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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : latest news : local July 22, 2014

7/9/2013 6:02:00 AM
Firefighters, police officers from around the state work shifts to help Prescott
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Sierra Vista Firefighters/EMTs Mike Gaspardo and David Jones check over their medical equipment at Prescott Fire Department Station 1. Firefighters and engines from across the state are helping man Prescott fire stations to give local firefighters some much- needed relief.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
Sierra Vista Firefighters/EMTs Mike Gaspardo and David Jones check over their medical equipment at Prescott Fire Department Station 1. Firefighters and engines from across the state are helping man Prescott fire stations to give local firefighters some much- needed relief.
Lisa Irish
The Daily Courier

Firefighters and police officers from all over the state have been working out of Prescott Fire and Prescott Police stations since last Sunday to provide relief after the Granite Mountain Hotshots died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.

"Our fire chief called and offered our help," Sierra Vista Fire Department Engineer/Paramedic Adam Sathoff said. "So we brought up an engine and crew of five. We drove up in a caravan with an engine from Fry Fire District, and Douglas."

Since then, the crew has been continuously answering service calls with a Prescott Fire crew member on board to help them with directions.

"The Arizona Fire Chiefs Association and the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona are working together to implement statewide mutual aid for this at the request of the incident command system at the Emergency Operating Center, based on the needs of the Prescott Fire Department," Prescott Fire Battalion Chief J.P. Vicente said.

Firefighters and engines from Central Yavapai and Chino Valley Fire districts, and Glendale, Peoria, Cottonwood, Sedona, Avondale, Sierra Vista, Douglas, Fry, Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff, Page, Yuma, Nogales fire departments have been helping out.

"People outside the fire service may not realize what a close-knit community we are," Sathoff said. "We work and train together, and we're always there to help each other."

More could be coming to help during the next six weeks, Vicente said.

"Firefighters from all over the state have been helping out here, and I wanted to come by and say thanks," Central Yavapai Fire District Battalion Chief Brad Davis said.

A Chino Valley Fire District engine and three-member crew worked out of a Prescott Fire station several days and will help as long as needed, Chino Valley Fire District Engineer/EMT Jerry Roberts said.

This assistance lets Prescott firefighters help the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots take the time they need to deal with losing their co-workers, and gives them time to attend memorials, events, funerals, Vicente said.

"Knowing that they are here helps us with the grieving process," Vicente said. "We are so grateful and humbled that the community is coming out to help us and give us support."

On Monday, four Los Angeles County firefighter/chaplains helping the family of Kevin Woyjeck, a fallen Granite Mountain Hotshot, thanked Prescott residents for letting them stay in their homes. Kevin's father, Joe, is a captain with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"You have no idea how much that means, and has really made us feel like a part of the family," Los Angeles County Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Kaliher said. "We have been peer counseling here, giving support to Kevin Woyjeck's family, and helping the rest of the fallen firefighters' families as best we can."

Nineteen Prescott Fire members are serving as liaisons to the fallen firefighters' families to put them in contact with community resources, get necessary paperwork done, help them plan memorials and funerals, and do anything else needed, retired Prescott Fire Capt. Jeff Knotek said.

"What happened a week ago on Sunday has impacted this community so much," Prescott Police Chief Jerald Monahan said. "You become overwhelmed with all the accounts and the emotional side to it as well, so having allies in public safety to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with has meant the world to us."

Prescott Police Lt. Tim Fletcher has been working with incident command to coordinate assistance from law enforcement agencies around the state who have sent officers, vehicles, and other resources, Prescott Police Department Deputy Chief Andy Reinhardt said.

"Officers have helped Prescott Police with our coverage during vigils and memorials for the fallen firefighters, the rodeo and Independence Day events, traffic control in Yarnell and answering calls for service," Prescott Police Lt. Ken Morley said. "We really appreciate their help."

Agencies helping include Chino Valley, Cottonwood, Surprise, Glendale, Buckeye, Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, Peoria, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Maricopa police departments, as well as the Arizona Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, Arizona Department Of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division, and Northern Arizona University Police Department.

