"FAMILY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
Some Questions for SAMMI:
- What are the research priorities at MTDC (Missoula Technical and Development Center and/or other fire research facilities)? Scientists must have a rationale for the science they do, if for no other reason than to apply for and receive funding.
- How are the priorities determined? There usually is a more or less scientific way of prioritizing. By thinktank (brainstorming by experts with their own research expertise)? By focus groups (of whom)? By poll (of whom)? By priority of cause of injury or death of firefighters? By public opinion? Some combination? (I don't mean to offend by saying death, just need to be real here.)
- Where does the fire shelter rank in the stack of maybe 15 or 20 most important research areas?
- Was it even included in the researchable list to be prioritized?
- If it's not first priority, what's ahead of it?
- Looking at the research trend (or maybe just out of curiosity), where has the shelter ranked in the past, say in 1980 or '85? Is it closer to the top today?
- Given its current priority or ranking (which we must assume is not number ONE), what is different today than a year ago (or 15 years ago) that might suggest it should move up?
If the fireshelter is considered the top priority or even the second priority, scientists working on it can test it and get it out in record time, much faster than is currently projected. I am convinced of this. We have some smart dudes working for us. Maybe we need to make a case for moving the fireshelter to top priority.
I'm new to your site - how do I post to Family Said It? Email to you? If
so , here goes...
Yes. it's true, we families of the air tanker pilots do NOT get Public
Safety Officers Benefits. And that's only part of it.
And yes, you are right, we aerial firefighter families apparently need a
"Family Said It" site of our own. Meanwhile I'll read yours, plus the
AAP site, and hope and work for progress. (It was my post, Diana: "Stand
by Widows and Children" linked to below by someone here who had read the
Anyone want to fill me in here on how this site came about, how it helps
Welcome, Diana. You posted correctly. I left your intro on your post to let readers know you're a first-timer. All you need to do to post is hit the email button at the top of any wildlandfire.com page. Familysaid is new enough that posts can just go to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometime in the future we may designate another e-mail address to make sorting theysaid and familysaid posts easier. For now, Ab sorts. (To find out who Ab is today and the vision of the original Ab, you can read Ab Speaks by following the link on the top right of theysaid. There are more than one of us.) I'm sure familysaid contributors will tell you about familysaid. Ab.
Cross-posted from theysaid.
QUESTION FOR SAMMI:
Here's one to pose during the TV interview: If you are a firefighter or the
relative of a firefighter, how much testing is enough testing for a new
shelter design? If the government is providing flame-resistant clothing and
fire shelters for your son or daughter, how rigorous do you think the testing
As you see if you read familysaid, I was contacted by a reporter from a TV station in Spokane to do an interview or to help with people who'd be willing to do an interview
about the issues with fireshelters.
From a personal point of view I have no problem with doing it or coordinating, but I feel it would be important to have some data, percentages and other
information I just do not have, in case the interviewers ask for some of those statistics.
Ab has offered to forward any answers to me personally as I gather some useful information. Before I
offer a list of questions I might need answers to.....how abt some suggestions from you about information you would like to have presented
in an interview. And anyone that would be willing to participate, please step forward. I think a mom voicing her opinion from a
personal point of view is fine, but I think we also need people who know the nitty gritty on the subject ready to help.....so step
forward here folks.....if not to do the interview, at least to help me gather the info to present......
I'd be happy to cut and paste responses to Sammi to keep people's identity anonymous if you like. Just instruct me to "forward" or to "cut and paste". Ab.
Hi everyone. My brother is home and the animals are in love with the
I was wondering, has anyone thought that maybe someone should call in to the
Labor Day CSPAN show and ask the top brass there about the shelter's??
I wouldn't be able to do as I do not speak well in public, but I think Sammi
would be perfect. She seems very well informed and I enjoy reading her posts.
Also, I send my condolences to the families of the air tanker pilots. They
are in my thoughts and prayers.
WOW!!!!!!!!! Anyone want to volunteer for an interview? Sammi
My name is Kathy Alexander and I am the 11pm newscast producer at KREM 2
News. I received your e-mail about the fire shelters and your concerns about
them, and would like to do a story about it. Can we interview you, or do
you know of someone else we can talk to about this?
You can reach me by email, or in the KREM 2 newsroom at 5xx-xxx-7350.
Thanks for writing,
Thx to mellie on her advice abt the content of the posts and letters we are sending on the 1st....I absolutely agree. Lets keep the
e-mail short and to the point. Also I think the snail mail letters can be more human related.......sometimes a human component will
catch an aides interest who will send it on whereas a short and to the point one may get put in a pile or tossed....everyone needs to
use their own intuition on this.
I did ask last night if they were hearing anything about the shelters being replaced and everyone said no.......so I'm still not sure how
to get the FF involved and yet not compromise their faith in training, leadership and the shelters.
Ab: as far as the smelly socks. This time wasn't toooooooo bad. ...Even tho I do think the cat is in love.
Ab's note: I've cross-posted this from theysaid for your information. Hopefully everyone reading here is also following our other forum.
Just a Quick note to express my deep condolences to the families of the air
tanker pilots involved in the Hopland Fire tragedy. I am always shocked
when I find out that our respective wildland fire fighting agencies have so
many loop holes denying compensation for injuries suffered while performing
our duties. I wanted to pass on to interested folks that perhaps the
Public Safety Officers Benefits Program (PSOB) Act (42 U.S.C. 3796, et
seq.) might be of use in this situation, as well as others (situations
involving catastrophic injuries or death related to emergency operations)
with similar circumstances. Ab, I'm not sure how you might post the PSOB
Act, but I've included it as an attachment. Thank you for such a great web
venue to express, and read about firefighting opinion.
I've put the PSOB Act on our site the way it came in, as a pdf file. It requires Adobe Acrobat (free software) to open. Thanks for sending it in. www.wildlandfire.com/docs/PSOB.pdf. Ab.
I echo the GOOD JOB. My message for you is from Margaret Mead, the great anthropologist:
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has."
I came across this on the airtanker message board and thought
of this new forum. Maybe the AAP folks need a familysaid too.
PS. Here's the message board address: www.airtanker.com/wwwboard/wwwboard.html
Don't worry about the people at the
National Office. They read "They Said" and already know whats afoot. Do
what you need to do and don't worry about who knows or does not know. Do
what is in your heart!!
Just a few brief comments. I love this new forum!
First, politicians and bureaucrats are cognitively overloaded (or maybe don't have so much grey matter to overload and hence appear that way). In my political experience for the best effect, send no more than three points - that read almost like powerpoint bullets. (Best thing would be for point one and point three to be the same so that you can hit on both the primacy and the recency effects for enhancing memory!) I know we all want to pour out our hearts and concerns. Sammi, a long letter like yours is wonderful for sharing yourself, but better in hardcopy and/or for the media who are more likely to pick it up as a human interest piece. If you're sending e-mails, keep them very short.
Second, don't worry about your loved ones jobs. In my involvement in this fire circle and on up, firefighters at every level are firefighters, and part of our family. Boise and Washington know that a stir about the fire shelter adoption process is inevitable. Some may even secretly welcome it. In my estimation, the process is largely held up because everyone who could make a difference in working on it has too much on their plates -- not because of ego or misdirection of moneys. So the purpose here is to get this raised in all peoples' consciousness and to get the issue moved to the top of the pile.
Someone should write a brief post for theysaid letting ff know how to participate. Some read familysaid, but probably some do not. We should all be working on this issue.
I'm new to this but apparently my mom has made some friends. She wanted me to read all the letters and I appreciate all
thats been said.
To Peter Pan. You are right about the public appreciation. I flew home today and as I was getting on the plane, obviously a
firefighter, the people applauded. Then as we were flying over Boise the pilot pointed out the fire and said how much we owe the
firefighters who are heroes. So lets give our own personal firefighter a hand and they all clapped again. Told my mom when she
picked me up at the terminal I felt like crawling under the seat.
