Ben wants to share all that he learned from this tragic experience with the wildland fire community—so that others might be better prepared for reacting and responding to critical incidents.
As the seasons change, so does the job of a wildland firefighter. How do you manage transitions, reassignment, or demob?
By Nick Bohnstedt, Field Operations Specialist (Acting), Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center The Summer 2015 issue of Two More Chains explored the concept of "US and THEM" and the barriers this mindset creates to learning in the wildland fire service and beyond. Unfortunately, I’ve got a pile of “Us and Them” examples from my own … Continue reading US…and Them
[This article originally appeared as the “One of Our Own” feature in the 2021 Spring Issue of Two More Chains.] --------------------------------------------- For this ten-year anniversary issue of Two More Chains, we thought it would be beneficial to get the perspective and insights from a wildland firefighter who’s been in the wildland fire service business for … Continue reading Insights on Resiliency and Innovation with Advice for New and Older Firefighters
Three members of a helitack crew are overrun by fire inside the meadow that serves as their helispot. Only two of the firefighters have fire shelters.
Reality set in quickly as I tore the plastic on my fire shelter. There was no longer any hesitation, no stigmas to worry about, this was survival. I remember saying “I will see you on the other side” to my partners as I fumbled with unfolding my shelter.
“This use of blasting as an available tool proved critical to meeting incident objectives and successfully reduced risk exposure to firefighters.”
Engagement Dilemma revisited: What would you do?
I’m sharing this story in case you get the same call I did: “your coronavirus test came back positive.” COVID guilt is a real thing. But you should think twice before blaming yourself.
Here is the deal. You damn sure ought to use LCES for all of your operations. But under no circumstances should you use it as proof that you are safe. Nothing we do is safe.