SMOKEJUMPERS: PAGE 124
A HARD LANDING AND A ROOKIE'S RETURN
"Life is What Happens To You While You're Busy Making Other Plans." John Lennon

On a day designated for a staged medical scenario - carefully planned by Alaska's rookie instructors for their recruits - the training became real. Candidate T.J. Gholson sailed overhead into a sea of hardwood birch and aspen, past the jumpspot for a date with an ugly tree. His bell rung, his shoulder sprained, T.J. was hurting but stable. His status as a viable rookie candidate hovered around his prognosis. T.J. was determined - one of just four candidates remaining, and the consensus was that he had made it too far to quit. After a week of 'light duty' - and several successful training jumps, T.J. joined his rookie bros. at graduation, ready to face the fire season of 2004 as an Alaska Smokejumper.

Missing the Spot, Into the Woods
Jumpspot Crew Gives Chase
Turning the Corner
Rookie T.J. Gholson Stabilized By EMTs
Preparing Patient for Backboard Transport to Road ...
...and the Waiting Ambulance
From Left - Dobrovolny, Gholson, Shields, Conway

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PHOTOS COPYRIGHT MIKE MCMILLAN / SPOTFIRE IMAGES 2004 spotfireimages@hotmail.com (800) 707-8604