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When 19 Men Die Fighting a Terrible Fire, This Is the Way a Real Community Responds


unity and compassion

(Credit: Hotshots 19-Crossfit site)

The CrossFit fitness community showed the power of unity and compassion by stepping up to help the families of the 19 firefighters who perished earlier this summer while battling a wildfire in Yarnell, Ariz.

Athletes and enthusiasts associated with the popular exercise movement gathered Saturday in Prescott for a special benefit event for the families, the Hotshots Memorial Workout.

Glenn Beck and Mercury One donated $50,000 shortly after the tragedy.  This new CrossFit campaign, as of Sunday night, has raised more than $150,000.

Tragedy struck on June 30 when members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots team lost their lives while attempting to temper out-of-control flames. TheBlaze reported on their personal stories, including that 14 of the men were in their 20s.

If you missed Saturday's action, you can watch the archived video of the event at the "Hotshots 19" CrossFit site.

The families and participants gathered for a prayer before the competition:

(Credit: Hotshots 19-Crossfit site)

And then got the got busy tackling a difficult workout named in honor of the heroic Hotshots.

The intimidating details about the workout can be found here.

This photo gallery is courtesy of CrossFit, Inc. (all rights reserved):

Some of the firefighters’ families are fighting for full financial benefits from the local government — something they may never be granted, as 13 of the fallen heroes were not full-time employees at the time of their deaths.

While the government is exploring whether some of the deceased firefighters were actually promised full-time work and are therefore entitled to benefits, CrossFit enthusiasts are coming together to fill in the gaps and to bring in funds that will help the families survive and care for their children and loved ones.

Many of the Hotshots firefighters were avid members of the CrossFit community and regularly trained at Captain CrossFit, a local center in Prescott, which is where the event was held Saturday.

Rich Froning, the man who holds the “Fittest Man on Earth” title and a former firefighter himself, was there to lead the workout and to help build awareness (TheBlaze profiled Froning earlier this summer and later caught up with him following his third “Fittest Man” title win).

CrossFit is encouraging supporters to host their own local workouts with the same goal — raising money for the families. And for those who simply wish to donate to the cause, they can do so on a special website setup to honor the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighting team.



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