As of about 10 pm last night word of the 8 deaths had not made it to the part of a big fire my husband is on. When he called I just could not hold back the tears and was the one to tell him.( I never cry when he calls) I have never “heard” silence but I did last night. It is way to soon to know the how’ why’s of the tragedy but at some point I think we need to discuss on our list the ways we might address some of the issues of FF safety on the highways. (should have been done after the Grayback wreck last year). We did it with the shelters and we were heard…..for now we will grieve and then we will get mad and that is when we need to discuss this.
There is a huge hole in the firefighter family today and time will help fill it but for the families I cannot even imagine the grief.
Ab’s: Do they announce the deaths at morning briefing? After my husbands reaction last night I am concerned what news like this does to the morale and concentration level on the fires. Is there any way to get names and addresses of the families (after they are made public) so we could at least send cards? can’t remember if we did that for 30 Mile or Grayback…Sammi
Most serious incidents that may affect firefighter concentration are announced at morning briefing. The Safety Officer and Deputy Incident Commander or Human Resources person (who may be the Deputy IC on a Type 2 team) gets a sense of whether anyone needs further time off and counseling to deal with the loss. Sometimes there is a standdown of the entire team and all the firefighters. Fire managers receive information often from their home dispatching units regarding incidents that may be upsetting to the troops. They are usually very aware of accidents and take appropriate action.