Updated Jul 9, 2013 - 4:12 pm
Arizona fire departments send help to Prescott
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Fire departments across Arizona are helping the Prescott Fire Department in the aftermath of the June 30 wildfire that killed 19 members of the department's Granite Mountain Hotshots.
Firefighters and paramedics from communities as far away as Douglas and Yuma and as near as Chino Valley and Cottonwood have deployed to Prescott to provide relief for the city's own crews.
The Daily Courier reports that much of that effort is aimed at freeing up Prescott's own firefighters so they could help the Hotshots' families and attend memorials, funerals and other events.
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.
The out-of-towners include a Sierra Vista Fire Department engine crew that answered calls with a Prescott firefighter on board to help with directions.
``Our fire chief called and offered our help,'' said Adam Sathoff, a Sierra Vista Fire Department engineer and paramedic. ``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.''
Other departments and districts sending firefighters and engines included Glendale, Peoria, Sedona, Avondale, Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, Flagstaff, Page and Nogales.
``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.''
Prescott Fire Battalion Chief J.P. Vicente said more could be coming to help in the weeks ahead.
``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.''
Arizona law enforcement agencies have been providing similar help to Prescott police.