Events / News

Prescott/Yarnell Fire Response and Fire fighter memorial

The SW division has mounted to what might be one of our largest disaster responses within our area. Currently in Prescott and Yarnell we are preparing and serving close to 1000 meals per day. This number will more than double over the next few days as fire fighters and others will be converging on the town for the memorial service for the 19 fire fighters who have lost their lives. We are serving meals in five different locations including two shelters, the EOC, and the Red Cross Operations Center. Beginning Monday, there will be SA personal in the town of Yarnell to meet with families who will be returning to their homes to see what if anything is left.

 

We are geared up to provide some temporary housing and gift cards and access to donated material for those families who have lost just about everything. We are being told by the EOC that most of these families do not have insurance and have basically little income, so the loss is significant. Emotional and Spiritual Care are being provided to not just these families but also to the community and fire fighters from around the state and beyond who have come to see the wall of remembrance that has been set up at the Prescott Court House. Water hydration Centers have also been set up around the town to assist with heat relief for those lined up for various impromptu memorial events that take place.

On Sunday afternoon, the 19 bodies of the fire fighters who lost their lives will be returned to Prescott from Phoenix in a processional that will pass in front of the Prescott Corps. We have been asked to be available to assist any who might need to have support, encouragement, or prayer. On Sunday morning we will still attempt to do the installation service for Lieutenants Elaine Mansoor and Mareah Morrow who have arrived just this week to take command of the Prescott Corps. We are grateful to Major Kyle and Martha Trimmer who had stayed on several more days to transition the Lieutenants to their first appointment as Army officers and at the same time facing this situation.

Captain Randy Hartt is the Officer Incident Commander for the Army's responses, with Lieutenant Mansoor as the assistant. Our EDS Director Jim Puza continues to coordinate our efforts from Phoenix and in connection with Ken Cavallero from the Territory. We currently have teams assisting with the disaster from Yuma, Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Roswell, Alamagordo, and White Mountain. Transportation of supplies from Phoenix is being coordinated by James Ellis and his staff. The Prescott Advisory Board, corps and community volunteers have been working extensively to respond to this tragedy and loss. It is important to note that the Prescott Fire Chief is a member of our Advisory Board as well as the assistant Chief of Police. Major Trimmer was able to meet with them both and pray with them and offer all the assistance we can pull together.

As each of our corps from across the division come together in worship tomorrow morning, I would ask that you be in prayer for those in Prescott and for our teams and leadership who are responding to this disaster. We believe that God is the great comforter and encourager and that in spite of the tremendous loss of life He will make his presence known and felt by those who have suffered such loss. We will keep you updated.

 

Joe Posillico, Lt. Colonel
Divisional Commander
Southwest Division