Were Wildland Fire Fatality Staff Rides, based on revisiting Military Battlefields, designed to be 3
Were Wildland Fire Fatality Staff Rides, based on revisiting Military Battlefields, designed to be a unique method to convey the "complete" wildland fire lessons learned of the past to the present day Wildland Fire Leaders? ( Part One ) - 3
2019-06-29 | Arizona Desert Walker Joy A. Collura and contributing other(s)
Views expressed to "the public at large” and "of public concern"
DISCLAIMER: Please fully read the front page of the website (link below) before reading any of the posts ( www.yarnellhillfirerevelations.com )
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Figure 25. Fuel, terrain, and fire behavior along the Harper Canyon / Sesame / Shrine Trail areas on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:00 PM. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 26. Fuel, terrain, and fire behavior along the Harper Canyon, Sesame/Shrine Trail areas on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:00 PM. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 27. Fuel, terrain, and fire behavior we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013 approx. 1:11 PM. Harper Canyon mid-photo and 2-track ridge road along left photo. BSR and GMHS DZ toward the right. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 28. Fuel, terrain, and fire behavior looking toward the Old Grader area that we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM with BSR Crew Carrier n mid-right photo. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 29. Fuel, terrain, and fire behavior that we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM along the Sesame/Shrine Trail areas. Old Grader site at faint black arrow mid-lower bottom. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 30. Fuel, terrain, and aggressive fire behavior we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM along the Harper Canyon area. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 31. Fuel, terrain, and aggressive fire behavior we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM along the Sesame/Shrine Trail areas. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 32. Fuel, terrain, and aggressive fire behavior we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM along the Sesame/Shrine Trail areas. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 33. Fuel, terrain, and aggressive fire behavior we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM along the Sesame/Shrine Trail areas. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 34. DPS helicopter on June 30, 2013 Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 35. Fuel, terrain, and increasing fire behavior we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM past the Old Grader to the left at the base of the Weavers. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 36. Fuel, terrain, and fire behavior we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM along the Sesame/Shrine Trail areas. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 37. GMHS Crew Carriers in small clearing on June 30, 2013,. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 38. Fuel, terrain, and increasing fire behavior with associated dark smoke column that we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM along Harper Canyon area and the Sesame/Shrine Trail areas. Source: Joy A. Collura
Figure 39. Fuel, terrain, and increasing fire behavior that we eye-witnessed on June 30, 2013, approx. 1:11 PM along the Sesame/Shrine Trail areas. Source: Joy A. Collura
Consider now a series of links and some quotes from a "fifth season" USFS WF with the website blog titled "Student of Fire" with a blog post titled: "About Student of Fire."
"About Student of Fire
"The idea for this website came from my growing enthusiasm for seeking out wisdom anywhere it could be found. This is my fifth season in fire and it seemed a good way for generating ideas and pursuing them further. But going from firefighter to student of fire, I owe that to Paul Gleason among others." (all emphasis added)
"During a recent 2800-mile road trip to the southwest, I made a site visit to the 1990 Dude Fire and attended a staff ride in Arcadia California for the Loop Fire of 1966. While revisiting the documents tied to those incidents – things like investigation reports, newspaper articles, old photographs and maps – one thing became ingrained in me. It was a speech Paul Gleason made in 1996 ... honoring those killed 30 years earlier in the Loop Fire. “Unfortunately, much of our knowledge and lessons learned about wildland fire have been gained only through the high cost of firefighters’ lives.” (all emphasis added)
I think the SoF author then closes that post with this statement ostensibly from Paul Gleason: "He goes on to say that to honor them, we must learn what we can in order to prevent unnecessary repeats; we must be, students of fire." (emphasis added) ( http://studentoffire.org/index.php/sample-page/ ) Here's his Facebook link: ( https://www.facebook.com/Studentoffire/ )
The Student of Fire aptly noted that "It takes a lot of courage to stand up to the status quo, to the way things have always been, and say I think we can do better, I think we should demand more from ourselves." He was in some sort of Agency meeting about the upcoming new outlook on fire management and this is what he said: "I got to see that today, in person. A room full of people voicing their opinions, thoughts, and doubts about a vision for the future, about their role in it, and how it would all play out. Today I witnessed some serious leadership at work and it was awesome." (all emphasis added)
Please spend the time and read this guy's posts and commentary.