Mesa Police sent 12 officers to Yarnell to provide security and "they're coming back up tomorrow to assist working our streets," Reinhardt said.

Tempe, Peoria and Glendale police departments' have committed their officers to aid Prescott indefinitely, Morley said. 

"Although the police department plays a role in keeping peace, order, and traffic control, it's the fire department that had this tragic loss," Reinhardt said. "They've been overwhelmed, not only dealing with a 20 percent loss of the Prescott Fire Department, but also still battling these fires and maintaining these calls for service."

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013
Article comment by: Trista Dunbar

I am grateful and humbled by the outpouring of love and support for my hometown from Prescott Fire, Prescott Police and other first responders around the state and the country. It has come to the forefront in the past week and a half how much these men and women give to serve and help others, however, they gave this much 2 weeks ago, 2 months ago and 2 years ago. They will continue to always give this much day in and day out because this is who they are. I hope and I pray that we will always remember the sacrifices they make even when it is not tragically brought to our attention and that we will support them all the time, even through tough economic times, times of controversy, and times of differing political views because through all of those times they are always supporting and sacrificing for us. THANK YOU first responders for this past week and for EVERY week!!

Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Article comment by: suzi bell higgins

I said it befor our tragic "19" loss, and I'll keep saying it: " GOD BLESS OUR FIREMEN, GOD BLESS OUR FIREMEN, GOD BLESS OUR FIREMEN" Amen. (And those who help them.)

Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Article comment by: D J

It has been amazing the way this community has come together during this tragedy! We are all devistated and the support our community is getting has been tremendous! Thanks so much to all the firemen, police, Red Cross, and to all the others who have come to our aide in a time of need! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Article comment by: Thanks for the Support

The outpouring of assistance from fire and police departments from all over Arizona and the U.S. is wonderful. Thank you seems not enough.

Prescott residents are very appreciative and grateful for your efforts. If it was your community in jeopardy, Prescott would be there to help also.

It has been a heart-warming experience to have this community pull together as a team and handle this horrific incident with style and grace.

Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Article comment by: Thank You Daisy Mountain crew

for manning the Smoketree station for our PFD crew.

Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Article comment by: Prescott Public Safety

Prescott Families for Public Safety (on facebookDOTcom/PrescottPublicSafety) has been posting great photos of all the area agencies helping our community. Thank you all!

Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Davis

I'd like to see an article commending all of the Law Enforcement Agencies and fire departments from around the state helping out down at Yarnell and in the actual fire areas. Our Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and numerous fire agencies from smaller cities around the State have been very active in protecting the public down in the Yarnell area. I've been down there daily for the past few days and can personally attest to their dedication.

Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Article comment by: Barb Stoll

As former Prescottonians, my husband and I were deeply moved by the beautiful Memorial Service for the 19 Hot Shot Heroes. So many people coming together to pay their respects and to show their love and respect for them all. The love being poured and surrounding Brendan McDonough is so special. May the families and the loved ones of these heroes feel the love, prayers and support of the thousands of people praying for them. God Bless them all.
Dick and Barb Stoll
Sun City West, AZ

Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Article comment by: Michelle Trevillyan

I am just so honored to be from Prescott. The Community has been great with everyone and I am sad for the families and that I can't be there to help with stuff. I pray that those little children will be okay. Daddy is in heaven and watching over them.

Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Article comment by: dog bone

Thank you to every firefighter, police officers and anyone else to came to help out so our firefighters and policers officers could attend. This is very much appreciated and we also thank your families for letting you come.

Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Article comment by: Lyle Wilhelm

Being a retired Police Officer this just reassures why I choose the profession I did. My family and I would like to say thank you to those families who are temporarily without their family members, so we can comfort those who have lost theirs forever. To each one of you, and to your Departments, and families, Thank You.

Lyle, Stacy, Tyler and Chase Wilhelm

Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Article comment by: Nancy Griffin-Davis

THANK YOU to all who are here to give our boys time to grieve & heal.

Posted: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Article comment by: Juanita Felix

Thank you all for being here supporting our Prescott community!

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