Archive for Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lawrence firefighter salutes Obama while at work at South Pole

Fire fighter Justin Maughmer and co-workers for Raytheon Polar Services in Antarctica celebrate at the South Pole.

Fire fighter Justin Maughmer and co-workers for Raytheon Polar Services in Antarctica celebrate at the South Pole.

January 20, 2009


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Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2009 — the first African-American elected to the position. Many locals will make the trip to Washington, D.C., to watch the historic event. Others will watch from here in Kansas.

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A Lawrence man working as a firefighter at the South Pole had to wait until Tuesday night to view a video recording of President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The video was being flown in from Antarctica’s McMurdo research station, Justin Maughmer, 26, wrote in an e-mail to the Journal-World.

“We do not have any TV or radio service at the pole. I’m sure there will be party tonight while we watch it,” Maughmer wrote.

Maughmer is a member of the Antarctic Fire Department and is at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole station. He flew to McMurdo by way of New Zealand on Oct. 9 and is currently on a four-week rotation at the pole.

At the time Maughmer sent his e-mail, it was it was 20 degrees below zero, with a wind-chill of 41 below, he wrote. The coldest he’s experienced was 40 below at McMurdo. The pole is currently going through its “warm” season, when the son shines 24 hours a day.

Maughmer wrote that he moved to Lawrence from Garden City three years ago. He hopes to attend Kansas University in the near future.


riverdrifter 9 years, 5 months ago

Justin,What is your outerware of choice? Canada Goose?

Bladerunner 9 years, 5 months ago

Why are there fireman at the southpole? Afraid the snow will burst into flames? Hmmm. Ahhhh must be the Southpole clothing line! That makes more sense.

berkman 9 years, 5 months ago

Riverdrifter - Yeah, our big red coat is from Canada Goose.Bladerunner - We are here for the Air Force. They require us to have 2000 gallons of agent and a minimum of 3 personal on stand-by for the LC-130s. We also handle fire inspections and back up the fire brigade.

Jacob Kucza 9 years, 5 months ago

It's good to know that the "son" is shining.

Bladerunner 9 years, 5 months ago

Now that makes more sense. Thank you Berkman.

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