He seems like a very bright fellow who loves Wildland Firefighting with the same fervor that many do, but he, himself, has looked at the evidence and coins an interesting phrase relevant to the YH Fire - "Marsh's Death March" in the post below titled: On the Road: Yarnell posted January 18, 2017
We want to apply what he experienced and felt as well as his sense of awe and enthusiasm to what we are accomplishing here about true, complete lessons learned that share the truth about what occurred on the fatality wildland fires incorporated into meaningful Staff Rides in order to better analyze their decison-making at the time.
Yarnell Hill and Granite Mountain Hotshots: Books and Thoughts
July 2, 2016 by studentoffire
SoF admits to being starved for information on the YH Fire and so, almost all these YH Fire and GMHS books are the from among the ubiquitous "Party Liners," adhering ever-so-strictly to the SAIT-SAIR, without basing their writing on facts and / or factual events that they know, but will not admit, exist.
On The Road: Yarnell
January 18, 2017 by studentoffire 19 Comments
Is it merely a coincidence or something else that would have this end with "19 comments?"
“'Why did Granite Mountain leave a good safety zone?' This failure gets right to the heart of how the majority of us approach this event, which holds some pitfalls. It implies that until we find the answer to that question, we don’t have enough information to learn anything of value." (all emphasis added)
Exactly, hence the "incomplete" lessons learned referred to by researcher and author Diane Vaughan regarding the Normalization of Deviance here cited in a NASA training module titled: The Cost of Silence: Normalization of Deviance and Groupthink from a November 3, 2014, Senior Management Meeting (check out their references).
"What I’d really like is for there to be another fire order or watch out situation. Something a bunch of overpaid stiffs decided was a critical element in the tragedy of Yarnell, something I could tell younger guys about, as a tip, a lesson learned. (emphasis added)
There need be no more Fire Orders or Watch Outs added because of the blunders by the GMHS on the YH Fire. They were already in place and merely ignored and certainly not followed by the GMHS, resulting in the mass fatality.
"This fire was my generations Storm King. This was a big fucking deal. (all emphasis added)
This is almost verbatim what we hear from most young WFs and FFs these days about the YH Fire being the classic modern example of a fatality fire.
"I put in a chew and sat on a bench and wondered why the hell they decided to make that mad dash, to go on Marsh’s death march. Nobody knows." (all emphasis added)
This is another classic emotional conclusion felt by WFs and FFs (Matt) familiar with the YH Fire and the GMHS; for those that were actually there and certainly for those that examine it and study it desperately searching for true, complete lessons learned. Unfortunately, all these WFs and FFs really get are "incomplete" lessons learned. Vaughan (2005) System Effects: On Slippery Slopes, Repeating Negative Patterns, and Learning From Mistake? ( http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.456.5317&rep=rep1&type=pdf )
Another SoF post titled: Preparing For A Staff Ride That Doesn’t Involve Fire
January 18, 2018 by studentoffire
Two commenters below:
January 18, 2018 at 1:38 am
I participated in the Shiloh Staff rode last year and took so much away from it. There are so many common factors in-between the two. You can see so many common factors between our 10 and 18s and battle. This is a great staff ride and each participate can gain so much from it
January 18, 2018 at 11:42 am
The ten and 18…very cool yeah I can definitely see that. Now you made more work for me. Thanks.
