Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Friends, family share stories of fallen Arizona Hotshots


< Previous Page


TRAVIS CARTER: STRONG AND HUMBLE

At Captain Crossfit, a gym near the firehouse where the Hotshots were stationed, Travis Carter was known as the strongest one on the crew — but also the most humble.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"No one could beat him," trainer Janine Pereira said. "But the thing about him was he would never brag about it. He would just kill everyone and then go and start helping someone else finish."

Carter, 31, was famous for once holding a plank for 45 minutes, and he was notorious for making up brutal workouts.

The crew recently did a 5-mile run during wilderness training. He then made them go to Captain Crossfit in the afternoon for another hard workout.

"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.

———


story continues below
story continues below

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."

Another trainer, Janine Pereira, echoed that sentiment.

"You would say something to him, and he would respond with a crack, which was funny because he was so shy," she said.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.