"The other guys who came in here always said that even though he was in charge, he was always the first one at the fire, the first one in action," Pereira said.
Carter also gained notoriety as a tailback on his high school football team in Dewey, where he scored 16 touchdowns his senior year and was named an all-state, all-conference player.
One of his favorite places was a fishing pond at his family's ranch, where he worked alongside his father and his grandfather branding and shipping cattle and driving tractors.
He joined the Granite Mountain Hotshots in 2009.
DUSTIN DEFORD: DRY SENSE OF HUMOR
Dustin DeFord, 24, was a Baptist preacher's son, but it was firefighting that captured his imagination.
At 18, he volunteered for the Carter County Rural Fire Department like his father did in his hometown of Ekalaka, Mont.
He graduated from Cornerstone Bible Institute in Hot Springs, S.D., three years ago, said his father, the Rev. Steve DeFord. He always believed God was his guiding force and could be seen reading his Bible daily.
On his Facebook page last year, he talked about wanting to find work in western Montana, but God instead moved him to Arizona. Immediately he worked to improve his skills on the climbing wall at a gym near the firehouse.
He liked to cliff jump and run "Spartan Race" obstacle courses, and he passed the physical test for the Granite Mountain crew in January 2012.
"He listened very well. He was very respectful," said Tony Burris, a trainer at Captain Crossfit. "He kind of had a dry sense of humor."