Eye On Boise

NIFC firefighter in Boise commended for saving life during Beaver Creek Fire last August

John Segar, left, FWS Chief of Fire Management, presents Citation for Exemplary Action to Larry
John Segar, left, FWS Chief of Fire Management, presents Citation for Exemplary Action to Larry "Kaili" McCray, right, for saving the life of a fire crew member during last summer's Beaver Creek Fire near Hailey. McCray works at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. (NIFC)

A wildland firefighter and medical unit leader trainee on last year’s Beaver Creek Fire near Hailey has been awarded a Citation for Exemplary Action for saving the life of a crew member. “He joins a small and select group within the fire community ever to receive this award,” said John Segar, left, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fire Management Branch chief.

Larry “Kaili” McCray, right, who works at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise as wildland fire medical standards program manager, was assigned to the fire last August when a fire camp crew member suffered a cardiac arrest. He administered chest compressions, applied an automated external defibrillator or AED, and ordered oxygen, coordinating his efforts with two other staffers at the scene from other agencies. Doctors who later cared for the victim said the moves saved the crew member’s life.

Since 1990, cardiac arrest has been the third-leading cause of wildland firefighter deaths, behind aircraft and vehicle accidents. In 2013, there were nine cardiac cases reported on wildland fires, six of them fatal. The three saves were attributed to the speedy and proper use of AED’s.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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