Arizona Widow Of Granite Mountain Hotshot Firefighter Killed In Wildfire Denied Lifetime Benefits By City Of Prescott
A widow of one of the fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots is standing up and speaking out. The city of Prescott is denying her the lifetime benefits she is seeking to help raise her four children.
28 year old Juliann Ashcraft said she will receive workers’ compensation and a one-time federal payment of $328,000 for the death of her husband who died in the wildfire near Yarnell.
“I want to be able to just be mourning my husband, be supporting my children, be figuring out what our new normal is,” Ashcraft told CBS. “As shocked as I was that my husband went to work and never came home, I’m equally shocked in how the city has treated our family since then.”
Ashcraft was told that her husband was a seasonal employee and therefore not entitled to the millions in lifetime salary and health benefits for her children and herself, even though he worked more than 40 hours a week. Out of the 19 firefighters killed in action that day, only 6 families will receive these benefits.
“I said to them, ‘My husband was a full-time employee, he went to work full-time for you,’” she said. “And their response to me was, ‘Perhaps there was a communication issue in your marriage.’”