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Utah wildland firefighting crew honored for quick actions amid helicopter crash

Twin Peaks hand crew recognized for courageous actions on Moose Fire.{ } (Courtesy: Brian Schnee / KUTV)
Twin Peaks hand crew recognized for courageous actions on Moose Fire. (Courtesy: Brian Schnee / KUTV)
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Members of the Twin Peaks wildland firefighting hand crew were honored for their lifesaving attempts while deployed on a wildfire assignment in Idaho over the summer.

The crew had been assigned to the ‘Moose Fire’, when a helicopter working the incident crashed into the Salmon River on July 21. Members of the Twin Peaks Type 2 Initial Attack hand crew were working nearby and rushed into the swift-moving river and tried to save the two pilots.

“Very intense, something I never thought I’d see in my career but you know the crew came together and did what we were supposed to do; went to work,” said Twin Peaks crew supervisor August Foreman. “You kind of jump into that fight or flight mentality when something like this happens and really you can’t train for it but you fall back to the basics and just take care of the situation at hand.”

As a result of the selfless acts displayed by members of the crew to try and perform lifesaving actions, they were honored on Thursday at the Lone Peak Conservation Center by the USDA Forest Service with the Intermountain Region Regional Forester Award and the USDA Secretary Act of Valor Award (the highest honor in the USDA).

“Everything we do is based on the people that we have and the organization that they represent when they’re out there and it just makes us proud as an organization to send resources out there that not only do the job of fire but when things happen, accidents happen, they can step in and do those jobs too and it makes us proud as a state,” said Utah Forestry, Fire and State Lands fire management officer Brett Ostler. “We definitely don’t train for this kind of a situation. We train to fight fire, and dig line and put fire out but when these kind of things happen they just jump in and they do have some medical skills and just the situation took over and they jumped into action.”

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