Firefighter shares message of survival and hope

Firefighter pushes for safety and hope.

BOISE - The lone survivor of a wildfire that killed 19 people in Arizona continues to spread his story in Boise.

Brendan McDonough lost his hotshot crew in 2013 and it has become a major motion picture, soon to be released. McDonough now advocates for firefighter safety and helps others struggling with loss.

It's been over four years since the Granite Mountain Hotshots responded to the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. Only one member of the crew survived: Brendan McDonough.

"You know I think trauma is just a lifelong process," said McDonough.

While on the healing journey he says he aims to help others do the same by focusing on survival, recovery and hope.

"The general message is to continue my brothers' legacy and to honor them and to inspire hope and what that looks like is trying to help people understand you can overcome great," said McDonough.

He is also proud that the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce asked him to come back to Idaho and share his message during it's 134th Annual Gala Dinner. 

McDonough has served on the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, based in Boise. 

Hundreds came out to see him and hear his inspiring words.

"You know you can get through it, there are people that love you, care about you, and that's what I love to share," said McDonough.

McDonough's experience working on the Yarnell Hill Fire and losing 19 of his fellow firefighters will be told on the big screen. "Only the Brave" opens on Thursday. He is also the author of the recently-published memoir called "My Lost Brothers."

 

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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