Local firefighter opens up about helping in the aftermath of the

Arizona

Local firefighter opens up about helping in the aftermath of the Yarnell wildfire

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SOMERTON, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) – The local firefighter who went to Prescott to help with the devastation caused by the Yarnell wildfire where 19 hotshots died, returned home over the weekend.

But there is no break for Somerton-Cocopah firefighter Robby Rodriguez, who was already back at work Monday.

Rodriguez tells 13 On Your Side he will not get a chance to process this unbelievable experience.

As we first reported, Rodriguez is part of Arizona's LAST team, and was sent to Prescott the morning after 19 of his fellow firefighters died in the line of duty.

During his time there, the Somerton-Cocopah firefighter was busy planning the funerals for his fallen comrades and helping grieving families.

Rodriguez says he would have never thought he would be organizing funerals for firefighters.

He says it was tough to be away from his family because he too needed time to grieve over his comrades.

But amidst the tragedy, he found comfort from perfect strangers.

"It got very heavy for me and the New York guys have been through this," Rodriguez explained.

The deaths of the 19 firefighters in Yarnell marked the deadliest single incident for fighters since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City.

"I told my parents, that these guys could help save me too. So that I can carry on," he said.

In the wake of this tragedy, Rural Metro volunteers and several Yuma firefighters also stepped in to help.

 

 

 

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