll up or use this link Rappel 2

Original Milepost 88 Hotlist threads:

Hotlist thread on the Milepost 66 Fire for location.
Hotlist Question and Discussion thread for additional info and links to articles with photos.

11/3 Hey All,

I saw the link to the e-Recruit how-to was sending folks to the internal-only USFS site, so I thought I'd send in the file itself. I haven't seen it on a public site yet... could be I'm just not looking in the right spot.



How to Apply for a Job USA Jobs (633 K pdf)

Thanks. Ab.

11/2 Some excellent FLAs and investigations here for download at the Lessons Learned Center:

Halstead Fire Sepsis Case - Facilitated Learning Analysis ... "If you’re sick, should you continue to go out on the line?" (Nice tribute to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Thanks Burk for taking care of our folks!)

Holloway Fire Entrapment/Shelter Deployment -- Accident Investigation Report ... "What should you do if you end up in a shelter without your gloves on?"

Likely Fire Entrapment -- Accident Investigation Report ... "Is “One Foot in the Black” really that simple?"

Diamond Fire Fatality Report ... "On July 23, 2011, Deon 'Dino' Classay, Squad Leader on the Fort Apache Interagency Hotshot Crew (FAIHC), was hiking out of the Diamond Fire when he separated from his crew, collapsed, and subsequently died."

Flat Fire Entrapment FLA ... "Crew cohesion training at the beginning of the season contributed to this event’s positive outcome (no injuries and minor damage to Engine)."

and more! Very interesting. Ab.

Always Remember Dino Classay.
Condolences to his family and friends. We trust he will be honored on the National Firefighters Monument.

11/2 DC-3 Retirement

The plane looks beautiful. I would like to thank all the pilots and crew that brought our loved ones home to us throughout the years. You may not have heard it from the families often, but we deeply appreciated everything you did for us.


11/2 e-Recruit

Lately, we have been getting a lot of questions about applying to e-Recruit. Here is a link to the ASC website giving you step by step directions on how to apply. It’s much easier to understand than Avue!

fsweb.asc.fs.fed.us: How to Apply for a Job.pdf (FS intranet)


11/1 Krs Evans

As some of you know Union Hotshots have been putting together a fundraiser for Krs Evans so we can purchase a new vehicle. Krs needs his old gas guzzling van replaced. I have found a vehicle and our local Ford dealership is helping out with the cost and putting on the controls so he can drive it. However we a still a bit shy on the total cost. If you haven’t given, now is the time. If you have, I would like to say thanks. I will be trying to purchase the vehicle next week. If we end up with any extra, I plan on paying for the vehicle insurance.

Please see the attached flyer for the complete information.

KRS Evans Fundraiser Flyer

Jody Prummer

Readers, please contribute! It could have been any one of us hit by that snag in Kentucky. Krs needs to be able to get around. If you made overtime this year, kick back some of it to this cause. Please. Ab.

11/1 Ab,

Any idea what is going to happen to the DC-3 that brought home the Storm King Mountain folks?

11/1 Today is the 46th anniversary of the Loop Fire, 1966, about 3:30. Firefighters are pausing for a moment of memory.

HOTLIST thread: Loop Fire 1966

There's a rededication of the El Cariso Hotshot "Loop Fire" Memorial
this Saturday, November 3, 2012
1 PM

at El Cariso Regional Park
13100 Hubbard Street
Sylmar, CA 91342

If you live nearby and have time, please show up. There's also a pre-event on Friday. Check the link to get the info. Ab.

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