"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
Home of the Wildland Firefighter
||Re Pulaski Moniker|
Can nicknames be like jersey numbers so when we loose a long time voice, like
Pulaski, the name just gets retired to
some sort of "Leaders we will miss" list?
Let's hang his jersey in the rafters rather than give it a newbie.
Flash in Florida
Of course, Pulaski could still keep tabs on us younger punks and chip in now and
then with a more "mature" (ie: old
HAW HAW HAW, another good option.
||Don't have a good e-mail for Jim Gobel, Pulaski, so if you would pass this
to him or just post...|
Congrats to you old timer....
Guess it's safe to call ya that? Glad to hear
you made it to the golden age of...."Well what do I do next?" Seems like it was
just a while back when we were exchanging information and Powerpoints on the
130/190 training classes and visiting on
WildlandFire.com. It's been almost a year ago, that you said you would be
following me into retirement, but I didn't think
it would happen. I like so many others wish you the best in the future and if
you're like the rest of us, we know you'll still
be hang'n around They Said...
Best of Luck and we'll be see'n ya Pulaski!
Another original. Glad you guys are weighing in. Ab.
The Groundpig felt a strong disturbance and had to surface.
I agree with Tony Duprey regarding the start of the IRPG. Mark Linane and Jim
Cook initiated the original concept of a small,
compact pocket size reference book for firefighters. Too many rules to remember,
so why not write them down and have a nice
reference book in your pocket. Back then it was maybe 20 pages? I still have my
first edition IRPG, ( Just can’t remember
where it is). I still hear the debates and discussions in Sacramento and San
Diego at the Hotshot Workshops!! I also still
remember the first ”Look Up, Look Down, Look Around” beta deliveries. Another
fine Cook/Linane product. Kind of like
||Re: Tribute to Tommy Lane|
I was on the Tripod Complex, Div Romeo where it blew out.
Maps & Photos
Well, I've been meaning to send this in for a while now and always manage to
forget or put it off, so since this is my last day, I suppose its better late
I realize I haven't posted to they said or the forums much at all the last
couple years but that doesn't mean I haven't been following, just too much going
on in my own small world I guess. At some point one of you said to me that other
Hotlisters have wanted to use the Pulaski moniker but you steered them to a
different name since I was so active on TheySaid with Pulaski. Obviously there
is no need for this anymore, so please don’t hold it on my account.
Sometimes it only seems like a couple years ago I went to my first fire, a
little lightning strike fire named the Cone fire on the LP in 1977. Of course,
that fire did not end up little. Or the ensuing years "livin' the life" stomping
around the western US on fires in the early 80's. ….But, after 23 years here
with the state of WI and a total of 33 on the fireline, its time to call it
quits. I've lasted longer than some. The vast majority of people who were
eligible to retire have done so since the first of the year which is scary to me
as we are loosing all our line experienced folks with no good opportunity for
mentoring the younger folks. YIKES - should be a new watch out situation.
Not surprisingly, OUTSTANDING job on the "Always Remember" web page. Way to go!!
I cannot think of anything that has benefitted the entire wildland fire
community more than what YOU have done with wildlandfire.com. I cant reiterate
that enough - WELL DONE!
SO, I will wander off into the sunset now, but I will still be watching.
aka Jim Gobel
Best wishes and don't be a stranger, you certainly were one of the original
TheySaiders. Hopefully you'll help us find more info for the
Always Remember LODDs.
I think we might have to raffle off the Pulaski moniker with the proceeds going
to the WFF!
HAW HAW HAW! We could then call you: "The Firefighter Formerly Known As
All I have to say is let's see the original notebook of Linane or the people
who wrote it that he took credit (stole) from.
As Ab said the ideas are a dime a dozen and it takes persistence to get anything
into useful and publishable form. The
time for an IRPG had come. Who pulled that off?
Keeping 'em honest...
If anyone has historical factual info, I'm happy to post it but let's not
turn this into a pi**ing match. I'd be curious to see what the original one
looked like and how it's changed. Ab.
||Re: ORIGINAL IRPG
Hey Mary Blair!!
Glad to see you are still out there listening!
Regarding the original IRPG.. I also have an original 1994 copy.. but what I
wanted to write in about is its TRUE origin. The original idea was Chief Mark
Linane's (Superintendent Los Padres Hotshots). Mark mentored two 13/13
crewpersons thru building the original IRPG, or true fireline notebook. Mark had
these two crewpersons submit their idea (and draft) as an employee suggestion to
Forest Management. Being as the Los Padres Hotshots were not necessarily the
"apple of management's eye" on the Los Padres at the time (I was there), the
employee suggestion was not adopted.. simply disregarded by management.
Well, as you and Ab both aptly stated, everyone decided to take credit for the
idea. While the LP hotshots continued to work on the product, Mr. Becker took
(stole) the idea and work already done by the hotshots and used his position in
management to have his version accepted..
The bottom line though is that we have a great product, with much input from
many but the true roots of the IRPG are at the Hotshot level.. thanks to Chief
Mark Linane. The IRPG continues to be a living, up to date guide due to another
hotshot great, Jim Cook, former superintendent of the Arrowhead Hotshots and
current chief training guru for the Forest Service in Boise.
and the two crewpersons?? One is now Division Chief in charge of Operations of a
large local Fire Department and the other is a Chief 2 on a national forest.
So now you know the "rest of the story"...
Ever keeping the pot stirred,
Retired Foreman/Captain - Los Prietos/Padres Hotshots
||Just wanted to say thank you!
I’ve been surfing all over the internet
looking for updates for the Copper Creek and Stanley Butte fires Arizona, and
stumbled upon your Wildlandfire website.
First off I want to say thank you for all you do. You are all heroes in my eyes
and in my family’s eyes. It takes a special person to do what you do. I’ve been
reading a bit on your thread “They Said It” and I agree – after the smoke clears
we all forget about you. I already knew you were special people, but now having
been affected directly by the Wallow – family were evacuated from Nutrioso,
Springerville and Eagar – and now I’m looking directly at the Copper Creek fire
– (I live near that one), it has been brought way too close home to me. I will
be forever and eternally grateful to you and your firefighting family.
If I ever have the honor of meeting one of you in person I would not hesitate to
thank you; shake your hand; cook you a steak; buy you a beer; whatever you
desire. It seems the words ‘thank you’ cannot really convey the depth of
gratitude I feel. I know the efforts of you and your fellow firefighters are
what saved the towns from the Wallow and the other fires I know nothing about.
God bless you and all of your families, and you will be forever in my thoughts.
On a little side note – My family and I were all together having breakfast at my
dad’s home in Nutrioso this past Sunday, we were asked where the nearest store
was by a passing stranger. We told him where he could find a store, and he went
along his way. We realized only later that he was probably there to help with
the fire. We now regret we did not ask who he was and if there was anything we
could do for him – offer him breakfast, or at least shake his hand. I would
welcome that opportunity again, and next time I will not miss it.
||Sad News: Kevin Konz has passed on. Memorial this afternoon!
A very good
man, a good hand -- great attitude, safe, tough and hard working, a loyal
and solid firefighter for BLM.
He also worked for the Boise District for a couple seasons.
Kevin was a career seasonal, lead firefighter for our fuels crew in
Kevin Konz Memorial Flyer (great picture of Kevin) (150 K pdf)
from the flyer:
SERVICES FOR KEVIN SCOTT KONZ WILL BE HELD
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2011 AT 4:00 P.M. AT
THE MODOC COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS IN CEDARVILLE, CA.
POTLUCK TO FOLLOW, MEAT AND DRINKS PROVIDED, PLEASE BRING SIDE
Donations can be made to:
Phone : 530-233-1999
510 North Main Street
Alturas, Ca 96101
Sad news, indeed. Ab.
||IRPG - original creator
The original IRPG was done by Bob Becker while he
was on the Los Padres. Most of the work was done on his time, at his home
on his personal computer as I recall. I worked with him near the end of the
original with the section on Dealing with the Press.
As Bob submitted it for review and employee suggestion, its "written by" changed
as each level seemed to claim it as their own
starting with Mike Doughery (south zone training), then the regional training
officer (Lorie Bennett). The region adopted it, then
Do hope Bob responds to this request and the progression of this tool and its
roots are captured for future reference.