It's good to be home and will be good to go out again....everyone stay safe.
Are all the pets into sniffing your dirty laundry? Ab.
hi everyone......it's been a long day and we have had FF coming and going since yesterday so sorry I haven't been responding.
I think we decided to e-mail as many people as possible on both the 1st and 15th anyone from either list welcome and encouraged
to do so, please. Also encourage any other list you are on. I also mentioned I am going to follow up my e-mails with printed snail
mail copies. I still like the ole pen and paper.
Also about the reprisals to the ff as we are lobbying for shelter change. There is no way I see of doing this without "our" names. So
I am going to use my name but not mention my family.....if they (the powers)are so vindictive as to try and blackball or somehow
make reprisals then thats another whole ball of wax and a fight for another day. Personally I don't think my three wildland FF are
high enough on the food chain to see any harm and even if there was.....heck, we are doing this for their safety, their lives. Obviously
this is a decision each one will have to make but for us I'm going to do whatever I can to see some type of change hopefully, at least
get them moving.
I just had a thought.....can you imagine thousands of wildland FF sitting down at noon on the 1st and refusing to move for 30
minutes (in honor of 30 Mile) and in protest of the ole shelters which might have made a difference. Yea I know, dreaming. Boy
would that hit the airwaves in a hurry....
feeling fiesty and ready to rumble
BB & all:
For those of you who have friends and family fighting the Star fire, check
the daily Narrative & Summary of the Star Fire @ www.r5.fs.fed.us/eldorado;
today's reports states, in part: "telephone availability is very poor", and
mentions that "crews from FL, GA, KY & other states" are assisting with IA.
If you are looking for additional information, try www.fire.ca.gov/cdf for
newspapers other than the Sacramento Bee, you might try the newspapers
published in Auburn and Placerville (those are the closest towns).
Be safe; don't stress; and remind your "kids" to keep a heads up.
I couldn't get your cdf url to work. The correct url for California Department of Forestry is on our wlf.com links page under states. Ab.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the pilots killed in
California. Thanks for the address for the Groff memorial.
When we were talking about emailing and mailing to the powers that be about
the need for a new fire shelter, someone asked who the head of the Forest
According to their website, the Chief is Dale Bosworth and his mailing
U.S Department of Agriculture
Sidney R. Yates Federal Building
201 14th Street, SW at Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250
Another person who may (or may not!) be someone we can contact about the need
for a new fire shelter is Robert Lewis, Jr., Deputy Chief of Research and
Both these names were pulled off their webpage and I'd like to think they're
up to date, but if any of you know something different, please let us know
I've been looking at the Family Said page and checking the They Said page,
but I'm not remembering if our email and mail campaign for the 1st and 15th
is both places -
is it? I'm emailing my family and friends around the country, asking them to
email and mail, too.
Sammi, you seem to be the leader: keeping in mind that someone mentioned
that there may be reprisals against our FFs, do we want to contact the
national office, too, about the need for a new shelter or do we need to be
careful that our loved ones on the firelines won't be negatively affected?
Take care - and thanks for the support all of you show.
Thanks R5erMom and Sammi, the info helps ease my mind alot. It's nice knowing I can have someone to relate to. The sacbee
website was helpful too, but I can't seem to bring up the other two sites.
I found the letters for the Senate, and I'll be sending them too.
*my prayers go out the the families of the tanker pilots*
Firescribe looked up the correct urls for us and I fixed 'em. Those links should work now. And there are some good articles there, one on the Star Fire. Ab.
Hi BB and Myra, welcome to our support group. We cover all sorts of topics here so I hope we can keep ya interested.
BB: one of the things I do when my guys go to a new fire is look up the National Forest Page on the net.....some of them have really
good info. Some not so good at all.... I also look up the closest newspaper....sometimes you will find pictures, interviews and even
articles about the crews and people. Personal news is sparse but it gives us something to do late at night when we start worrying
I agree the stats and reports and all the numbers are not enough for us.....also keep peeking in on They said as well as Family said
and you can get a lot of info and ask questions.......the people on They said are really good at answering our questions and sharing
support and ideas.
Also we are doing an e-mail campaign to our congress people the 1st and 15th of Sept to ask for support in getting the new shelters
(see previous posts on both lists) good luck and glad you found us.
Ab adds that the wlf.com links page has a variety of links to news sources. These include our own internet firenews search (provided by moreover.com) which provides current info on wildfires and The Paperboy which provides links to all newspapers in the US. The advantage of our wildlandfire news search is that tv station news that is reported online is included. But The Paperboy is good too and the process easy. Find where a fire is burning on a map and locate the nearest towns or cities. Then go to the Paperboy, get it to list all newspapers ordering them by town/city. When it's done, you can run down the alphabetical list to see if the town near the fire has a paper. One click and you can connect to it. Happy hunting. Ab.
My husband works for the La. Dept of Agric & Forestry in Natchitoches,
Louisiana. He is currently in Montana on the Moose fire. He has been
there one week, but was on the Werner Peak fire first. He loves his job
and being able to help others.
We are hoping to have him home real soon. Thanks for your site to be
able to talk about your thoughts and keeping in touch while our loved
ones are gone fighting raging fires.
These thoughts from his wife here in Coushatta, Louisiana on Aug. 29,
Welcome, Myra and BB, it's really fine to have ya'll with us. There are some good knowledgeable folks writing in here and lots of support. <GROUP HUG> Ab.
Glad you found us. We try to share bits of information whenever
You inquired about the Star fire on the ElDorado-Tahoe NF; the terrain is
rugged - very steep & rocky, and it is extremely hot & dry. Today the winds
kicked up and there was major torching & fire spread with significant
For additional information regarding the fires in CA, the local media links
are www.sacbee.com; www.thekcrachannel.com/; and www.kxtv10.com/. Read
They Said, Ab posted a link to the ElDorado NF daily reports.
In answer to your inquiry about telephones and/or a commissary in fire camp -
I "heard" the telephone lines are down; the FS cannot offer links except for
emergencies - the Star is burning in a very remote area. If your "beau" does
not call for several days, consider it "no news is good news". Remember, his
call will be short if/when he gets to a telephone, because there will be many
others waiting their turn to call loved ones.
Hi guys......very sorry to hear abt the tankers.....it's been a very sad summer.
Two of my guys are flying in tomorrow and the third will be here Thurs. It's been a short but very LONG season....you know what I
mean.I wonder if the season is winding down or fireing up? Seems like in past yrs they just stayed steadily busy. Maybe I am not
Even tho we get use to having them gone sleep comes easier when they are here under our roof. I know it is like that with all
parents but these FF really know how to put a mom on her knees and test her endurance for laying awake at night.
Washing dishes is when I do my best mindwandering and I wonder if any of the fire service is staying in touch with the families from
30 Mile and wonder if we should send them cards again to let them know we haven't forgotten (just families supporting families).
Anyone know how to get addresses? We had the misfortune of losing a son three yrs ago and seemed like after a few weeks
everyone just disappeared. I'm really not singing a sob song here, I just know how important it is for people to still show love and
support......what do ya think?
Just doing some wondering and some grieving......every time I hear the news of another FF death (or injury) I just sort of go back to
a sad place. It is sometimes really difficult to be supportive and interested in the wild tales and listen to all the fire talk when it is
such a worry. So if I am having a hard time I just look at them and tell myself all the reasons I am so proud of them.....How do you
handle the stress?
Sammi ..... waiting for the troops to arrive with all that dirty laundry
Hi, I'm excited to find this webpage.
I have a Beau that was one of the initial fighters on the STAR fire in Eldorado NF, would anyone have any pictures of the fire or any
information on when the fire camps usually install phones and commisarys?
