WASHINGTON, — The American Federation of Government Employees would like to extend condolences to the families and crew of the 19 firefighters who lost their lives battling a wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz. yesterday.
These heroes were highly trained and specialized members of the Granite Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crew sponsored by the Prescott Fire Department. While carrying 40 to 50 pounds of equipment, the crew marched towards the center of the wildfire, to build fire lines and fuel breaks between the blaze and the citizens and homes it threatened. Their work helped to ensure a proper evacuation of the area.
“We join with our fellow citizens to honor the sacrifice these high skilled firefighters made. These heroes, without a moment’s thought, protected the lives of others while placing themselves in harm’s way,” said National President J. David Cox Sr. “This is an unspeakable tragedy.”
“On this week where we celebrate the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of this country, let us also remember all of the law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency personnel who have given the ultimate sacrifice,” stated Cox. “The commitment these 19 firefighters displayed to ensure the safety of those in harm’s way will never be forgotten. It is an example of the high ideals of public workers that helped form and shape this great country.”
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia .
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