What does it take to join up to be a hotshot? Immense amounts of courage. Daring, boldness, and valor. What drives these men to sign up for a particularly dangerous career? A personal code, moral or otherwise? A sense of chivalry and responsibility? Is it for the adrenalin rush?
Kelly Andersson of Wildland Firefighter Magazine recommends for all of those who have a dream to become a wildland firefighter to load a backpack with 50 pounds of gear, food, and even rocks and then and then to start hiking “at a good clip for at least 10 hours per day on steep slopes,” making sure that you can stay awake for at least 20 hours at a time, moving objects in the way (the bigger the better), making yourself fall down, “get good and scraped,” and go without food and water as much as possible. If a person can do this and still think he’s having the time of his life, then Anderson encourages him to pursue the dream. Oh yeah, don’t forget to “practice sleeping while standing up. This is critical. Practice it enough to where you sort of get to like it.”
The Granite Mountain Hotshots had realized the dream, were living the dream, when on June 30th, 19 of the 20-member crew lost their lives while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire in Prescott, Arizona. One of the crew was 30-year-old Chris MacKenzie of Hemet, California.
Pasadena’s Fork Foundation is working with the cooperation of the Pasadena Fire Department, City of Pasadena, Los Angeles Firefighters, and The Pasadena Foothills magazine in collecting donations for the families of these fallen firefighters.
All monies from this event will go directly to the Yarnell Hill Firefighters Fund.
The Fork for Downed Firefighters
Friday, July 19th, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, July 20th, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
200 Bellefontaine Street, Pasadena Just south of California Boulevard and Huntington Hospital
Make out checks to Yarnell Hill Firefighters Fund
Organized by local Pasadena realtor Philip Coombes, founder of The Fork Foundation. For more info, visit Facebook.com/PutTheForkInHunger.