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

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Joseph Rosamond
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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.

Credits:

  • 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.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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  • This is the third episode of KVPR’s podcastEscape 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.
  • This is the fourth 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.