The three Americans, plus a Brit, who took down the Moroccan train shooter this weekend are heroes. They reacted admirably in a crazy situation. It was something no one could actually prepare for.
“I’ve always said that I felt I could trust putting my life in Alek’s hands,” Ms. Skarlatos said. “I honestly can’t say I’m surprised that he knew what to do when faced with that kind of situation. It’s just who he is.” – NY Times
It’s in you or it isn’t. That simple.
A hero is someone who runs toward danger. There are a lot of heroes this summer here in the west: fire fighters trying to beat down our forest fires and wildfires.
I’ve seen one fire in person, driving by on the 60. An entire hillside was on ablaze. Very bright. Unnerving. It looked too large to stop.
Fires start where it’s hot and dry, often in places difficult to reach. Fire fighters wear heavy gear. It’s uncomfortable and cumbersome. It is physically punishing work.
They go in knowing the closer they get the more dangerous it becomes. We’ve already lost three this summer. Winds shift. The terrain is treacherous. Fires can quickly jump at treetop level.
Meanwhile, pilots are flying ancient DC-10s, chosen because of their low speed handling and ability to climb fast, not far above the treetops. Their job is to drop thousands of gallons of flame retardant to snuff out the flames. They follow smaller guide planes which lead them in.
Many of the fires start naturally. Dry lightning strikes are a Western weather feature. Lots are man made, sometimes on-purpose.
Without these fire fighters much of California would be unsafe every summer.
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