The satellite phone Joe Stutler carries during fire season rang on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and “scared the living bejesus” out of him.
His elite Type 1 Incident Management Team had just come off a fire and the Bend, Ore., resident was elk hunting in the mountains of central Oregon, secure in the assumption that he would have a few days off before being called back to duty. He didn’t know two planes had flown into and brought down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, another had slammed into the Pentagon and a fourth had crashed in rural Pennsylvania in coordinated terrorist attacks.
The voice on the other end told him his team was on alert, meaning it was in line to be mobilized. Two other teams had already been called up and were on their way east.
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