Mary Blair, retired
I agree, Mary. The people with the original idea that actually DO it
deserve recognition. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Making them real, working through
the original bumps and taking them to the next level of a real product, now
that's pretty amazing. Ab.
||Tribute to Tommy Lane
Sitting here thinking of my time with Tommy Lane, my thoughts turn to the
temporal nature of our business. Temporal in that we go to fires, spend an hour,
day or a few weeks in that “other” world. Then we go home, waiting for the next
assignment. Single events. Transitory. Seasonal. Cycle of life. Re-runs of your
favorite sitcom. Momentary episodes, full of memories, stitched together with
anticipation of the “next one”. Of course, some get public notoriety and a place
in our collective consciousness for various reasons; Marble-Cone, Esperanza,
Cedar. Aside from those “memorable” incidents, our experiences, efforts and
contributions often go un-noticed by the general populace. We firefighters
though, remember, like homing pigeons, our mutually shared experiences with
endearment as well as pride… hah! In spite of how horrible the food was. For
what ever reason; the pain, successes, tragedies, and difficulties, all burn
into our gray matter, only to be recalled when we meet another firefighter who
“was there”. Funny how the “hood” of firefighter camaraderie relives, vividly
(those fishermen stories), what the public has all too soon forgotten once the
smoke has cleared. It seems obvious to me that we are a privileged group,
continually building up an arsenal of war stories, experiences… and friendships.
Tommy was a gifted fireman. He embraced his role as a fireline supervisor with
commitment and dedication. He cared deeply for the firefighters under his charge
and made sure they went home safe. One memory, which is still vivid to me,
occurred several years ago. CIIMT2 was assigned to the Tripod Complex in
north-eastern Washington. It was a PIA fire where politics, line officers, and
doing the right thing collide. IMTs are collateral damage. It was zoned with two
IMTs and a AC. Firefighter exposure was mounting as the weeks added up. The team
before us had used several tanker trucks of drip-mix attempting to coax a
black-line. They didn’t succeed. What we inherited became a game of connect the
dots. A mine field of half-burned dead and dying spruce, prime for re-burn.
Tommy’s branch had the worst of it. He had spent a week trying to button it up.
The day’s shift-briefing forecast announced a significant change in the
weather…“hotter and dryer with increased fire activity”. Tommy later told me
during his debrief, that “it just didn’t feel right” as he walked to the line.
Swirls of dust and ash were dancing like imps by mid-morning. Branches were
crackling with each step. Smokes re-appearing where crews had worked for days.
By noon, as conditions worsened, it became obvious to Tommy that a decision had
to be made. He ordered all divisions to pull back to their safety zones…
immediately. Within the hour the eastern flank of the Tripod looked like Mt. St
Helens. Of course the blow-up got everyone’s attention. On the other hand the
“re-positioning” of 500 firefighters didn’t. It mattered not; the firefighters
were safe. Thank you Tommy.
Keep up the humor. "We" need more of it. This board is way to serious, dude!!
Humor and Leadership
November 4th, 2007 · No Comments
Check out this perspective on leadership from the former four-star General and
US President, Dwight David Eisenhower:
“A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with
people, of getting things done”
Read more quotes here...........
||Dear Mr. Carson:
Yes, my post was certainly tongue-in-cheek.
I couldn't agree more with you about the "art" side of the business. Have a read
of the essay entitled "Old Cowboys, Cows, and
Fire Behavior Forecasting: Supplementing Models With Local Knowledge" that I
asked my good friend Tim Greer to write as a
sidebar to my article on "
Are We Abusing Our Use of Models and Modeling in Wildland Fire and Fuel
We have certainly not spent enough time with respect to research and training on
the "human element" of fire behavior forecasting
in comparison to the "science".
But when we can't laugh at ourselves then we are in serious trouble.
1979 S-590 Course Graduate
& 1996 Co-founder of Canadian Wildland Fire Behavior Specialist Course
||Regarding the comment by Marty Alexander, PhD, RPF, Sherwood Park, Alberta:
“A couple of colleagues here in Alberta have forwarded the recent New York Times
article on "Fighting Wildfires WithComputers and Intuition". Very interesting. However, I personally prefer more
scientific methods than "fire whispering"
as outlined in the attachment.”
Dr Alexander, I’m going to give you the benefit f the doubt and assume above was
If not, I want to assure you that if you don’t pay attention to your instincts,
and don’t have well-connected slides in both your
cognitive and subconscious
slide trays, you will not last long in this business.
Particularly of “what wrong looks like.” That’s where the “fire whispering”
I think that is what the story, in its own half-assed media-like way, was trying
to get at.
But I did not want to assume that you are overly-enamored of the scientific way
in this fire business, where every fire that
escapes IA becomes a living,
breathing entity, each with its own personality and quirks.
That’s where “The Art” comes in.
Best regards, and take care.
||What exactly do the NIMO teams do?
||re: NIMO teams in R3 [southwest]
The NIMO team (Gage) of which you speak of with just such overt disrespect
(after talking to "A" command staff member on "one" of those teams) has not been
slacking, or glory seeking. I remember having several radio conversations with
this particular NIMO OSC on a fire in Texas, as fire was burning into town, and
the ground forces were folding. That was on my first tour in Texas, before my
second tour in Texas, but before my first tour in Alaska, and before my first
tour in AZ, of which a few gigs of were on the Monument fire.... Point is,
whether you know it or not, they've been out a while. ....You? You been out a
while? on the upside, if you will, the team that was managing the Monument is on
it's way home. I just hope the "Command Staffer" you got your info from, wasn't
from that team.
Sorry Ab..... But I'm getting a little tired of people whining about what they
BTW, Dave. The Coronado is STILL home to the Horseshoe II and Monument.
End of transmission.
You're making the assumption dave is not part of the
NIMO team and has some kind of beef? I'll forward on any message you want to
I have been trying to find more information, the present Red card information. I
would like to look into start this back up.
I was a Volunteer for several years in VA. I have been hearing a lot about all
the Wild fires and would like to Help make
Samuel.Coggin@ nospam iluka.com
Contributors, you can contact him directly. Take out the spaces and nospam.
||re: NIMO teams in R3 [southwest]
There is a NIMO team assigned to the Coronado National Forest, which until
just recently was home
to both the Horseshoe Two and Monument fires. A few days ago I asked a command
staff member on
one of those teams how the NIMO was interacting with their team and they didn't
||re: NIMO teams in R3 [southwest]
There is currently a NIMO team assigned to the SWA (R3). NIMO (Gage) is assigned
to the Coronado NF for
planning and fire support.
You probably just didn't see that. There is no reason the SW would NOT use a
||Details on Tommy Lane's memorial service:
I just spoken with
Tommy's daughter, Amy. She asked that I post the information about his services
His memorial is scheduled for this
Friday, July 1, 2011 at 1300 hours at
Sierra Bible Church on
Tuolumne Road in
with a reception following at the Sheriff's Posse grounds on Rawhide Road in
Amy wanted to be sure everyone knows they are welcome.
I am on assignment as I know many of Tommy's friends are right now. Amy said, if
anyone would understand that,
Tommy would. Godspeed my friend.
Stanislaus NF ECC
Thanks for passing the message Wendy and our best to Amy and
the rest of the family. Ab.
Been out since the 24th of what? Me too. I've been home six days (two at a time,
and no more than two at a time) in 4 months. That's correct...... My agency can
extend. Guess which agency that is?... Doesn't have an "F" or an "S" in it.
Doesn't mean I particularly wanted to not be home.... But my agency doesn't have
an "F" or an "S" in it, so gotta cover the agency with the "F" and the "S" in
it.. The really pathetic part, is that now.... NOW.... it takes a letter to "D"irect
"F"orests and "R"egions to make employees available..... IT IS THE 27th OF JUNE,
for crying out loud!!!!....
However, I really enjoy the fact that they have to mention that we are not in
PL4 or 5.... You change the criteria of PLs, this is what you get. You place a
TIII team on a 6,000 acre fire that has gone nuclear a few miles east of Phoenix
on JUNE 27, to not get too many teams "committed" so that we can maintain a
National PL-3... and then harp on GACCs etc. for not making people available????
