Smokejumping with Jason Ramos
Photo from The Manual
Around the world, daredevils challenge the laws of science and defy gravity, utilizing tools like parachutes to help them fly. For many, the thought of dropping hundreds of feet out of an aircraft, above solid ground, is enough to make their knees shake. But what if this was a part of your everyday life? And what if you didn’t just parachute above solid ground, but instead descended above a raging fire? For Jason Ramos, smokejumper in Washington state, dropping from a plane over remote, burning terrain is simply a part of his reality.
Photo from Desmog Canada
Jason grew up in California, and from the time he was young, he was intrigued by firefighting and rescue missions. By the time he was 13, he was already working long hours for his dad, waking up at 3:00 each morning and working until 18:00 each evening. In 1989, Jason became a volunteer firefighter and now, almost 30 years later, he still serves his community by fighting wildfires and carrying out rescue missions.
Photo from Getty Images
But the missions Jason conducts are not those of a typical firefighter. In fact, they’re pretty extreme. Carrying packs that hold over 100 pounds of gear and enough food and water to sustain him for 48 hours, smokejumpers are some of the most courageous, determined and strong individuals in the world, not to mention, extremely rare. In fact, Jason is just one of only 6,000 smokejumpers across the entire globe and, with a job so important, he knows he has to have the best gear. He says, “I learned very quickly to modify my own gear and search for the best [...] Nowadays, information, gear and clothing have all become tools that can help you perform at the next level” (The Manual). And with the gear he has, Jason is able to perform not only at the next level, but the highest level.
Photo from The Manual
Stowed in his pack, along with gear from Texenergy, natural wool clothing and top-notch Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Jason carries his DMOS shovels. He says, “For almost three decades, I’ve been searching for a shovel that can handle rescue, snow and loose debris. The DMOS Stealth and Alpha offer a U.S.-made, professional, lightweight, collapsible, incredibly strong shovel that can be deployed for various types of missions” (The Manual). Plus, he mentions, without the use of the best gear he can find, he would not be able to serve his community and perform as well as he is able to now. “All gear has a breaking point,” he says, “but I pride myself in researching and purchasing the best” (The Manual).
Photo by Jo Savage Photography
Jason Ramos is an inspiration, and his bravery and determination are characteristics we can all learn from. Never giving up and learning from his mistakes are some of Jason’s daily life mottos and, as he says, “If you knock on a door loud enough, it will open, and if you don’t knock at all, the door will remain closed”.
Photo from Smokejumperbook.com
Here at DMOS Collective, we are proud to support first responders like Jason with gear that won’t fail. To find out more about Jason Ramos, visit his website here. To learn about his book, “Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters”, click here.
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