Op-Ed: 19 firefighters who died as heroes

Posted Jul 3, 2013 by Timothy Whitt
Nineteen firefighters lost their lives while fighting a wildfire in Arizona, the hightest amount of firefighters to lose their life in the line of duty since the 343 firefighters died on 9/11.
The fire as seen on the horizon near Prescott  Arizona
The fire as seen on the horizon near Prescott, Arizona
Charles Miles
Firefighters know the risk of fighting a fire still they rush into situations others would fear to tread. This past week the world watched in sadness as news spread about the 19 brave souls who lost their lives in Prescott, Arizona.
The men were doing what they were trained to do which was to try and gain control over a, " stubborn swelling wildfire."
Even with all their training firefighters still know that fire is unpredictable. it is almost a living breathing thing which seems to have a mind of its own. Each brush fire is unpredictable. In dry weather, a wind shift can create a situation where, “something drastic” can occur such as a firestorm, which is a fire that creates and maintains it's own wind system.
Over the next few days and weeks there will be an investigation into what factors may have led to the firefighter's death. The men had all followed protocol and deployed their fire shelters. But, "The shelters must be timed well. Set it up too soon, and the heat inside the shelter can become suffocating. Deploy it too late, and the fire is already on top of you."
Chief Dan Fraijo said that the 19 firefighters were all part of the city's fire department. “We grieve for the family. We grieve for the department. We grieve for the city. We’re devastated. We just lost 19 of the finest people you’ll ever meet.”
These 19 men died as heroes. They, "selflessly put themselves in harm's way to protect the lives and property of fellow citizens they would never meet."
Take the time to pray for the families of the fallen firefighters who now have to find a way to deal with the grief of losing their loved ones.