Reminder: Let’s be careful out there

The fatality on the Coal Canyon fire in South Dakota and two police officers being killed in Rapid City, all within the last few weeks, gave Kevin Woster, a columnist for the Rapid City Journal pause. He wrote an excellent piece about the dangers that firefighters and police officers face, and how it affects him. The Governor of South Dakota, Dennis Daugaaard, who spoke at firefighter Trampus Haskvitz’s funeral, released a column on August 19 that addresses the issue of the recent fatalities.

I have to admit that the death of Trampus Haskvitz on the fire about 15 miles from my house while I was riding my motorcycle in northern California affected me as well. I made it back home a few hours before the funeral service began, which occurred within walking distance from my house. The procession of over 130 fire department vehicles, mostly brush engines, passed within two blocks.

Mr. Woster’s column mentioned the phrase that was repeated in many episodes of Hill Street Blues by Sgt. Phil Esterhaus, played by Michael Conrad, at the end of his shift briefings as his cops left the meeting to begin their shift. We first posted this 11-second video August 6, 2009, but it bears repeating.

If you don’t remember Hill Street Blues, it was a television series, an excellent police drama, that ran for 146 episodes in prime time between 1981 and 1987. The show received a total of 98 Emmy nominations during its run and won four Emmy awards for Outstanding Drama Series.

The high-ranking U.S. Forest Service official who used his Blackberry five times during Trampus’ funeral may not have felt the impact of the fatality that some of us did, but at least he gets points for showing up.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please read the commenting rules before you post a comment.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Reminder: Let’s be careful out there”

Comments are closed.