I have re-written this letter so many times, trying to put into words my gratitude for the amazing people that helped us on June 27. I just don’t think I will ever be able to say thank you enough to them.
We went up to Big Piney/Fish Creek to camp for the weekend with some family on June 23. We left our camper up there, as my husband was going back up the following weekend. We heard late Monday there was a fire on the LaBarge side; we said that we would watch the fire, and if it moved up over the mountain we would go get the camper. Tuesday night, the fire was moving so fast we decided Wednesday my husband would go get our camper.
On Wednesday morning, when we got up, all the roads to our camper were showing as closed. I called the Forest Service, and they told me sorry for our luck but everything was closed and we could not go up there and get it out.
I was devastated as there was something in that camper that could not be replaced. Two years ago, we had to put our 17-year-old dog to sleep, and we had her cremated. She loved camping, so we always kept part of her ashes in the camper so she could go with us every time we went camping. I know we had insurance on the camper, and everything in there was just material and could be replaced except those ashes.
Around 11 a.m., my husband received a call from the Sublette County Communication Officer Steve Smith saying they had officers at our camper and wanted to know if we wanted to go in and get it out, of course my husband said yes and said he would be there as soon as possible. Communication Officer Smith kept in contact with my husband to let him know how much time they had left until they would no longer be able to let him up there.
When my husband arrived at the Big Piney sheriff’s office, Detective Al Kaderavek was there to escort him up to the camper. When my husband arrived at the camper, there were two officers, Captain John Wells and Sgt. Ty Gulbrandson, waiting there for him and had been since they found the camper. They asked him what they could do to help get him ready and out of there.
They went above and beyond the call of duty to help us get our camper out of there. They explained to my husband, another 30 minutes and they would have had to leave and not let him get it.
We will never be able to thank the four officers enough for what they did and we will always be very gratefully for their service that day. Thank you again Officer Smith, Detective Kaderavek, Captain Wells and Sgt. Gulbrandson; your actions are truly the meaning of protect and serve. Sheriff Dave Lankford, you have an amazing team working for you.
I also want to thank the firefighters for putting themselves in danger to help save something so many people love and are truly devastated over losing, you are amazing men and women for what you do and are respected by everyone.
Janet and Jay Crofts,