DNR wildland fire crew members honored for swift actions in civilian rescue during Taylor Bridge Fire

 Peter Goldmark presents special commendations to DNR employees
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark presents a commendation certificate to DNR employee Bob Stein recently in Ellensburg. Additional recipients were Dave Adams (center) and Dave Brown (behind Stein). Photo Koshare Eagle/DNR.

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark recently honored three employees of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for their efforts to ensure the safety of citizens caught up in the Taylor Bridge Fire last summer.

David Brown and Bob Stein, who work in DNR’s Southeast Region Office based Ellensburg; and David Adams, from the DNR Aviation Program in Olympia, successfully coordinated their efforts to rescue two civilians who were at imminent risk during the first hours of the wildfire. Goldmark, who also oversees DNR, presented the three workers with special commendations during a visit to Ellensburg in April.

Rescue effort was success 

About two hours into DNR’s wildfire response with other agencies on August 13, 2012, dispatchers learned that some members of public were at imminent risk of harm from the fire. What happened next is worthy of special recognition: Incident Commander David Brown directed a DNR helicopter to respond to the situation; DNR Pilot Dave Adams was able to land safely in a field where the trapped citizens had gathered; and Helicopter Manager Bob Stein assisted the two civilians and assured they were safe during the transport.

In announcing the honors, Goldmark said, “Their actions showed exceptional decision-making, and dedication to reducing risk, even in extreme circumstances.”

In nominating the three for the recognition, DNR Southeast Region Manager Todd Welker wrote: “Even in this highly unusual situation, protocols for transporting people were strictly followed to minimize the potential of compounding the emergency.”

The Taylor Bridge fire destroyed 61 homes and scorched 23,500 acres between Cle Elum and Ellensburg last August.

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