Blueridge/Silverado Fire Base CampStart Date: 11/01/2020
We were requested by Cal Fire Peer Support to continue visits to base camp as our teams had done throughout the week. The firefighters needed support to continue because they thought they were going to go home on Saturday but the base camp unexpectedly had to remain open for a few additional days in case of a wind event. In addition, the two firefighters who were critically injured earlier in the week were not doing very well. After arriving at 6:30 am, our POC, Mike met us and told us where he would like us to visit. We first greeted the firefighters as they gathered for the 7:00 am briefing and then walked up and down the rows of engines where the strike crews were preparing to leave for the day. Once they pulled out, we visited with the crews that were remaining for the day at base camp and then we visited the support people that were also stationed at base camp.
To say that we were greeted with enthusiasm and a warm welcome by all is an understatement. Because they thought the camp was breaking down on Saturday, they had cancelled the HOPE teams for Saturday and so when they saw us on Sunday, they were elated. Most of the firefighters interacted with our dogs exuberantly and thanked us for coming. Most showed us pictures of their own dogs, and several wanted us to take pictures of them with our dogs on their phones. They enjoyed collecting the trading cards from all the teams that had visited earlier in the week and also our trading cards. Many of them like to bring the cards home to their own children. It was great to hear them tell us how much better they feel after they visit with a dog. It warmed our hearts and made us feel grateful we could bring a smile to their day.Agency: Cal Fire Peer Support
Linda Teahen and Calvin