YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - It's an unthinkable scenario: planning the funerals of 19 of your fellow firefighters killed in the line of duty. That's what Somerton Firefighter Robby Rodriguez had to do for the fallen firefighters in Yarnell, AZ.
Rodriguez tells 13 On Your Side he cannot find the words to explain how he's feeling right now. The past week and a half has been an emotional roller coaster but he says he's pulling through for the sake of honoring his fallen comrades, their families, and a community scarred by tragedy.
"Losing 19 firefighters... is incredible; I can't even speak about it," said Rodriguez.
Lost for words, Somerton Firefighter says it's difficult to maintain his composure expressing his feelings. On the emotional trauma of consoling grieving families including: wives, children, mothers and fathers, all while helping them plan the funerals of the 19 mountain granite hotshots killed battling the yarn ell hill fire ten days ago.
"Nowhere near what the families are going through so we just carry on, do our job and we try to honor the fallen," he said.
The fallen: an unbreakable brotherhood bond. "Anytime a firefighter loses his life, it's very hard on firefighters. And being one and working up here on the funerals, it's even tougher."
Rodriguez says help is pouring in from across the nation - even outside the country.
"I've seen firefighters from LA County, Long Beach, Canada, Missouri… it just goes on and on." They are all helping one another cope with the loss of 19 heroes.
"To see engines from all over the state, doing their part in protecting Prescott, while the Prescott firefighters are mourning the loss of their 19," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez says it's been anything but easy being in Prescott during these difficult times.
He says he's been so busy and hasn't had time to grieve, but when he thinks he's reaching his breaking point: "call my family, talk to my boys, tell them what dad's doing down here, talk to my parents, talk to other firefighters out here because they are hurting just as much as I am."
The Arizona LAST team member also says the community outreach has helped him and his fellow firefighters stay strong. "They know that we are serving them and there may be a chance that we don't come home."
Rodriguez will be returning home this weekend where he will get a change to debrief with the help of his family, fellow firefighters and the community he so proudly serves.
Email Alert Sign Up
Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – A man is facing first degree murder charges in connection to a San Luis stabbing that left one man dead and another wounded. Salvador Sigala, accused of stabbing a 25-year-oldMore >>
A man is facing first degree murder charges in connection to a San Luis stabbing that left one man dead and another wounded.More >>
BLYTHE, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Blythe Station found multiple weapons during a traffic stop. Agents pulled over a 2013 Ford Taurus near Blythe, Calif., and got consent to search theMore >>
U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Blythe Station found multiple weapons during a traffic stop.More >>
How to find KSWT-TV CBS System Channel Antenna (over the air) 13.1 Time Warner Cable 13 HD - Time Warner Cable 713 HD - Dish Network 13 Beam Speed(Welton) 13 Megacable - San Luis R.C. 91 Cablemas - MexicaliMore >>
Click here to view our 2012 - 2013 KSWT TV CBS 13 NFL Football schedule.More >>
EL CENTRO, CALIF. (13 On Your Side) - Officials have released some of the names of the people arrested during Wednesday's massive drug trafficking bust in Imperial Valley. But as we previously reported,More >>
Officials have released some of the names of the people arrested during Wednesday's massive drug trafficking bust in Imperial Valley.More >>
On December 4, 2013, at 02:30 pm, Elizabeth Romero was abducted from Kennewick, Washington. Elizabeth Romero a 14 year old, Hispanic, female, 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, brown hair, andMore >>
The suspect is Eduardo Flores-Rosalas, a 19 year old, Hispanic, male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, unknown clothing.
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – In a massive drug sting aimed at one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels, the Imperial Valley Narcotics Task force arrested ten drug smugglers trafficking meth andMore >>
In a massive drug sting aimed at one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels, the Imperial Valley Narcotics Task force arrested ten drug smugglers trafficking meth and cocaine across the border from Mexicali.More >>
TEMECULA, Calif. (AP) - A Riverside County father and teen daughter have each been placed on four years' probation after pleading guilty to charges in a vigilante attack on a man the girl had accused ofMore >>
The girl claimed Cruz raped her in November 2012 after she passed out after drinking alcohol at his home.More >>
MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Detectives with the Arizona Department of Public Safety say they have uncovered an ecstasy manufacturing operation inside a student apartment at Arizona State University. The bust stemsMore >>
Detectives found 30 pounds of product used to make ecstasy pills in the apartment along with thousands of pills and a motorized pill press.More >>