"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
Home of the Wildland Firefighter
I've gathered together what we know about the incident with a few images and
links to media articles.
I posted it on the
Always Remember our Yarnell Hill Fallen page. As more news releases,
announcements and reports come out we'll add them to the page.
Please send any photos you have of the crew or the fire. We'll add crew photos
when it's appropriate.
Thanks and be safe, hug your loved ones, kick some bucks over to our
Wildland Firefighter Foundation! If all of us help, our families will be
It has been a long time since I added to this forum but I have just heard about
the Granite Mountain Hotshots. I would like to offer my condolences to all of
the friends and family of this dedicated crew. My thoughts and prayers are all
with you and at the next meeting of my Community Fire Unit we will hold a
minutes silence in memory of them.
To all who fight the dragon please be safe and return to your loved ones
Thanks Aussie. Ab.
AB, I am not one of your regular correspondents, but I am old. very old, FS
I hope WildlandFire.com will remind your audience Vicki Minor and her crew
will be doing everything they can to help the families, but I understand the
Foundation is short of funds. Many of us older people will be helping Vicki
and I hope your followers with join us.
John F. Marker (USFS ret)
Thanks, John, for the reminder and for your contributions. I called Burk
at the WFF to tell him this evening. He and Vicki were already moving into
action. The task of helping so many seems beyond belief! We all rely on our
"safety net", the WFF to help with arrangements and to bridge the financial gap
in families lives. They do it on our behalf. Please, Community,
send some money to the WFF so they can support our firefighters' families.
Unbelievable task! We all NEED TO HELP! Ab.
19 firefighters (at least 18 of them are Granite Mountain Hotshots) have been
killed on the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona this evening.
The Granite Mountain
Hotshots are a City of Prescott Hotshot Crew. Our great condolences to family
and friends and our extended wildland firefighting family.
Granite Mountain IHC
Prescott Fire Department
501 6th Street, Prescott AZ 86301
for crew: Prescott, AZ
The AZ-A1S-Yarnell Hill Fire was under the jurisdiction of the State of
Arizona. It was reported on the Hotlist as an IA just after 11:30 this morning.
It blew up late this afternoon; the town of Yarnell and Peebles Valley were
evacuated. To read more on the Yarnell Hill Fire:
To read more on the LODDs and to share your condolences:
HOTLIST THREAD on the LODDs.
Thanks to those who refrained from posting until the facts were made public.
In the midst of the early chaos, it's hard to know what is real. Ab.
Thank you so much for pushing this out. Those Airmen were serving their country
fighting forest fires. I remember this tragedy but until I read your post, I'd
Thank you and God Bless those Airmen.
Always remember MAFFS 7
So true, never to be forgotten, and a entire year
later, still no FS official report, FLA, lessons learned, not even a safe com.
M @ 2X4
Check Always Remember MAFFS 7 page for all info available from Northern
Command / Air National Guard. Ab.
For Tomorrow's anniversary:
Always remember 7/1/12. Gone but not forgotten.
Always Remember MAFFS 7
Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, of Mooresville, NC; Lt. Colonel in the N.C. Air
National Guard & Evaluator Pilot
Maj. Joseph M. McCormick, of Belmont, NC; Major/Instructor Pilot
Maj. Ryan S. David, of Boone NC, Major/Navigator
Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon, of Charlotte, NC; Senior Master
Subject: Loss of two Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest Employees... making
the rounds. (Ab note: Mike Pena and Samuel Sanders were both helitack
firefighters. Condolences to friends, family and co-workers. Sad losses.)
Gilbert Zepeda, our Acting Regional Forester, has asked me to share with you the
tragic news from the Apache-Sitgreaves Forests:
It’s with deep sadness that I share the news regarding the loss of two
Apache-Sitgreaves employees. Mike Pena and Samuel Sanders , both long-term
seasonal firefighters, were involved in a fatal one-vehicle accident in the
early morning hours of Friday, June 28. The accident is still under
investigation by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. A Critical Incident
Stress Management Team will be convening very soon to offer help co-workers and
affected individuals within the Forest. This is a tremendous loss to Forest
Service employees and all those who knew Mike and Samuel. I want to remind folks
help is always available through your Employee Assistance Program, either on the
website at http://www.foh4you.com/ or by phone at 800 222-0364. We will send out
additional information as it is received. On behalf of the region our sincerest
condolences goes out to their family, friends and co-workers. Please take care
of yourselves and each other.
Clifford Dils, R3 FS
Japanese Gardens - Portland, Oregon ... and Paul Gleason
Earlier this week, Cate and I took a trip to Portland, OR to visit our daughter who lives there.
On Wed we took a day trip to the Japanese Gardens in Washington Park. A most beautiful and peaceful
place. As we were walking down the path to leave, we went by a memorial wall and noticed Paul Gleason.
It made sense to me that friends would be sure to add his name here. The Zig Zag HS base is relatively
close-by and I can see Paul wandering these grounds. It fit.
I attached the picture I took and would like to know if this can be confirmed as our Paul.
Paul Gleason - Portland
Old Sawyer and readers:
BURN -- a story of the Dude Fire, June 25, 1990 by
WOW! wow... What a fine piece of work that is! I felt like I was there and
I've always wondered what followed. Thank you Jamie Joyce, Old Sawyer and those
who stood up for our inmate firefighters. My best to the families.
PS. Feel free to donate to the author via the website. It's a worthy piece of
Ab: There is a new story about the Dude Fire by author Jaime Joyce,
The tale of a forest fire, the prison inmates who died fighting it, and the
families who struggled for justice.
It is posted on The Big Roundtable:
The Big Roundtable
AB: The Bitterroot IHC is having their 50th Year Reunion, Saturday October 19th,
2013 at 1600hrs at The Bitterroot River Inn and Conference Center in Hamilton.
Any pictures and historic information would be greatly appreciated. Check the
link below for contacts and more info.
IHC reunion and alumni
Always Remember the Dude Fire
Making the rounds, One message from Bequi
Livingston Acting Region 3 Safety and Health Manager:
As we quickly approach the 23rd anniversary of the Dude Fire (June 26, 1990),
I hope that you will take a few minutes to include some valuable lessons and
talking points from that fateful day! Ironically, the next few days will also
include increasing temperatures and low RH, much like that day in 1990. If you
could take some time tomorrow to incorporate this into your safety briefings,
that would be great! There were so many lessons learned that day, including LCES
which was developed by Paul Gleason as a result of his experience as the
superintendent of the Zig Zag Hotshot crew during the Dude Fire. Some great
successes to share along with tragedy and despair!
Hug your kids, throw the ball to the dog and tell your spouse that you love
them! Most of all, come home safely at the end of the day!
To your health, safety and wellness! Bequi
Staff Ride for the Dude Fire from the Lessons Learned Center
Leaders We Would Like to Talk To – Paul Gleason (559 K pdf)
Creation of LCES and Other Thoughts from Paul Gleason
NWCG Heat Related Illness (HRI) Reporting Form Thread
Fireline Safety and Marijuana Cultivation Sites (making the rounds)
Lessons Learned internal operating guideline to deal with this event (256
Luke Sheehy Redding Memorial
Just want to say what a moving ceremony for Luke Sheehy at Redding Civic on
Sunday. What great courage his family displayed. Healing their intense grief
through music. The jumpers were tremendously supportive, respectful and
obviously, still grieving. Great courage is all I can say.
I added the info provided from the service organizers to the bottom of
Luke's Always Remember Page. Ab.
Dear "I'm over it"
I presume Twin Falls, Idaho?... not that far away from Inkom, Idaho, home of the
FWFSA whose goals and objectives through both legislative and Administrative
strategies seek to address recruitment & retention by reforming archaic pay &
We don't have any members in Twin Falls. I'd be delighted to drive over and talk
with your crew(s) about what we're doing and how you can help. In 2008 the FWFSA
convinced Congress that retention issues was causing catastrophic consequences
with retention which led to $25 million included in the Interior Appropriations
bill to address retention.
While we would have preferred the Forest Service have used the money in a
different manner, it did result in bonuses, conversions to PFT etc. If there are
retention issues that close to the FWFSA HQ, then invite us out to chat to put a
game plan together. Feel free to contact me any time at
cjudd@fwfsa,org or by phone at
By the way spent some time with the Deputy Chief of Staff & OPM today on
wildland firefighter classification/ hazard pay as base pay for retirement
purposes and hazard pay for RX burns. Soon I'll be soliciting feedback from the
field as to potential questions OPM may have on these subjects.
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
I know you get TONS of views on wildlandfire.com and we're trying
to raise money for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation through a t-shirt
drive, so I wanted to let the wildland firefighter community know about it
We have kids' "wild child" t-shirts and adult "it's a wild kind of love"
t-shirts as part of the fundraiser.
I attached a
press release with the information. (Images of the t-shirts and how
you can order them.)
If you could share and the wildland firefighting community could share this
fundraising offer with their friends and family, that would be really
amazing. The press release is easy to download and mail to friends and
family. 100% of proceeds go to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
They look great and it's for a great cause. Thanks to the wildland
firefighters and their spouses who are doing this. Ab.
Soon Old Timer--
The Region 1/Region 3 Agreement needs to be audited for compliance with its own
Agreement and Operating Plan.
Employees mobilized under this Agreement are to be ordered on Preparedness
dollars, but some are converted to Severity (Federal Fire Fund dollars, same
pool of money as wildfires) or wildfire dollars before they even reach their
ordering office assignment.
This Agreement essentially bypasses the "closest resource" dispatch protocol
that we have all worked under for years, and provides a method for name requests
that bypasses resources that may be available and closer to the desired
It may also violate Length of Assignment and R&R rules that we all are expected
to follow while on a fire assignment, as the assignments are termed as
"Details". Unfortunately, those Detail assignments turn into Fire assignments,
some while en route and still in travel status, providing for overtime during
travel, and charges funded by Fire dollars, not Preparedness dollars..
