SC Firefighters Mourn Arizona Deaths; Ready to Help if Asked - WSPA.com

SC Firefighters Mourn Arizona Deaths; Ready to Help if Asked

Posted: Updated:
SC firefighter Brad Bramlett demonstrates a fire emergency shelter. SC firefighter Brad Bramlett demonstrates a fire emergency shelter.
Once unfolded, the firefighter gets inside and holds the tent as flat to the ground as possible. Once unfolded, the firefighter gets inside and holds the tent as flat to the ground as possible.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -

The deaths of 19 firefighters battling a wildfire in Arizona were a tough blow to South Carolina firefighters who do the same job here.

"I may not know those guys, I may not have ever met them, but I do feel connected to them because we're in the same battle," says Chief Darryl Jones, who heads Forest Protection for the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

"Very well trained, a unit that had been together and fought fire a lot, that's very experienced, that's a big shock and it makes you realize that it can happen anywhere, anytime, regardless of the amount of training. There are things that happen that you just can't control," he says.

He says the state has not been asked to send anyone to help with the Arizona wildfire, but since South Carolina is so wet right now, lowering the wildfire danger, he would send help if asked.

The Arizona firefighters had deployed their emergency shelters, a last resort that all those who fight wildfires carry with them. Those shelters are aluminum on one side, with a woven silica layer inside, says South Carolina firefighters Brad Bramlett.

He demonstrated it Monday, pulling the shelter out of its rectangular case.

"As you unfold it, you step into on both sides, make sure your feet are in the top and bottom," he says. "And as you're laying in your tent, you keep it real tight to the ground with both your hands and feet and keep your head as low to the ground as possible to keep that breathable airspace down and also as cool a temperature as possible."

Those shelters saved the lives of two South Carolina firefighters who were battling a wildfire in Horry County in 2009. One of them was Terry Cook, who said, "It's very loud. It's like a freight train running right over top of you. It's very bright. Your tent is glowing."

The Forestry Commission is also in the process of upgrading its bulldozers. The older models have open-air cabs, but the new ones have cabs that are enclosed and air-conditioned, giving the firefighters protection from smoke and embers.

The enclosed cabs also give the firefighters additional protection if a wildfire turns and the firefighter gets trapped.

State lawmakers provided the money to buy about 10 new bulldozers a year for five years, but the Forestry Commission is hoping to find additional funding to be able to replace all of its older, open-cab bulldozers.

 

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Spartanburg Woman Arrested For Filing False Report

    Spartanburg Woman Arrested For Filing False Report

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:12 PM EDT2014-08-22 00:12:03 GMT
    Spartanburg County deputies say Kendall Settlemyre was arrested for filing a false report about an assault and attempted robbery near an apartment complex. Photo Courtesy: Spartanburg County Detention CenterSpartanburg County deputies say Kendall Settlemyre was arrested for filing a false report about an assault and attempted robbery near an apartment complex. Photo Courtesy: Spartanburg County Detention Center

    Spartanburg County deputies say a Spartanburg woman was arrested for filing a false report. Deputies say she claimed she was the victim of an assault and attempted robbery near an apartment complex.

    Spartanburg County deputies say a Spartanburg woman was arrested for filing a false report. Deputies say she claimed she was the victim of an assault and attempted robbery near an apartment complex.

  • Springfield Elementary Students Return To School Friday

    Springfield Elementary Students Return To School Friday

    Thursday, August 21 2014 7:13 PM EDT2014-08-21 23:13:58 GMT
    Springfield Elementary School students return to class Friday after power issues forced the school to close.Springfield Elementary School students return to class Friday after power issues forced the school to close.
    Springfield Elementary School students return to class Friday after power issues forced the school to close.  Students will be bused to three other schools, then picked up at the school.
    Springfield Elementary School students return to class Friday after power issues forced the school to close.  Students will be bused to three other schools, then picked up at the school.

  • Kitten Exposes 14 People To Rabies In Anderson Co.

    Kitten Exposes 14 People To Rabies In Anderson Co.

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:16:20 GMT
    Fourteen people are getting medical treatment after the Department of Health & Environmental Control said a kitten exposed them to rabies in Anderson County.
    Fourteen people are getting medical treatment after the Department of Health & Environmental Control said a kitten exposed them to rabies in Anderson County.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.