Our Partnership with Colorado Firecamp | A Firefighter's Story
October 23, 2023
As you know, we’ve been focused on strengthening our value of community over the past year and a half. For Aristata, that means showing up with our resources– our time, skills and finances– to support local businesses and nonprofits. We’re especially focused on coming alongside organizations whose mission aligns with our value of lasting impact in this region, like Colorado Firecamp. Colorado Firecamp strives to provide meaningful service to their trainees, which also benefits the local communities they interact with and protect.
We are proud to provide 2-full ride scholarships to sponsor, develop, and train qualified wildland-urban firefighters at Colorado Firecamp near Maysville.
Firefighting is an important part of my story; some of you know that I initially pursued a career as a volunteer and then full time firefighter. I have a deep appreciation for the hard work and dedication required of wildland firefighters. It can be incredibly scary, which is why we couldn’t be more thrilled to share with you Daly Jimenez’s story as we put our value of community into action…
A Fire Fighter’s Story– Meet Daly Jimenez, a graduate of Colorado Firecamp
Since Daly Jimenez was a young boy in Mexico City he knew he wanted to fight fires. Like many young men, he wanted to be a hot shot smoke jumper. He came to the United States for that purpose and ultimately, at age 29, after saving up enough money to make the cross country trek, ended up at the Colorado Firecamp by way of Los Angeles because in Daly’s words: “the camp is so prestigious throughout the nation.” Daly immediately felt at home in Colorado’s rugged, mountainous landscape and “I just knew it was going to be my new H.Q.,” referring to Chaffee County as his new headquarters.
His experience at camp was unique. For most participants in the S130/190 courses–which are required wildland firefighter courses and teach basic firefighter skills and wildland fire behavior– they are taught by and interact with one instructor. Daly’s 130/190 class had 3 and he is sure that “between the 3 of them, there were over hundred years of experience passed down to us through really personal instruction and hands-on training time. It was amazing and I loved it immediately. I was also headstrong on staying, but I didn’t have the means to stay.”
So Kat, one of the lead instructors, made plans for Daly to stay on at Colorado Firecamp and work on grounds and maintenance before the next prerequisite class for Daly was open. “One week later,” Daly states, “I was signed up for the sawyer S-212 class, where we learn chainsaw skills to fight wildland fires.”
Today, Daly works as a resident student firefighter for Chaffee County Fire Department on prescribed burn crews. He was recently on both the Shavano and Mt. Princeton prescribed burns. “It’s apples to oranges, but I love everything about my work. From the camaraderie to getting my boots dirty with the hard work required. It’s just awesome,” he explains when comparing his training to real life.
When asked if he’s ever scared fighting wildland fires, Daly pauses for a moment and then reflects: “I believe if I wasn’t a little bit scared that I would be a danger to myself and others around me. It’s important to me to be scared to some extent. Fire is very powerful and we have to respect it as such.”
To learn more about Colorado Firecamp, visit their website. We are proud and humbled to play a small role in impactful stories like Daly’s.