Profile in Courage: The Firefighters

In June 2013, 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives fighting one of the worst wildfires in American history.

Prescott Firefighters
Courtesy of Prescott Fire
Pictured: The Granite Mountain Hotshots
For about four months every year, the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots ate, drank, and breathed fire. Based in Prescott, Arizona, the men logged 16-hour days battling the country’s worst wildfires. Yet despite their training and best efforts, on June 30—in the worst American firefighter tragedy since 9/11—19 Hotshots perished in a quick-shifting wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona (the crew’s 20th member, Brendan McDonough, was on lookout duty and survived). In their obituaries, he words passion and calling were used to describe the career they had all chosen. “They died doing what they loved,” says Darrell Willis, Prescott Fire Department Wildland Division Chief. Earlier this year, Eric Marsh, the superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew, wrote an open letter to the town of Prescott to explain the crew’s dedication. “Why do we want to be away from home so much, work long hours, risk our lives, and sleep on the ground 100 nights a year?” he wrote. “Simply, it’s the most fulfilling thing any of us have ever done.” He concluded, “We are not nameless or faceless, we are not expendable, we are not satisfied with mediocrity, we are not quitters.” After their bravery, the Granite Mountain Hotshots will never be forgotten.

What Makes People Brave? »
Profile in Courage: The Firefighters »
Profile in Courage: The Marine »
Profile in Courage: The Teacher »
Profile in Courage: The Citizen »

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.