This letter (and I've seen a few of them) has NEVER come out at PL-3.......
EVER!!!! This truly is astonishing!
||Some nice historic black and white photos and description from Al Golub,
retired Sacbee photojournalist, who accompanied the
Stanislaus HS to the
Acorn Fire in 1987.
Greg Overacker was supe.
A couple of colleagues here in Alberta have forwarded the recent New York Times
article on "Fighting
Computers and Intuition". Very interesting.
However, I personally prefer more scientific methods than "fire whispering" as
outlined in the attachment.
Marty Alexander, PhD, RPF
Sherwood Park, Alberta
Fire Behavior Forecasting Aids (219 K pdf)
Haw, Haw, Haw! Ab.
||Making the rounds:
From: Deputy Chief Chuck Myers [mailto:Deputy_Chief_Chuck_Myers%FSNOTES@mci.fs.fed.us]
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2011 2:52 PM
To: ALL FS
Subject: 6130; Notice of Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA);
OPTIONAL REPLY DUE AUGUST 30, 2011
Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) (64 K pdf)
||Making the rounds:
From: HRM News [mailto:HRM_News%FSNOTES@mci.fs.fed.us]
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2011 12:49 PM
To: ALL FS
HRM is hosting 3 eMeetings to discuss changes to USAJobs- Discontinuation of
Almost the "Let My People Go" message, (789 K doc) been out since the 24th.
Just thought I'd pass it on to help get needed
resources out of the office.
I have heard no mention of NIMO teams in Region 3. I thought
these huge, long term, multi jurisdictional fires were just the
situation the NIMO concept was designed for.
Is there a reason NIMO is not utilized in R-3 ?
||Re Tommy Lane:
As a new DIV on CA IMT 2, Tommy Lane took me under his wing
and taught me much about the dynamics of a type I Team.
He was a great mentor.
I will always remember him.
||New 301 Firefighter:
As a honorably retired FS law enforcement officer and firefighter I Just wanted
to drop you people a quick email to let
you know you are not alone you are part of a long hard fight that has been going
on for years. I have read your blog and
see some of the same problems we had 30 years ago. Sometimes you think your on a
new trail and then you find yourself
on a well beaten trail.
For years we have been fighting the same old problems with FS management. As
the years go by you will see the FS has
always been slow to act on anything and just about everything. I worked in
region 5 for many years and saw the birth of
unions the NFFE started on the SBNF like a wild fire it spread to the ANF and
the LPNF without the unions you would
have NOTHING. No voice and a return to the "If you don't like it quit".
||The Passing of Tommy Lane
Couldn't have said it better Quietis Contendo.
The memories of him on Team 2 are everlasting.
Prayers for him and his family.
Keeper of the Coyote's secrets.
||I've heard the 301 series IS the wildland firefighter series.
they clear this up?
Boyz in the woodz.
||Re Question about union representation:
Sawgal, let’s take these a one at
Sawgal said; "a list of those Forests in California considered "union"
forests and those not union forests?"
At this link starting on page 147 is a listing of units that have formed a
bargaining unit. If a unit is not listed, they have not formed a bargaining
Master Agreement Final (pdf)
Sawgal said: "The reason I ask is there is increasing rumors that the "union"
is negotiating with the Forest Service to use the 301 series. I've spoken to
friends on the Los Padres which I think is a union forest and they too have
heard the rumors but have not been asked by the union for any input."
What you heard is not a rumor. Reportedly the Union at the WO level is
negotiating the 301 or will be shortly. I have recently read the Forest Service
has committed to a Wildland Firefighter series. This was part of Randy Moore's
retention package that he sent to the WO a few years ago. The retention package
was developed as a result of considerable pressure from wlf.com forum members
coming together and FWFSA fighting for us. The boiling point hit April 1, 2008,
"The day they lied from coast to coast.” Check the wlf archives starting in Dec
2007 and up to April 2008, and beyond. I must say I do appreciate Randy Moore's
commitment over the years. We didn’t get p to p (yet), and we didn’t get
approved the permanent special salary pay (yet), but I think Randy and R5 FAM
tried and they have made progress with other items. To sum up your question, I
think the 301 series is a temporary fix until the firefighter series is
approved. I estimate this to take about another 12 months. The good thing about
the 301 series is that it is not a single grade interval series like 0462. A GS9
can go to a GS11 301 series without worrying about doing a year at the GS10 as
is required with a 0462 series.
More important than 301 is that every union official you bump into let them know
they need to get involved VERY INVOLVED and STAY INVOLVED with the National IFPM
- FS-FPM Team. The union needs to be at EVERY meeting this group has, since they
seem to make changes at every meeting. The Union also needs to make sure they
are asking bargaining unit employees and managers for insights about these two
programs. I would like to see NFFE do another mass survey using out internal
email system on this subject.
Sawgal said; "I'm a member of the FWFSA"
Thank you for your support to FWFSA. I am a proud member too.
Sawgal said: “Has the union discussed their 301 efforts with the FWFSA? I
think it would be a disaster for all of us if the two organizations that are
supposed to be working for us gave the impression they were on different pages
of such an important issue. I don't want to be forced into an agreement I had no
I hear what you're saying. Again, we need to put a lot of pressure on management
and the union to ensure they ask those on the ground how IFPM and FS-FPM is
working and if a change is made how that will affect the ground. The 301 series
is the least of my concerns.
Since wlf.com started the hotlist, I hoped that the Fire Director and Union
officials would open a Q and A hotlist thread to address questions like these.
Tom and other Forest Service leadership would be surprised at the positive
benefits of such a move.
I call that a challenge! How about it, Tom, Mark, Dan?
||Some new Always Remember pages. Thanks to those contributing bits and pieces
like dates and names and some sort of
documentation. If anyone has photos or any additional info,
please send 'em in.
1931 08/14 CA Vernon Creson
1986 08/05 CO Black Canyon of the Gunnison
1977 07/24 CA Thomas Grady
1981 07/15 CA Gilbert Lopez
1978 07/26 CA Orleans Tanker
Also, Steve Rucker's wife responded to the page created for him:
2003 10/29 CA Steven Rucker
She sent links to several Refresher videos on the Cedar fire that I added to
the page, including one very informative description of
winds that occur in the San Diego River Drainage. The Inaja burnover 1956
occurred only 2 miles from Cedar 2003...
Finally, I've created a page for the
Big Burn or Big Blowup of 1910. If I missed anything special, please let me know.
||Re Modoc Crew:
Enough with the ranting and raving about the Modoc
Hotshots... Its obvious that there were some issues from the Line officers on
down. Seriously what kind of Division Chief/Line officer or even Supt. would let
a crew get in this disarray? (ones with no leadership skills and shouldnt be
employed by the Forest Service) jeez you guys have turned this into a pissing
contest on who's right and who's wrong on this issue. The leadership wasn't
there and thats why the Modoc National Forest is in this mess.
By Ranting on this site you are drawing more attention to the Modoc National
Forest and by doing that your making your whole forest look bad. No wonder why I
always hear about retention issues on the MDF. I would suggest that Snakebit, P,
and Gregory Frank Yonder trade out emails behind the scenes and hash this out.
||Godspeed to our beloved Tommy
Regardless of whatever happens or what anyone does or says, California Type 1
Incident Management Team 2 will
always be my team and Tommy will always be my teammate. Always……..
||Re Modoc IHC:
Gregory Frank Yonder:
First, let me start by stating that I didn't place the entire blame squarely on
the DIV or BC. If you go back and read my post, you'll see that I wrote "I am
not blaming the BC or DV, but they certainly did nothing to help the situation.
If anything, there has been a great divide created amongst the troops on that
side of the Forest."
