Tuesday, August 5, 2014
ON THE FRONT LINES: FIREFIGHTER MIKE ARNDT
Tuesday August 5th 2014 Emmaus Firefighter and Wildland Firefighter Mike Arndt is leaving for a wild land deployment along with other firefighters from the east coast to assist with fires on the West Coast. The most likely target for this group heading out west will be California where multiple wild fires are burning out of control destroying property and threatening lives. This is the 2nd time in past years that Firefighter Arndt has gone out west to fight fires and he says although he is ready to go he still is nervous about it.
On Monday after finding out about his deployment we took the opportunity to ask Mike a few question about heading west, and we will be keeping up to date post as we get information from him on the front lines of this battle. The first and foremost thing we wanted to find out from him was his feelings on heading out to fight these fires and this is what he had to say: "It's and adventure, it's an awesome experience, it's crazy sometimes, it's scary when you think about those that have died doing what you are doing and knowing there's a possibility, it's small but its there." The next thing we wanted to know was what is the difference between fighting these fires out west compared to here in the Lehigh Valley: "One of the biggest things is the humidity, it's so dry out west, then when you have a thunderstorm a lot the time it doesn't rain, so the lightning strikes cause a lot of fires. Here in PA it's most of the time wet and moisture in the fuels are too high, meaning it's just to wet."
Lastly knowing that he has been on a deployment before we wanted to know what it is like to be ON THE FRONT LINES: "Its like camping, because we live in tents most of the time for the duration of the 14 day work period, but instead of going out and having fun playing games and going for hikes for fun, we go for hikes just to get to where we are going, which can take hours and then we go to work. Sometimes not being able to shower for days, or a week because you might be on a spike camp, which is a small camp closer to the division your working in. Helicopters and airplanes buzzing right over your head making water and retardant drops, pretty crazy if you really sit back and think about it."
Keep following us on Facebook as we keep track of Firefighter Arndt's deployment out west and once he returns watch for a full followup with him, and from everyone at NVP Good luck and Keep Safe.