Saturday, August 2, 2008

One Foot in the Black by Kurt L. Kamm

Title: One Foot in the Black
Author: Kurt L. Kamm
ISBN: 9781435706262/2007
Pages: 241

This book is a story of a wildland firefighter. Greg has some major issues with his father, a Saginaw city firefighter. He craves for love and acceptance from him. But his father is unconcerned about his own family. Greg's mother loves him but she too is abused by Greg's father. After a while she too leaves her children to their own devices. Greg is no longer close to his younger sister, Vicky.

Greg decides to join the fire department to prove something to his father. However, his father is only too pleased to see him leave home and does not want anything to do with him. Greg goes o California to become a seasonal firefighter with CDF. From there he goes on to LACoFD Helitak-Attack training academy. When his crew is trapped on a mountainside in an explosive wildfire in which his captain TB dies, he suffers from major trauma. Meantime, his father too dies in a fire in Saginaw, the night before this. Greg accepts his mentor's death but he has problem coping with his father's death, whom he had hated all his life. He feels that his father deliberately deserted him by dying before he could prove himself to him. Greg finally finds peace within his family of firefighters.

I had not read about anything on firefighting before this. It opened my eyes to the dangers of fire. And to the fact that firefighters endanger their own lives to control it. This has been well researched. And makes a real good read. One does not wish for it to end. Wildland fire is one of most dangerous of fires. Kamm has written a good book which is both enjoyable as well as informative. It has a good pace and finishes very fast. I liked the ending too. I say, go for it!