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.