"Matt [a commenter - the last one for the "On the road: Yarnell" post]
January 27, 2017 at 7:55 pm
"It is unquestionably a tragedy that 19 men in the prime of their lives were cut down by fire. It is completely understandable that the survivors of those men do everything they can to honor their memories. It is unforgivable that we allow sentiment and tradition prevent us from learning anything from the human factors surrounding Yarnell because we continue to be blinkered and sentimental in our eagerness to “not speak ill” of the dead. It is nothing short of astonishing that the official conclusion was that everybody involved in the Yarnell Hill Fire did everything right – despite the incineration of the 19 hotshots by flames so hellish that granite boulders fractured. Covering up facts because they make us uncomfortable dishonors the dead, and ensures the same mistakes will be made in the future." (all emphasis added)
Elsewhere on the SoF website: "Honoring those who have fallen by learning as much as we can to prevent similar tragic events in the future doesn’t necessarily entail having information that doesn’t exist. We want to revisit the Yarnell Hill tragedy and see a specific decision or turning point, where we can neatly say “there, that’s where they screwed up; that’s why they were killed”, or, “that’s why they did what they did”. (all emphasis added)
"Maybe we don’t have an updated LCES, a new set of firefighting orders or watch out situations because of Yarnell Hill. But Yarnel [sic] Hill happened. Maybe that’s the most important thing to remember: sometimes the lesson we want to learn isn’t necessarily the lesson being afforded us. I find this to be true, time and time again, in my perpetual pursuits of knowledge and the never-ending study of Fire." (all emphasis added)
The GMHS had LCES, however, they failed to properly apply LCES as it was designed. They had the best view of the entire fire, save Air Attack, so the "L" prong is covered. They had communications, however, failed to properly apply the "C" prong by talking mostly on their discreet Crew Net, The properly applied he "E" prong by using an Escape Route to go from their perceived danger to the black and their "Lunch Spot." This is the common definition and use of the "E" prong of LCES, a route FROM danger to safety. NOT from safety into danger which is what they did.
The GMHS completely perverted the meaning and use of the term "Escape Route" and turned it on it's head. The SAIT-SAIR basically ignored honestly dealing with this issue and addressing the fact that the GMHS were deceptive, among other things.
DIVS A says, “I want to pass on that we’re going to make our way to our escape route.” (p. 24) (all emphasis added)
The GMHS had already utilized their Escape Route to their Safety Zone, so they are being deceptive with Air Attack instead of informing them they were leaving their Safety Zone.
"Following this conversation, ASM2 hears DIVS A announce on the radio, “We’re going down our escape route to our safety zone.” ASM2 asks, “Is everything okay?” to which DIVS A replies, “Yes, we’re just moving.” (p. 27) (all emphasis added)
Once again, the GMHS had already utilized their Escape Route to their Safety Zone, so they are being deceptive with Air Attack instead of informing them they were leaving their Safety Zone.
"DIVS A (now more urgent): “Yeah, I’m here with Granite Mountain Hotshots, our escape route has been cut off. ...” (p. 28) (all emphasis added)
Once again, the GMHS had already utilized their Escape Route to their Safety Zone, so they are being deceptive with Air Attack instead of informing them they were leaving their Safety Zone.
Consider now the excerpts from the SAIT-SAIR on Escape Routes with occasional references to Safety Zones with it being rather odd that they would address Safety Zones BEFORE Escape Routs.
The SAIT-SAIR Course of Action A-4: "They perceived this southeast pathway as an escape route. • If they take this route, it appeared they would still have alternate escape routes southwest over the ridge or back to the black the way they came." (all emphasis added)
They did much more than perceive this southeast pathway as an escape route because they utilized it as one as well. (all emphasis added)
"Course of Action B2 on p. 39: "Could keep open the option to move over the ridge, southwest toward Highway 89 allowing for a secondary escape route." (all emphasis added)
In the Safety Zone section the SAIT-SAIR talks of Escape Routes: "In terms of collective sensemaking and inquiry, one aspect of the crew’s communication stands out. The crew communicated that they were moving along their escape route to a safety zone, yet others on the fire believed their location was in a safety zone (the black). Personnel in a safety zone do not need an escape route. Others on the fire inquired with the Granite Mountain IHC about their status and location, yet that inquiry did not lead to mutually accurate understanding." (p. 51) (all emphasis added)
"One communication exchange illustrates how inquiry might lead to collective reassessment. At about 1600 after hearing about “a crew in a safety zone,” the ASM asked if they needed to call a time out.
Operations replied that it was the Granite Mountain IHC and that they were safe. Then, sometime later, DIVS A followed up and said they were traveling along their escape route to a safety zone. The ASM’s question about pausing operations is a good example of one resource updating situational awareness about another resource’s location and relative safety, and even recommending an action that could have helped update everyone’s collective sense of the crew’s status and location. ... may have led many on the fire to mentally file the crew back in the “safe” category." (p. 51) (all emphasis added)
Escape Routes is finally covered AFTER Safety Zones on p. 52!
