SCOTIA: Wildland fire crew heads west

"He can do this," said Carolyn. "They suited him up in Saratoga, and the level of gear they give them is held to a very high standard. Those standards are constantly being raised; that's why it's difficult for smaller fire departments to keep up with compliance standards on such limited budgets."

Kyle is fighting the flames on the ground, doing hotspot protection rather than fire jumping from the air. Working more than 10 hours a day, the volunteers are sleeping safely in hotels but have little time to keep in touch with family.

"We did get one call from him at 1 in the morning the first full day he was in Montana," said Carolyn. "He was exhausted but very committed to being there."

When he's not continuing his emergency training, Kyle works in construction and at Bowman Orchards in Rexford. But his mom expects this won't be the last time her middle son heads out to help keep people he doesn't even know out of harm's way.

"He's applied at the Lockheed Martin site in West Milton to become an incident prevention specialist," said Carolyn. "Or he'd like to be a paid firefighter as a career. I didn't realize how many options there are for him out there as far as being a paramedic or emergency responder. Whatever he chooses, he'll give it his best." ""

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