City of Prescott Fire Station

Honoring the Hotshots

Prescott Fire Station #1

We owe a great deal to the selfless professionals who keep our Prescott area safe. More than a single agency is responsible as they all work together as a team in times of emergency. When they suffer losses to their ranks, our communities and families suffer.

So it was on June 30,2013, when nineteen of the twenty members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots Firefighters lost their lives working the Yarnell Fire. The whole country joined us in mourning our loss.

As the summer marched on, various community organizations wanted “to do something” to be “guardian angels” to the firefighters and their families in the area. They wanted to assure them their sacrifices would not be forgotten, nor would their families.

Alta Vista Garden Club, in its own unique way, wanted to help soothe the loss. It was Ann Krsiean  (a former member now living in Colorado) who suggested we become involved in a project at the fire station. The idea went to the Beautification Committee and the plan grew to encompass the L-shaped 50-foot-long planter defining the front visitor parking lot. The vision included spring daffodils and iris with names like Super Hero, Men Like Me, Living on the Edge and Pale Fire. As summer came along, so would the blooming ground covers, peonies, Mahonia and Firefighter Rose bush. Scaling the red brick wall would be the autumn white clematis. Eventually, metal artist, Jody Skjei included her vision to include two trellises for the clematis.

We held conversations with the Battalion Commander, Ralph Lucas, who was in charge of morale at the station. He confirmed that even six months after the event, morale was still sagging.

Two special landscaping areas were already in the works, thanks to Frank Abbott of Carescape. The statue from Boise, Idaho, “The Spirit of the Wildland Community” was gifted to Fire Station #1, on White Spar Road and Frank was assigned the design and realization of the installation. The other gift was an offspring peach tree from the only remaining tree from ground zero fires of the 9/11 attacks. The projects combining three community entities were completed in Summer 2014. 

Frank Abbott’s willing crews removed weeds in the planter for us, replaced the planter with fresh soil and established a new irrigation system.

Jody Skjei’s skills produced two trellis units along the center window and an overhead insignia.

Alta Vista members planted the plants in the vision. For every year since, Alta Vista has cared for the plants in the area, coaxing them to bloom in honor of and remembering the fallen firefighters and their families. — Carol W.

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Alta Vista Garden Club