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Thread: New Mexico Fire Chief Killed During Volunteer Response

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    New Mexico Fire Chief Killed During Volunteer Response

    New Mexico Fire Chief Killed During Volunteer Response

    HEATHER CASPI
    Firehouse.Com News

    A New Mexico fire chief died in the line of duty Thursday night when his water tanker plunged 123 feet off the side of the road while he was responding as a volunteer with another county fire department.

    Ralph Dawdy worked full time as Chief of the Cotton City Fire Department in Hildago County, and also served as a volunteer firefighter with Animas Volunteer Fire and Rescue for eight years.

    He was responding to the Jenny Fire in Gila National Forest, about 200 miles away, in an Animas water tanker as backup for the Forest Service, said Animas dispatcher Jared Fralie.

    Another Animas firefighter was following Dawdy when the accident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. He came around the same curve in the road just in time to see Dawdy's tanker going over the edge, Fralie said. The Forest Service and the state police were investigating the accident.

    "We're slowly getting through it. It's been a shock to us all," Fralie said. "It really shook the community up."

    Dawdy is survived by his wife and two children; a son in college and a daughter in high school.

    Fralie said Dawdy was an outgoing person who was deeply involved in all of the surrounding communities. "The entire county knew him. He will be greatly missed," he said.

    A Memorial service will be held Tuesday, July 1 at 10 a.m. at the Animas High School gymnasium. A gathering will follow immediately in the Animas Community Center.

    The family is asking in lou of flowers that people make donations to the Alzheimer's Foundation for Ralph's father has Alzheimers.

    New Mexico State Forestry, BLM, local fire departments and several others will be present with their engines.

    During the 4th of July parade in Rodeo, New Mexico, which is 20 miles west of Animas, the fire departments will gather to honor Ralph.

    Animas Volunteer Fire and Rescue, the Cotton City Fire Department and three other fire departments work together to serve a rural ranching and farming community of 500 square miles, Fralie said. This is the department's first line of duty death.

    According to the Associated Press, the Jenny Fire was caused by lightning last week and has burned about 3,500 acres 36 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences.


    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=39&id=13886

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Dawdy, Ralph

    Age: 47
    Cause of Death: Struck By/Contact with Object
    Rank: Assistant Chief/EMT/SAR Coordinator
    Nature of Death: Internal Trauma
    Status: Volunteer
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Incident Date: 06/26/2003
    Duty Type: Responding/Returning from Alarm
    Incident Time: 20:30
    Activity Type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
    Death Date: 06/26/2003
    Fixed Prop. Use: Outdoor Property

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Animas Volunteer Fire and Rescue
    #1 Community Center Rd.
    P.O. Box 409
    Animas , New Mexico 88020
    Chief: Ernie Fralie

    Initial Summary:
    Assitant Chief Dawdy, who also served as Chief of the Cotton City VFD, was operating a tanker on a forest road while responding to the Jenny Fire in Gila National Forest. Due to a cause still to be determined, the tanker left the roadway and rolled several times down a slope ejecting Dawdy who was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    The family is asking in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation.


    http://www.usfa.fema.gov/application....cfm?p_id=1421

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