Tag Archives: Fire

“Game of Fire” by DeShon and Haff for FireRescue Magazine

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Jennifer DeShon and I wrote a piece for Fire Rescue Magazine about My Lost Brothers by Brendan McDonough and his account of being the lone survivor of the Granite Mountain Crew that perished in 2013 when a brutal wildland fire claimed 19 men. This was an exciting, fascinating, and incredibly tragic story about a lost young […]

Smokejumpers; An Endangered Species by Jennifer DeShon

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    I can see the burn scar left on the forested hillsides as I drive my gutless rented Chevy Impala into Washington’s breathtaking Methow Valley. The 2014 Carlton Complex wildfires left their mark. But it’s May and the hills are now covered in yellow arrowroot and purple lupine. The Cascades are a snowcapped backdrop […]

Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters

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I absolutely loved this book. Smokejumper by Jason A. Ramos and Julian Smith is a whip fast, fun, and fascinating read. It is also, at times, deeply sad. As a firefighter myself, I’ve always been intrigued by smokejumpers–the fittest and most elite of wildland firefighters. Not only do they parachute out of planes to get […]

Reflections by Jennifer DeShon

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  It’s dark, hot, and the desert air feels unbelievably dry. Three A.M. in late September, and the temperature is still about 90 degrees. I’m already starting to breathe a little harder as I hop down off the second parapet wall on the roof of an old nightclub. I’m wearing and carrying 70 pounds of firefighting […]

Vulnerability

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“What a profound thing it is to call for help. How astounding, the number of people fate allows to float through this life never once confronting their own mortality. One of the benefits of the fire and rescue business, if you will have it, is a near-constant sense of vulnerability. A recognition that at the […]

Career Day

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A few weeks ago, I and my fellow friends, Susanna Oatmeyer and Kalynn Cresse attended Career Day at Kendall Lakes Elementary in Miami, Florida.  Although we are all certified firefighters with MDFR, we appeared in the garb of our different roles: Firefighter, Special Ops Helicopter Pilot, and Special Ops Flight Medic .   We staged […]

Breaking Out of the Box by Susana Oatmeyer

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We all live in our own personal box of limitations. The size of the box has been determined for numerous reasons. Maybe we were told, time and time again, that we couldn’t accomplish a goal.  Maybe we failed too many times, or even just once.  The more we believe our limits, the stronger the walls […]

Dark Days

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It feels like dark days. We recently lost a fellow firefighter/pilot, one of our brothers has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, there’s been the Boston Marathon bombing and the Texas fertilizer fire. Innocents and rescuers have died in meaningless acts of violence, natural and man-made. So what do we do?   The only thing […]