Any information (other than sit report and the ENF homepage, which I've already found) would be helpful.
Like stories in newspapers and TV media and news.
my condolences to the family of the two pilots killed
we will put up another purple ribbon today
and say a prayer for the families
and also for those men and women still on many fire lines
My condolences to the families of the CDF pilots who were killed yesterday
evening on the Bus Fire in Ukiah. My heart just breaks when news like that
is received. It has been a deadly summer once again.
Sammi and all, I have said it before, but I just want to give you even more
encouragement in your activism re the Roth Shelter/an improved shelter.
Families of firefighters have made a difference in the past (and I'll tell
you an interesting story in a minute). But first, families are really the
ones that need to carry firefighter issues to our elected officials for the
simple reason that the firefighters themselves are otherwise engaged when
'fire' is in the forefront of everyone's minds. There is huge media hype
during the summer, prompting elected officials to make public statements
about their concern for and about the firefighters, the land that is
burning, and the houses that are lost. As soon as the first rains come,
congresspeople are no longer concerned mainly with our forests but are on to
the next crisis. The issues no longer carry as much weight until the next
year when it starts all over again. In addition, the firefighters
themselves can face reprisals if someone higher up the food chain doesn't
agree with their opinions. 'Black balling' still occurs today, don't think
it is a thing of the past. So.....keep up the good work! Now for the story,
it's been a few years so some of the details may be incorrect....
In 1987, 2 gentlemen were killed on a big complex on the Stanislaus NF in
R5, while working under the old paycap that said you couldn't work more than
110 (I think) hours of overtime in a pay period or you didn't paid anymore.
I DO know that these 2 firefighters had exceeded the pay cap and were killed
in the line of duty while NOT GETTING PAID. 2 Hotshot Superintendent wives
went live on the local news almost immediately and started a grass roots
movement to get that changed. 'Lo but the government moved fast on that
one, within a year that system was changed. As I understand it, the federal
paycap still exists in some form (I believe for those on salary) but it no
longer occurs for FS or BLM regulars who work the fireline.
It is just terrible that a tragedy has to occur before anyone will stand up
and listen. If families stand behind their loved ones, you CAN make a
Tonites (8/27) news report about the fatalities in NZ CA is devistating. My
CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES OF THE PILOTS, AND ALL IN THE WILDFIRE COMMUNITY.
I believe I speak for all who were in the this chat room tonite.
Heads up to those on the line, be safe out there!
re R5's post addressed to Firescribe: thank you for clearly explaining the
nuances in fire service assignments; those who visit Family Said now have a
MORE IMPORTANLY: To the family members & friends of the 2 pilots who lost
their lives in the CDF incident in Mendocino County, CA @ 1900 hours today:
My sincere condolences.
Sorry, everyone; I was so tired last night that I didn't read messages
I'll be emailing and writing all of our representatives and senators from
Colorado, but someone asked for those addresses, too, so that when we write
our own legislators, we can also write those to whom you're going to be
writing. Sorry - it escaped me last night.
Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell
380 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
He didn't list an email address - if I find one, I'll send it along.
Sen. Wayne Allard
525 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Someone mentioned that Sen. Cantwell from Washington State was an advocate
for firefighters. This is her info:
Sen. Maria Cantwell
717 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Thank you all for the support you've been to this first time FF Mom, just by
being you and sharing your thoughts. Bless you and our firefighters!
Firewife: isn't this just the most fun....next thing ya know we will be riding on brush trucks to the Washington Monument, draped in
purple ribbons.......always said when I got old I was gonna wear a purple hat.
Maybe for those new to the list or fire service you might explain the purple ribbons and their significance. I know the people over
around the memorial services for the 30 mile victims were displaying them all over the place. I videoed the service and played it for a
friend last week, it was just so emotional but yet showed such strength.
I'm very pleased the FF on 'they said" are supporting us abt the family list and also our shelter cause. I was sort of shy abt it
because sometimes they seem to get a little gruff, but like I describe my husband; A little teddy bear in a big grizzly suit.............no
offense guys! We love ya!!!!!!!!
Check theysaid for a post directed to family from Ranger. Ab.
thanks for the info on the email for senate and house
lets hit them hard
sorry r5er mom 2yr old was calling
firedoc is doing well at mt rainier able to talk pretty regularly thank goodness
keep it safe
Are you displaying those purple ribbons ??? we are my 2 yr old put out three big bows for daddy
you left chat too early Sun nite - was good chat for about 2 hrs (granted
most were Westies). A new fire on the Tahoe-ElDorado NF, and a CDF fire
near Sonoma; not much news about the rest of R5, R6. Watch NIFC sit report
(links page on wlf.com) for the fires popping in MT.
Hi, All! Thanks for all your comments - they sure do help!
'Way to go Sammi!! In response to the suggestion that we all email and write
to our representatives and senators on the 1st and 15th of Sept., here's what
I've found so far....
The Senate comes back in session on Tuesday, Sept. 4th, I believe, and I know
our Rep. Scott McGinnis' press secretary told me last week that he won't be
in Washington again until after the break, so I assume that the House will be
in session on the 4th as well. (Since Rep. McInnis seemed pretty vocal
recently regarding fire issues, I called and spoke with his office and then
his press secretary.)
I typed in congress.gov in the search bar at the top of the screen and hit
"go" -- it will take you to the home page (whose "real" title is
http://thomas.loc.gov) -- from there you can click on the House or Senate and
from each of those pages, can then click to your state and it will list your
representatives and senators. I could find my senators email addresses,
mailing addresses and phone numbers that way. For the representative side, I
found phone numbers, but haven't found email addresses yet, but I can call
and ask that. It's probably easier if each of us finds our own
representatives and senators rather than trying to post a list. For the
senators, I noticed that they don't all have the same email address format
like I thought they would; they all started http://(last name of
senator).senate.gov/ but from there, the rest of the addresses changed -
some had mailform.html, some just had contactme.
Hope this helps - I feel energized just knowing that I'm not alone on this
fire shelter thing any more. Bless you all!
OK,,,,we are going e-mail the congress people and our governors on the 1st and the 15 of Sept. About a week away. If you all will
post your individual officials e-mail addresses that would be awesome. Then each of us can send all of them our concerns. Also put
the President on your list.....Who is the director of the fire service?
Also if we get our letters to the editors off this week that will help. If any of you are on other e-mail list if so inclined you might ask
them for support also. There are several fire related lists going...such as Fire.com. I am grateful and really like the internet but I also
intend to post copies of my letters to said people the old fashion way. Postal service. Seems to me paper and words in hand have
Channel 2 news in Spokane has an awesome investigative reporter. I am going to see if I can get him to listen also. Around here all
the papers and TV are scrambling to get new stuff for their fire reports....maybe I can get some body interested.
Petition: that is an awesome idea. I signed a internet petition several yrs ago abt a child abuse issue. I don't remember how it was
done. But consider also we are working here under anonymity. How do we get a petition going and not post our names and
addresses.? Maybe if we see fit someone can write up the petitions and we can also do that the old fashion way.....hand written
Lets keep thinking and moving forward.....sammi
AWESOME letter sammi
but it is going to take alot of us to get a mtn moved
yes lets email everybody on the 1st and then again on the 15th,
let them know we are serious
somebody needs to start an online petition
not sure how, any ideas?
get all those guys on the lines to sign it too,
my dad is in politics
i will see if he has any suggestions
keep in touch
p.s. firedoc (at mt rainier)
i love u & so does woobie
Hi guys......just one of those nights (3am) so I decided to write my letter to the editor but instead decided why not go to the top.....so
here is my letter to President Bush. My husband just said as soon as the President realizes who I am married to, he will call right
away,,,yea right. Of course I will formalize it and include our names and address...... Ya never know.........Sammi
August 26, 2001
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing to you as one parent to another to ask for help. Our son is a wildland firefighter. He is a vibrant, strong, intelligent young
man who has chosen a career that is so dangerous it is incomprehensible to most of us. I don't understand his excitement, his
dedication, but I support him. (My husband and two daughters are also in the fire service.)
