Hundreds race to honor fallen firefighters

Credit: Eric Turner/ KTVB

Hundreds race to honor fallen firefighters

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on March 30, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 5:51 PM

BOISE -- Hundreds gathered in Boise on Saturday to support those who sacrifice their lives to keep others safe.
 
For the first time, Wildland firefighters joined with Boise firefighters in a race to raise both funds and awareness.

The event was called the Ash Dash Memorial Run.

It was a 10K race that started at the Wildland Firefighter Memorial and ended at the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Foundation.
 
With wildfire season coming up, those running say they wanted to remember the firefighters who gave their lives to protect our families.

Therefor, for 6.2 miles, runners raced for those who sacrificed everything.

They dressed as superheroes to honor their real heroes. Some wore costumes, many wore capes.

Several walked through the Wildland Firefighter Memorial, near the start line, before the race.

They tell KTVB they wanted to remember the men and women who lost their lives while fighting fires.

"They are not only saving people lives and homes but people's pets, they're saving horses, dogs, there are so many things that go into what firefighters do for us that we don't even think about," says runner Ivory Carr.

Many participating are firefighters themselves, who know the dangers all too well.

"You see all those plaques of the people who have died in the line of duty for the wildland fires, and it's a sobering feeling to know that people have given their lives to help save others properties and lives," says Eagle firefighter Nevil Humphreys.

Humphreys says he appreciates every sacrifice in the line of duty.

"It's one big family, it's a brotherhood, it's a sisterhood," says Humphreys.

Others, like race director Amanda Deshazo, say they've lost friends to wildfires.

Friends like 40-year-old Ron Chambless.

Chambless volunteered with the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. He was killed last summer when his air tanker crashed at the Utah, Nevada border.

"I was completely motivated by the loss of my friend Ron last year on Tanker 11, to fulfill his dream of putting together a 10K of firefighters," says Deshazo.

She tells us the race was Chambless's idea. She says he had talked about joining Wildland and Boise firefighters together, raising money for both memorials.

"We've lost a lot of firefighters and it's not just about the firefighters we've lost over the last year, but the wildland and city firefighters we've lost since they've been out fighting fires," says Deshazo.

Saturday, those running, helped remember those lives lost to save others -- flying to finish, for their heroes.

This was the first year for the Ash Dash memorial run.

About 200 participated, and organizers hope the event will only grow in the future.

The money raised today will go toward both the Wildland Firefighter Memorial near the airport, as well as the Idaho Fallen Firefighter Memorial on the Greenbelt.

 

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