USA — U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighter Daniel Davidson, and an Afghanistan war veteran working near Mayhill, suddenly collapsed and died Sunday afternoon, a LNF spokeswoman said.
Funeral services are pending.
Davidson, 26, of Martin, Tenn., served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and was a U.S. Army Specialist with the 10th Mountain Infantry Division.
Lorretta L. Benavidez said Daniel Davidson was working with the Sacramento Ranger District Engine 621 on a Forest Service project with two other crew members when he suddenly collapsed.
Benavidez said the crew members immediately attended to Davidson and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on him.
She said they continued CPR on Davidson until a life-flight helicopter arrived on the scene, then helicopter emergency personnel determined that Davidson had died,
Davidson’s body was transported to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
“The news was shocking and unsettling, as I learned more details of the incident and one cannot escape that sense of overwhelming sadness that settles so heavily on your heart,” said Tom Mulder, LNF acting forest supervisor. “All the employees of the Lincoln National Forest are grieving this tragic loss. We truly are a family and we have lost one of our own.”
Benavidez said in civilian life, Davidson pursued his interest in wildland fire fighting and was hired as an engine crew member in April.
She said Davidson was motivated and an enthusiastic individual and completed the two-week mandatory wildland fire-fighting training before beginning work as a wildland firefighter.
LNF Deputy Fire Staff officer Troy Hagan said he remembered Davidson when he was going through the fire-preparedness review process.
“I was conducting the formal review and canvassing the group of wildland firefightersÉengaging them in a two-way communication event, when I looked to one side of the line of firefighters and said, what about this side?,” Hagan said about Davidson. “Davidson jumped to his feet and saluted me. ‘Yes sir!,’ Davidson responded. He lit up everyone around him. He was full of life and energy and committed to take on the task at hand.”
He is survived by his mother, father and stepmother, two sisters and a brother, a 6-year-old son, his fiance who is pregnant with their daughter.