I would suggest both an internal and external audit of travel payments, overtime
while in travel status, and the limited, if any, actual use of preparedness
dollars as described in the Agreement.
I used to work for a very wise Fire Chief, who when once challenged because he
sent half of our engines over to help a neighboring agency during a Santa Ana,
had the juevos to stand up in front of the Board and tell them “Gentlemen, it
has been my experience that there is no fire more important than the one that is
currently burning”. And that was that.
You mention when is the agency going to have folks in place with a
backbone to support the national effort.
Are you aware of the R1/R3 agreement?
R1R3 Intra-Agency Agreement (pdf)
R1R3 Annual Operating Plan (pdf)
(Ab note: Links to both can be found
here at NRCC)
R1 currently has engines and miscellaneous overhead supporting them through this
agreement. This may be the reason why your dispatch center is not getting any
request for engines. Also request will come through for a certain type of
engine, so if your dispatch shows type 3 engines and the request is for type 6
then the request will go back UTF.
I know it can be frustrating when you're setting at home and your fire danger is
low and other places are burning up. Remember that your first priority is your
local unit then your forest, region and then the National effort. My final
advice is that if you don't want to be tied to a local unit, then go work on a
National Interagency Hotshot Crew.
Soon to be old timer
I understand what your saying but the problem I have is us fighting the
"IF" fires. We get caught in that mode every time we get dry and we all get
tired of hearing it. This was the same thinking we had in 07 when Montana and
Idaho were burning and we didn't send out but a couple teams of Strike Teams and
what happened that year? Nothing. We wasted a season of experience for our
engines and crews while others worked their backsides off trying put fires to
bed in their regions. Also sending more resources would definitely help out a
big situation in Colorado and New Mexico because with that thinking we would
never man large fires. We'd just wait for the weather to change.
Just my two cents
# 1: PYG: If you look at the next 30 day forecast R-5 should burn
up this summer if there is a lightning event. This forecasted short term wetting
rain will do little to change the long term drought. It makes sense to keep IA
here if more resource’s will do little to contain the already big situation in
R-3 & 2.They need a change in their weather, and if the CPC long-range is
correct, wetter weather HELP is on their side in the next month. Here in Ca.
maybe not so much. Check it out.
# 2: Troy Kurth request: It would be nice to see if some of our folks who ARE
making BIG BUCKS OT could send a few of those OT $$to the WFF. I just did, and I
am retired!!!! On a pathetic pension.. Let’s help our own.!! I cannot believe
our WFF is short of funds. Give people…. Please!
Good thoughts and prayers for everyone gathering at 1PM at the Civic Auditorium
in Redding to remember Luke Sheehy.
Thanks R5 Dispatcher for injecting a good dose of commonsense, logic and facts
into the discussion without any name calling or personal attacks.
There have to be requests from the fire and after all the closer
resources have been mobilized to the fire and if there is still a need, then the NICC will send requests to NOPS and SOPS. Currently NOPS has offered up
Equipment and Helicopters. Currently there were no open requests for either.
Retention? Yeah right!
Here on the Twin Falls district BLM they always talk about their concerns
about the retention rate... well, more like the lack of it. There have been MANY
good Firefighters leave in a hurry, and there is fixing to be another round of
them leaving. The overhead ask the question of what can they do about it often.
The problem lies in the fact that they only want to hear about things that they
are willing to change, not about the things they NEED to change. They have a
so-called "leadership" team that is more like a poker club. There are
Firefighters trying to leave for a whole host of reasons, and I know of a couple
looking just to get out of fire and the Government altogether because of the
hostile, boot on neck environment TFD-BLM maintains. of course, most of this
seems to never affect the locals who grew up here and have never worked anywhere
but here... they are the managements' favorite children, the chosen ones. This is
nowhere near as evident as it is up there in the Shoshone yard, the locals reign
supreme and it's best not to cross them for any reason... or they will sic their
overhead masters on you in a heart beat. How many others out there have
encountered this type of thing on your districts? It has to be more common than
one would think, I am sure of it. I think it produces a "Us vs. Them" theme, and
that can lead to alot of safety concerns when it really counts.
" I'm over it."
Well here's a news flash for you. Northern Cali is supposed to be getting hit
with a fair amount of precipitation starting today so there really isn't a
reason not to release some of its resources. Last time I looked it said U.S.
Forest Service on the side of our Engines, Not California Forest Service. These
guys are a NATIONAL resource, not R5 only. Also the fires you are talking about
are 75% and 85% contained and out of the 1300 resources you mentioned, how many
are State? Right now there are no draw down concerns so really there aren't any
reasons why we shouldn't be helping other regions.
Re preparedness levels:
News flash PYG:
Two or more regions are requiring major commitments of national resources so
the requirements for Preparedness Level 3 have been met. Given that South Zone
is at PP 3, somewhere around 1,300 people are currently assigned there, the
early-season major fires, and current fuels conditions, I'm not at all surprised
that Region 5 is holding onto its resources. In my five seasons in that region,
I got plenty of fire assignments, but almost all of them were in-state due to
various draw-down concerns.
Still Out There as an AD
support of Colorado citizens for firefighters - on You Tube
Just wanted to say a lot of these same people were out at the ICP every day
that we were at the Waldo Canyon fire last year in Colorado Springs. The
community support was unlike anything I have seen anywhere else. Thank you to
the folks in Colorado Springs, for all they’ve been through they still have an
amazing spirit. Everyone stay safe out there!
Making the rounds... Thanks John. Ab.
Because of the importance of this advisory. Please read it, understand its
importance and "POST IT". Thank you.
Unit & County Fire Chief John R. Hawkins
Riverside County Fire Department
California Fuels and Fire Behavior Advisory - 6/10/2013 (pdf)
Interesting discussion on the
Hotlist about fuels in California and how visually to read their fuel
moisture and what it means for fire behavior.
How can we be in a PL3 and Northern California doesn't have a single Strike team
of engines out of region. There are forests that have every engine still on
forest. When are we going to get some people in charge that has enough backbone
to do the right thing and support the National Fire Program. We are expecting
1-3 inches of rain this coming week and we keep everybody home. I think it's
time to make some phone calls and let some people in Washington know about the
situation. But then again who cares about experience and morale when your a GS
support of Colorado citizens for firefighters
If you haven't seen this
already, here is video that captures the support Colorado citizens are showing
the firefighters as they return for shift change. Please share with the
TheySaid community. This is so wonderful to see.
Community Supports Black Forest Firefighters 06/15/2013
VERY Nice. Ab.
To: All Region 5 Forest Service employees
This email, from the team organizing
the Sheehy Memorial Ceremony in Redding, California, is intended to provide you
with current information regarding the ceremony. We ask that you share this
information with your staff and the firefighting community.
Regional Forester Randy Moore's direction to USFS Region 5 employees
regarding attendance at the Luke Sheehy Memorial Ceremony on Sunday, June 23,
2013 at 1 p.m. at the Redding Civic Auditorium located at 700 Auditorium Drive,
Redding, California (note: the attached letter incorrectly references 200
Auditorium Drive - a correction is being emailed).
In honoring the family's wishes, the focus of attendance at the ceremony will
be family, friends and others from the fire community. Priority seating will be
provided to those mentioned above. Seating in the auditorium is limited to
For those firefighters from cooperating agencies planning to attend, please
be advised that, in-line with the Sheehy Family's wishes, attending Forest
Service employees will wear field uniforms with short sleeve shirts, no tie and
dark green Nomex pants. Smokejumpers will wear attire requested by the Sheehy
If agencies are interested in providing engine equipment to be included
in the ceremony, please contact Karen Kufta, Liaison Officer at 951-218-6812 or
It was on this day in 1995 that my former supervisor and Lead 56 pilot,
Michael Ray Smith (Smitty), collided with the DC-4 Tanker 19 on final approach
to the Ramona airbase while working the Butterfield Fire.
Smitty (48) along with the pilots for Tanker 19, Gary Cockrell (33) and Lisa
Netsch (31) all perished. I like to think that none of them suffered.
I still remember where I was when I learned of it.
Always Remember Smitty
Folks we have a pressing issue. Help is required...
The Luke Sheehy memorial
is set for June 23, 2013 in Redding CA. The jumpers, family and the Wildland
Firefighter Foundation have stepped up to the tasks at hand. They need your
As most of you know the Foundation always comes through to support families.
Well, funds are very low right now and Vicki Minor is in need of financial help
for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation to continue.
Please consider helping out with any amount you wish.
Please mail your check to:
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
2049 Airport Way
Boise, ID 83705
I know the federal gov is good at wasting money and now times are tough and
everyone’s budgets are tight because of it. Over that last few years the Forest
Service and our zone in particular has lost quite a few folks due to retirement.
In response to the tight budgets line officers and staff have decided to not
fill those positions to save money, well you know that equates to doing more
with less. The older I get the more I realize that I am getting tired of being
over worked and abused and still not making any more.
The other piece to this circus puzzle is why is Region 8 so far behind when it
comes to fire, fire staffing and organizations.
I am a 26/0 Fire Engine Operator who is in charge of a type 6 engine as a GS 5.
We pretty much staff year round as we have fires pretty much all year. This
seems to be a common theme in Region 8. Some forest have a well organized
structure for engines, but most do not. The Forest Service we as far as
standardizing all types of engines, and hotshot sup vehicles, so why are
different regions running different organizations. Should we not have a standard
structure for High, Moderate and Low complexities across the board?