With that said, I happen to have inside knowledge of some of the events that
took place last year that led up to the investigation and disbanding. I do not
work on the Forest nor have I ever worked on that crew, but am well acquainted
with past crew members and past overhead. The BC that was directly reassigned to
the IHC sup position had no control of that crew last year. Yep, I do agree that
the captains could have stepped up to deal with issues as they arose. No
argument there. I do happen to know that one of the captains was discouraged
from confronting some of the issues by the acting sup. This is first hand
There were some assignments when the sup could not be located. Attempts to
contact him via radio went unanswered for hours sometimes. When he was finally
located, he sometimes admitted to sitting by a creek or pond and feeding fish
along with other similar activities that were not conducive with being engaged
with his crew and their suppression activities. This is what I meant by
gathering all the facts before you rant. I'm guessing that a lot of folks aren't
aware of the activities above I described.
That list you wrote out in your first post - many of those things were addressed
within the unit, but not made public. I don't feel that those things necessarily
need to be posted on theysaid or any other public forum. Sometimes, certain
things need to remain within the investigation and not let out. If there is
something that can be a teaching tool, then use it wisely.
What is truly sad to me is to see the work that a past superintendent - Greg
Keller - put into building that crew, was disassembled by many players, and a
couple of those players just happen to be the DIV and BC in question.
As far as the crew being disbanded before, I am not aware that ever happened. I
know there had been issues with an individual - past overhead - that had led to
a suspension. I believe that the issue of the explosives you alluded to in your
first post was the factor that had led to a suspension. Aside from that, I am
not aware of the crew ever being disbanded before the current event. I am also
aware of another of the captains that is habitually late and apparently has
reported for duty intoxicated on many occasions. This has happened under the
supervision of the current sup and doesn't appear to have been dealt with.
What is also sad is the fact that under the "leadership" of the current DIV,
discontinuity has run rampant amongst the east side of the MDF. Change is needed
at many levels there.
Your right on the money with your comment!
One thing that can't and shouldn't be stopped however is the drawing of
attention to the Modoc Forest's woes. This crap goes much deeper than the Hot
Shots! Its almost unbelievable how completely upside down the Forest is! It
could be a prestigious place to work but, that's not likely to happen anytime
soon under this regime.
There are some really outstanding individuals that try to make a difference but,
that's where the problem lies! Very few in leadership positions are willing to
let someone that is different in thought or background try to change what the
Modoc leadership has worked so hard to build into an Empire of greatness! Give
me a break! Look at the last year, the proof is in the pudding for lack of a
- Botched investigations
- Lack of Leadership at all levels
- Illegal hiring practices
- Unjust removals of personnel
- A total lack of on Forest Training and Development
- Individuals being sent home from Fire assignments
- A lack of standardization
- etc. etc.
Its ugly i know. Trust me, this is what those of us (myself included) get to
look forward to everyday when we put our boots on and go to work. This is why
everyone that has the ability to jump off this ship called the Modoc is doing
just that. Those that can't, we'll swim like hell!
Oh and think about it! Greg Frank Yonder (GFY)... I get it!
Signed: Someone who knows
||God bless Tommy Lane, there are not many that are as good a man as Tommy,
those who knew him had great respect for him.
||On behalf of all of our members nationwide, our deepest sympathies and
prayers to Tommy Lane's friends & family. Just nine
months ago I had the incredible pleasure of visiting with Tom at a fundraiser
and meeting so many of his friends & family. We
are honored to have had his support as a member of the FWFSA.
Our thoughts & prayers to all who knew & loved him.
Hey AB, hope all is well.
Just have a simple question (are any of them simple?) Can a Temporary Forest
Service employee take a Detail if HE/She is qualified?
Can't find anything in OPM or Google.
You all have become the only source of info for us anymore, so I thought I'd
For those that haven't heard, long time Stanislaus NF
firefighter, dozer operator, IMT member Tommy Lane battle with
cancer ended yesterday. For those of you that have been around him this last
year know he was in remarkable spirits even
when things were really bad. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and
Rest in peace my friend,
An ol' fireline pal
Please let the community know about services. Condolences. Ab.
Don't let anyone including yourself say you are too old, at least not yet.
And if you have EMT skills, that's a bonus. There's plenty of
people that didn't start in fire until their 30's, as long as you are fit, you
should be ok. Look in the archives for the Hotshot work out,
but probably not much of a chance for a fed job til next spring.
And to POSH question:
Seeing as there's been plenty of actual lawsuits regarding sexual harassment,
R5 is probably thinking CYA. Don't have any exact
numbers, but there are plenty of R5 crews in SW right now.
||The region is pretty serious about POSH. Members of my crew (not hotshots)
were pulled off their fires in R-3 and brought home
to attend their scheduled class. I'm not sure of the incident that caused us to
have to attend another round of POSH but it ticks me
off that we all have to attend because of someone's mistake. Give the training
to the offenders, the rest of us get the message from
2-4 classes and AgLearn we have done.
On the evaluation I put, "the best POSH class I've ever had. I am certain I
will never need another one for the rest of my career."
Glad it's over with.
||Apprentice drug testing
I for one agree with your post! There is no language in the national
apprenticeship standards to support this delay in an apprentices wage
progression. In fact, you may as well take the apprentice part out of the
equation. Its OPM rules that define how an employee is to wage progress, and it
depends on the hiring authority management uses to hire the apprentice into. In
R-5, its the 462 series, others choose to utilize 499 SCEP authority. There are
no special apprenticeship program requirement needed to attain a GS-05. Once
again its a case of our own making it harder than it needs to be, and sadly this
kind of thing transcends the apprentice program!
Unfortunately, the topic of apprentice drug screening and/or the regionally
imposed commercial license requirement has been a "spotfire" for far too long.
It's also unfortunate, at least in this instance, that the will of a few closed
minded individuals can cary so much influence. Enough influence to create a
"culture" of this kind of behavior--some folks in the business call it
leadership, others do not see it that way at all. Ive been helping out at the
academies for several years now and perhaps one way to help fix some of these
matters would be to hire a regional coordinator. All regions except for
california have a regional coordinator to help manage human resource/civil
rights matters in their region?
All the above of course are my observations & my opinion alone! By the way Ab's,
thanks a bunch for your continuing efforts to provide a forum that allows us to
talk about the good things and, shed light on the not so good things in this
business of ours. Some of us older apprentices still remember how impossible it
was to be heard before "theysaid" was born.
Thanks to all of you who air out the good, bad, and ugly, for everyone to hear!
(especially those FWFSA members........just sayin :)!!
Tripping over ourselves!
||I have a special request....do any of you have stories about Tom Craven,
Devin Weaver, Karen Fitzpatrick, or Jessica Johnson?
A commemoration of the 10th year anniversary of Thirty Mile will be held in
Winthrop WA. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation has
been asked to participate; I'll be speaking and we'll be meeting family members
and co-workers. This is one thing I know for sure... it
is pure nuggets of gold for the family of our fallen to hear any stories about
their loved one. Especially the humorous stories. I didn't
know these kids, but many of you did.
Any story, no matter how small, can mean a lot to these families. You don't even
have to sign your name.
Please email me as soon as you can. Thanks for your willingness to participate
in this healing time.
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Does any one out their know if there is any truth to the rumor that
Region Five Forests are holding IHC crews on forest so that they can complete
their POSH (prevention of sexual harassment) training? Who made the call? If so
this is an abomination, pathetic, unrealistic, incompetent and bordering on
lunacy. If I was a land owner, a tax payer, a concerned firefighter or their
family, or a member of the crew. I would secure an attorney. Region 3 needs all
of the expertise that is available to suppress their fires, prevent structures
and resources from burning, and maximize the suppression effort. In addition,
without utilizing all of the IHC crews, fires get bigger, more firefighters are
exposed to the hazardous fireline. Why do you think the tenth standard fire
order clearly states "fight fire aggressively, having provided for safety
I am aware that this class can be taken on Ag-learn, I also know that a great
amount of money is paid to the vendor, do we really need this during fire
season, aren't we past this? Don't you think that a lawsuit from a victim of a
fire knowing that a national resourse is being mis used would be a bit more than
a rare if non existent harassment suit?
GRR5 (get real region five)
PS: If this is just a bad rumor, sorry I over reacted.