"Continuing from this previous point, the Yarnell Hill Fire also prompts us to think about the connections that firefighters make between escape routes and safety zones. As noted above, we believe the Granite Mountain IHC did not perceive their route as overly risky, or they would not have taken it. Wildland firefighters should consider to what extent a strong vote of confidence about the effectiveness of a safety zone might be interpreted as a strong vote of confidence about potential escape routes for getting there. Conversely, is there some implied measure of the safety along an escape route. (p. 52) (all emphasis added)
The SAIT makes a huge leap here with this statement: "did not perceive their route as overly risky, or they would not have taken it." (all emphasis added) This actually belies the history of the GMHS and their steady drift into failure with their recurring Bad Decisions With Good Outcomes on many other fires.
"One might view traveling through an escape route to a safety zone as making educated guesses as to the route and anticipated travel speed while running to a specific point. The educated guess is that the crew can reach the safety zone before the fire reaches them. There are many variables involved in this equation but perhaps the most important one is speed. If the fire can travel at a faster rate than the firefighters, they will lose the race. If they can travel faster than the fire, they will win the race. In order for the educated guess to prove out, the firefighters must predict three things with some degree of accuracy: how fast the fire will travel, which direction the fire will travel, and how fast they will travel. It is possible to misestimate all these factors and suffer no consequences, for example if the firefighters misestimate the fire’s direction of travel but it moves away from their position. However, misestimating any of these variables could cause serious trouble and firefighters misestimating them all may pay the ultimate price." (p. 53) (all emphasis added)
The SAIT once again takes liberties on this conclusion as well: "One might view traveling through an escape route to a safety zone as making educated guesses as to the route and anticipated travel speed while running to a specific point. The educated guess is that the crew can reach the safety zone before the fire reaches them." (all emphasis added)
Where does our WF training talk about an taking or using an "educated guess" dealing with LCES and Escape Routes in particular? No where. It doesn't. The SAIT seems like they are trying their best to justify the GMHS perverted and unsafe thought process and let other WFs and FFs know that this is completely acceptable.
How does one travel "THROUGH an escape route"? And the GMHS obviously "misestimat[ed] them all and paid the ultimate price." (all emphasis added)
"Wildland firefighters often discuss the need to have multiple safety zones; many firefighters also identify multiple escape routes to the same safety zone, if they exist, although this can require extensive scouting. In hindsight, we know that the Granite Mountain IHC might have arrived at the Boulder Springs Ranch if they had stayed on the two-track road, although it is unclear whether the crew knew that, or how long it might have taken to get there. This highlights another problem posed by limited mobility: because the Granite Mountain IHC was on foot, their ability to scout potential escape routes was limited. Lookouts Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones (LCES) is an interconnected system approach to fireline safety, so it is difficult to discuss safety zones and escape routes without also addressing lookouts. The Granite Mountain IHC had a designated lookout for most of the day, until the advancing fire threatened the lookout’s location and forced him to withdraw. This points to one paradox of firefighting: Crews post lookouts to increase safety, but there is no guarantee of the lookout’s own safety. The Granite Mountain IHC never took explicit action to replace this lookout after he was forced to withdraw, but it is likely that DIVS A was serving as a lookout for the crew and that the crew was also exercising their own vigilance. In all the photos of the crew at the lunch spot, they appear focused on the active fire." (p. 53) (all emphasis added)
The SAIT begs the question here with the Logical Fallacy of Circular Reasoning. "This highlights another problem posed by limited mobility: because the [GMHS] ... ability to scout potential escape routes was limited." (all emphasis added)
"This fallacy is committed when a person merely assumes what he is attempting to prove, or when the premise of an argument actually depends upon its conclusion." The Fallacy of Begging the Question by Dr. Jason Lisle on August 17, 2009 ( https://answersingenesis.org/logic/the-fallacy-of-begging-the-question/ )
Limited mobility limited their ability to scout for other escape routes. The bottom line is you cannot assume what you are trying to prove.
"Whether the crew recognized it or not, their decision to go down the hillside from the Descent Point was a decision to sacrifice some of their effectiveness in serving as their own lookouts. Taking a more direct escape route to minimize exposure in the green generally means traveling a shorter distance and potentially reaching the safety zone more quickly. Moving down the slope into the box canyon meant the Granite Mountain IHC would no longer be able to see the fire. We wondered: Is it possible that they relied on the rock outcropping as a barrier to fire spread? But is it also possible that the outcropping blocked their view of the fire? We will never know if the crew understood that this route of travel required that they sacrifice some of their capacity to serve as their own lookouts. We will also never know if they understood the calculated risk involved in traversing the final distance to the Ranch without the level of situational awareness that a different vantage point might have afforded." (p. 54)
The SAIT has played into and somewhat accepted the GMHS perversion of the term "escape route" term after the fact of them already successfully using one to safely reach their Safety Zone in the black.