We have been working for 4 years on our forest to get all 8 engines staffed with
a 7 captain and a 6 operator with a seasonal 4/5 firefighter. This forest is run
by the FLT which is basically the Line Officers which equates to Rangers. None
of them know anything about fire.
I enquired about a desk audit and my ranger and fire staff officer caught wind
of this and I was sat down and told that they did not support that and would not
stand for it and that I needed to be made to work within my PD. I supervise and
maintain and run a type six engine as a GS 5, how do I work within my PD doing
that? Further more I am one of 4 DZIAs on the forest, so when push comes to
shove I have to operate equipment which should be a WG9.
The forest does not support us. Who knows if our region does because the link
from the ground to the Forest S.O. is broken so I’m sure the link from the S.O.
to the R.O. is as well.
Here we all sit and watch others do the same job we do plus more and get paid
less and have no support to put us in the positions that we should be in given
the complexity and workload.
The last stop I can think of is take it to Washington.
Any thoughts or advice?
These came... I added them to Always Remember and uploaded them
News Release (107 K pdf): Family, friends of the family and firefighters pay
their respects for Luke Sheehy at Honor Escort
Alturas Arrival (41 K jpg)
Susanville Mortuary (32 K jpg)
Outside magazine article
The recent article in Outside magazine has stirred
some familiar debate. Not being a federal resource, the local version of this is
the attention structural departments get from the media while the wildland
agency is deep in the woods actually suppressing the fire. Common sense tells us
that since the "pavement queens" are more accessible then they will receive the
lion's share of the photography and credit. But there is also the idea that
these trucks are often staged around homes, protecting a very valuable asset,
and also they are stationary and often quiet, and can be included in live
broadcasts, while the tractor plows are loud, traveling through swirling dust
and smoke, and are seldom parked when being used.
So we have these debates too. A few years ago a reporter did embed with the
state agency, and wrote a series of very complimentary articles on the efforts
of the wildland firefighters. Then the bickering became what and who the
reporter covered and why not other aspects, etc.
It seems that when we get one thing we have been wanting, our next move is to
start wanting more, and finding fault with what we received instead of
appreciating what we did get.
It would be great if there was enough credit and appreciation to cover everyone
involved. Shot crews are awesome. They do a heck of a job, and do it well.
Engine crews work hard and achieve great things. Smoke jumpers go where others
can't. Type 2 crews build a LOT of line. Pilots do a wonderful job of making
drops. Water tenders keep the roads passable, and keep us from having head-ons
with each other on the fire-line. etc.
We can chose to debate what else would have been good to see in print, and sort
of see the glass as half empty, or we can celebrate the fact that SOMEONE in our
industry received a well deserved pat on the back, and be glad for them.
I am not saying this to criticize anyone. I think some of the concerns are
valid, and sometimes we need to voice them, even if it's only to each other.
But there is a long standing slogan in politics and theater "There is no bad
press" (Even though we know this isn't totally true LOL). But in this case it
This article was a good thing. And I am thankful for the guys getting a little
I hope everyone sees it as a positive, and we approach this coming season
lifting each other up, not tearing anyone down.
See you out there as soon as my phone rings!!!
Flash in Florida
I apologize for what might seem a self-serving indulgence for the FWFSA, but I
want to thank those FWFSA members, and actually everyone, involved in the
painful task of bringing Luke home. You know who you are and I couldn't be
It is a sad reality that I meet most of our members for the first time at either
a funeral or memorial service. Yet I see their professionalism and heroism as
members of the Honor Guard or the teams tasked with being a liaison to a family
mourning the loss of their loved one, or accomplishing the monumental task of
logistics seamlessly and flawlessly.
That same respect and affection goes out to the folks at the Wildland
Firefighter Foundation along with Steve & Mellie. The first notion I wanted to
be a part of this special community was while attending the memorial for Dan
Holmes of the Arrowhead Hotshots many years ago. As the 5th District VP for the
California Professional Firefighters, I was involved in the pomp & circumstance
of the International Association of Fire Fighters but these wildland
firefighters seemed more real than the Class A uniforms of structural
firefighters adorned with all sorts of regalia, dozens of hash marks on their
sleeves etc (yea OK, I had them too). The wildland firefighters that showed up
at Dan's memorial looked like they'd been living in the mountains for
years...even the women! These were real people who performed the most difficult
work I'd ever encountered as I'd had the honor of taking an engine to the
Oakland Hills Fire along with many other wildfires along the Highway 50 and I-80
corridor between Sacramento & Tahoe. These were, and still are some of the
lowest paid, professional firefighters in the Nation but they are the best in
the world at what they do.
My decision to bolt to the FWFSA completely was tattooed on me at the memorial
for those lost on the Stanza Fire in Chester California and I knew this is where
I wanted to be. These were the folks I wanted to do everything I could for. Sooo,
there's my article. When I get frustrated to no end with those in Washington,
the passion, respect, admiration and affection I have for our federal wildland
firefighters gets me through the day. Thanks to all of you.
The post of Luther Larkin Sr. having a heart attack is incorrect as I was a
witness to this incident. And it was the quick thinking of crew members of the
Horseshoe Hotshots and the Arrowhead Hotshots that retrieved the AED.
Rescue of firefighter who suffered heart attack at Big Meadows Fire highlights
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. - It was early
Father's Day morning when a 51-year-old firefighter suffered a heart attack
while hiking with his crew to the fire line at the Big Meadows Fire in Rocky
Mountain National Park.
Fire crew companions of Luther E. Larkin Sr. quickly started CPR and fire-line
paramedics arrived in minutes with an automated external defibrillator (AED)
that was critical to restarting Larkin's heart, said park spokeswoman Kyle
Members of Larkin's crew -- the Horseshoe Meadow Type I Interagency Hotshots
based in California -- carried him to the nearest helicopter landing area just
as the requested medevac helicopter arrived on scene. Larkin was airlifted to a
cardiac care hospital in Denver. (More at the news link above.)
Hotlist thread with more info.
California Smokejumper Luke Sheehy was returned to Susanville this afternoon.
Good thoughts and prayers for all.
His memorial service in Redding is planned for Sunday, June 23 at 1PM at the
The Sheehy family has requested that only family members, close friends and
the fire community are invited.
Update: Latest on Saddle Back Incident Support for more details.
Dear "Still out there"
With all due respect, after dealing with Congress on a daily basis for nearly 20
years on behalf of federal firefighter issues, the last 10 exclusively on behalf
of federal wildland firefighters, if I've learned anything it is the reality
that politics plays a significant role in wildland firefighting. The reality is
that Congress is the "city Council" or "Board of supervisors" for federal
employees. As such, in order to effect change we have to pay attention to, and
be concerned with what politicians have to say or what they do with respect to
the wildfire program. Politicians in turn are driven by their voting
While you may not be concerned with what politicians know about wildland
firefighting, many of those the FWFSA represents are concerned because it is
those same politicians that have the power to effect positive change.
I'd personally much prefer to not have to deal with politicians. Unfortunately
we have to because the agencies themselves have done a poor job taking care of
their firefighters. We have to because its politicians that authorize and
appropriate the dollars for WFPR, WFSU and fuels. We have to be concerned with
politicians because it is politicians that we have to turn to when the agencies
waste & mismanage FIRE dollars that 1) adversely impact that same Public you're
talking about and 2) adversely affect the health & safety of those same
firefighters you mention.
Ideologically it should be about the Public these firefighters serve. It should
be about the safety of our firefighters but that is simply not the reality. I
recently sent a Facebook message of thanks to Kyle about his article posted on
TheySaid. I thought it was great. We've been tremendously honored to have Rick
Cowell as basically one of the Founding Members of the FWFSA since 1992. You
can't possibly understand the frustration I feel to see our long time members
retiring without benefiting from the reforms we have pursued for so long.
I too would rather spend my time with the crews, even if it is just an article.
I wish that was all it took to securing the benefits these firefighters have
deserved for far too long. But that's not the reality. I too wish I could forget
the politicians but if you are trying to make things better and more equitable
for a segment of the federal workforce, you cannot escape the influence of the
politicians. I guess my point was that while I can yak and yak in their office
about what these brave firefighters deal with, I think it would be great for
them to actually experience what its like in the field; get a first hand taste
of all the dynamics wildland firefighting offers in the hope it will get them to
not only appreciate what these men & women do but cause them to work towards
implementing reforms to the federal wildfire program that not only will benefit
the firefighters but also those same taxpayers (the Public) you referenced.
I apologize if I didn't frame my point of view properly.
I have known some fire reporters who have done the Basic 32 training and
embedded with a crew.
One from the early 2000's is Al Golub, a fire
photojournalist with the Modesto Bee, whose son was a Stanislaus Hotshot.
Retired now, some of Al's fire photos are on the wildlandfire.com
Fire, Mariposa County, 2001 photo page. He told stories with his photos.
He's building his historical galleries on his
photoshelter website, including the Acorn Fire, Merkleeville, CA of 1987
with the Stanislaus Shots with supe Greg Overacker "Racks"; and the Telegraph
Fire, 2008. He hasn't entered the Creek Fire photos there yet (maybe he's too
busy entering all the 49ers and other historical photos).
When it comes to the news, news reporters and what gets on the page or
screen, Casey put it most poignantly when he wrote that they have their “own
ideas of what they want to write about, who they want to hear from”. It’s not
about the crews or engines or the effort.
It’s about ‘if it bleeds, it leads’.
Flame, fire, destruction, chaos, pain and sorrow, and ‘flash’. That’s why
there will be repeated shots of helicopters dropping water, airplanes throwing
red stuff, smokejumpers under silk, houses burning but not a line crew going
vertical on a hillside with a foot in the black. It doesn’t matter that the
super-soaker DC-X only managed to make one pass all day and it missed the fire,
it’s a colorful 18 second shot that will make the news because it shows up well.