I know exactly the moment he made the decision to fight fire. I accidentally took a picture of him when he was 18, standing in the
glow of red hot flames as they consumed our neighbors' home. To us, that picture is worth all the words ever written about the heart
of a firefighter. He has spent the past four plus years training. He spends hours and hours going to classes instead of being out with
his friends. He absorbs every bit of wisdom he can from the men and women who personally know what he faces and also want him
to be as safe as possible. I thank them for this.
These young Americans are super trained. They are following in the footsteps of people who have been on the fire lines. Safety is
taught over and over. It is mentioned in every briefing. It is drilled into them at every opportunity. They practice
repeatably. Firefighters are taught to think and react. They know how to save themselves and their co-workers. I know he is safer on
the fire line than driving to work.
He is one of thousands of young men and women who right now as I write this are out there in the dark, on some mountain or desert
fighting an enemy that is more unpredicible, more powerful, more deadly than any army. According to the National Incident report
there are over 22,000 firefighters in place today in the Western U.S.
When our son was little we bought the best car seat. We had fire alarms installed in our home. We have fire drills and have safety
plans in place. Now I have to watch him leave our home knowing he is depending on a piece of inferior equipment he might be
forced to use to save his life. I am talking about the famous "shake and bake". The shelter. Just the slang name itself is scary.
The leadership in the fire service has known for years the shelters in use now are obsolete. They are inferior to the products that
could be available if whom ever is in charge would act and get them tested and on the production line. We both know Mr. President
that America can do anything. We can jump thru hoops faster than any country. We can also drag our feet slower than any country.
Our children are being injured and dying Mr. President. This is unacceptable to me and all the other families out there, who are also
up at 3am worrying about their sons and daughters, husbands and wives. I have enclosed a bulletin about the fire shelters that I wish
you would read. Someone has made this a complicated issue but what I understand is, we "MIGHT" have a new shelter model ready
in 4 years.That is too long....this should have been done years ago.
We need to know this is not being treated like the "hurry up and wait" paper producing projects our government is famous for.
Please Mr. President, help us give our firefighters the best. After all they give us the best.
(Attachment: Federal timeline for fire shelter testing, approval, production.)
To All....September 1 would be a great date to send emails to the Congress in our local states....The email campaign needs to be simple...
Three simple points...
- Save Our Firefighters, They need a better Shelter...
- Why is it taking so long to test the new designs?...
- Can you as a Congress person do anything for our loved ones on the Fireline?...
The following is what I intend to send to our Congressmen.... Orin Hatch, Jim Matheson, Chris Cannon, James Hansen for the State of Utah....
Dear (Senator Hatch, etc)
This is just a sample of how simple the email needs to be - short and to the point. Hey Ab what do you think and if there is someone
who can simplify this letter I am all for it. As I am not a politico just a firefighter.
As a current firefighter who is very concerned for my fellow firefighters who put themselves on the line to protect our National
Forestlands, I am asking for your help. The recent loss of four Firefighters in Washington State, brought to the our attention that the
current Fire Shelter is less than adequate in protecting our Firefighters as the last means of survival. We know that there is new
technology that is available for replacing those 1970's Shelters.
We have three questions that you may be able to answer:
1- Are there better alternatives to replace the current Fire Shelters?
2- If so, why is it taking so long to complete the certification tests?
3- Can you help the process to be completed before another Firefighter is lost?
Any help in this matter would be appreciated as one Firefighter lost is one too many for the Firefighting Family. Thank you for
your time in this matter and we hope to hear from your office soon.
The Old Firedog
Greetings - more useful info -
The site (lefthand column) has many links to info on the current fire shelter,
deployment, deployment training, surviving the flames, etc. Some of the
information takes a little time to download.
One of the links suggests deployment training as a crew at different
times and when they're tired. This seems sound. The more practiced
firefighters are, the more likely that training will take over if the
going gets rough.
My sister was home on furlough or r&r (whatever ff call it)- their
mandated time off. One evening during a barbeque I had for her and her
friends, I brought the discussion around to close calls and chain-of-command
and fire shelters and asked if they felt concerned about anything. They
didn't, really. They were sorry about the firefighters who died, the ones
on the same crew who survived (with burns and/or memories) and hoped they
wouldn't be in a similar situation. They feel they are well trained and
if they follow their training that's the best they can do. They know they
need more experience with fire behavior. They feel they can speak up.
(Can't imagine my sister not speaking up!) They say there have been lots
of safety discussions, mostly about lookouts, communications, safety zones
and escape routes (LCES?) and that fire can flare up during mopup when you
least expect it. They did practice deploying outside of the classroom on
uneven ground one day when they were tired. They had also looked at different
photos and were asked and discussed where they would deploy and why. Sounds
like ongoing training is happening. I was glad to hear it. They weren't cocky,
nor were they scared. They were full of interesting stories and seem to still
be pretty tired.
It was interesting to read on theysaid the comments from the CCC kid Shane.
Like him, my sister said firefighting is hard work --- or hurry up and wait,
which can be even harder.
If your brother is traveling the Pacific Coast Hiway, he is in little danger
of being caught in a wildland fire. Most of the fires in WA, OR & CA are in
the mountains on the eastern side of the states. Granted the likelihood of
fires along the southern CA coast increases in late September, but at present
there are none. This site has some excellent links to maps of geographic areas - try the NIFC National Fire News map of large fires, or GeoMAC; the
NOAA site contains maps also.
P.S to all families of FFrs, remind the gals/guys to think SAFETY
Seems our numbers are increasing, that's great. I have found a page about the shelters by the Forest Service and if you
scroll to the end there are two places to e-mail for questions etc...(www.fs.fed.us/fire/safety/deployment.shtml) I just finished asking
them for info on their plans for a new shelter and when we can expect some type of changes....I'll let ya know if I hear from
them..You might also write and let them know of your concerns. Also I highly recommend the Stormking Technology page to get
some info on their version of a new shelter.
Someone mentioned a date to write/e-mail our congress people....How abt Sept 1 that will give us enough time to post the
addresses of these people and I agree with who ever said If we e-mail these people all on the same day it will definitely get their
attention. I would also suggest on Sept 1 we all write our local newspapers and try to get their attention.,...polite but strong. Also I
am sending the freedom of information forms off Monday to the powers that be,,,so I'll let ya know. Should everyone send the same
letters, or different more personal letters to the law makers? Also someone here in our local FD mentioned a petition to the
governors of the states. You know they (the governors) just had a BIG convention In Coeur D'Alene Idaho and apparently discussed
how to save the forest and support of FF. Wonder how they would react if we start writing them to SAVE OUR FIREFIGHTERS!!!!!!!
Also: It is extremely hard to keep this activism from the FF but I agree it is vital....they cannot lose confidence in their
equipment.........so let me know how you feel on this and please any lurkers....(quiet people) please join in and help us.......
(Please don't anyone accuse me of enticing people to riot......I really am trying to be very civil and polite. We can do this and still remain dignified. Can't we......)
I've enjoyed your many remarks - we are first time Hot Shot
parents and I've spent countless hours on firefighting links, etc. so we can
understand the conditions under which our son labors. We can't begin to
explain how heart warming all of our contacts have been with other Shot
parents and fire leadership folks.
