“Williams punched through chamise and manzanita, then crawled along the bulldozer’s side. He’d be the first on the scene of a recovery operation the likes of which the state had never seen. Over the next 2 ½ days, at a cost of $200,000, 59 firefighters and 34 state prison inmates would join in this improbable rescue, risking their lives to retrieve the driver’s body.
“It was a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach to know we couldn’t get him off the hill the second we knew that he had perished,” said Nancy Koerperich, who was then Cal Fire’s unit chief overseeing Mariposa County. “Firefighters knew what was at stake, they knew it was dangerous, they knew the fire was coming, but that’s what firefighters do. It was truly a labor of firefighter love.”
The man pinned inside the bulldozer, Braden Varney, had lived with his young family just miles away from where he died. He’d reported to the fire line to protect them, his friends and his neighbors. His colleagues were determined to deliver him back to them.”
I wore the gear for a short time (1995-1998) as a member of the College Twp. Fire Dept in Knox County, Ohio. I got sucked into this when I was trawling for Newsfeed content. It is off topic for this blog, but wonderfully written. It connected with me and I thought I would share it with you.
Requiescat in Pace Braden. May your memory be a blessing.View Linked Article