However, the GMHS then perverted that "E" prong of LCES throughout their radio conversations with overhead (OPS) and adjoining forces (BRHS) by talking about their "predetermined route" after they surreptitiously left the black until they then announced that they were "ahead of the flaming front" and that their "escape route had been cut off" and that they would be deploying fire shelters.
"With the help of our SMEs, we developed the following questions for discussion by various fire resources regarding fireline safety." (p. 54) (all emphasis added)
"Some Questions for Ground Crews and Aviation Resources
• When others point out a safety zone to you, what questions do you ask about how they assessed the viability of the site and the safety of the route(s) for getting there? (all emphasis added)
• Since all escape routes are necessarily “through the green” or through black that is not very “good,” what characteristics make one escape route better than another? (all emphasis added)
The SAIT once again takes some liberties here with this statement above.
• When you identify an escape route, do you also discuss trigger conditions that would prompt reassessment?" (p. 54) (all emphasis added)
"~1641:30 Division A tells Air Attack their escape route has been cut off and they’re deploying shelters. ASM2 asks if they are on the south end of the fire. Division A says “Affirm!” (p. 64) (all emphasis added)
"Appendix D: Aviation Summary
"At approximately 1615, ASM2 heard radio traffic between Division Supervisor A (DIVS A, which included Granite Mountain Hotshots) and Operations about Granite Mountain going down their escape route to a safety zone." (p. 100) (all emphasis added)
"The Investigation Process
"Approach and Philosophy
"The primary goal of this report is to facilitate learning from this tragedy, in order to reduce the likelihood of future accidents. To this end, the Team retained some of the most effective techniques of past investigations while integrating current theory and practices. ... This report does not identify causes in the traditional sense of pointing out errors, mistakes, and violations but approaches the accident from the perspective that risk is inherent in firefighting. Leaders are responsible for guiding firefighters in consideration of the tradeoffs between safety, risk management, and other organizational goals. In this report, the Team tries to minimize the common human trait of hindsight bias, which is often associated with traditional accident reviews and investigations. The Team based its approach on the philosophy that firefighters are expected and empowered to be resourceful and decisive, to exercise initiative and accept responsibility, and to use their training, experience and judgment in their decision-making. The wildland fire community uses a doctrine approach to fire suppression, which requires the use of judgment. An individual’s judgment in a given situation depends upon their unique training and experiences. The 10 Standard Firefighting Orders and 18 Watch Out Situations (10 and 18) are the foundation of training in fire suppression operations, but they require judgment in application. These principles, as stated below, outline the Team’s perspective regarding the use and consideration of the 10 and 18 in this report: (all emphasis added)
To this end, the Team retained some of the most effective techniques of past investigations while integrating current theory and practices.
"Principles of Suppression Operations
“The primary means by which we implement command decisions and maintain unity of action is through the use of common principles of suppression operations. These principles guide our fundamental fire suppression practices, behaviors, and customs, and are mutually understood at every level of command. They include Risk Management, Standard Firefighting Orders and Watch Out Situations, LCES [Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones], and the Downhill Line Construction Checklist. These principles are fundamental to how we perform fire suppression operations and are intended to improve decision making and firefighter safety. They are not absolute rules. They require judgment in application.” In light of this doctrine, the Team attempted to use foresight rather than hindsight in this discussion. That is, the Team tried to stand with the crew to try to understand, as best they could, what crewmembers were seeing and how they were making sense of unfolding conditions, when it was time to act . The Team also looked at broader cultural factors that may have influenced the crew. This helps set the stage for ongoing learning, which began with the Team’s efforts and which will continue over time in the greater wildland fire community. (p. 5) (all emphasis added)
They are not absolute rules. They require judgment in application. (all emphasis added)
" ... broader cultural factors that may have influenced the crew. This helps set the stage for ongoing learning, which began with the Team’s efforts and which will continue over time in the greater wildland fire community."
On the contrary, the Fire Orders ARE indeed "absolute rules" even though they require judgement in application.