The public and politicians don’t see a crew building line, they see farm
workers hoeing a field – in their minds eye there isn’t any difference. They
think the fire gets put out by airplanes and helicopters using water, not by the
physical labor of hand and engine crews.
Having worked at in TV news carrying the camera, I can also say – if I had to
walk very far, it didn’t get taped. It’s too much ‘work’ for too little ‘flash’.
And then there were those two guys showing up in the tanker that dropped red
stuff making great TV……
My heroes have always thrown dirt.
I'm sorry but what politicians see or do is the least of my concerns.
Wildland fire is not all about politics. It's about the public we serve. It's
about our co-workers and their safety. It's about the resources we're trying to
protect. Don't get me wrong. I understand the political picture because I've
worked in that arena. But even if it's just in a magazine article, I'd rather
forget politicians and spend an afternoon on a hillside with a hotshot crew
(engine crew, helitack crew, situation unit, you name it).
Still Out There as an AD
New Maps on Wildlandfire.com
Hello Community and Friends,
Today we are happy to demo the first version of the new Wildlandfire.com and
ESRI Project, the Wildlandfire.com Map.
Please check it out
on the Home
Page for likes/don't like and give us your feed back. It isn't done, and
there is a lot of work to get the final product, but getting this first product
out is a big step forward behind the scenes!
We will continue to improve the map over the next few weeks to get more info on
it. But please check it out and give us your feed back!
It seems you have the wrong impression of my post, if you read it you will see
that I called the article 'great', that ' I am aware of how great shot crews can
be' and that the recognition of Hot Shots is 'well deserved'.
I merely pointed out that other assets deserve recognition too.
Are we so short on kudos that we don't have enough to go around?
P.S. This sort of re-enforces why I rarely pay much attention to this site
The media and Hotshots, smokejumpers, engine crews, helitack and everyone:
Just a suggestion that maybe focusing on what/who the media sees, discusses,
talks about etc., could/should be replaced by what politicians see, discuss,
talk about etc. It is politicians that will drive progress or blissfully
maintain the status quo.
Since Colorado blew up again I've had no less than 10 press calls and all do
have their own ideas of what they want to write about, who they want to hear
from etc. However the press that know me know that before I answer their
questions, they have to have a working awareness of what is going on in the
field which might not involve the answers to the questions they have sought.
We also all know the periodic ramifications of speaking directly to the media
and how the Agencies, particularly the FS sometimes frowns on that. Let's get
some Washington politicians out to some fire lines when they are in their
districts. Let's have them cut some line, experience camp... experience those
well documented meal breaks to clearly understand the dynamics of what all of
you are up against.
For those of you that might live and work in Oklahoma, I would suggest inviting
Sen. Colburn to cut some line. He recently spouted off about federal employees
and stand-by time and made numerous ignorant comments that clearly indicate he's
For those of you in SoCal, invite Rep. Darrell Issa to cut some line. He's
cosponsored portal to portal legislation before but now, as Chairman of the
House Oversight Committee, he has his own partisan agenda and seems to forget
what he's supported in the past.
All of you are critically important and valued to this community. While those in
the community may have spirited competition about recognition etc. from time to
time, I hope all of you know that the recognition of the press can be fleeting
but the respect & admiration from those who know what you do without asking is
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
link to Prescott Daily Courier article and pictures
I agree that the work of the engine crews is something that we can work to
highlight better. Besides stopping a lot of fires from getting large, once there
are large fires, they are involved with important operations such as structure
protection. I try to look for opportunities to highlight different firefighters
and will keep this idea in mind. Unfortunately, when dealing with media they
come to us with specific ideas in mind, but that doesn’t mean we can’t offer
Hope to be out soon,
Just Wondering -
Having spent 8 years in one of the most busiest Engine Stations in So Cal, and
having over 12 years on Type 1 FS Hotshot Crews, both North and South Zone,
trust me when I say Hotshots crews deserve any and all recognition given to
them, and if there is one crew with one retired Supt, and a reputation that is
completely 110% deserved, it's Cowboy's crew.
I ended up on the front page stringing hose way too many times, just because I
was roadside and very reachable to the media vans. IHC's do contribute to IA and
do it well including structure prep and protection, Hazmat and EMS.
Enjoy the article and try to appreciate the content, which by the way, is very
well done. The FS did well on all fronts allowing this to occur.
God speed THS, and thanks Rick, you are truly the man.
I almost never post on They Said anymore... reasons are not
I want to chime in on the great article about hotshots, while I am certainly
aware of how great shot crews can be, I want to stand up for another asset in
our tool bag that rarely gets kudos, Engine crews!
Think about this, when our engines do there job correctly fires do not get so
big that we need to call in the 'elite' crews. In SoCal our initial attack
success rate is something like 97%, that is because dedicated, well trained and
aggressive engine crews stop these fires before they get big.
The media almost never lauds the efforts of these folks. They continually trot
out articles on HotShots (well deserved), and even on Inmate Crews (you decide),
but when was the last time you saw an article articulating the backbone of our
initial attack efforts in SoCal (at least)?
Details on Luke's Services are posted here on the
Region 5 Support Page.
The memorial service for Luke Sheehy is planned for June 23 at 1 p.m. at the
Civic Auditorium in Redding, Calif.
The Sheehy family has requested that only family members, close friends and the
fire community are invited.
Flowers, cards and donations to: Doug and Lynn Sheehy or Sheehy Family, 2850
Main Street, Suite 12, #386, Susanville, CA 96130.
Always Remember Luke has been updated as well.
re: paid meal breaks:
To sent from my iPhone,
If you are required to monitor your radio then I would say you are engaged in a
inactive work related activity. As I read 29 CFR 785.19 that would mean you or
at least one member of your module who is required to monitor the radio should
be compensated for that time, unless you could stagger your meals and take turns
monitoring the radio. I believe law enforcement brought this same issue forward
and prevailed and are now paid during their meal periods. STRANGEL brought up a
good point if we don't challenge this obvious disregard of the law than it is
our fault. I would also challenge our agency administrators who have instilled
the core value of integrity into our guiding principles to show some of it by
choosing to abide by federal labor law and to pay its workforce according to
those laws. I imagine this will become a union issue at some point and in
regards to firefighters on the fireline that have been instructed by team
members that they must show a lunch I am surprised it has not already become
one. I realize my interpretation my be flawed and I welcome other opinions on
this matter. As of yet I have only heard one cricket and the rest was just
tumble weeds in a ghost town. I assume that means I'm correct or they don't care
or maybe they just are not listening to the guy on the ground because it does
not affect them. Maybe someone from the NFFE could give the federal firefighting
community advice as to what would be necessary to fight this perceived abuse. Is
it grievable. Does NFFE or FWFSA have an opinion? I know you're reading this.
France looking to replace their S2T airtankers..
There's a pdf article from Aviation Week and Space Technology, June 17,
2013. We'd be in violation of copyright if we posted it here. Holler if you want
direction to seeing it. Here's their website
Email if you can't find it. Ab.
Flight Nurse --> Firefighter?
I am currently employed as a flight nurse in
Arizona. I have never had any fire fighter training but was wondering if there
are any positions that would be able to utilize my experience and expertise as a
flight nurse with 13 years experience ER/CVICU and 8 years of flight.
Sent from Windows Mail
Preparations are underway to support the family of recently deceased firefighter
Luke Sheehy. The 28-year-old perished on June 10 as a result of injuries
received on the Saddle Back Fire on the Modoc National Forest in northeast
Those interested in showing support for the Sheehy family can send flowers,
cards and donations to:
Doug and Lynn Sheehy or Sheehy Family, 2850 Main Street, Suite 12, #386,
Susanville, CA 96130.
Details on the Memorial Service are currently pending. The service is planned
for June 23 at 1 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium in Redding, Calif. The Sheehy
family has requested that only family members, close friends and the fire
community are invited.
The memorial service for Luke Sheehy is planned for
June 23 at 1 p.m.
at the Civic Auditorium in Redding, Calif.
The Sheehy family has requested that only family members, close friends and
the fire community are invited.
From Don Ferguson, Ashland, Oregon
It is in times of crisis that you find out who your friends are.
With the recent passing of firefighter Luke Sheehy on the Modoc National Forest,
family members and friends are coming from throughout the country to show their
support at a Memorial Service planned for later this week.
With so many expenses and other stresses related to a family member’s death, it
is nice to know there are community businesses that are willing to go above and
beyond to show their support for the family.
The Marriott Town Place Suites in Redding and the UPS Store in Susanville are
two such friends. Their generosity both with their time and money shows how much
they care. With such a tragedy it is wonderful to know there are those you can
count on and those who do care. Kudos to these businesses for being willing to
Paid meal break
I'm a engine captain in R5. I have to listen to the radio and
be ready to respond at a moment's notice. So my question is does that rule stand
for staffing at your station as well?
Sent from my iPhone
Forest Service to do "More with less"
Several nights ago, Tom Harbour, Fire & Aviation Management Director for the
Forest Service appeared on NBC Nightly News and stated, with respect to the
impact of the sequester and the start of this year's fire season, the Agency
would "do more with less." Mr. Harbour has also been apparently tasked by USDA
Secretary Tom Vilsack to respond to a letter I sent the Secretary recently. A
link is provided to that letter.
With immense respect to Tom for the job he does, and more importantly the
position the land management agency puts him in, and for his willingness to
communicate with the FWFSA, the "doing more with less" line is consistent with
that Agency's reply to similar questions about its preparedness over the years.
In other words, regardless of what Mr. Harbour may think about certain aspects
of the fire program, it is his responsibility to tow the company line.
