Esse Quam Videri
To be, rather than to seem.
The Crew of the Granite Mountain Hotshots of 2013
Esse Quam Videri is a Latin phrase meaning "To be, rather than to seem."
Darrell Willis, former Division Chief of the Prescott Fire Department, informs us that the following is a letter written in 2012 by Eric Marsh, Superintendent of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, who perished with 18 of his fellow crewmembers on the Yarnell Hill Fire. "Eric," says Willis, "wanted to let others know about who GMIHC is."
To our peers, the 111 other Interagency Hotshot Crews in the nation, we are an oddity. In a workforce dominated by Forest Service and other federal crews, we have managed to do the impossible; establish a fully certified IHC program hosted by a municipal fire department.
As remarkable and hard-won as this achievement is, we are odd for other reasons, too. We look different. Not because our buggies are white instead of green, but because we smile a lot. We act different. We are positive people. We take a lot of pride in being friendly and working together, not just amongst ourselves, but with other crews, citizens, etc.
We are problem solvers. We like to show up to a chaotic and challenging event, and immediately break it down into manageable objectives and present a solution. Quite often, we solve problems for people that they don’t even know they have. These things are possible because our folks are smart, motivated, and highly trained professionals that don’t see any task as “beneath” them.