ALAMOGORDO, NM – May 07, 2013 – Daniel Davidson, age 26, US Forest Service wildland firefighter on Engine 621 of the Sacramento Ranger District, passed away on Sunday afternoon. Davidson was working on a Forest Service project, with two other engine crew members near Mayhill, NM, when he suddenly collapsed. The crew members immediately attended to Davidson and began CPR. They continued CPR as the life flight helicopter mobilized to the scene. Shortly following their arrival, the helicopter’s emergency personnel determined that Davidson had passed away. He was then transported to Albuquerque, NM. The cause of death has not been determined.
“The news was shocking and unsettling, as I learned more details of the incident and one cannot escape that sense of overwhelming sadness that settles so heavily on your heart,” said Tom Mulder, Acting Forest Supervisor for the Lincoln National Forest. “All the employees of the Lincoln National Forest are grieving this tragic loss. We truly are a family and we have lost one of our own,” Mulder added.
Daniel Davidson was an E4 Specialist with the US Army’s 10th Mountain Infantry Division, a veteran who had served two tours in Afghanistan. In civilian life, he pursued his interest in wildland firefighting and was hired as an engine crew member in April of this year. A motivated and enthusiastic Davidson found himself in intensive, mandatory wildland firefighting training courses for the first two weeks, followed by a fire preparedness review before beginning his field work. One individual on the review panel, Hagan, recalls his vivid memory of Davidson, “I was conducting the formal review and canvassing the group of wildland firefighters…engaging them in a two-way communication event, when I looked to one side of the line of firefighters and said, what about this side?” Davidson jumped to his feet and saluted me! “Yes sir!” Davidson responded! “He lit up everyone around him! He was full of life and energy and committed to take on the task at hand!” Hagan said, as he reflected on that moment.
Davidson was a true hero and lived his life through service and dedication to his country, his community and his extensive circle of family and friends. He is survived by his mother, father and stepmother, two sisters and a brother, a 6-year old son, his fiancé and an unborn daughter, who is expected to arrive in this world in July. There are numerous friends and relatives whose lives he touched.
Funeral services for Daniel Davidson are pending. Additional information and details about his services will be provided as it becomes available.