Letter — Firefighters are heroes
Sunday, June 16th, dispatch toned out SLTFD Engine 2 to respond to the Walker fire as mutual aide. Engine 2 is normally a four-man crew, but that day, they were only three strong, so they asked for another firefighter. Fortunately for me (a probationary firefighter), the opportunity was presented and I jumped.
South Lake Tahoe Engine 2 was sent down to Walker and was assigned “structure protection” along with four other engines from nearby areas. Within hours of our arrival, we were battling a monstrous, fast moving fire, which was headed for the residential area we were assigned to protect. It was grueling hours of work to keep the fire’s path from invading our assigned area. After six long days of this and a tragic plane crash, we were successful in our mission.
This was an amazing experience for me, due to what I learned, what I saw, and the pride of being part of the only structure protection team (consisting of five local engines) of the 1,000-plus people fighting this fire.
The crew I was privileged to work with has extensive experience and wisdom; I have complete trust in them for my life and my safety. I was amazed with the foresight and expertise to which these men would perform their jobs so consistently. They truly lead by example. This crew exhibited true bravery and heroism and saved homes and possibly lives in the town of Walker.
South Lake Tahoe, you should feel fortunate to be protected by these people and the 35 others who are trained to the highest levels, but still risk so much to provide our community a high standard of safety and security. I feel fortunate to be a part of a team who performs their jobs with such heart, bravery and professionalism.
South Lake Tahoe Fire Department