Many of you remember 2008...when the FWFSA challenged then Forest Service Chief
Kimbell and USDA Under Secretary Mark Rey before Congress about their
"preparedness" which in turn led to a $25 million funding for wildland
firefighter retention. In fact, the line "we are as prepared as we were the
previous year" has been a staple of the Agency with regards to its testimony
before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. As our members know, the
FWFSA has challenged that preparedness since 2006.
This year's commentary will likely result in two scenarios. One, the Agency will
have to address the annual pay cap pursuant to 5 USC 5547 if they are going to
work their firefighters to the max (oddly the Agency reaffirmed the guidance
pursuant to the law in a May 14, 2013 in a memo entitled Annual Premium Pay
Earnings Limitation). As most know the FWFSA eliminated the OT pay cap for
biweekly earnings for firefighters in 2000). This will no doubt be a financial
blessing for many but it will also increase the risk to the health & safety of
these firefighters and those they protect.
The agencies will also continue their MO of simply filling in the gaps of
missing federal resources with expensive non-federal resources included with
very lucrative cooperative agreements (not very lucrative to their own federal
employees!) This of course will increase the costs of suppression as we inform
Congress on a routine basis.
I want to reiterate that neither I nor the FWFSA has anything against
non-federal fire resources. They are an absolute vital necessity on many
assignments. At the same time the parameters of some cooperative agreements
leave federal wildland firefighters scratching their heads when their own
employing agency tells them there is no money to reform archaic federal pay &
Additionally, and again with all due respect and honesty, those who believe the
federal Government is too big and too intrusive in their lives won't care how
much that same Government spends if their home is in the line of a wildfire.
They'll be the first in line to see what that same over-bearing Government will
give to them.
Our current legislative draft eliminates any cap on the earnings of federal
wildland firefighters. It makes absolutely no sense to push our firefighters to
the max under the current law. Does that mean more assignments but also more
non-pay hours away from home? Why not institute PTP, get the job done and send
folks home. The fact remains, until Congress provides oversight into the use by
the agencies of FIRE dollars for non-fire purposes and implements some
incentives for being more cost-effective and efficient, the Agencies will
continue to use appropriated fire dollars in a way that benefits
everyone...except their own firefighters and militia personnel.
There has been a great discussion on TheySaid about camps, compensation etc. We
have documents from the Forest Service dating back to 1985 that outline the
benefits of portal to portal compensation for its employees along with proper
classification. From a personal standpoint, not an official standpoint of the
FWFSA, until the organizational structure of the land management fire programs
change to remove Line from the control they have over fire policy and budgets
and place that responsibility with those with the proper fire experience &
expertise; until Regional offices stop hijacking the budgets of Hotshot crews;
until Forest Supervisors stop considering Preparedness dollars as their own
personal stash and consider it "saved" when their FFs are on assignment and then
spend those preparedness dollars on non-fire positions, projects etc., taxpayers
will not get the best "bang for their buck" and the program will remain
The federal land management agencies have the best wildland firefighters in the
world. They are coveted by organizations such as Cal-Fire which likely would
have continued their raid on FS firefighters if funding allowed. Yet the very
nature of a land management agency managing the largest fire department in the
world, precludes our firefighters from being treated and compensated as they
should be. During a fire season such as this, they shouldn't have to be
preoccupied with hiring nuttiness, diversity issues etc.
It truly pains me that in 10 years of working on behalf of our Nation's federal
wildland firefighters, I have seen little change in the Agency's treatment &
respect of its firefighters. That's why we continue the fight. If the agencies
are unwilling to do what's right for their firefighters, at some point Congress
will force-feed changes. All our firefighters want and deserve, and what they
should'nt have to beg for is some semblance of support from their employer. Here
we are well into the 21st century and these brave men & women are still Forestry
Technicians and Range Technicians. Can't get much more disrespectful than that.
Casey Judd, President
Federal Wildland Fire Service Assn.
I remember the days when I was supposed to rest between
night shift and didn’t get any rest at all. I’d lay on top of my paper sleeping
bag because it was too hot and then I’d go in the sleeping bag to escape the
bugs, Ideally, the best thing is to voucher fire control folks in motel rooms.
Good idea but motels are expensive and there usually not as many rooms that
staff need. A more modest solution that is a lot more comfort follows.
Frequently there are temperature controlled large buildings near fire camps.
That facility could actually be turned barracks by placing bunk beds in in a
standard arrangement spacing 5’ spacing between beds. If it has showers, so much
the better. Crew members would sleep much better and would be easier to keep
track of. Ideally, the feeding facility would be next door. Other direct service
facilities Then crew members wouldn’t even need to go in the main camp.
- Crew would be able to sleep more comfortably and longer.
- Crew members would be contained and be more easily be sent to an
- The place might have washing facilities.
- There would be fewer distractions in the main fire camp.
OK. This idea must have a flaw since it generally not being used. Let me
One of the best articles, and tributes I have read in a long time... JSE
In the line of Wildfire
Drought and climate change have turned western forests into firebombs that go
off every summer. Even with new technology, the essential weapon in the fight
against flame are the Hotshots, an elite group of wilderness first responders
who head straight for the heat...
More at the link...
Just wondering if we have any R5 strike teams out of region right now? Just
curious if anything has been sent to Colorado or New Mexico.
I posted your question and some answers may show up here...
Saddle Back Fire 24-hour report is up at the Lessons Learned Center
Saddle Back Fire 24 Hour Report (357 K pdf)
Thanks to those who sent it in. Ab.
From: Jeanne Wade Evans
Deputy Regional Forester,
Pacific Southwest Region,
USDA Forest Service
The Forest Service is still working with the Sheehy family to understand and
honor their wishes for a memorial service for Luke. When the details are worked
out with the family we will provide that information.
Always Remember Luke
Luke Sheehy's passing in Northern California,
When the 24-hour report comes
out, would someone please send it in. If anyone has photos of Luke with family
or the crew, please share.
Thanks to everyone supporting the family, the crew and each other.
As a number of you probably know through the "nomex underground", we lost a
Redding Smokejumper yesterday evening. Three jumpers jumped a small lightning
fire in the South Warner Wilderness Area on the Modoc National Forest, about a
mile and a half SE of the Soup Springs Campground . Luke Sheehy (28) died from
injuries received when he was hit by a limb that fell more than 60 feet. Our
condolences to his family, his crew, his friends and fire family.
From: Office of the Chief
Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:18 PM
To: ALL FS
Subject: Region 5 Firefighter Fatality
All FS Employees:
It is with a very heavy heart I write to inform you of the loss of a
firefighter, a smoke jumper, and one of our Forest Service family. Luke Sheehy,
a 28-year-old firefighter from Susanville, Calif., died Monday afternoon as a
result of injuries received on a wildfire on the Modoc National Forest in
northeast California. Luke, a member of the California Smokejumpers based out of
Redding, was struck by a dead tree on the Saddle Back Fire in the South Warner
Wilderness about 15 miles southeast of Alturas, Calif. The incident occurred
just before 5 p.m. Efforts to resuscitate him were not successful. He was flown
by helicopter to a hospital in Alturas where he was pronounced dead. Our hearts
go out to the family and friends of this brave young smokejumper who lost his
life yesterday working with his team to control a blaze on the Modoc National
Forest. We are launching a full review into the cause of his death to learn
everything we can to prevent future tragedies like this.
Chief Tom Tidwell
Always Remember Luke Sheehy
Firefighter Foundation is helping with arrangements as they do. I am
thankful for their "safety net". Ab.
Lightning Strike Google Earth KMZ and screen captures of it
You need Google
June 9-10 KMZ of lightning strikes (this will ask you to save the file or
open it in google earth.)
Screen capture of
google earth lightning strikes - terrain (jpg)
Screen capture of
lightning strikes - states outline (png)
This could be a real problem when it soon warms a and dries out. Think about
Lightning “Sleeper” fires.
Thanks, Norm. Ab.
Mandatory half hour meal break, Pay on Incidents for usfs firefighters
I used to be on an IMT and I'm a union rep. so I feel like you were talking to
me. First you're correct about a lot, kudos to RM for doing the right thing, yes
the CFR says what you say it does, and yes unless they are released from all
duties they need to be compensated. Those are the reasons I haven't shown a meal
break in over twenty years while on an assignment. I just justified it in the
remarks section of the CTR. Just because some people can be intimidated or
coerced into giving up time that doesn't make it someone else's problem. If the
rules are there and for what ever reason you decide not to make a stand like RM
did who's fault is it? I hear from many dispatchers complaining about being
forced to stay at their desks during lunch because of a bust but not being able
to claim time, but yet I know of four dispatchers that challenged it and won.
They get paid so whose fault is it the others don't? Duty officer is another
one. If you can be held accountable then it' standby, but if you don't fight
then guess who loses?
Hear any crickets chirping?
Mandatory half hour meal break, Pay on Incidents for usfs firefighters
Kudos for standing up for what is right! It's funny that IMTs have been
knowingly violating Federal Labor Laws for years. When you look at 29 CFR 785.19
you will discover that the employee must be compensated (paid) for the meal
break unless they are relieved of all duties, whether active (answering a radio)
or inactive (maintaining LCES) while eating. The CFR says nothing about the
status of the fire (whether it is controlled, contained, or neither). Policy
should not override the law but our agencies have pretended as though it does.
Of course anyone can take a stand against this obvious abuse but I suspect
retaliation will be in the form of DEMOB from the assignment. I would love to
know how our agency administrators, IMT team members, and Union Folks would
weigh in on this or if they would. I hope I don't hear crickets chirping, seems
like an important subject.
