We received the news Monday morning like so many others in our country…with shock and incredible sadness. Nineteen men in their prime – sons, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, fathers – all answered the call to protect lives and property. They were the elite, hotshots, who knew what they were doing out there and loved what they did. They were well-supported, fit and knowledgeable, but it wasn’t enough.

In the wake of events like those that transpired in the Yarnell Hills fire, it’s human nature to want to ask what we can do as a fire community to make sure no more lives are lost. But that discussion is for tomorrow. Today is for grieving and for honoring those fallen heroes that paid the ultimate price to protect others. We stand with the rest of the Fire Service family in honoring those who were lost. We will keep them, and their loved ones, in our prayers.

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