Redding IHC Crewmember – 2016 The South Canyon Staff Ride was without a doubt one of the most influential experiences of my wildland fire career. It is one thing to sit in a classroom and learn about a tragedy fire from PowerPoints and write-ups. However, talking to the individuals involved, putting yourself in their shoes, … Continue reading Engrained into My Thoughts and Actions
Background: In the profession of wildland firefighting, there has been a rise in the occurrence and awareness of exertional rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo), a serious medical condition. Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle fibers in the human body. In wildland firefighters, we typically see cases of rhabdo during initial crew training periods. Below are some key points … Continue reading R U Rhabdo Ready?
From the time we are children, we are told to be afraid of monsters. Monsters under the bed. Monsters in the closet. The monster in that dark and treacherous basement that our parents never wanted us to explore alone. As we grew older, our teenage monsters changed to be the bully in second-period literature or our ever-present self-doubting reflection in the mirror. Adults? Yeah, we have our monsters, too, but the faces have morphed into opposing politicians, rogue foreign leaders, pedophiles, and the new reality of school shooters who kill indiscriminately and without remorse. Monsters are everywhere.
First Responders are not without their own monsters, who, in addition to the monsters of every day society, multiply silently in the dark corners and cellars of our minds. They are ghouls of our own creation and can grow in their ferocity if neglected … or, worse, fed a constant diet of fear…
View original post 776 more words
This blog post was compiled using several excerpts from two separate documents on the Laguna Fire Burn Injuries. At approximately 1010 a crew member from the Type 2 crew fell into an ash pit, after ground gave way on a mechanically constructed berm the crewmember was mopping up with a branch line. The crewmember advanced a hose … Continue reading One Ash Pit Ate Two Firefighters
The following is an excerpt from this report: Felling Injury and Medical Extraction Incident Minerva 5 Fire. August 4 was the first day the Interagency Hotshot Crew was assigned to Division O. The previous five shifts on the fire had been a combination of direct and indirect fireline construction in steep terrain, heavy fuels, and near … Continue reading Sawyer Down
At the beginning of each year we summarize and analyze incident reports from the previous year. Check out these previous summaries. This year we will post individual topics here as we complete portions of the analysis. Take a look, engage with the exercises, and give us some feedback. The complete 2017 Annual Incident Review Summary will be … Continue reading Smokeless Danger
By Travis Dotson This quote: “I had been hit by IED in Afghanistan. I’d rather go through that than be burned again.” Damn - for real? That says a lot. That scares me. This quote: “When the hose burst it got me in the groin. I spun around. I ran to the shade. I was … Continue reading “I Noticed My Skin Falling Off”
By Travis Dotson This is a nightmare. Your Engine Crew heads out on a normal PT hike which turns into a medical incident. That medical incident has all the common elements of an emergency situation, including communication struggles and delays. That medical incident ends with the death of your fellow crewmember. This is a nightmare, but … Continue reading Physical Training and Death
Today I publish an illustration that was harder to draw than I thought it would be – and I knew it would be hard! The subject of alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and drunk driving is at times a taboo subject in the firehouse and our national conferences. We eagerly discuss tactics, obesity, cancer, suicide, depression, seat belts, speed, health and fitness… the list of ways we can become injured or killed seems endless, and we are doing a much better job of having these conversations. But as I write this, another brother is dead, another family is mourning a father/husband/son, and friends are crushed beyond words. I did not know this man outside of a couple on-line interactions, but it brought up so many feelings and emotions from friends lost in the past – losses that I’m still coming to terms with. So, as I do, I put my pain, anger…
View original post 300 more words
By Travis Dotson Nic bucked up the tree he had just put on the ground. Then he shut the saw off and sat with his saw partner for 15-20 minutes. Nic got up to cut another tree. The saw wouldn't start. He had heard all the stories. He had talked about geysering in training. He … Continue reading This Hotshot Was Burned When His Saw Geysered – Listen to His Lessons.