2018 WOR Day 1: Renew our commitment to the health, wellness and safety of wildland firefighters

Category: 
Week of Remembrance
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Jun 2020

Ribbon symbol for survivor next to the Wildland Fire Leadership logoWeek of Remembrance June 30-July 6, 2018

This Week of Remembrance is dedicated to all those who have fallen in the line of duty and is intended to serve as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the health, wellness and safety of wildland firefighters.

On June 30, 2013 nineteen members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew lost their lives on the Yarnell Hill fire.  Today we mark the five year anniversary of this tragedy and honor them with lessons and conversations that should help us to adjust to an ever-changing fire environment and allow us to strive for the best possible outcomes.  An outcome where we all come off the line at the end of each shift safely.  We are here today to honor and remember the lives of the nineteen lost on this tragic day, but we are also here to remember the lives of all fallen firefighters and to honor them throughout this week.  The anniversaries of such events should signal a reminder for all of us to seek improvement and pursue successful outcomes.

“We honor and remember through learning”

Brit Rosso
Director, LLC

Each tragic event impacts us.  These events rip through our community and leave behind more questions than answers.  How do we as a fire community remember and honor the lives of those who were lost on these fires?  We need to keep talking about what happened in order to bring change. We need to be open with assessing what we’ve learned from these events and be proactive in implementing those lessons learned moving forward.

We are all struggling to understand and process the loss of any lives on the fireline, and each of us is impacted differently.  We should challenge ourselves to learn what we can by reading the reports posted on the Lessons Learned Center website and engaging in honest, sometimes difficult, but always respectful conversations.  Through facilitated conversations with our peers and subordinates this is where the learning will come about, this is how we will work to reduce the chances of such tragic outcomes in the future.  The inherent danger of our jobs makes it critical for us to learn, to take the lessons available out of these tragedies and implement them as a workforce and as individuals. 

 

6mfs-2018-learning-diagram

This year the Week of Remembrance focuses on medivacs and the lessons learned from recent medical incident responses. Changes that were brought forward out of the ashes of tragedy in an effort to reduce these unintended outcomes in the future.  We will look at the proactive changes that have developed within our fire community. Changes that came because we as a workforce kept talking and striving for a different outcome.   When we talk openly with each other, the result will create a safer work environment for all of us.  We are experiencing far more intense fires each season, our seasons run longer each year and we cannot control this.  Our workforce can control actions, decisions and hopefully outcomes if we engage in the learning process. 

 

As a crew and an individual look critically at yourself and identify the areas where you can learn and grow. 

  • Be a part of the change that is needed to bring everyone safely off the fireline at the end of each shift.
  • Prepare yourselves for the season ahead through your willingness to learn, change and grow.

 

The topics, review, and resources for the NWCG “Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance” have been contributed by the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center, the Wildland Fire Leadership Subcommittee, the Interagency Helicopter Operations Subcommittee, interagency dispatchers, and many other field SMEs.

Additional Resources

Incident Management Situation Report (IMSR)
Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461
NWCG Standards for Helicopter Operations, PMS 510
RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)
Interagency Standards for Fire and Fire Aviation Operations (Red Book)
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

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