The IRPG is an NWCG product and it has many authors. I believe that it
originates with the Operations and Workforce
||Apprentice drug testing
The real issue with the drug testing of the
get their GS-5 is that is it holding up their promotion to the GS-5, sometimes
for months. That can end up being a lot of money in lost pay. There is no
legitimate reason for them to be drug testing them, it is just something that
came down from the top of the region. Apprentices who have lost pay due to this
should be talking to their union rep, that is the only thing that will stop
this unfair practice. There is absolutely nothing in the apprenticeship
standards about drug testing and in the past it was not part of the vacancy
announcement. I see that it has now been added, but I have no idea how this can
be legal. It seems to be a practice reserved only for R5 apprentices.
I don’t have an issue with moving all of fire into a random
drug testing pool, I think that is smart. I do think it is wrong to single out
apprentices and hold up their career ladder promotions while waiting months to
a drug test ordered.
||to bh re IRPG-
the original IRPG was the brainchild of Bob Becker from the
Los Padres R5, it then went national 1998 and Boise/Jim
Cook, not sure who does it now. I have a copy of the original LPF version 1994
if you would like to see it.
||age and chances of getting a job in wildland firefighting?
i wasn't sure how to post this to your discussions page so i figured i'd
email you. i'm 30 years old and will be 31 this summer. i just completed my
basic structural firefighting academy and as i look for jobs i have become aware
that the age limit for most paid departments is 34-36. i'm pretty close to that
age. i have been looking at wild land fire jobs as well b/c it caught my
interest with the media attention of all the wild land fires in arizone, texas,
and california. i also looked at the physical requirements and i realized i
need a few months to improve my level of fitness for those kinds of jobs. of
course with being closer to 31, it got me wondering if i may be too old for
entry level wild land ff jobs. so when i found your page, i figured i would ask
about that. do you know what are the age limits for entry level wild land
firefighting jobs? some people might wonder why at my age am i just now
deciding on a firefighting career, and since i'm not retired military no one can
understand. i guess you could say it took me a long time to get my head screwed
on straight about a real career and after working as a private service EMT for
many years in different places, i looked long and hard at firefighting and
decided that is what i really wanted to do.
so thanks for your help with answering this question.
||Services for our two fallen Florida Firefighters:
Josh Burch's service
Friday, 6/24/11, 10 a.m.
Christ Central Ministries Church in Lake City.
Burial will follow at Gateway Forest Lawn Cemetery, also in Lake City.
Brett Fulton's service
Saturday, 6/25/11, 10 a.m.
Christ Central Ministries Church in Lake City
Forestry Division Director Jim Karels is accepting letters of condolence on
behalf of the families.
They can be sent to 3125 Conner Blvd., Tallahassee, Fla. 32399.
||re: Bugz mesh goggles
I assume someone in the Forest Service has ruled that Bugz mesh goggles aren't
allowed because they can't pass the ANSI Z87.1
eye protection impact standards, and thus don't meet the OSHA regulations. There
is an exception that allows the employer to
consider the effectiveness of protection separate from the consensus standard.
My suggestion would be to contact MTDC to check if the Bugz are "at least as
effective as protective eye and face protection
devices that are constructed in accordance with [ANSI Z87.1 standards.]"
||Chelan County Battalion Chief Garet Rasmussen
I haven't seen this on theysaid or anywhere else on your site…perhaps I
I would like to share it somewhere appropriate.
It is such a powerful article and though the pictures are heart breaking…they
are so moving.
A reminder to honor our families…as they support our passion for our work that
fuels our lives.
Firefighters Honor Their Fallen Brother
Thanks for sharing that. Ab.
||GS-5 drug testing
Thanks everyone for your replies. I have no problem with
drug testing and he is going down for the test. We plan to have
him go to a fire engine during fire season 2012, where he will get his
commercial permit and 80 hours of commercial driving
which is still a requirement for R5 Apprentices only.
His planned conversion month is November 2012. At that time he will go from a
GS5 Apprentice to a GS5 Senior Firefighter.
Nothing in his training plan or within Forest Service HR policies that I found
requires him to be in the drug pool to simply get
My question is simple. Under what authority is HR ordering my employee to take a
drug test? Current policy requires a drug
test for commercial drivers only, for which he is not.
looks like no one's answered your question yet, alot going on lately, so I'll
give it a shot.
Since your apprentice is in R5, they are required to have a Class B CDL, hence
the drug test. If he does not have that, I
don't think he should be allowed to convert. It's my understanding in R5, 80
hours of Engine, Crew Buggy, or Heli-Tender
drive time is one the requirements of the apprenticeship. Drug testing is pretty
standard for employment most places these
days, and I've heard rumblings of it becoming fire-wide in the near future.
||Apprentice drug testing
I believe that in Region 5 apprentices are required to obtain a CDL before
completion of the apprenticeship. This might
explain why the firefighter in question is being thrown into the drug pool. I
would suggest your apprentice look at the terms
of their commitment.
||Im trying to fine who wrote the IRPG, incident response pocket guide, and
any info on him.
||Apprentice drug testing
in response to crewnet
Why don't you just have your employee take the drug test? I'm pretty sure all
Apprentices have to take one prior to hire anyway
(at least I did). I cant speak for you or your crew but I for one, would rather
everyone be submitted to random testing
seasonal, or perm as I dont want to trust my life to a druggie.
a drug free work place
||NFFE and FWFSA
Hi to all:
I was very grateful to receive an email today from Mark Davis, recently elected
President of NFFE's Forest Service council. As I've mentioned here on TheySaid
over the past couple of years, with Mark's rise up the chain on the Council, he
has made a concerted effort to become more aware of firefighter issues and has
spent a considerable amount of time on the liability issue.
He reiterated that the "plan" NFFE is working on with the Forest Service is
explicit that it is an interim plan as well as the commitment to a dedicated
wildland firefighter series as a long-time goal.
He went on to say that it was important to have something that could be
implemented quickly because of folks stuck in 462-12 positions and the need to
fill other management positions. OPM regs do not allow for 462-12's and the only
other option was the 401. As many know the FS IG has stated the 401 is not a
good fit for fire folks. Geez, we've known that for a long, long, time.
In any event yes it is imperative that the two organizations strive to work
together on issues facing our firefighters. Each plays an important role in the
representation of firefighters. As many know, NFFE is afforded certain rights &
responsibilities under Title 5, U.S.C. One of these is the right to bargain
collectively for those who are members of the bargaining unit and enter into
contracts with the Agency.
Sadly, federal employees still do not enjoy the right to bargain over wages &
benefits and with the current debate over non-federal employee union's rights to
do so, it is not likely that such a benefit will befall federal employees any
Because of the rights & responsibilities afforded NFFE, they can do certain
things to benefit our firefighters. The FWFSA is not encumbered by Title 5 so we
can do other things. Frequently NFFE will ask us to address an issue in a
political way that they may not have the ability to accomplish in short order.
We can be perhaps a bit more aggressive on some issues like getting a member of
congress to contact a RO or a Forest Supervisor and ask what the heck was behind
a decision to want to take the La Brea Fire out to the Zaca Fire line which
would have cost millions of dollars, destroyed watershed, private property and
increased risks to firefighters and the public... oops, I digress, but you get
NFFE also represents a number of other occupations while the FWFSA has the
luxury of focusing exclusively on federal wildland firefighter issues. It has
been absolutely critical that NFFE's Forest Service Council become more familiar
with firefighter issues. Much of their increased efforts can be attributed to
Mark & Regional VP Dan Duefrene in R5.
Since only a handful of union stewards on forests across the country are
actually wildland firefighters, it is incredibly important that our firefighters
ensure the union reps are keenly aware of the issues that face firefighters.
The FWFSA will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure a strong, cooperative
relationship continues between it and NFFE. It is vital to all wildland
Executive Director, Governmental Affairs
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
||Florida DOF Serious Incident Preliminary (24 Hour) Report
Attached is the
24-Hour Report for the FL DOF serious incident (42 K pdf)
which occurred. Please see that it receives wide distribution within your
agency. When available, other investigation documents, specifically the72-Hour Report and the final Factual Report, will be posted on the Wildland
Fire Lessons Learned Center database for incident reports and lessons
NWCG Risk Management
||Ab & Fellow Hot Shot Sawyers and Swampers,
It has come to my attention that the USFS has discontinued the use of BUGZ brand
safety goggles on the fireline for Federal Resources. My reaction initially was
mild, and took my $3.95 plastic safety glasses that offer much reduced safety
protection for Powersaw Operators with no grumbling, and have been using them
the last 5 weeks without negative review of them. However after considering the
loss of the use of such PPE that clearly are THE BEST available eye protection
on the market today (and in the last 15 years of my career), I have thought
about the subject and how to best deal with the issue of bringing BUGGZ brand
safety goggles back into use, as they are clearly the safest, and preferred PPE
for eye protection, a fact that is shared by every IHC sawyer i have ever had
the pleasure of working with in my 9 years with the agency.