Re: a new fire shelter: it seems pretty obvious that a better fire shelter
has been designed; my question is how to go about including my voice in those
that need to be raised regarding its approval. I've called and emailed, but
I agree with The Old Firedog that if we could all email our Congresspeople,
it would do more good than just one Shot Mom out here. We have never
mentioned our efforts in this field to our son; he has the utmost confidence
in his leadership and we don't want to do anything that would undermine that
confidence...and it isn't that we don't trust his leadership folks. I agree
that fire shelters aren't the answer; wise management and excellent training
are, but as long as our sons and daughters and husbands carry a shelter on
their belts, we should give them the best we know. I agree with Sammi, too,
that we'd personally buy a better shelter if it were approved. I'm new at
all this -- what can we do to get it approved? I've read the Talking Points
and the NIIC replied to my email; I just don't think we should have to wait
until 2003 - Jim Roth has already spent 7 years and thousands of his own
dollars. Certainly, we can put some pressure on the decision-makers. I'd
Bless all of you! I pray for all our firefighters daily.
Any one new to the FF experience should read Murray Taylors book JUMPING FIRE also a new novel out is
Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans. Taylors book is obviously about smoke jumping but you can lean a lot abt
the fire service and the way it works and what to expect on the line and down time....good book.
Thx to old & grey for the wise words. I agree with everything espically the part abt being supportive and not
undermining the FF confidence in their equipment or training.
Everytime my guys walk out the door the last thing they hear is "remember your training, think for yourself and
don't be a hero, we love ya" (and do you have your wallet?)........now this doesn't mean we are not concerned
and are not going to take a proactive stance on the shelter issue.
Oddie: it's always wonderful to hear the communities are supporting the FF and helping even with a drink of
juice or water. Sometimes it doesn't seem like a lot but to know someone took the time to hand them a cup of
water means sooo much. The hand made signs all over Montana last year that said..."thank you firefighters"
was just awesome....
Last year one of our sons was on a crew doing structure protection...he was pumping so stayed with the
engine, the rest of the crew was from prison. Well the elderly man and woman whose home and barns they
were protecting kept taking them sandwiches, juice, pieces of home made cakes and cookies. He said the
elderly man kept riding his 4 wheeler all over the farm all night making sure the FF were fed and had drinks etc.
Our son was just beaming when he was telling us abt them and the care the couple took and worked soo hard
to give comfort to the FF (all of them).....he loves his job and would do it regardless but small things make it all
the more worth while.
Sammi, wife to one FF....mom to three FF
We have a crew here from Alabama in the Okanogan Valley. There are, or I
should say the last time I heard (Tues.), close to 5000 firefighters from all
over in the valley. Its been cool, and we had some rain Monday and Tues. but
its going to heat up this weekend, along with gusting winds. We are looking at
the temp. starting to climb again next week.
This is the first R&R for my
crew, and they were really looking forward to it. I know how hard the wait can
be, my dad was a firefighter, and now my nephew. 11 years ago when he told me
this was what he wanted to do, my heart went to my throat. Every year he went
out, the pacing started and the worry was always there. When we decied to
start our own company he was the first person I hired, 1) because he's good at
what he does, 2) Im so proud of him, and 3) yes, I know where he is. We are closer
than ever and it helps his family not to worry as much, they can call and Im
able to say where they are for that day. I wish there was a way every family
could find out where their loved one is. I encourage the families of the other
5 f.f.s we have to call day or night, and if I don't have the answer I will do
my best to get it. I never start a day without a prayer for every man and
woman out there fighting to save homes, forests and lives.
valley is treating your husbands,sons and daughters with the respected they
deserve. Cookies, candy, and any other goodie that can be thought of are being
taken to the different camps, people sit along side the road and hand my men
water as they go by, treats of all kinds, and I get many calls a day asking
where a bake good can be taken to show their thanks. Well I've rambled on
enough, but thought some of you that may have someone dear, here in our valley
might want just a little news.
P.S. You can be proud of the great job they are all doing.
To the moms & dads, wives, and other family members:
As an experienced budget analyst/auditor, I have faith that the fire service
is not siphoning off funds from fire suppression and/or the best tools to
ensure the safety of those on the line to fund the salaries of the brass in
DC. You must understand, that only a major act of Congress & the signature
of the President will make any changes NEXT federal fiscal year budget. (the
federal fiscal year begins 10/1, ends 9/30).
The untimely deaths of the 4 FFrs in WA state has caused the public to become
fearful. Take a deep breath, look at the stats for numbers of
failed deployed shelters, consider how many years they've been in use. This
season, focus on ensuring your guy/gal has received proper training & has
proper supervision, and everyone understands the wildland fire scene.
Our job is today is to write to our elected officials to urge that SOMETHING
more than "consideration" for any safety mechanism is guaranteed before the
next fire season pops. We cannot be another Mr Roth who can devise a
better/safer shelter, but we can be proactive - remember folks it's an
When you talk with your loved one who is on the fire line, be supportive. Do
not undermine their confidence unnecessarily. Remind them to never forget
their training & to keep a close eye on the situation at hand (they can
refuse an assignment). Those with actual wildland fire experience, give
advice in They Said; read what they have to say about the 10/18 & LCES and
when your loved one calls home, remind them of those watch words!
I understand how difficult & frustrating it is to sit home and read/view all
the media hype. - have faith that your loved one will return home with only
some poison oak rash and wild stories to tell at dinner!
old&grey in NZ R5
Check theysaid for new posts on firefighter safety. And a post from the old dog. Ab.
Hello to All!
Please encourage all who have any influence on anybody to support the Roth Fire Shelter. We cannot fathom
losing our daughter and son-in-law to a budget concern.
The U.S. Forest Service must not make a 3 Million Dollar budget question the difference between life and death
for those who are willing to give all they endure. Their pay is not in line with the structural firefighters. The best bonus would be their lives.
Look into the eyes of the families of those who gave the ultimate and tell yourselves that it was worth it because
they didn't have the protection they needed to save money to give the higherups a raise. We beg you to get on the bandwagon to petition the Forest Service to make an investment in their future.
God Bless All Firefighters in every avenue.
Mom and Dad!!!
Hi Mom and Dad!!! Thanks for your post. I agree with you that death of our firefighters is not acceptable. However, as one who has participated in the budget process for our region, I can tell you that no money was saved (by not testing and purchasing the Roth shelter) that could have been used "to give higherups a raise". It's a matter of record that "higherups" in the Forest Service (BLM, NPS, other fed fire agencies) are equally as poorly paid (relatively speaking) given their level of expertise and earning potential as groundpounding firefighters are at theirs.
No, a large part of the problem is as Slivka describes in his Arizona Republic article. The process is slow and cumbersome and must be funded. In addition, adoption of a new fireshelter must be given priority. Adequate money for the fire budget was not even allocated by our US Congress until last year. Given Wednesday's news from the White House regarding the shrinking budget surplus, it's unclear that funding will continue without public pressure until the full fire budget (at Most Efficient Level or MEL) is reached in 2003. In this Ab's opinion, solving the shelter problem is not as simple as just taking some money from (a formerly inadequate) budget here and putting it there. You change-makers need to study where and how to insert your lever for change and where to place your fulcrum - to "fast track" the bureaucracy on the fireshelter issue - and how to insure that the money is available for both testing and purchase. Ab.
TY for the update; boy did I get a scolding about the "description"! LOL
Our son called yesterday. He is at the Pendleton Oregon National Guard Armory with several other crews. I guess they are
staging to wait for orders. Anyway, we are originally from Mississippi and he told me there are two crews there from Miss and two
from Ala........he also said the Ala crew said they were going to Canada........do not write this in stone they all my end up
someplace entirely unexpected.
I looked up the Pendleton newspaper and there are several articles abt the fires and crews. One was interesting to me abt camping
at fire camp....it mentioned names of FF also. is your brother on an engine from his own district?(easier to find an engine than a
person), his rank? He will be calling today for sure.I will ask him to look your brother up for you.........any messages if he finds him?
I have a feeling a lot of the guys may end up back in North Idaho, it is super dry here and the fires are popping out up North around
the border. It's terribly rugged terrain up there and a lot of the fires are allowed to burn with close watching....prayers and best thoughts to all.