Mandatory half hour meal break, Pay on Incidents for usfs firefighters
past several years IMTs are trying to save a buck by making line going personnel
show a 30 min meal break while on the fire line. They tell you to show the break
but add the 30 min to the end of shift, which is not only dishonest but
technically illegal. One particular incident I had enough and decided to try a
different approach. I documented the CTR, LCES NOT IN PLACE FOR 30 MIN DUE TO
MANDATORY MEAL BREAK ! The ops chief actually flew out to our spike camp and
talked to me and Supt. Asking us to submit another CTR -- don't show the break
and tear up the old CTR. Oh, the remark was added after the original CTR was
signed. Why do they penny pinch at the expense of the people getting the job
Re Line Construction:
You should contact the Kern Valley HS, Bakersfield Ca.
Ask for their "Scrape Training" info.
They have done a well thought out, effective way to approach line construction.
We have adopted it for training our T-2 Crew, Roadrunners, here at Rio Hondo
Good post STRANGEL. This is an area that needs to be cleaned up as
it puts both the employee and supervisor in a tough and distracting position,
during a time when the last thing you want are distractions.
Outside of portal to portal legislation, the one thing that would fix this
situation immediately for most situations can happen with a signature from the
Chief of the Forest Service and or Regional Forester. All employees should be
guaranteed 16 hours of pay, with paid breaks for meals when committed to an
incident, everyday, for the length of the commitment. When you get back to camp
or other lodging accommodations after a 13-14 hour shift, all will remain on the
clock for a total of 16 hours, and available for call back. If you think about,
even under the current fire business practices, who isn't available to be woken
up in the middle of the night for an emergency change of plans in fire camp,
with 2;1 mitigation occurring at a later time?
Alternative #1) Pay Federal Wildland Firefighters portal to portal.
Alternative #2) Pay them from 0600 to 2200 hours daily. What do you think
everyone will do with the 8 hours off that starts at 2200 and ends at 0600? Good
Some food for thought:
Not sure what type of crew you work on (Shot/T2, Engine or Helitack) but….
How would your co-workers feel if they had to stay in base camp while you got to
go home to a nice comfy bed, hot shower and a home cooked meal?
Personally…. crew cohesion/morale is of upmost importance…. even if it means
sacrificing the above.
Former R3 Shot
Base camp Info
The person that responded to you from their iphone is correct.
The IIBMH does say all of those things, but the Master Agreement (MA) which is a
negotiated contract with national agency management says under Art.28
3. Restricted Facilities:
Management will not restrict employees to facilities while in a nonpay status.
The MA trumps the IIBMH, but before you celebrate you have to ask yourself how
important is it to you? The MA is like any other piece of paper in that until
someone forces them to abide by it, that's all it is, a piece of paper. They
have the choice of paying you portal to portal to control your time or you can
do what you want during your off time, as long as you're fit for duty at the
start of your shift and you don't do anything illegal. If the camp has over 300
people, there should be contact info for a union rep.
If you truly think you'll get better rest at home that's where I would go, but
remember this could just be the start of a fight if you have a bad manager.
Couple of things regarding your post;
I totally agree most of our fire camps
do not provide adequate sleeping arrangements.
I would like the folks who come up with these policies walk for 14 days in
our shoes, and then be expected to follow the policies.
Especially on night shift, sleeping in a park or a dust bowl in 90° plus
Below are a few excerpts from the Interagency Incident Business Management
Bottom line: unless it is a closed camp you can go home and sleep in your own
But do not drive a government vehicle to do that especially off the clock!!!
Have someone pick you up.
But realistically I’ve done both, and I got better sleep at the office, or in
fire camp than at home.
- I lost time from camp to home.
- She made me shower before I got into bed,
- I had to get up early to meet the crew at briefing time.
- The kids wanted to say hi.
It wasn’t ..."done work", and into the bag like at fire camp, it was the
semi-regular routine of home life. And that equaled less sleep.
Remember Firefighter Christopher Paul Carroll was taken from us on
July 2nd, 2012 while assigned to the CA-LPF Hill Incident. Chris was an AFEO on
LPF Engine 74 at Los Alamos Station. The Hill Fire was a local fire that was
transitioned from a Type 2 team to a local Type 3 Organization. Engine 74 was
going back to their station each evening after a 15 hour shift, and Chris headed
home. On the way back to work on the morning of July 2nd Chris was involved in a
motor vehicle accident.
I'm not saying fatigue played a part in the accident, as I’m not privy to the
CHP report, but fatigue might have played a part, and one must be mindful of
Excerpts from the
Interagency Incident Business Management Handbook (pdf)
The degree of control to be maintained over regular government employees and
casuals during off-shift hours is dependent upon location, the individual's work
function, and the urgency of the emergency situation.
- At the IC’s discretion, regular government employees and casuals may be
released during off-shift periods from the incident base or camp.
- At the ICs discretion, regular government employees and casuals may be
restricted to an incident base and all other camps during off-shift periods.
This is usually referred to as a “closed camp” (45 FLRA No. 120, 0-NG-1958,
Decision and Order on a Negotiability Issue, September 18, 1992; Office of
the General Counsel, Authority to Close Fire Camps Opinion, March 28, 1990).
- Time spent restricted to the camp where personnel can rest, eat, or, to
a limited degree, pursue activities of a personal nature is not compensable.
Such time is compensable only to the extent needed to complete the
guaranteed base hours. Time spent in ordered standby is compensable.
- The same policy applies to mobilization and demobilization facilities.
- Regular government employees assigned to an incident at their home unit
should be given their regular scheduled days off when the situation permits.
Regular scheduled days off are considered off-shift time and are not
Work/rest guidelines should be met on all incidents. Plan for and ensure all
personnel are provided a minimum 2:1 work/rest ratio (for every 2 hours of work
4 or travel, provide 1 hour of sleep and/or rest).
Work shifts that exceed 16 hours and/or consecutive days that do not meet the
7 2:1 work/rest ratio should be the exception, and no work shift should exceed
24 hours. However, in situations where this does occur (for example, initial
attack), incident management personnel will resume 2:1 work/rest ratio as
quickly as possible.
The intent of the guidelines is to manage fatigue
and provide flexibility for IC’s and AA’s managing initial attack, extended
attack, and large fires. The guidelines are designed to ensure that for every 2
hours of work or travel, 1 hour of time off should be provided within a 24-hour
period. It does not matter when the 24-hour period starts; all time recorded on
the clock is counted as hours of work; time off the clock is counted as hours of
rest, including meal breaks.
The IC or AA must justify work shifts that exceed 16 hours and those that do
not meet 2:1 work/rest ratio. Justification will be documented in the daily
incident records. Documentation shall include mitigation measures used to reduce
fatigue. The Excess Hours Log or the Extended Work Shift Authorization Sample
found in Appendix B – Tool Kit is an acceptable method of documentation.
The work/rest guidelines do not apply to aircraft pilots assigned to an
incident. Pilots must abide by applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
guidelines, or agency policy if more restrictive.
Other Pay Provisions
- Inadequate Food or Lodging – Inadequate food or lodging situations
should be the exception. When nonexempt regular government employees and
casuals do not receive adequate food or lodging, they shall be in pay status
the entire time they are working, sleeping, or eating (Comp. Gen. B-230414,
Adequate food is defined as: meals ready to eat (MREs), sack lunches,
military-type rations, hot can, or similar meals.
Adequate lodging is described as: a sleeping bag (paper or cloth) or a
blanket or equivalent covering to provide protection from the elements for
Regular government employees must be in nonexempt status to qualify for
compensation. There is no authority to grant compensation for these
conditions to exempt employees. Exempt employees can only be compensated for
ICs are responsible for determining when an inadequate food or lodging
situation exists. This must be documented on the CTR, SF-261, in the remarks
section. Hours recorded for an inadequate food or lodging situation count as
hours of work for computation of the 2:1 work/rest ratio.
Subsistence and Lodging Provisions
Subsistence and lodging are normally provided to incident personnel.
- Food at Official Duty Station. This is considered a personal expense,
and the regulation prohibits receiving compensation in addition to the pay
and allowances fixed by law. (5 U.S.C. 5536). Federal funds cannot be used
to pay subsistence or to provide food to regular government employees at
their official duty station or casuals working at their point of hire,
except as stated below. Similar state regulations may apply to state
- Conditions to Provide Food at Official Duty Station. Agencies may
provide meals to personnel at their official duty station at government
expense during emergency operations which pose a threat to life and
property, if both of the following conditions are met:
- Emergency personnel are in the field engaged in 4 emergency operations
(e.g., search and rescue, firefighting activities – fireline personnel),
- The operational period prevents personnel from taking meals at home or
in the normal office/work station environment.
Agencies may provide meals to personnel engaged in support of
emergencies, if they are unable to sufficiently provide their own
subsistence, due to long shifts or lack of preparation time. The cost of the
meal(s) will be deducted from their payroll through agency procedures.
Sent from my iPhone
Thanks, iPhone wielder. Ab.
I have a question.
If my module is assigned to a campaign fire on my home district and not on
per diem can I be told I have to stay at camp. I live minutes away from fire
camp and believe I would get much better rest if I could go home at night. Last
time I checked I was getting paid 16 hrs and not 24.
Based on decisions made on one of last year's socal fed firefighter
fatality, it seems that even if you're assigned to a fire and your engine is
assigned to a fire and there's no camp to sleep in, if you die in a vehicle
accident in your POV returning to duty from home the next morning, you will not
be considered a LODD and your family will not be eligible for PSOB. Seems
unjust, but a consideration... Ab.
I am closing the comments on the "Some People's
Children" thread. I feel that the people have had their say. An investigation is
ongoing; it should take its course. I still do not understand what happened or
who was involved. I do know that the issues are not about diversity per se, so
the thread is getting off-topic and may unfairly portray some individuals.
