Jason Ramos, a 16-year veteran smokejumper based at the North Cascades Smokejumper Base (NCSB) in Winthrop, has just published a memoir about his career as a wildland firefighter. Smokejumper: A memoir by one of America’s most select airborne firefighters is an inside look at the 75-year legacy of the smokejumper program and the select group of men and women who have earned their smokejumper wings over the years.
Ramos details his own life as a firefighter, from his beginnings as a 17-year-old volunteer in Southern California, to his years on a Forest Service helitack crew, to achieving his dream of becoming a smokejumper.
He also reflects on wildland firefighting, and how it has evolved over the past decade. “As fires have grown, the mind-set of fighting them has shifted, too,” Ramos writes. In Smokejumper, Ramos makes the case that smokejumpers are the ideal firefighting tool as wildland fires grow larger, more numerous and deadly each year.
Retired NCSB manager and air tactical group supervisor Bill Moody wrote of Smokejumper: “In a humble and interesting way, Jason takes us through his story of a young man aspiring to become a smokejumper. The reader joins him on his time as a volunteer urban firefighter, to wildland firefighting and training, to becoming a rookie smokejumper. Interwoven in his exciting adventures, Jason educates the reader about the other firefighting resources, the art of firefighting, the smokejumper culture and life style, and human tragedies associated with his 26-year firefighting career.”
Ramos co-wrote Smokejumper along with award-winning author Julian Smith. For more information, go to www.smokejumperbook.com.