Memorial events for Daniel Laird scheduled

Daniel Laird memorial

Daniel Laird, the U.S. Forest Service Helitack Captain who was killed in a helicopter accident on March 27 was honored April 3 by a procession from Conroe, Texas to the Bush airport in Houston.

Chris Schenck, of the Texas Parks and Wildlife described it:

Today Adam Terry and I, representing  TPWD, had the privilege of participating in the Memorial Procession for Daniel Laird, USFS Firefighter who perished in a helicopter crash last week.

It was for me an important element of respect for our fallen brother firefighter.  More than 100 fire vehicles  traveled in procession from Conroe to Houston Airport. Along the way fire companies with apparatus on overpasses and civilians saluted this fine young man as we passed.

It was both moving and helpful to those of us who have been involved in fire and aviation management.

The video shows the procession to the airport.

A United Airlines 737 transported Captain Laird from Houston to Sacramento where an honor guard escorted him to the Ullrey Memorial Chapel in Yuba City. On the trip to Yuba City firefighters and others paid their respects along the route and at overpasses.

Captain Laird was one of three people in a helicopter that crashed during aerial ignition operations on a prescribed fire in the Sam Houston National Forest in Texas. The pilot, Morgan J. Kozloski, and a passenger, Kelly Callahen, were injured. The privately owned helicopter was under contract to the government.

Captain Laird worked on the Tahoe National Forest in California and leaves behind his wife and daughter. He had served for 23 years with the U.S. Forest Service.

Scheduled memorial events:

Friday, April 5

  • 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Public Viewing at Ullrey Memorial Chapel, 817 Almond Street, Yuba City, CA.

Saturday, April 6

  • 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. — Processional from Ullrey Memorial Chapel to Sutter Cemetery at 7200 Butte House Rd. Sutter, CA. Many firefighters and pieces of fire apparatus are expected to participate in the processional.
  • 10 a.m. — Graveside service. This is a family service and seating is limited but they have invited any members of the U.S. Forest Service, other agencies and the public to attend as room allows.
  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. –The Laird family will be arriving at the House of Bread Church, through the Cordon of Honor. 6521 Hazel Ave, Orangevale, CA.
  • 2 p.m. — Memorial service at the House of Bread Church, 6521 Hazel Ave, Orangevale, CA.

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. Google+

4 thoughts on “Memorial events for Daniel Laird scheduled”

    1. Wrong time, wrong place Martha. Many of us know about your opinion of prescribed fire.
      Don’t belittle the loss of our friends with your petty derision of a natural resource management tool.
      A firefighting friend of mine died in a helicopter crash during an aerial moose survey. In spite of her passing, We understand the risks involved every time we get into aircraft.

  1. Martha,

    Is anyone’s life worth the job they’re doing? If you ask, most would say no. It’s a tragic event. Workplace fatalities (where and however they occur) suck. If there’s anything to be learned from the crash, hopefully that knowledge will help others prevent future deaths or near misses. That’s all anyone can do.

    At the risk of sounding asinine, is driving to the grocery store worth your life? What about walking your dog? Going to the beach?

    Risk is inherent in our lives. It is worthy to think about and discuss risk, especially in professions which present a higher level of exposure than others. I think that these types of discussions are becoming the norm in the world of wildland fire. Still, you can’t throw up your hands and say “It’s not worth it!” in the face of exposure. Who’d have a job, and what would ever get done?

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