If anyone would like me to forward a message or cut and paste a message to
anyone who has posted, let me know their moniker and I will do it. Please
continue to email from blind accounts and with monikers. Communication behind
the scenes sometimes helps, but please do not violate any terms of the
investigation if you're involved. I will not reveal any poster's identity (not
that I know who is who even now). I remain fairly clueless... Ab.
I would like to add on to fish01’s comments about where did we go wrong as
an agency. I recently completed reading “The
Tinder Box” by Christopher Burchfield. It provided a very comprehensive
overview on how we got to where we are today. Although I had only worked for the
Forest Service in Region 5 very briefly in the past, having watched from the
outside what went on and knowing many of the people talked about in the book, it
all rang true. For anyone interested in how we got to where we are today and why
it continues, the book should be required reading, regardless if you have ever
worked for the agency or not. Maybe we can learn from the past, but in this
case, I doubt it as evidence by the continued hiring practices and an agency
that has great difficulty making good policy decisions in a timely fashion.
In reply to “proud to work with righteous individual’s” response to “Some
We are in agreement on much of what you have said in your
response to my post, however I see what you are trying to do here and there are
a couple issues I have with it. Yes, I am aware of “No Fear Act” training, and
yes, I do fully understand what it is and why there is a need for such a
program. I’m sorry that the truth I speak of “saddens” you, but I am here to
“nip it in the bud” as you said yourself. I am going to quote you here
“I am a firm believer that if you witness something illegal, or immoral,
and you do not say anything, you are in a sense, CONDONING IT... you are
allowing it to take place, and since you didn't say anything to correct the
action, who's to say it won't happen again”?
Well there it is. I have done exactly as you asked, I have brought it to the
attention of the masses via this forum. I am in fact doing what is right and
hopefully lessoning the chance of a situation like this in the future.
· Firstly, I will not stand by and watch as people maliciously manipulate
the system and try to destroy the careers that others spent their entire lives
building. The fact remains that there is a “loophole” in the system that people
are time and time again taking advantage of, for their own personal gain. Until
this problem is mitigated, we will continually allow some of our most valuable
and revered employees to be scrutinized, discredited, humiliated and in
situations like this, ostracized.
· Secondly, I’m not trying to sway people one way or another on the
matter of reporting EEO issues in the workplace. That is a non-issue, so long as
accusations are truthful and correct. In a case like this, where false
allegations have been made in the interest of undermining your coworker and
intentionally trying to damage the reputation of another, the system is a total
failure and is detrimental to the agency as a whole. Individuals need to be held
accountable for their actions! Upon discovery that erroneous claims have been
made, immediate action should be taken to correct this type of injustice. Well,
that remains to be seen. I too encourage people to stand up for what is right
and I wouldn’t be placing blame on those who stood up for what was right, and
said something to correct a situation, IF those whose integrity is in question
were in fact speaking the “TRUTH”, not half truths, not partial truths, the
· Tertiary, in situations lacking “Honor, Respect and Integrity” or in
situations where “Immoral and Illegal” actions were taking place, all parties
present at the time of incident should be given a chance to tell their side of
the story. But that’s not the case and that seems to be one of the main problems
with the system in place today. That, and that alone is why you get what we have
here; a strange case of Guilty Until Proven Innocent, or better yet,
Guilty Until Proven Guilty, and someone’s “good” name is being slandered.
From the first year seasonal, to the upper echelon of the Forest Service food
chain, we cannot afford to come to a conclusion after hearing just one side of
the story. We have to get the other side as well. By getting both sides of the
story early, you can avoid making a “knee jerk” reaction to a perceived
injustice or further complicating an already delicate situation. This is easier
to acknowledge than to do, but it is something we, as an agency, must recommit
ourselves to if we are to lead ourselves and our organization to the best of our
The One Who Kicked The Hornets Nest
You asked where did we go wrong as an Agency?
opinion of where the Forest Service in R-5 began its march towards inefficient
hiring and chaos began as early as the mid 70’s. That is about the time
individual Forest lost hiring control and all applications began to be
“submitted & screened” at the RO level. Before that, people submitted
applications to the Forest they wanted to work on and most of the workforce was
local to that Forest. The 1st yr. of Regional hiring, many returning seasonal
employees found themselves not being offered positions or being offered
positions at lower grades. I was one of them, but got real lucky in finding a
job in R-6 where you could still apply to the local Forest. Others did not fare
Then in the early 80’s, R-5 attempted to settle a discrimination complaint by
entering into a Consent Decree. The FS management pretty much agreed to hire a
percentage of women found in the private workforce. (46%). The Consent Decree
resulted in discrimination against not only men, but if you think about it, even
women employed in R-5 might have been left out, as promoting women in R-5 did
not increase the percentage of women, just moved the same number around.
Finding Qualified candidates was a challenge at best, and the agreed upon 46%
was hard to achieve. Judge Conti grew impatient with the FS excuses, but the
Decree was binding. Whether it was legal or moral, I can’t say. After all Quotas
had been ruled illegal. The pressure was on to keep Line management out of jail.
One of the most brilliant?? decisions was to advertise jobs with the selection
criteria being,” MUST Not Meet OPM –X118 standards. In a nutshell the person who
would be selected could NOT meet the job qualifications. It also was the start
of widespread discrimination towards a select group. ANYBODY QUALIFIED could not
be considered. HMMM
The late Jerry Levitoff and others fought this in court as the Male Class
Complaint, but we lost our case on technical grounds. If we had They Said and
current technology back then to shed light on Line Officers actions, I believe
our outcome may have been different, and today’s environment may have been
The hiring tactics and PC rhetoric and grievance procedures have been ingrained
into the HR. culture, and seem to be the Standard in most public service
employment. It is going to be hard to change.
Keep speaking up.
NorCal Fire Season
The Sale Fire 6/3/13, which occurred along I-5 and the
Sacramento River in Red Bluff should have been a wake up call...the river
jungles usually don't dry out enough to get hard running fires this early...they
are mostly green fuels and lots of 1000 hour fuels which should act as a heat
sink and slow spread. It didn't happen.
In the Sac Valley PSA which covers the area from Whitmore to Stonyford, the
Energy Release Component stands at 72, breaking the record for this time of
year. The Stonyford 1000 hour Fuel Moisture is 9% which is critical FM in that
area. That means the green and 1000 hour fuels are adding to the intensity, not
I'm reading some talk on the net about dry conditions, but I don't hear anyone
suggesting any solutions other than LCES. Situational awareness is important for
sure, but Crew Leaders and Initial Attack IC's can make a difference.
Fighting fire is combat and the only good fight is one you win. Don't give the
fire a chance, overwhelm it. This is a year when you should lean toward the
Blitz Attack strategy. This season's fires have already demonstrated a strong
resistance to control. Anticipate that; expect retardant burn through and lots
of spotting. Review and revise your run cards.
Don't be afraid to augment the dispatch if you think you've got a working fire.
Its a lot cheaper to return the crews to quarters than it is to staff a major
This is a year when the fire will give the exam and the lesson at the same time.
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Webcast Event
From: Beason, Rachel (HHS/OASH) [mailto: Rachel.Beason@ nospam hhs.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2013 8:20 AM
Subject: National Strategy for Suicide Prevention Webcast Event
We can all
play can important role in suicide prevention and the U.S. Surgeon General’s
National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. On June 27, 2013, the United States
Department of Health and Human Services Region V is hosting a live event and web
cast on the tools and resources available to support the National Strategy for
Suicide Prevention that will include participation by the U.S. Surgeon General, SAMHSA, and other partners in suicide prevention. Please share this webcast
information with others in your community or consider hosting an echo site with
a group in your community.
For registration and additional information on this event, please go to
blsmeetings.net/ everyone plays a role
I work in Region 3, and unfortunately the same situation has
occurred at my District. Those with so called 'diversity status' have
essentially filed grievances after being asked to be at work on time or input
their time correctly. Their 'complaints' have been investigated at the highest
levels, and all the scrutiny has been put on those who simply asked their
employees to do their jobs! The Agency has given carte blanche to all those with
'diversity status' to challenge anyone who asks them to perform at a
professional level of competency. Now I see what they mean by 'Cultural
Firefighting community, thanks for the personal inquiries. I haven't been able
to read them or reply.
I've been offline for the last 5 days with a DSL
failure. I have one of the oldest high-speed internet systems in my town and it
finally gave up. The technician just came and fixed it. Last week the tech came
and fixed the phone portion of the system.
Prior to that and concurrently with that, I was helping a formerly fit and
healthy son who suddenly developed and almost died from acute pancreatitis from
unknown causes (not alcoholism, not kidney stone, which account for 80% of acute
cases; might have been scorpion bite; currently listed as unknown cause). Some
of my most satisfying recent moments were watching him sleep in the dimly lit
hospital room between 2 and 4 AM. He went back to work today with orders from
the doc to come home for a nap if he needed to. We take our health and our
family's health for granted. Please take every opportunity to show your
appreciation and love to those who matter. Strange things can happen to good and
I'm back around, trying to keep on keeping on. I have just filled in posts
with their arrival dates as they came in since May 30. There are several
communications I did not post at the community member's request and one book I
did not post or link to since I haven't read it. As for the rest, I do not know
the validity of any communication or reply. I have definitely been "out of
touch" and trust the firefighting community will use this forum appropriately.
To those of you who sent in the fantastic photos, thank you! I'm not sure I'll
get them posted. In the not-too-distant future you'll be able to post your own
The Terrible Beauty of California's Powerhouse Fire
Last Thursday, a wildfire started in California's
Angeles National Forest, north of Los Angeles, near a hydroelectric plant called
as Powerhouse No. 1. The Powerhouse fire was pushed by erratic dry winds,
destroying at least six homes near Lake Hughes, damaging many more, and leading
to the evacuation of several thousand residents. Cooler weather has now allowed
the firefighters to reach 60% containment of the fire, and some residents were
allowed to return home. [28
Forest Service News Release today
US Forest Service adds night-flying
helicopter to its suppression efforts in California
Effort adds additional helicopter to cooperators’ Southern California assets
WASHINGTON, June 7, 2013 – U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced
today that the agency will begin night helicopter wildfire suppression
operations this season in Southern California.
