Flags were lowered to half staff at the Alabama Fire College in Tuscaloosa out of respect for the 19 firefighters killed in the wildfires in Arizona earlier this week.
Allan Rice, Director of the Alabama Fire College, says this is one of the top five most fatal events in the history of the U.S. Fire Service. According to Rice, it is not terribly uncommon to lose one or two firefighters, but to lose an entire crew of this size is devastating.
Rice says this tragedy shows how conditions are unpredictable for firefighters. Although dangers will still exist, the director says training is the best line of defense, which is why lessons from this will be used to improve training.
Rice says there will be changes to techniques and habits of firefighters to accommodate things learned from the Arizona loss.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has set up a fund to help the families of the victims. If you want to donate, go to firehero.org.
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