I will be circulating a letter of petition to our Regional Safety Officer,
NIFC, that I would like to be signed by as many current and former Sawyers in
Region 5 supporting the return of use for BUGGZ brand safety goggles back onto
the Fireline to increase safety to IHC and Hand Crew Sawyers Region and
Nationwide and thereby keeping up the standard of allowing and supplying our
frontline Hot Shots with the best possible equipment & PPE available on the
||Apprentice drug testing
I work for the Forest Service in California. Can someone tell me why my
Apprentice on my handcrew needs to take a
drug test to get his GS5?. He's not done with the program, he just has his
time-in-grade for a GS5 and my admin person
told me he needs to take a drug test and be placed in the drug pool.
I thought that currently the only drug testing requirement the Forest Service
has is for those with a commercial drivers
license or permit. He has neither.
Is there a union person in the regional office I can talk to about this? Or can
you forward this on to someone who can
help answer this question.
I am not opposed to drug testing, just opposed to the delay and wondering if
this is a violation of Forest Service policy.
||Union vs non-Union Forests:
If there is someone out there who knows, could you provide a list of those
Forests in California considered "union" forests and those
not union forests? For instance I understand the Cleveland NF is not a union
forest which I guess means there is no union presence
or a contract?
The reason I ask is there is increasing rumors that the "union" is negotiating
with the Forest Service to use the 301 series. I've spoken
to friends on the Los Padres which I think is a union forest and they too have
heard the rumors but have not been asked by the union
for any input. I know that several years ago I watched C-SPAN and watched
Congress pass the Federal Wildland Firefighter
Classification Act that had been sponsored by the FWFSA. I'm a member of the
FWFSA and support a new, real wildland firefighter
Has the union discussed their 301 efforts with the FWFSA? I think it would be a
disaster for all of us if the two organizations that are
supposed to be working for us gave the impression they were on different pages
of such an important issue. I don't want to be forced
into an agreement I had no input in.
I just sent an email to Mr. Judd but I thought I'd post something here which I
don't do very often.
Thank you for any information.
||Modoc IHC: @ Snake bitten
You suggesting that the blame should rest on a Battalion or Divisions head is
absurd in my mind. Didn't the Modoc IHC get stood down here a few years back due
to events such as theses? Was it the Battalions or Divisions actions that caused
the crew to be stood down AGAIN? It was definitely their decision; but that
wasn't the problem. The problem was the crew and its leadership. If you can't
come to terms with that, well I feel sorry for your warped sense of reality.
I've never seen a IHC get stood down because of the actions of a Division or
Battalion. It just sounds to me that you are trying to deflect attention away
from the real issue and place the majority of the blame on somebody that had
very little to do with the problem. When you work with people long enough, you
begin to establish a relationship with them. Considering them buddies isn't far
fetched. . . . But do you really think they put him in that position because of
it? Really? That's like tying your dog to a tree outside of a cougars den. Did
he meet the minimum qualifications for the job? Who else on the forest has those
quals? Would they be willing to leave their kids and family? Can we fill it last
minute if fire hire? Can we do a last minute detail? Was it too late for fire
hire? Should we just stand down the crew because we don't have anyone to fill
the position? OK, you're qualified, but not the most experienced, but you can't
take over the position because we're friends!
It probably would have been better to have one of the Captains fill the void of
crew boss for that season. But I don't think that would have changed the outcome
of the crew. Good ol boy clubs fail because they don't hold each other
accountable and that's exactly what it was. The Captains on the crew had ample
opportunity to step up and put an end to everything that was happening at any
time. But they didn't, which leads me to believe that the Modoc IHC would still
have the same outcome. The Modoc IHC needs strong leadership, not strong
personalities. Unfortunately, they were lacking one more than the other.
My C*rp is fairly dialed and my facts are facts. If you would like to discuss
any of the other issues that i presented in my previous post, I'd be more than
happy to debate with you in an open forum. I don't want the rest of the fire
community to only see a small portion of the story that has been presented by
previous crew members and/or leadership. There is a lot more to this story than
what was previously posted. Reading them reminds me of when i was younger and my
sibling would run and tell Mommy or Daddy before I had a chance to tell my side
of the story and defend my actions. The fact that only a VERY small chunk of the
story was posted on an open forum followed by names and numbers of people that
could be contacted was very juvenile in its approach (same goes for trying to
post the names of the Division, Crew boss and other crew members). I feel bad
for all of the people that took those stories for face value and made the
decision to call and complain about something they weren't even fully informed
on. Considering the fact that the issue at hand were under investigation, very
little if any information would have been relayed to the callers. It's not a
tell-a-thon, it's a real problem. Just because people call and complain about
the circumstance isn't going to change the fact that they have a real life
problem on their hands.
Furthermore it bothers me that a former crew member was attacked because he
confessed to seeing similar events take place during his/her tenure. I believe
that someone previously posted that everyone reading that post should "take what
they said with a grain of salt." I'm glad (Faith in God) posted what he did. I'm
not saying that it's right or wrong, but it was HIS experience with similar
situations that had taken place in the past. It only proved that there were
continuing problems that weren't being dealt with and the problem didn't resolve
itself with a change of leadership. The issue was a deep rooted problem that
began at the lower ranks and spread like a cancer to a majority of the crew
members. The Captains and squad bosses lacked the ability to hold their
personnel accountable for their actions when they stepped out of line. The crew
boss lacked the understanding and leadership qualities to up-right a sinking
ship. I guess it's hard to save a sinking ship when your crew members are
constantly blowing holes in the bottom of the boat. An old Hotshot Sups told me
"fighting fire is easy, its dealing with the crew members that is difficult". I
didn't understand it at the time, but I now know what he means. I guess that is
the moral of this story.
Any other Superintendent aside from Paul Gleason himself would have struggled in
that environment. So if you want to discuss this issue, lets actually DISCUSS
the REAL underlying issueS! Even if the Modoc IHC was converted to a Type 2 IA
crew, it still would have been disbanded! So let's discuss what the crew members
did or didn't do!?!? Let's start with a crew member calling another crew member
a F@*g*t and how he liked to s**k D* among other things while in a grocery story
in Southern California, while a Man and his two small children were standing
next to them. And no, this wasn't a friendly conversation. And no, this person
was never written up for it or reprimanded for it by the leadership following
the appropriate chain of good ol boy command. Let's start off with that tasty
bit if information. Or would you like to deflect the issue and blame the
division and battalion for that one as well? I'm sorry for being condescending,
but that type of stuff is ridiculous!
Signed: Gregory Frank Yonder.
Thanks for the *s. Please let's remember that
kids read here too for projects and inspiration, more so during the school year.
||A NIMO Team is handling the incident within the incident. Ab.
||The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has received notice of the
following firefighter fatalities:
Name: Brett Fulton
Rank: Forest Ranger
Years of Service: 12
Date of Incident: 06/20/2011
Time of Incident: Pending
Date of Death: 06/20/2011
Name: Josh Burch
Rank: Forest Ranger
Years of Service: 10+
Date of Incident: 06/20/2011
Time of Incident: Pending
Date of Death: 06/20/2011
Fire Department: Suwannee Forestry Center, Florida Division of Forestry
Address: 137 SE Forestry Circle, Lake City, FL 32025
Fire Department Chief: Sam Leneave, Manager
Fire Department Website:
Incident Description: Forest Rangers Fulton and Burch were killed when their
position was overrun by flames while conducting
tractor plow operations on the
Blue Ribbon Fire in Hamilton County, Florida.
Two other firefighters – Robert Marvin and Stephen Carpenter – were injured
while attempting to assist their fellow firefighters.
