Granite Mountain Hotshots’ Buggy 7A awaits the completion of the new Los Angeles County Fire Museum along with Engine 51 from the TV series “Emergency!”. Photo by Los Angeles County Fire Museum.
by Pearl Castillo
The Los Angeles County Fire Museum, along with the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) and Explorers from Post 9, welcomed the Granite Mountain Hotshots’ Buggy 7A at Fire Station 30 in Cerritos on Friday, June 30, 2017. The buggy’s arrival marked the fourth anniversary date of the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona.
Buggy 7A was moved to the Fire Museum in Bellflower shortly after its arrival and was on display for a day on Saturday, July 1.
Retired LACoFD Fire Captain and Fire Museum Vice President Joe Woyjeck spearheaded the purchase of the two buggies from the Prescott City Council for $25,000. Before an agreement was made, two anonymous donors stepped in to cover the costs. “We’re honored to receive the Granite Hotshots’ buggy and it will be on display at the Fire Museum that will open later this year,” said Woyjeck, whose 21-year-old son Kevin was part of the 19-member crew that lost their lives in the 2013 fire. The other buggy, Buggy 7B, will remain on loan from the Fire Museum and will be displayed in the Hall of Flame Fire Museum in Phoenix.
Although the buggies are not LACoFD apparatus, they are symbolic of the challenges faced by firefighters during wildland fires. “This vehicle has such a connection and gives national recognition of what happened four years ago because this incident was one of the most deadly incidents for firefighters in recent history,” said LACoFD Fire Captain and Fire Museum President Paul Schneider. “We’ll be able to tell the story better, give examples of what firefighters face in fighting wildfires annually, and educate the public on the sacrifices made by firefighters when they get injured and lose their lives by fires,” he added.