Greg Gutierrez – Feeling the Heat

When Greg Gutierrez heard the word “Malibu” on the radio three weeks ago, he traveled back several years in his mind. No longer was Captain Gutierrez stationed at a desk inside California’s Office of Emergency Services — he was back in the Malibu hills again, fighting wildfires in the weeks leading up to Halloween.

“I ran a 17-man hand crew for five years,” the 45-year-old bass pro and fire captain said. “We used inmates from the California Department of Corrections and trained them to cut fire lines down there.”

He remembered the split-second decisions he had to make as their captain, the incredibly massive flames, and the task of moving his hand crew without the support of a fire engine.

And even though the inmates-turned-firefighters carried chainsaws, specialized firefighting axes called pulaskis, bush-axes, and rake-like hoes called McClouds, it was Gutierrez’ job to keep them in line using a ballpoint pen. Read More >