“The re-introduction of Forest Service night helicopter firefighting operations
in Southern California further establishes the agency’s commitment to protect
lives and property in the region,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.
“California has already experienced challenging wildfires this season, and is
projected to continue to have a severe summer. Night flying operations will
provide an aggressive agency initial attack while better ensuring public safety,
minimizing overall fire costs and lessening impacts to communities.”
The program will begin this month, following the completion of aircrew and
aircraft certifications and will support suppression efforts in the wildland
urban interface areas within and adjacent to the Angeles, Cleveland, and San
Bernardino national forests, and the southern half of the Los Padres National
The use of the agency’s night flying helicopter program will be determined by
the Angeles National Forest and in coordination with local, county and state
partners and will be assigned to incidents through normal dispatch protocols.
The Forest Service will also implement a night aerial supervision fixed-wing
program to support the helicopter night flying operations. The program will
include an agency-owned aircraft, agency pilot and an agency air tactical group
supervisor. The aircraft will be equipped with technology to support night
ground and air firefighting operations including an infrared camera and command
and control avionics equipment.
The agency’s helicopter night flying operations will be consistently evaluated
to determine if there is a benefit in terms of containing fires, preventing new
starts from becoming large fires and potential cost savings in fire suppression.
These benefits will be weighed against the safety, risk and costs of the
program. If there is a measurable benefit and a documented need in other areas
of the country, the Forest Service will evaluate expansion of the program.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people,
even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions
mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken
historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds
through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA
in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester
budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
The mission of the Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and
productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present
and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land,
provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest
forestry research organization in the world. Forest Service lands contribute
more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone.
Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value
estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency also has either a direct or
indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested
acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most
Always Remember Tanker 11 Todd Tompkins and Ron Chambless
Blue skies forever Tanker 11.
6/3/12 1245 MST
Lone Peak IHC
Hello. Is there a site where an old hotshot can go to lookup old crew
members.79/80/81 Texas canyon ?
Thank you for your help
James R Thomas
AB would you be able to post the FWFSA'as facebook link for us? Really trying to
get more "likes"
I was wondering if you had any recent follow up on the Cramer
Fire. Did Allen actually serve jail time? In my brief review of the Cramer
Fire, it appears that no one else (Ranger, FFMO etc.) where held accountable? Of
course Allan was found operating outside the scope of his employment! He was
doing everyone's job because leadership couldn't do their job! I think it would
be worth highlighting the lack the actual fire experience our line officers
Sent from my iPhone
In response to "Some People's Children"...
The Core Values that we, as Firefighters are to uphold... such as "Honor,
Respect and Integrity", I'd agree should be of the utmost importance, seeing as
how we are considered to be Public Servants. People speak of Integrity... well,
yes, let's cover the word Integrity, in depth. The dictionary defines Integrity,
as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions. But I would love
to write Webster, and ask them to add on, "when no one is watching" at the end
of that definition. Because one can show or have "Integrity", in front of
others, but boom, the minute they are on their own, or by themselves...
everything changes. It is important, that each and every one of us, holds
ourselves to a higher standard, for the simple fact that we are entrusted BY the
public, to do a greater good, than the average Joe Citizen.
As for Honor... it is defined as... to show respect. We must Honor (Respect)
ourselves, our fellow firefighters, and the public, by always performing in a
professional manner, with Respect and Integrity... and I hate using words, that
I am already trying to define, but these three words, Honor, Respect and
Integrity... they go hand-in-hand, at least in my eyes... Respecting ourselves,
our supervisors, our subordinates and everyone else we may come in contact with,
is a MUST!!
In regards to "The One Who Kicked The Hornets Nest" last post... Supervisors
are held, to an even Higher Standard, or Code of Conduct, wouldn't you agree?
Supervisors should be Leading by Example, and should be the models for future
supervisors to look up to!! After all, most supervisors in the Forest Service,
are generally Responsible for their firefighter's lives and safety, so it is
Imperative, that they act in accordance, with the title of Supervisor...
meaning... they should have, almost to say... the most Honor, Respect and
Integrity out of the 5 or 20 lives, they are responsible for... If a supervisor
is lacking in these common standards, Honor, Respect and Integrity...then maybe
the Agency can tailor make, an Ag-Learn Class for them, as opposed to removing
them from their duty... but as you so relevantly put it, we all should have
Honor, Respect and Integrity...and at this stage in our lives and careers,
should've had that instilled in us, as we were growing up as adolescence.
It saddens me, to hear someone, who works in Region-5, blame the subordinates
who only stood up for what was right, and said something to correct a situation,
be labeled as a whistle-blower, or be accused of abusing the system in order to
get what they want. After all, don't we, in the Agency, teach our junior
firefighters, that if they see something wrong, to speak up?? If they see
something unsafe, no matter the ridicule they feel they may face, if found to be
safe after all... to go ahead and speak up??? Without fear of Reprisal??? The
Agency mandates training, in this matter, YEARLY. It's called "Fear of Reprisal"
for this simple fact, that if you see something that is unjust, or an act that
is lacking Honor, Respect or Integrity, shouldn't you speak up, to "nip it in
the bud"??? I am a firm believer that if you witness something illegal and you do not say anything, you are in a sense, CONDONING IT... you
are allowing it to take place, and since you didn't say anything to correct the
action, who's to say it won't happen again?? The incident or situation that you
are referring to, regarding the Captain being removed from their detail, bears no
matter to the fact of gender. Do research, in the matter, and you
will find that there were actions taking place, that LACKED EVERY BIT of Honor,
Respect and Integrity. And as a supervisor, don't we hold each other up to the
highest levels of conduct?? Shouldn't we correct illegal actions?? Or
should we just brush it aside, with maybe a slap on the wrist or a stern talking
to?? There is PLENTY of History, here... and it is a sad day, when our junior
firefighters, our up and coming leaders, stand up for what is right and speak
the truth, for it will all come out in the end, after the investigation... that
we try and crucify them, for doing what we in fact, are teaching them to do...
the RIGHT THING.
"Whistle-blowing" and speaking up and saying something, when malicious events
are taking place, has been all over the media these days. From Benghazi, to
Region-5... the old days, of "keep your mouth shut, head down and keep
working"... are a thing of the Past! Yes, at times, it may be a little
frustrating, conforming to the "Kinder, Gentler" world, but in the end, I feel
it is for the Better! Treating everyone with Respect, Honoring our fellow human
being and having Integrity, especially when entrusted with the Title of
Supervisor, is a MUST on all forefronts. It is a privilege, to be trusted with
the Title of Supervisor... that being said, it is Imperative, that if a
Supervisor is NOT acting accordingly, they need to be looked at... thoroughly.
We EMPOWER our juniors, to do what is RIGHT. Even if it means, speaking up
despite their initial fears of being made fun of, being ridiculed or chastised.
The "Hard Right, Versus the Easy Wrong". I agree... take a good, long, hard look
in the mirror. Ask yourself if you saw something immoral or malicious, taking
place... could you or would you speak up and say something to correct it? Or are
you the kind of person, that would look the other way, and hope it doesn't
happen again? On my District, we once had a sheet of paper, that we all had to
read and sign, every year. It was a District wide, Code of Conduct... and for
the life of me, I cannot find it anywhere... (coincidence??) But it simply
stated that we, as firefighters, are to treat everyone with Respect. We are not
to bad mouth or spread rumor, of other individuals and that we are to act with
Honor, Respect and Integrity. I am, still to this day, trying to track that
piece of paper down... but in the event I cannot find it... I think I will write
up a new one... one that covers the basic fundamentals of Honor, Respect and
Integrity, and that covers how we are to act, towards one another, especially
while on Duty...
I am PROUD to wear this uniform... PROUD to call myself a FIREFIGHTER... and
PROUD to work for this Agency... but it breaks my heart, when people are
criticized for doing what's right and standing up for themselves... for as an
adolescent, I was taught to do what's right and to stand up for what I believe
in. I am PROUD to work with other Firefighters who must have been brought up the
same way as I was. Tough as it may be, if you feel, in your heart of hearts,
that you are doing a righteous deed, and standing up for what is JUST... then
have at it...!! I just hope you have other fellow Firefighters who will have
your back, instead of stabbing you in it! It is often hard, to do the Right
thing, especially when it feels like you're all alone on the matter... but you
mustn't lose sight of the Greater Good...
I have FAITH in Today's Society, and I might even be alone on this one... but
I think we are indeed, creating and modeling Leaders, that will surpass our
Great Leaders of yesterday.
"Proud to work with Righteous Individuals"
To: The one who kick=ked the hornets' nest."
You are one of many who have
finally showed to me you are “Sick and tired of being sick and tired.” You have
finally brought forth the truth. “Truth is word no longer espoused in the
management of the top tier of the US Forest Service. Now the buzz words are “Get
it done, regardless of the costs!” We no longer see professional foresters and
wild land firefighters. Now we get to see political hacks at work dismantling
what they are led to believe is a “money waster.” WHAT? An organization of their
making now failing? The personal payoffs under the table must be immense. Think
about the results of s decision to abandon a team your group built? An open
display of Bi-Polar Disorder or simple political expediency at one’s own
personal gain. I admire your courage! The Tom’s must be laughing all the way to
the bank. This just shows all of us in this esteemed fraternity what the real
meaning on the word “Abandonment” means. Political expediency knows no bounds.