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What Will it Take?

April 25, 2011

Patriot Guard

Firefighters are well aware of the risk – the personal risk – that goes with their profession. The reality of this danger was once again made startling clear by a recent news post.

Cactus Firefighter Elias Jaquez Dies from Wildfire Injuries
April 21, 2011
Texas – Firefighter Elias Jaquez of the Cactus Volunteer Fire Department, and three other firefighters, were injured after their fire truck became stuck in the rough terrain while operating on a wildland firefight. Jacquez suffered 3rd degree burns over 60% of his body and was rushed to Lubbock Burn Center where he remained in critical condition until his passing.

With any risk, there are ways to minimize it. Firefighters themselves can take better precaution while they do their job. Wearing proper protective gear, slower vehicle driving, and the use of seatbelts can help. But, firefighters can’t be the only ones striving to improve their safety.

Property owners who burn their wild land must take better precautions so their fires do not get out of control. And, they must follow burn guidelines.

Just the other evening a property owner – on dispatch tape – acknowledged that he would burn within the hour (current time was 2 p.m.) and the fire would be out well before nightfall (State and County law). At 10 p.m. the fire was just concluding.

It’s also a fire chief’s job to do whatever it takes to ensure that both firefighters and citizens take the necessary steps to keep firefighters safe. A three word saying the fire service has adopted says it simply, “Everyone Goes Home”.

One shouldn’t need an Elias Jaquez of their own to make the necessary corrections.

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