Re Personal Attacks:
My opinion (yea I know) is: a huge percentage of the changes, reforms whatever you call it has come about when a deep emotion
was twicked and it started a rolling effect in other people. MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, did not start by someone saying
"oh today I think I will start an organization against drunks" no, it started when a child was killed, BIG emotion there folks.
Megan's Law, is about child killers......and the list goes on and on. I don't trust the powers that be in any field to make
appropriate decisions for public safety based on percentages, dollars and the impact to the environment etc. Good grief look at
Firestone......we have a bigger investment in the Shelter controversy than anyone other than our FF themselves. We have invested a
lifetime of care, love, emotion, commitment to these people out there on the line. And all those investments can move mountains
once it gets moving.
Even if we just let the "powers" know we are watching them, it will make a difference. Yes we need to educate ourselves abt the
shelters, but I don't have to know the ratio's, the fabric content, the percentages etc. I leave that to the experts.
I want to know they are "actively" working on a better shelter and I want some type of accountability from the "powers". I would
be willing to bet that everyone on this list would be willing to buy one of the new shelters themselves if they were available for their
family member. Personally we would have to buy four but we would do it today if we could. (I'll sell the house).
I do apologize if anything I've written in the past was taken as an attack. Not intended at all. Everyone has their own agenda and
I understand job security and all that. I just want every FF out there to have the best equipment possible....and if it is sitting on a
drawing board or a conference table, then someone needs to get involved and get it moving.
TY for the link to the Statesman article; interesting reading.
Timely too, since NIFC * NIIC are overrun with brass now. Hopefully better
fire shelters will be available next year (not gonna happen this yr).
To the family members who have loved ones on the fire line, I double my
prayers for their safety. Those on engines are probably in much less danger
of a burn over situation; I hope the groundpounders keep a good watch for
Me thinks there is a groundswell effort to do whatever politicing necessary
to ensure that changes are made to improve the safety of all. Afterall, if
the US govt can "forgive" the debts of other countries, how much longer can
it ignore the safety of those at home?
Everyone reading here, please check theysaid to keep up with firefighter safety issues. I may miss crossposting some messages. Ab.
I talked to your blue haired Daughter. She is doing fine and has let the
blue fade to the point you cannot tell it. ;-) I plan on visiting with
her when I get a chance, but we are 12 hours out of phase on our
What part of Washington is the crew from Alabama in? My brother is part of
Craig aka Canoejockey
A good article by Judd Slivka of Idaho Statesman entitled Firefighters: Safety shelters are dangerous Forest Service is working on new tent designs:
CDF has some info up on the CA fires that they're supervising:
The Okanogan web site is part of the Wenatchee Forest. This site will give
you info on all the fires in the area. Click here: Fire
Anyone interested in the whereabouts of Graybacks Strike Team with Smith....they were in Pendleton, Oregon last night.
Had been in Washington and moving on to ????? They were pleasantly very dirty, in good spirits and going to bed down at the
National Guard Armory. They are ending their 14 days and probably will be getting in touch with family,,,hopefully.
Hey all maybe Chief Gary from Ala could become our mascot or something.....I was telling some of the guys in Pendleton last night
abt our list and how we hope to be able to keep up with them better. They were really pleased......so if they see a Chief Gary from
Ala and remember, they will tell him hi from family and the list.
heard from firedoc sounds like wa has got alot of engines and crews sitting and waiting
ordered more resources than they need, better safe than sorry right??
so if you have guys out here, they may just be in the waiting mode
i passed on to tell chief gary from alabama hello if seen
we are getting rain today and tomorrow so that will help
remember to keep them in prayers though cause the rain won't last long
lets all put out purple ribbons to let them know we care and are thinking about them
Okanogan is in eastern WA state; the Virginia Lake Complex is several fires
combined into one command center. if the map in my head is working, that
area is grassland, sage and timber. If your husband is on engine detail he
is most likely doing structure protection - much less likely than being
caught in a burn over situation. It's highly unlikely you will find a
website specific to that fire, but maybe WA state has one.
Go to the NIFC link via this website and read the daily sit report (they update daily at approx 5 AM ID time zone).
In the Loop
any particular reason you email so rudely to this site? If family members
have loved ones many miles from home, of course they are concerned for their
welfare. Their fear is fed as media hypes the big fires and the dangers
inherent in wildland fires raging in the western states - do something to
alleviate their fears!
I, too, worried for years about my ground pounder kids...........still do,
even though they are no longer ground pounders - they're still out there in
some western state, as dispatch, helitack, dozer, or jumper.
Loopie - you talk the talk, do you walk the walk?
Angry in R5
To Hotshot Mom:
I too was a hotshot mom for years, so I understand your
worries. if your "shot" calls on a regular basis, you are lucky - too often
they have no access to a telepone if in the western states on large fires.
To those of you who live in the east or mid-west - it's a whole different
world out here. many acres, no roads, no cell sites, large fire complexes
have many crews at any given time. if your guy/gal is on engine detail, not
so much worry - they don't deploy engines off road.
Read the wildlandfire links, especially the NIFC daily sit reports.
Although it doesnt' give you particulars about which crew is where, it does
give you a good overview of what is burning & where. and, BTW, there is
another website with additional media clips - wildfire news.com. Whoever
jokingly commented about the family critters loving the smell of those smelly
clothes - it's a party for them! - give em that treat.
To the lurkers: jump in! you may have a piece of the puzzle some who come
here are looking for!
Attached is an update on fire shelters. I'll echo an earlier comment that
personal attacks are unprofessional. The folks in fire leadership today
got there by earning it. They were putting their butts on the line
(literally) while many of today's firefighters were filling their diapers.
I don't question the safety commitment of our current firefighters, and
they should not question that of those who shoulder the responsibility of
national leadership in fire. I sincerely hope that the Roth shelter does
prove to be better.
(See attached file: Fire Shelter Talking Points)
Old Fire Guy
Hi Old Fire Guy. Thanks for reminding us. I posted this with your message last week on theysaid (08/13) and linked to it again above to remind folks that a process is underway. And, um, the image of filled diapers goes great with my coffee. I'm sure some moms (and dads) reading this site will get a chuckle out of it. Ab.
"in the Loop"
me thinks your response was a little harsh in response to
Sammi's comments. This not the forum for personal squabbles, but for sharing
infomation. Never forget that all, whether on the line or sitting at home,
want to best for all the FFrs.
TO ALL: BE SAFE!
old&grey in R5
Recently my brother was sent to Washington State from Alabama. He is
Fire Chief Gary from Pelham, Alabama.
Tell him we love him and are praying God speed. Tell him to put one out for
We'll tell him, Canoejockey. I didn't post his last name or yours, because of privacy, but how many Chief Garys from Pelham AL can there be in WA? Ab.
dear hotshot mom,
if you find a link for the okanogan fires please let me know
i am trying to keep up with a husband and i agree it is hard
cell phones do not call in up there but they can occasionally call out
i am looking for AAA Forestry aka Outpost Enterprise
Dear Ab and families:
There must be a national rotation/deployment list of all crews, engine and
hotshots, somewhere, to coordinate deployment.
Although I've been able to track my son fairly consistently this season--it
has not been easy. I learned he went to Okanogan by reading the daily press
releases from the agency hosting his crew.
Every few days I run searches on the name of his crew to see if there is a
newspaper article that mentions the crew by name. That way I can zero in on
his whereabouts when he has not been able to call.
When I locate the incident site, I ask the Web master to include a list of
crews by name and/or crew leader into the daily sitreps as did the site for
the Bull Elk Park Fire: Click
here: index. I have also sent an e-mail to agency hosting my son's crew
requesting that its Web site note assignments along with the other engine
crews' rotation lists.
If more families ask for this information, the agencies might respond.
