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Part 5: A Deeper Dive With 'Chief Joe' Rosamond

Joseph Rosamond
Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Rosamond, a pilot with the California Army National Guard, flew one of the helicopters that rescued 242 campers who’d been trapped in the Sierra Nevada by the Creek Fire.";

In an earlier episode of this podcast, Chief Warrant Officer Joseph Rosamond, a helicopter pilot with the California Army National Guard, went so far as to say that flying the rescue mission at Mammoth Pool Reservoir “was the most dangerous, most risky thing I've ever gotten myself into.” What you haven’t heard is just how harrowing those flights were—particularly the one in which Rosamond and his crew loaded in three times as many people as the helicopter is rated for.

In this extended interview we take a deep dive with Chief Rosamond, who’s been a guardsman for 24 years, flies a Chinook helicopter, and leads aviation safety trainings at his home base in Stockton. Rosamond begins by describing what his missions during wildfire season had typically looked like—before the Creek Fire changed all that last September.


  • Reporter/Producer: Kerry Klein
  • Editor: Alice Daniel
  • Web support: Alex Burke
  • Music: written by Kevin MacLeod (songs: Acid Trumpet, Beauty Flow)

This is the fifth episode of KVPR’s podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool: the true story of how 242 people and 16 dogs escaped one of the fastest-moving wildfires in California’s recorded history.

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