Basic wildland firefighter training offered |

Basic wildland firefighter training offered

The U.S. Forest Service will offer basic wildland firefighter training this spring, and is seeking men and women interested in this demanding but rewarding work. The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit has an established and successful emergency on-call, administratively determined, firefighter program.

Two class sessions will be offered in 2009. The first is April 28 through May 1 from 8 a.m. 4:30 p.m. and the second is offered May 4-8 from 4 p.m. 10 p.m. Classes will be held at the U.S. Forest Service Meyers Fire Training room located at 2215 Keetak Ave. in Meyers. Call (530) 543-2881 for directions.

In order to pass the class all students must participate in the field day May 9 from a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The field day is a physically demanding day. You must be in good shape and show up ready to work hard. You will be required to have approved firefighting boots when you show up as well. Proper footwear will be discussed during the course.

Advanced registration is required. To register for the class contact Dave Soldavini at (530) 543-2881. Students who have not registered may show up the day of the class and will be enrolled if seats are available on a case-by-case basis. The class is free but sweat equity will be necessary to pass the field day.

These classes consist of the training needed for federal Firefighter 2 positions in wildland fire. Firefighter 2 is the basic wildland qualification required for all entry level fire suppression positions in Sorest Service and for participation in The Lake Tahoe Basin’s on-call emergency fire crew program. This series of classes used to be called the Basic-32, and is still commonly referred to as the Basic-32.

This training is offered for individuals who are interested in pursuing employment as a wildland firefighter. Students should be in good shape physically and ready to work long, hard hours. Priority will be given to men and women participating in the on-call emergency firefighter program, also referred to as the AD program.

If you are interested in participating in the AD program, or have more questions, feel free to contact the AD Program Manager Aaron Grove at (530) 543-2883 or Program Coordinator, Dave Soldavini, at (530) 543-2881.

This program is designed to provide 2 twenty person fire crews on an on-call basis to suppress wildfires during the fire season. As an AD firefighter you could be called on to staff one of these crews, or to fill in as needed on other fire suppression crews. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in a firefighting career. You will receive the training necessary for the job as well as on the job experience.

The job requires people who are willing to work long, hard hours in dangerous and demanding situations before grabbing a sleeping bag and being ready the next morning to do it all over again. This work schedule can continue for two weeks straight. Participants are expected to be disciplined, self motivated, able to follow instructions, and work well with others. If a job that requires the best out of you each and every day in a rigorous work environment sounds like what you are looking for, we’ve got it!

In order to qualify for the AD program you must meet four standards. First is completion of the Basic-40 series of classes (wildland firefighter training), second is successful completion of the work capacity test, third is filling out a paperwork packet, and fourth you must have appropriate boots for the job.

The Basic-40 series of classes is offered to AD firefighters free of charge. If you have already received this training, certificates of completion for the Basic-40, Basic-32, or a comparable state program will be honored.

The work capacity test, or PAC test as it is referred to, is a timed hike. To successfully complete the PAC test, a three mile hike must be completed in less than forty-five minutes while carrying a forty-five pound pack. When taken in Lake Tahoe, the test is adjusted for elevation and forty-six minutes is an acceptable time. The PAC test is offered after completion of the Basic-40. Packs will be provided or you can bring your own.

The paperwork packet is to prove eligibility of employment, direct deposit information to receive payment, and contact numbers. You must have a bank account number to receive all wage payments via direct deposit. Documents you will need to provide proof of eligibility include a driver’s license and a social security or birth certificate. A passport establishing citizenship is also acceptable. This packet must be filled out in full by the date of the PAC test.

Boots. Enough can not be said about the importance of having good footwear. The minimum requirement is a “heavy duty, leather, laced boots with non-skid soles and tops at least 8 inches high.” (Forest Service Health and Safety Codebook 25.12). Steel toed boots are NOT acceptable. There are many manufacturers of boots that meet this requirement and we will work with you to make sure that you have boots that meet this requirement. Anyone reporting for the classes field day without approved boots will not be hired.

Once these four requirements are satisfied you will be issued a fireline qualification card and put into a database of qualified, available AD firefighters. Once the need is established to activate the OC crews, people on the database are contacted until the requisite number of firefighter positions is filled.

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