Maybe they’re different from the rest of us. They routinely put their lives on the line for people they don’t know, will never know. They’re on call, some 24-7. They see more bad in one day than most of us see in a lifetime. And even though they wade into the worst moments of people’s lives—fires, shootings, life-changing accidents and threats of imminent death—many of them simply shrug when you thank them for their service. It’s the job, they say. Gratitude isn’t required, they say.
“I’m just a dude,” says Eric Zanotto, a wildland firefighter. “Really, I’m just a dude.”
Meet a handful of first responders, representatives of the thousands in our community who give their best when the worst comes calling.
Start with this behind the scenes video from photographer Aaron Anderson; then link to the individual profiles below.
Flight for Life Colorado
Colorado Springs Fire Department
Police Officer, SWAT Team
Colorado Springs Police Department
El Paso County Search and Rescue
District Fire Management Officer
U.S. Forest Service
—T.D. Mobley-Martinez. Photography by Aaron Anderson.