Firefighters to represent RI at Ariz. memorial

A group of Providence firefighters left Monday for Arizona, where they'll attend a memorial for 19 elite firefighters who were killed in a wildfire.

Firefighters say they're aware of the dangers that come with the job.

"It represents one of the largest single losses of life in the history of the fire service, and that's why we're taking the time to support the efforts of these five members to go out there and pay their respects," said Paul Doughty, president of Providence Fire Fighters Local 799. "It's the least we could do."

Vice President Joe Biden expected to be in attendance, along with firefighters from all over the country.

A nearly five-hour-long procession Sunday began near the state Capitol in Phoenix, went through the town where the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed and ended in the mountain community of Prescott, where they lived and will be laid to rest this week.

The firefighters' bodies traveled in individual white hearses in a somber caravan for 125 miles through Arizona cities and towns.