Both were treated for
smoke-related injuries and released from the hospital.
Investigation into the fatal incident continues by the Florida Division of
Forestry and the Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement.
Incident Location: Vicinity of County Road 6, Hamilton County, FL
Funeral Arrangements: Pending
Memorial Fund Contact and Address: Pending
Tribute is being paid to Forest Ranger Brett Fulton and Forest Ranger Josh Burch
||After reading snakebite's post (6/20), I decided to go back and read P's
P, great post, very well written. I will be using portions of your post with my
module. I might even have them read the whole
post and as a group we can talk things through.
I hope this situation is looked at as one big lessons learned to firefighting
Thanks P and a big time thanks wlf.com for giving us an interactive forum where
we can learn, challenge each other to improve
ourselves and become better informed about the dynamics of our profession.
To be honest, we would all be less informed, less successful and our wallets
would be a little lighter if not for wlf.com and the
work of wlf.com forum members.
Stand Together, Stand Strong!
We just had a special treat. The World Conference on Disaster Management
coordinators somehow managed to obtain the
IMAX Theater for the Toronto premier showing of RESCUE 3D solely for the
conference delegates and some Canadian
Navy personnel. It had a Canadian Navy destroyer, Chinook helicopters, pirates,
lost hiker, C-17 transport planes, firefighters,
search and rescue teams and a whole lot of death and destruction in Haiti.
The producer, Stephen Low, was on hand to answer questions and one of the
conference speakers is negotiating with him to
donate all the raw footage that was cut from the final edit for training
purposes. It is, without a doubt, the best 3D movie I have
ever seen and does a great job of describing why emergency services personnel
respond to disasters. It makes you want to
stand up, scream and run out to save someone's life at the end. You won't be
disappointed. If you only have time to see one
movie in a theater this year, this is the one (this is not a paid
I'll be sure and see it. Thanks. Ab.
||Sad news. Thanks to those that provided information behind the scenes.
Check the hotlist for updates and condolences thread. Ab.
2 Firefighters Killed Battling Wildfire
The Division of Forestry confirmed
late Monday night that two firefighters were killed fighting the Blue Ribbon
wildfire in Hamilton County near the Florida-Georgia border.
WJXT-TV's sources said the two men were overrun by flames while driving tractors
while cutting fire lines to prevent the fire from spreading.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the two
courageous men who sacrificed their lives for the safety of others," said
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. "We can rebuild the structures and
restore the land, but the lives of these two heroes can never be replaced."
Video: 2 Florida Firefighters Killed In Wildfire
The names of the Division of Forestry firefighters will be released once family
members are notified.
Two other firefighters were injured in the same wildfire. One was treated for
smoke and heat-related injuries and released from a Lake City hospital. Another
firefighter was treated for smoke-related injuries and released from Shands
Hospital in Gainesville.
The Blue Ribbon Fire started on June 16. Forestry said the fire had had
previously been declared contained, but recent extreme fire weather caused the
fire to flare up again Monday.
Florida's dry weather since the beginning of May has caused extreme fire
activity. Since May 1, the Division of Forestry has battled more than 1,500
wildfires that have burned nearly 200,000 acres across the state, making it one
of the busiest wildfire years in recent history.
Story posted 2011.06.21 at 12:24 AM EDT
fair use disclaimer
||Re: Modoc IHC
Yeah, while no one is perfect, neither are the battalion chief and division
chief in question. If they were such good "leaders", then they should have been
able to pull that crew together. As far as some of the "list" you mentioned,
well some of those things - if not most of them - were addressed within the
unit. My suggestion to you is before you stand up for someone - i.e. the BC or
DV, or slam the young crew, get your facts straight. There were some leadership
issues before the "transition" last year, but decisions were made without
thinking through the process first. Ultimately, when a decision of that
magnitude is made, you had better have your cr*p in a pile before making that
decision. When you put a person in charge of a Hotshot Crew that has zero
hotshot experience, that person had better be a top-notch leader. In this case,
the person that was thrust in the sup role had no IHC experience and is a
marginal leader at best.
I am not blaming the BC or DV, but they certainly did nothing to help the
situation. If anything, there has been a great divide created amongst the troops
on that side of the Forest.
I guess we'll see what transpires from the OIG/WO interviews that took place
a few weeks ago. Until then, do some homework before you rant!
||If you haven't checked the Hotlist lately, we have fires burning in
Florida, in Texas, in Arizona and New Mexico and we had four fires off Hwy
299 near Junction City, just east of Weaverville, some caused by downed
Be safe. Ab.
To those who have contacted me: Thanks for bring our
attention to other Always Remember incidents.
I posted two other pages for Always Remember:
1978 Orleans Engine rollover SRF that killed 3 and injured 2. I remember
this one from my area.
Gilbert Lopez, 1981, ANF engine burnover on the Elizabeth Fire. If Gilbert's
son chances to read this,
please contact us via
It would be great to have a photo and any other
remembrances of him and his life.
Be safe on the line and on the highways, firefighters.
Thank you very much for putting together the Always Remember page about TJ.
There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t
think about him and his infectious smile. I will always remember sitting in the
passenger seat of the Helitender with Tom driving
on our way to an IA on the Plumas with Jack Ingram playing on the radio in the
background. I asked him if he liked country
music. He gave me his HUGE smile and said “hell yes”. So we turned it up.
Captain 64 – See you on the big one.
I am to work on fire crews this summer as a water tender but cannot
find wildland nomex shirt and pants in my size w/o
custom order that will take 12 weeks. I ordered, but can you provide me with any
resources to obtain nomex in my size
used or new so I can begin working in July?
Tom R, South Lake Tahoe, Ca.
||Holy Cow! The Hotlist is going off!
Wanted to let everyone know that I got
the Always Remember page for
Tom Marovich posted on
There were and are many lessons coming from Tom's tragic death. There are still
some reports, articles and letters that
are missing that add to the recent history of the rappel program.
I don't know what is the current status of standardization of the rappel
program (or of the contracting of helicopters of
specific sorts across regions) or if any regional programs have been stood up.
It was interesting to pull the info together
from theysaid archives. If I got any of it wrong, those of you that know the
rappelling world, please correct me.
My best to Tom Marovich's parents, extended family and friends. If you have
anything you'd like to add, please send
it to the abercrombie@wlf header button or make the initial contact through
always remember/operations and someone
will get it posted.
Captain 64, my best to you. You gave us all a real gift with your daily
In 2008 the staffing information (along with a great deal of other data from
many forests) provided by so many of you and
passed along to Congress by the FWFSA resulted in significant congressional
I guarantee you folks on Capitol Hill are watching. They have been "prepped" by
the FWFSA to watch very closely how
things go especially after 2 relatively slow seasons. They also have already
heard the familiar refrain from the FWFSA which
seems to be an annual occurrence after each season... "we told you so." Actually
I've explained to many staff, members of
the House & Senate that we have grown tired of having to use that refrain every
year since about 2006.
We have also expressed our discontent with their interest in an un yet unveiled
costly aviation plan while nickel & diming the
"boots on the ground" with a pay freeze. An aviation plan is only as good as the
folks on the ground and if Congress, the
Administration & the Agencies continue to ignore those folks on the ground, then
a revamped aviation plan is worthless.
All that said, as we progress into the season, if there are ANY anomalies with
staffing, funding etc., PLEASE let the FWFSA
know. Many in Congress have acknowledged that they consider our data &
information far more reliable than that coming
from the Agency, so it is important that we provide factual information.
Sadly, as is often the case, it may take a catastrophic year to get action. That
just seems to be the nature of the beast. That's
when the politicians come out of the woodwork many offering up some really nutty
Thanks to all of you out in the field. Stay safe and please remember when you're
out there, someone's got your back and is
working on your behalf.
Does anyone know what happened to the Willow Helibase rappel accident report
links? Every link I try all say that they
are no longer any good. (Wildfirelessons.net and also the NTSB)
While the accident was truly tragic, it's an incredible training tool to use to
hopefully raise safety awareness at all levels,
and I used to pull it up off this site but now the info seems to have been
Does anyone have any information on what happened to it or would anyone still
have it electronically?
