Americans across the country were saddened by the tragic loss of three U.S. Forest Service firefighters in Washington State yesterday. It brings home the message, once again, on how dangerous that job is and that we have a long way to go to reduce the dangers and risk with these super intense fire conditions. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those lost and injured.
For those of us from the Fire Service family, incidents like these hit home especially hard. We know how much firefighters train, how much safety is imbedded in everything they do and how hard they work to keep themselves and us safe from the effects of wildfire.
This is why we push so hard with the Firewise program and training and education we offer from NFPA. We need residents and neighbors and whole communities to work together to help reduce the risk to their lives and properties. Because, in the end, when communities do that vital work, they make a safer working environment for firefighters. This is a major tenet of being Fire Adapted, a significant piece to the Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy.
So while we all mourn the loss, let’s do what firefighters do whenever things like this occur. Let’s learn the lessons and put them into practice. Let's honor them by making a safer working environment for firefighters.
(image: Wildland Firefighter Foundation)