Wildland Firefighter Safety Awareness Study Phase I - Identifying the Organizational Culture, Leadership, Human Factors, and Other Issues Impacting Firefighter Safety - October 1996
This is also known as the Tri-Data Study and LOTS of good information, including the FF and Manager quotes in Appendix B. A total of 243 pages.
Open Letter on the Cramer Fire Anniversary written by Kelly Close, FBAN re-printed by permission of the author ( http://www.coloradofirecamp.com/Cramer/letter.htm )
Well worth checking out this entire Cramer Fire link for the valuable insights you will receive from this historical wildland fire tragedy and more.
WF Quotes from "The Big Lie in Wildland Firefighting" by Mark Smith
“One of the few acts of free will that tragedy leaves within our control is the chance to grow. Our brothers have given us such a precious and hard won opportunity to learn new knowledge and apply lessons. We realize and seek to highlight that cultural and other human factors risks are just as profound and potentially deadly as physical risks on any incident. (all emphasis added)
"The results WILL be repeated unchecked unless we commit to looking inside, to looking deeper at how we think, how we talk and how we perceive ourselves." (all emphasis added)
"Our end state is that the group’s efforts became a catalyst for continued cultural introspection into how human factors affect our decisions. The engagement generates a watershed event from the fire, having provoked thought, dialogue, questions and explorations in all corners of the wildland fire community. Yarnell Hill leads to a stronger, more self‐aware and more resilient wildland fire culture.
(all emphasis added)
"Our effort was perceived as having rendered due honour and respect to the Granite Mountain Hotshots.”
It seems rather odd that they would give the deceased members of the GMHS "brother" credit for "such a precious and hard won opportunity to learn new knowledge and apply lessons" as if they did this intentionally.
Now to address our original question: "Were Wildland Fire Fatality Staff Rides, based on revisiting Military Battlefields, designed to be a unique method to convey the "complete" wildland fire lessons learned of the past to the present day Wildland Fire Leaders?"
Simple answer, right? Yes, of course there is assuming that the truth is told and complete lessons learned are garnered from it and carried forward to all future generations of WFs and FFs.
Consider now a quote from a historical fiction TV movie series titled Turn. It is set during the Revolutionary War delving into the Culper spy ring, a network that, at various times throughout the war, provided extremely valuable intelligence to the Continental Army, often at a heavy price. The author's comments on contradiction follow the quote.
“The revolution never ends. It was hallowed as a triumph of the righteous over the wicked. But the battle lines were never clearly drawn. The real war, the war between good and evil, is fought within ourselves.”
"Contradiction is uncomfortable. And it can be easier to pick one story to tell ourselves so that we don’t have to deal with that discomfort. So that we don’t have to do the work of finding the middle ground. But when we only choose one story and ignore the ones that contradict it, we end up lying to ourselves. And we may find we get to a point where we don’t recognize the truth at all anymore."
"Contradictions are not easy to live with. They are reminders of where we have fallen short. Where we have failed. But I think they can also be a roadmap. They point out where we can do better and they can show us the things we truly value. And maybe that will make it a little easier to deal with."
Source: Complexities, Contradictions, and the Culper Spy Ring - The Ink Bottle of Shanelle Sorensen
The Wildland Firefighter’s 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my Incident Commander;
I will have all the resources I really need.
He makes me adhere to work-rest guidelines;
He gives me quiet moments of refreshing as I overlook His creation.
He overwhelms me with His peace and presence.
He leads me in paths of integrity and righteousness
So that other will realize that He is good.
Even though the fire blows up, though trees fall all around me, though others may fall and my escape route seems cut off, I will not be afraid, for you are with me.
Your voice guides me to a safety zone. I find shelter with you.
You break out MREs even as the fire roars around us.
You affirm your confidence in me;
You patch up my cuts and scrapes;
You keep me from going the wrong direction when my compass seems broken.
I feel peace and contentment like I’ve never felt before.
I know that I will have your presence with me;
I will never be out of radio contact wherever I go, on and off the line.
And I will remain on your team, be part of your team, forever.
Source: Rick Barton. Answering the Call. (NIV) Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International (FCFI)
Edits June 30, 2013 8 AM. Added hyperlink to a source website, additions to SAIT-SAIR references to Escape Routes, added quote, added Wildland Firefighter's 23rd Psalm.