Wildland Firefighting

Hotshots: The Firefighter’s Firefighter

Issue 8 and Volume 171.

By DENA ALI Effective firefighting is ­challenging and requires excellence in fitness, quick decision-making skills, and a willingness to sacrifice one’s self for service to others. We are trained to risk a lot to save a lot. Our rewards, as structural firefighters, are many: fellowship, incredible home-cooked meals, downtime, days off, and more. In the eyes of our customers, we are running into burning buildings or rescuing people from car crashes and disasters. We’re superheroes to children and homeland defenders to adults. Photo by Keith Cullom. As a structural firefighter, I often feel uncomfortable when approached and thanked for my service or given accolades for the risk my profession requires, primarily because I absolutely love the work I do and feel fortunate to have the ability to serve others. Additionally, while our profession is risky, the risks we take are calculated. No matter how difficult my 24-hour shift is, I…

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