Tuesday, August 19, 2008

These pictures were taken from the fire camp a couple of days before I got to the fire. Pretty neat. Last time I was in this area was in 1999, and I woke up at 3 in the morning to trees torching on the edge of camp and a mad scramble to get everybody out. I'm still on the Iron Complex. I'm working swing shift now, from 11 am to 330 am. Which means I get to sleep for about 4-5 hours before it gets too hot to be in my tent. I'm working in Communications, which is entirely different from what I usually do, being that I work in fire camp for the day instead of out on the line. I mostly answer the radio when people on the fire call into camp for supply orders they need on the line, and all in all it's pretty boring, until today. First somebody found a loaded, burnt gun in the fire, so I had to get law enforcement to send somebody out to pick it up, then there were two new fires that started down the road, then the helibase called in the most panicked voice I'd ever heard on the radio with an emergency broadcast to say that one of the helicopters had lost an engine, but would try to make it back to the base. I ordered and coordinated all the resources sent to where the helicopter would have a "hard landing" (they don't like to say crash), had to listen and make sense of everything about 15 people standing behind me were ordering to send out there, and talk to the helibase manager trying to get all the information about how many people were on the helicopter, how much fuel it had, updates about it's current location, AND I had to stay calm and try to be a reassuring presence to the people on the ground so they would think everything is alright and would end well. I know it makes me feel better when things are going to hell and the person in dispatch is staying calm, I just never knew how much they really wanted to freak out too. Anyway, all ended well, the helicopter landed safely, and when I looked at the clock what felt like hours later only 14 minutes had passed since the orginal call. Pretty fun, overall looking back I suppose. I think I'll probably keep working in various positions in Communications when I can, but I'd still rather be on the line. That's about it, I've got 9 days left til I go home. Hope everybody's doing well.

1 comment:

Curtis Family said...

Like your posts, always fun and exciting. Be safe brother, thinking about you and your family. Adios!