Fire Fighters

My brother-in-law has fought many fires in Arizona for the Forest Service. From him I learned that fire brigades are usually organized locally. Thus, when something horrible happens such as the deaths of the 19 Hotshots the impact is concentrated in a single community, much as it was during The Great War when military units were organized locally and some towns therefore lost all their young men in a single day’s combat. The people of Prescott are in for many bitter tears.

This spectacular photograph courtesy of The Telegraph is from Santa Rosa, California. In addition to being visually stunning it is constructed in such a way to emphasize how small the firefighters are relative to what they up against and how brave they are in persisting in their noble task nonetheless.


Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

One thought on “Fire Fighters”

  1. Not only locally, but the 19 were all from the same station, a couple of miles from my house. Much of the town is memorializing in a similar way to that of the Brooklyn firestations after 9/11.

    I’ve found it interesting that a large number of firestations around AZ have donated crews and engines to the firestations here. So when I’ve passed by stations recently it seems that each has an out-of-town engine parked, presumably with an out-of-town crew helping man the station. The tribe runs wide.

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