After marching in a Fourth of July parade as a standard bearer for the Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Honor Guard, Cody Lara takes a break on a street corner to watch the procession that followed him. As summer progresses, fire managers have raised the wildland fire danger to “high” in many places and are urging caution with campfires and other potential sources of ignition.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are 460 firefighters employed in Wyoming and 670 EMTs and paramedics. Of course, many communities rely on volunteers to staff much, if not all, of their operations.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation lists 17 firefighters from Wyoming in its registry, but the number is undoubtedly higher than that. For example, none of the 15 men killed in the 1937 Blackwater Fire west of Cody is on the list. That infamous Wyoming blaze was the genesis for organization of smokejumpers.