Sad news from Arizona reporting 19 wild fire fighters losing their lives while fighting what is now the largest wildfire in the state’s history. Working in the media, we report on disasters like this all the time, and some think we are hardened people because of it. Not true! The loss of life always saddens me just like everyone else. I am especially moved when the loss is of people that train and dedicate their lives to saving others. Police, Fire, and Military deserve special recognition from all of us.

This disaster is not predictable other than it is a condition that happens. The shift of a fire storm and the winds that cause it is well known and fire crews are trained for it with special gear that is designed to protect them. This one however was very severe and fast, and the crews equipment could’t protect them. The crew was known as “Hot Shots” and were trained to get ahead of these fires attempting to stop them. They each carry about 80 pounds of equipment and safety gear because of the danger they face. All of these people were from one town, and are transported throughout the state and sometimes the entire North West to fight these fires.

Speaking of the media, we heard this morning that several of the fire fighter families learned of their partners death from the media coverage of the fire. This is a result of having 24 hour NEWS coverage, “Smart Phones”, Twitter, Facebook, etc. I pictured the horrific shock to these families as they faced this tragedy alone in their homes or in a public place, but very alone.

I was thinking about the Battle of Gettysburg which was 150 years ago and the NEWS coverage for that battle took hours to reach the President who was a few miles away in DC, and weeks to reach other states and across the country. Today, the world knows in seconds.

Have a great day, and be kind to yourself!

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