Just a Few Jumper Stories: A Collection of Smokejumper Adventures is an entertaining, funny, warm, and educative book that will leave you in awe and excitement. The book is easy to read, clearly written, and a must-read for anyone in the firefighting space, but not familiar with the smokejumper program. Even those outside the fire service can learn a lot from it. The explicit way and manner the author explained what the smoke jumping profession really involves were indeed amazing. He did an amazing job in helping readers understand the challenges and rigors the brave jumpers of Alaska had to endure as they did their job. He also brought to light what it really takes be a jumper, as he carefully shed light on how they survived on their own, sometimes carrying 75 to 115 pounds on their backs.
The decorated author of this amazing book, Rod Dow, is indeed a legend. During his long career as a jumper, he risked his life numerous times to save lives and put out wildfires.
Dow was raised on a farm on the outskirt of Prosser, WA. Later on, he went to the prestigious Washington State University and graduated with a degree in Education. His career as a fire jumper began shortly after he graduated. He started jumping in McCall and was transferred in 1975 to the Alaska base. Over his 32 long years in service, he jumped 286 fires in a couple of western states. Unlike other jumpers, Dow chooses to remain at the bottom level of the jumper base throughout his career as a jumper. He did this so that he can jump more fires. He enjoys reading, camping, traveling, fly fishing, and foreign travels. He presently lives with his wife and son several miles off the grid in Washington.
This book is basically a collection of 70 well-written stories from the authors 46 years of firefighting. The author was flexible in his approach and went above and beyond to ensure that each story touches the heart of readers. All the tales in the book are true, funny, and portrayed the author’s love for the outdoors. His storytelling style is simple, entertaining, and engaging.
One striking thing about the stories in the book is that they are short and refreshing. Readers will definitely enjoy the author’s uncompromising approach to storytelling. He did a remarkable job of using words to bring each story to life. In fact, you will feel like you are right there with him as the event in the stories slowly unfolds.
The author also did a good job of scrutinizing every word and sentence in the book to ensure that they added value and there was no fluff.
Here is what one reader had to say about the book-
“Absolutely loved this book from start to finish. I was sad when I reached the end because I felt like I had made a friend with the author. I am a 17 year veteran of structural firefighting in a very busy city in the northeast and I have come to have huge respect for smokejumpers and all they bring to the table when they respond. War stories are part of our everyday life in the fire service… Mr. Dow does not disappoint with his book. Highly recommended! I really hope there is a follow up in the future by Mr. Dow!”
This book is a page-turner, and an excellent read for anyone looking for a funny, engaging, and exciting book about smokejumpers and wildlands firefighters.