Thanks for this great site, for allowing free speech, and for letting those
of us related to these heroes a chance to share our concerns, too.
"In the Loop"........ Please explain.....
"Whiners???????? Don't know what they are talking abt?" Who?
Are you yelling at those of us who are supporting the Roth shelters, or yelling at the people who are being quiet on the subject? Or are you just yelling?
What is your interest in this subject? Are you personally involved on one side or the other or possibly a journalist looking for a different scoop on the fires?
If personally involved, I pray that yourself or the people in your life never have to deploy.....I have received one of those calls at 3am with the voice on the other end of the line saying Mrs_______ this is Chief________ and I said "Is he alive?"
I have no problem telling anyone which side of this issue I am on, how abt you?
hope you have a better day.....
If anyone is interested you can go to www.usdoj.gov/04foia/index.html to access the Dept of Justice information on the Freedom of
Information Act. I am going to start wading thru this today and ASAP get the necessary letters off to them to try and get the
information on the old shelters and any info on the new shelters......anyone else want to join in please feel free to jump right in.....
> To all the whiners carrying on about the Roth shelters, (1) you don't know
> half the details you're whining about because you haven't bothered to find
> out, and (2) keep your eye out for a good media story on this coming up soon.
> In The Loop
There's a post from
"----trying to see the big picture" regarding fireshelter testing on theysaid. Part of it is directed at Firefighter Families. Then there's this one (above), too. Ab.
What is it about FF's and those cartoons....LOL....my brother included?
And when he comes home with that smelly pack,
his cats and dog can't get enough of it. They sniff like there's no
Maybe trying to decide if those socks are gonna walk out of there by
Anyway, my brother did call today and said he is working the fire in Sequoia
National Forest. He also said that he has been told that he and his crew may
be out another possible 3 weeks!!! Ouch.
Be safe everyone.
To all the family members who are wondering about the whereabouts of their
loved ones: it's tough sitting at home waiting & worrying (I've been there
many times for many years).
A cell phone is great idea - they are small enough to be tucked in a "red
bag". I'd never suggest adding even those extra few ounces to their packs or
carried on their person on the fire line. But, remember, there are lots of
places in the West and SouthWest with no cell sites for miles. Sometimes, if
they're lucky, the only way to get thru is to be on top of a ridge & pointing
the right direction! (no joke) Yes, often there are pay phones in fire camp,
but the lines are long; often sleep, hot fresh food & a shower has higher
priority, especially if their assignment included 7 nites of spike camp.
The idea about collecting the newspaper articles and NIFC daily sit reports
is a great one - I too do that. The FFers appreciate it, and usually get a
hoot reading the media mistakes. It makes for good conversation when all are
home relaxing (especially the ground pounders who never see any news reports).
We, all, are concerned about our loved ones on the fire lines, but please do
not call dispatch unless you have a VERY special relationship with them -
they are inundated even without calls from us civilians.
Stop in the chat room some nite, there have been some good conversations;
you'd be more than welcome. Fire chat has been quiet lately because so many
folk in the western states are working long shifts and have little time for
Ab, thanks for adding this forum to your wonderful website.
You're welcome, I'm sure. We'll try to be timely with these posts. Glad you're all around to alleviate the stress for those at home. Ab.
Glad you guys heard from that lost brother of yours. I do know how worrisome it can be to have them missing in
action......maybe your SIL should tell him she will refuse to let him and his stinky, smelly, ucky pack back in the house unless he
promises to send more information his next time out. And I would also think twice about washing those 50 pairs of black moldy
socks unless he repents fast. Of course now you have to support her and refuse to help him out by providing your washing
machine.....right now I am in the middle of helping one repack for another rotation out and he keeps disappearing into the den to sit
and watch cartoons.....and I thought I had him raised to adulthood. Well, we love'um no matter what and we worry and do a lot of
Good luck with your search,
Just a request for help: My brother is about to start a trip along Kettle Valley Railway Track and then along the Pacific Coast Highway1 from Vancouver to Los Angeles.
Do you have any links providing update information about the wildfires in the US and Canada, so I can supply regular updates to him via telephone?
Thanks for your help already in advance
Hello Families and Ab,
Well, my sister-in-law got 3 letters from her husband, my brother, on Friday,
but....HE DIDN'T TELL HER WHAT FIRE HE WAS ON..........LOL........the bum,
and yes I hope he does read this......LOL....love ya bro.
In order to search for info on his whereabouts like someone else mentioned,
do I need just his name being that he is the captain? I don't know what his
crew is called, only the engine number. I didn't even know the crew had a
And, please Fire Fighters, when you call home or write letters, especially
when you write a letter, put in there what fire you are
on......LOL.....PLEASE. Curious families would like to know.
From Sammi, Jim Roth's reply to her questions about the cost of the new fire shelter.
Thank you for your interest in our fire shelter project. We are estimating that in a PRE-production run, our fire shelters will cost around $400
with the deployment pouch and web belt. In production, it would cost like a good pair of boots, around $300. But if we sold the fire shelter
today, the firefighter would not be allowed to carry it on the fire line, not even for testing purposes. It is not permitted on Federal fires and most
state agencies would probably decide to go with the Fed's decision.
But you can do something to get one of our fire shelters for your children. Write letters to the Fire Chief of the Department/Agency that they
work for to express your concern about the safety of the existing USDA Forest Service fire shelter. Ask the Fire Chief official to look into
evaluating the existing fire shelter and our Storm King Mountain shelter performance to increase survivability in a burn over. Nobody doing
their job can ignore the concern of a parent to protect a son or daughter! Next, write a similar letter to your legislated officials in Washington,
DC, because the delay is clearly due to Federal firefighting managers.
Thank you for your continued interest in our fire shelter project. Let's hope that we can make a difference.
If anybody needs fire shelter CURTAINS or ENCLOSURES for brush engines, tractors or dozers, operating on the fire line let us know. We are producing these products for protection against burn overs. You can see them on our web site at:
Storm King Mountain Technologies
2311 W. Silver Lake Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Concerned Little Sis,
Here is a link that you should be able to track the crew that your
brother is the crew boss for. You will need to determine what the crew
name is, and you should be able to get that from your local dispatch
office. After the page opens, click on the IARR Report (Interagency
Resource Representative). These guys generally do a great job tracking
the crews. My family has been able to track me using this page when I
have been crew boss.
Readers, eacc or EACC in the url is the Eastern Area Coordination Center. If you have trouble with any of the acronyms, go to theysaid and click the acronyms link at the top of the page. Most are there. If you can't find it, send an e-mail and we'll add it. I put a link to the acronym glossary at the top of this page. Ab.
Hi guys....here's some of the pages for Wildfire info if you know the region the fire is in....
National Fire News from NIFC
A link to this is also on Ab's Links page under News.
Large Incident Report for the NRCC (Northern Rockies Coordination Center)
also if you know the area they are in look up the National Forest page, Nez Pearce had an awesome report page on the TACO fire. I
look up the newspapers in the area they are in,,,sometimes you might even get a picture of your FF.
I keep a US map on the freezer each season and each person has a colored sticker I put on it to keep track of where they have
been. Also tape articles abt their fires to the freezer.....they usually spend some time reading abt the fires when they are home
because they don't get a chance to do that when out on a job. By the end of season my freezer is hard to see behind the maps and
the paper, I put it in scrap books each winter.....with pictures they have taken. It sounds a little dorky but my guys appreciate it
and really do sit and look at past fires and reminisce,,,,especially if a FF buddy comes by....
Anyone else out there have ways to track them and keep up with what I call memory makers?
First time moms/wives:
If you are trying to help your FF gather all the gear they need I have some good lists.........when we started this I had a terrible time
getting any info. My husband is the technical advisor I call myself the
CIC..........(comfort incident commander). There is also a list on the FAQ page to They Said...
