Thursday, August 7, 2008

Heavy, heavy losses


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I just want to get these over with together, and I hope it doesn't diminish what a huge loss this is. I've realized people are avoiding bringing these up so here goes.
Someone we knew pretty well was lost in the collision in Flagstaff. He rode along and participated in some of our early trainings. Some of the best video we have now of our program is thanks to him. My trainee, TJ, was training at the canyon rim as radio operator and dipatched these guys for the transport.
The Carson ship---one of the pilots killed was the guy who did our annual night vision goggle recurrency training. The Carson 61 crashed out in the Shasta/Trinity area where we were fighting the SShu/Lightning complex.
We've become accustomed to cars as part of our everyday life, and most people knew someone that was injured or killed in a car wreck. You sort of realize it's an unfortunate part of modern life. Helicopters do some real good work that can't be as easily done by any other tool, and we've become dependent on them in the fire/rescue community. Fire/rescue aviation isn't a big community, so you quickly get to know a good percentage of the names and faces
When you lose someone you know to a auto accident, you don't stop driving. Maybe you drive a little more carefully though.
The hardest thing still coming is the accident reviews, picking apart every little thing that led up to the accident. Just try to keep it highly technical and not re-live what your friend must have been going through in the few seconds between everything being just fine to not-so-good.

6 comments:

- Rob said...

Steve,
Of course I thought of you and your peers when I saw the headline yesterday. When Celeste saw the news story this morning she asked about you as well.

Going public or staying private with your thoughts is a very personal decision. Please don't take silence on our part the wrong way. Thanks for being willing to share and accept our condolences on behalf of your fellow firefighters.

Regards,
Rob & family

ronnwaters said...

Steve
I am sorry for your loss.
What you do on a daily basis is heroic and I admire you for it.
I understand.
My thoughts go with you.

Tina said...

The Carson copter had a crew from Grants Pass (one hour south of us). Those guys were all pretty young - a couple were only 19. My prayers go out to the families and to those who knew and worked with those brave firefighters.

flyingvan said...

Carson is an Oregon company too. They are not realoly big like Erikson, but very well respected, and a good employer. The accident itself is tragic. The survival of the company is important to quite a few people too, all of whom probably feel bad worrying for their jobs while co-worker's families are grieving...

princess slea said...

Of course we are what seems a world away from the fires and the accident but the news found us and we here pray for you and your friends as well.
All of them "real life action heroes!"

Jeff said...

Having been in this business for 15 years I have lost several people that I had become acquainted with over that time. It is never easy and words are never enough. We are all saddened by this loss. Keep up the good work and solider on! It is what we all would want from our peers should this fate befall us.