Utah-Based BLM Firefighter Dies at Texas Wildland Fire

Utah-Based BLM Firefighter Dies at Texas Wildland Fire

08 July 2011

published by www.firehouse.com

USA — A Hotshot wildland firefighter from Idaho died while fighting a blaze in Texas.

Caleb Hamm, 24, a member of the Bureau of Land Management’s Bonneville Interagency Hotshot crew, according to The Desert News.

Hamm had six years’ experience as a firefighter, reports indicated.

Hamm was on the front lines of that fire Thursday when he collapsed in the 105-degree heat. He died while being flown to a local hospital, the BLM told reporters.

“They’re all still pretty much in shock,” Mitch Snow, director of external affairs for the BLM in Utah said. “They can’t believe it.”

He also told reporters that the members of the Bonneville Hotshot crew are having a tough time processing what happened to their fellow firefighter. He said this group of firefighters is very close.

“Hotshot teams, because they work together as a team throughout the season, are very, very close knit,” he said. “They are used to working together, and to lose a member of your team is a very serious thing.”

The standard operating procedure is to bring the crew home when something like this happens. The crew is expected to arrive in Utah sometime Friday afternoon, according to the newspaper.

A memorial service for Hamm was held Friday at Mineral Wells High School. Those in attendance included firefighters working the fire, local volunteers, law enforcement, as well as members of the community.

The memorial service was a tribute to Hamm’s service and ultimate sacrifice. It included words from a local chaplain, poems, and the song “Amazing Grace” played on the bagpipes. The final call for Hamm was then made by a member of the local county sheriff’s office, according to published reports.

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