The link for the Large Incident Report above is for the NRCC (Northern Rockies Coordination Center), one of a number of GACCs (Geographic Area Coordination Centers). Fire is is organized by regions or GACCs. You must know which GACC area your firefighter's fire is in to be able to access this type of info. Here's the map with regional links: www.nifc.gov/fireinfo/geomap.html. It's not all that hard to figure out, once you get used to the system. Wildlandfire.com has a link to the GACCs on the Links page under News and Reports, entitled "Situation Reports by Areas". Pull down to the GEOGRAPHIC AREA COORDINATION CENTERS and they're all there.
Sammi, another good equipment list came in from "Kicks" about a month ago. Holler if you want me to send it. We need to put CIC on the acronyms list. <haw><haw> Ab.
Concerned Little Sis,
I'm a concerned big sis from CA and I've been tracking my firefighting sister for the last few years. She's dynamite. What an athlete!
I think that Redmond must be a staging area for OR like Redding (Anderson) is for northern CA. I say that because it has an airport and is central. From a staging area, fire crews could be transported almost anywhere in northcentral Oregon. As far as nearby fires go, there's the Big Creek, Bridge Creek and Baker Complex burning to the NE and a bit closer to Redmond, the Olallie Lake Complex and the Crane Prairie Complex burning to the West.
When your brother calls, ask the name of his fire and its location and if you remember, what incident management team is in charge. If you don't know the crew's name, get that. You have the crew boss's name. Take notes. Often with crew and crewboss name you can find where they've been dispatched.
Maybe part of what familysaid can do is educate people on how to find out as much as they can about the fires that their family members are fighting. Sometimes, if there is no info or photos on a particular incident, you can still find out what forest they're on, what the topography and fuel types look like, what the nearest communities are that they're helping, what resources they might be protecting. If it's a big fire, you can get the stats. For someone from Indiana who has never been to Oregon, just having a mental picture helps.
For those of you who have family coming to fight fire in the west, have them get as much info as they can about where they're going.
Robbie (short for Roberta, but don't call me that!)
Need help finding news about wild fire in Redman, Oregon. My brother left Indiana at 6:30 a.m. on Monday. Destination: Redman,
Oregon in charge of crew (this is not his first fire). No more details since. We're anxiously awaiting a positive update. As many of
you know, fire fighters get moved from place to place. While he is not a "hot shot," the conditions make us wary for ALL who are out there!
Any information about the fire in Redman would be helpful.
Concerned Little Sis
It's probably Redmond, west of Prineville and north of Bend. Ab.
Welcome to FamilySaid, a forum in which family members of wildland firefighters can ask questions, discuss issues and get to know each other. Often firefighters who work for the federal government or for western state governments live way out in the wilderness fringes of our country. So do their families. This often leaves family members without a network to consult while their loved one is away - and firefighters can be gone for a very long time if there's a long fire season. Stressful questions can arise. So here's a place to seek answers to your questions, discuss issues, and just to visit with others.
And firefighters, if you have any insights into questions raised here, please offer them. We expect there will be some cross-discussion between the two boards - theysaid and familysaid - and in firechat from time to time. After all, we are a community.
Colorado Mom, Sammi, and others -
If you want to see action I would start by making a FOIA (freedom of
information act) request to the Forest Service on all information related to
the current fire shelter and Mr. Roth’s shelter. This would include all
information and data related to testing of both shelters, all recalls or
safety notices related to the fire shelter, and all investigation reports
where fire shelters were used. I would ask them explain why they discourage
and ignore work or suggestions by folks, other than technology and
development, to improve the fire shelter (Vinnie’s message that is archived
suggested there are other safety equipment involved). I would share this
information with the media, OSHA, your state governor and Congress in a
letter writing campaign. Technology and development will try to buffalo you
with questions about the testing of Mr. Roth’s shelter but don’t let them
get away with it (see my earlier message that is now archived).
I spoke to Jim Roth through email and he shared with me that by the end of
this year, the test procedures should be established and MTDC should have an
idea of what a fire shelter should be in terms of the tradeoffs of weight,
bulk, survivability, and cost. It's expected they will design their own and
put it out to bid in GSA. His shelter would have to wait 2-5 years before
NFPA performance based standards are in place for "standardized testing".
I’d like to know if there is an exemption to this NFPA standardized testing.
How long do we have to wait for technology and development to provide a
better shelter? And why do we have to wait? Is there someone connected
with GSA that is going to take the work that Mr. Roth has done and tweak it
just enough for their own personal gain?
With over 22,000 firefighters on the fireline, and now military personnel,
there are families across the country that should be concerned - but they
can make a difference. They haven’t listened to us but maybe they’ll listen
to you. We all would appreciate your efforts!
Just to get started...I want to thank Abs for acting so quickly on getting us a list. I know I felt out of place on the FF list. They were
very nice and put up with me and my "out of the loop" remarks and mom type questions. So my thanks to them. And I will still be lurking for info........
Just a way of introduction: I am mom to three firefighters, two girls and one guy (our baby). My husband is also a structure FF,
Engineer. We live in the Northwest right in the middle of all the fires this year. So life is hectic to say the least. I am so used to tones
going off around here when the door bell rings I start looking for somebody's boots.....kidding. Hope you will give us an intro to
yourselves, you don't have to use your real name or tell us too much...just a place to get started.....hoping to have lots of
I agree we are a large group of people and as mothers and wives we are unstoppable....we can certainly get the shelter in the public
eye if nothing else. Any ideas on who to write or how to start? I received a letter from one of the shelter inventors and I will post the
info from that asap....I don't think any of us would hesitate to buy the new shelters personally if they were available but apparently
the powers that be will not let our people use them on the fires. I will write him again and see if I can get a press release for the two newspapers in my area. Maybe that is a start.
Getting the Storm King Mountain fire shelter approved has been
stalled for years; red tape seems to be getting in the way of keeping our
loved ones safe on the line safe. Now there appears to be some interest from
Congressional members such as Senator Cantwell (Washington state) and
Representative McInnis (Colorado). Is there a way we, as families of
firefighters, can organize and be vocal about the need for a new fire
shelter? I'm thinking that MADD started with one mom - there are already
lots of us. Any ideas?
Regarding the family who is keeping track of their firefighter:
Well, much to his dismay one of our sons was sent home today with a "severely sprained knee". He sure didn't want to leave his crew....but the doc said at least 72 hrs rest and see the ortho surgeon next week for ok to go back. Thx to the medical people out there taking care of him and everyone else...apparently they did a great job getting him taken care of and off to the hospital. So far it seems everyone is taking a real "safety first" stance and I appreciate that.
As for the place to keep up with family members out on the fires.....I agree it is very hard to keep up and the not knowing is very hard. Luckily ours was on the TACO fire in central Idaho and the Nez Pearce Forest has an awesome web site for fire info....doesn't list crews or people but at least we knew what was happening with the big picture. Our kids are really good about calling every chance they get so we really appreciate that......cell phones are worth the cost. was terribly worried but he is home now ....
Mr. Ab, Sir,
I have a suggestion that I wish the Forest Service would take notice of.
My brother is the captain of a Forest Service station in the Angeles National
Forest. His engine and crew was sent out to Nevada and Northern California on
August 7th. Neither his wife nor I have heard from him since and we have no
way of knowing if he is at the same fire or may have been sent to another
We wish there was a website that would list the engine numbers and station
names of the fires that they are working on so that families could know where
their loved ones are or have been sent to at any given time.
Whew, hope that all made sense. I would go to the chat room, but I am not
sure I would be welcome there as I am not a fire fighter.
If anyone knows the whereabouts of Engine 19 and its crew, from the Angeles
National Forest, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Thanks, and love the info on this site.
No "Sir's" here, PC, but we'll post your note and see if it gets a response. Glad you enjoy reading. Ab.