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|Last Updated: Monday, November 05, 2012|
Del Rosa Hot Shots
Who Are the Del Rosa Hot Shots?
The Del Rosa Hot Shots have a rich history spanning more than 60 years. In 1945, the Civilian Conservation Corps was stationed at the Del Rosa Work Center with crews working on many different projects. In 1946, the Fire Suppression Crew was renamed the Del Rosa Hot Shots, becoming on of the country's first hot shot crews, along with the Los Padres Hot Shots of Santa Barbara, which was also established in 1946. Throughout their history, the Del Rosa Hot Shots live by a code of core values, including duty integrity, and respect.
The Del Rosa Hot Shots are one of five crews assigned to the San Bernardino National Forest, and there are more than 100 certified Hot Shot crews nationally. "Wildland firefighting is our specialty, and we go in and cut fire lines with hand tools...and chainsaws," says James R. Tomaselli, Superintendant of the Del Rosa Hot Shots. All of the crews' trucks are configured the same, so tools are found easily.
Where the Del Rosa Hot Shots Fight Fire
The Del Rosa Hot Shots have driven as far as Oklahoma for a fire, but usually, they are flown out to a fire and their rigs follow. They can be gone for more than 20 days. "It's pretty physically demanding and it takes a lot from your family becasue we're gone so much," says Tomaselli, who has fought wildfires from Hawaii to Florida and 19 states in between. "We have 13 people on the crew that are full time, that work year round, and then the other eight people are generally hired as seasonals."
One of this year's seasonals is Sierra Brown, who is not intimidated by being the only female on this Hot Shot crew. She had been on a different crew for three years before transferring.
Requirements and Responsibilities of Crew Members
The crews have to be in excellent shape because they hike with all their supplies for a day that may last up to 12 hours. Their packs can weight up to 50 pounds, but Tomaselli and Brown both say they love their jobs. "I've been here for a month, and I'm having a good time," Brown says.
When they are not fighting wildfires, the crews do project work, which includes fuel breaks, pile burning, and thinning the forest to make it healthier.
For more information visit www.delrosahotshots.com
Author:Barbara Brooks - FDNNTV.com
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