Thank you in advance.
There was/is a court case pending.
This is the
text of the NTSB Probable Cause and Full Narrative of the Incident.
As you said, NTSB links we had are broken the pages have been removed for the final report at wildfirelessons.net or the SAI
Action Plan. The NTSB went to a new system and you can use the
to query the accident number WPR09TA356. I may have saved those report
and SAI documents someplace. I'll look for them tomorrow. If anyone has them,
please send 'em in. Ab.
||fire fighting and chief officer staffing levels
Significant and extremely
serious budget discussions have begun in R5 regarding future fire fighting and
staffing levels. The focus is Fiscal Year 2012 and staffing reduction options
are being examined.
We cannot go backwards, we must maintain our strength. To prove this point, here
we are with no significant fires
in California and R5 is at or close to drawdown for crews in SOPS and NOPS as we
support our neighboring
region. Some units are at drawdown for engines as well.
This is the fire organization Harbour envisioned, one that is strong and mobile
with the ability to move to locations
anywhere in the country with significant fire risk and activity. Reducing our
organizational strength increases risks
to natural resources, federal infrastructure and communities.
This community is going to need to step up, once again. We all know our
community and the Federal Wildland
Fire Service Association (FWFSA) has the proven clout to be heard.
Although we can walk and chew gum at the same time, nothing is more important
than saving wildland firefighter
jobs. This must be our legislative focus for the foreseeable future.
Maintaining communications with your elected leaders on your off time has proved
fruitful in past years.
- You fought retention and won.
- Your individual communications with them has helped them learn about the
national significance of wildland
firefighters to our country.
At this time we must continue to maintain this communication channel. However
more importantly, we must all be
ready to implement a coordinated and sustained educational response. Over the
next 16 weeks, we need to
prepare. Recommended canned memos or letters need to be drafted, email addresses
and phone numbers need
to again be pulled together with an organized roll out here in our forum.
I have noticed in the hotlist many more parents have joined us. It’s great to
read them talk about their sons or
daughters. We need these parents and more to join us in our efforts to maintain
a high level of education and
awareness regarding the significant national all-risk role Wildland Firefighters
provide for this nation.
Significant organizational decisions will be coming soon. The threat is serious
and it gets closer every day.
Stay together people, do your part to help us maintain our strength. A
Firefighter Spring can be summed up with
five words; Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Your Job!
“Warning: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”
It is disheartening to read the recent posts from those who have left the
federal system early and who referred to my earlier
post about the fact that far too many are retiring early because they are
simply fed up.
I appreciate that response. You write about the bureaucrat’s ability to wear
us down. You are right. That has been their strength
all along. When the FWFSA was born, (I was an early member.) I always was
willing to put my $$ where my mouth was. I thoughtit was a no-brainer. I thought all of us would contribute and join the fight. (I
will try to make the Dec in RNO meeting for show).
I live close.
In the early years I tried to recruit fellow FF, but they only wanted to
complain but not GIVE or Join the battle. I was shocked.
I was disappointed. When the Male Class Complaint was filed to protest the R5 BS
I GAVE big $$$ time to the cause to show
my commitment to just civil rights.
I know that when the FWFSA 1st came into being, we scared the cra*p out out
the establishment. They thought they were had.
It was a no brainer...all we had to do was step up as a singular voice. But the
sheep of our Technician employee pool and the
seasonal (1039 hr) employee pool did NOT step up and we became a paper tiger.
Do not take my rant as a grip against the FWFSA; on the contrary, my gripe is
against the current and past Firefighter employees
who did not get involved and current employees who are not getting involved.
Current FF need to write, and join the FWFSA,
to make their future better. Make your elected Leaders know that you, as a Fed
wild land FF do more than just cut line. Fed FF
makes up All Risk management Teams. They do a lot more than plant trees. Make
your case!! Dam* it!!!
OK ab you can delete…but anybody who does not support FWFSA is a lamb and you
are in the slaughter house in the land of
politics. You only have yourself to blame.
I am long retired, and my $$ goes to FED retirement issues. I still put my
$$$ where my mouth is. Anybody who reads this needs
to consider the same, and if you have a few $$ left over send the to the WFF>
Or send your $$ to the FWFSA. No doubt donations are welcomed. If you are
a fed employee, join FWFSA!!!
And when the Wildland Firefighter Series is rolled out in the next 4
months or year, know it will have been FWFSA's efforts and YOUR voices from
the FWFSA and our"Fire Underground" that kept that dream alive and
looming, just as we do with fostering and clarifying need for excellent burn
treatment, professional liability insurance, fly-by-night training operations in
R4, etc and giving voice to many sides of many issues that are not PC and/or
threaten the fed agencies' status quo.
Carry on! and thank you Casey and FWFSA! And thanks
to the fire bureaucrats and line bureaucrats that pay attention and act on
possibilities when they arise. We know you're not completely free to act as fast
as we desire. Ab.
||Re: Backcountry Lightning Risk Management
Thank you for posting this. I am
a strike survivor, and I'm still a Hotshot. Before the (Noon Fire) incident we
everything we had on lightning. We just weren't prepared to handle it when it
Know your medical plan, and have equipment to treat more than one patient.
Have a plan in place before you go!
Glad you all survived that June 25, 2004 AZ strike! Lucky! Seventh
Anniversary is coming up, "bust a coldie" in celebration. Ab.
||Narrow Banding Radios - Workarounds:
Will you please post the attached Word Doc where every one can see it.
Narrow Banding Workarounds (26 K doc)
||Good video from the Lessons Learned Center describing the history of the
Standard Fire Orders by Jennifer Ziegler.
Kelly Andersson's early FS webpage on the 1957 by a task force (waybackmachine)
commissioned by the USDA-Forest
Service Chief Richard E. McArdle.
- One of the issues better knowledge of Fire Behavior
- Another issue was retention of skilled and knowledgeable firefighters...
They reviewed 16 tragedy fires that occurred from 1937 to 1956... (Eventually
all will be reported on
The last one they reviewed was the
Nov 25, 1956, Inaja Fire in San Diego Canyon on the Cleveland National
Always Remember the 11 lives lost...
Forest Service Firefighters
Albert W. Anderson, 45 years, Night Sector Boss (FS employee, SHF)
Carlton Ray Lingo, 19 years, Night Crew Boss (FS employee,CNF)
Forrest B. Maxwell, 30 years (FS employee, SHF)
Firefighters from Viejas Honor Camp
and their CDF Supervisor:
LeRoy Wehrung, 41 years (CDF employee, Correctional Officer from Viejas Honor
Miles Daniels, 33 years
William D. Fallin, 22 years
George A. Garcia, 41 years
Virgil L Hamilton, 26 years
Joseph P. O’Hara, 45 years
Lonnie L. Shepherd, 26 years
Joe Tibbitts, 34 year
Ted Putnam asks if anyone can follow the 10 Firefighting Orders and 18
Watchouts. There's a link to Ted's thoughtful
paper on the Inaja page.
||Re Boxes are transported!
Thanks for all the calls we received wanting to help transport the boxes. I'm
dumbfounded at the response of people in this
community who reach out to help when we have a need, whether it's transporting a
family, boxes, or used Cuban cigars (LOL).
People always say to me "how do you do this work?" And when you really
understand the heart that is in wildland firefighters
and fire people, my answer is "how could you not." The boxes are en route and
again, thanks for the many calls we received.
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Compassion spreads like wildfire
Good news! Ab.
||Wildland Firefighter 52 Club
I just got done looking at the
WFF's 52 Club page and wanted to give big kudos to the Ventura County
Firefighters who signed up 140 to join the 52 Club. As a survivor, it does my
heart good to see that the fire community
still cares about the families of those we have lost and are ready to help
support those families who will need the help
of the Foundation in the future.
I know the past couple of seasons have been slow (or should I say very slow) for
most wildland firefighters which has
made it financially difficult to be able to support the Foundation. This year,
however, has started out with a bang and
doesn't look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. Lots of OT is being
made, so this is the perfect time to show
our support for the wildland fire community!
||Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program (WFAP) Vacancy Announcement is
The California Region of the Forest Service (R-5) Wildland Firefighter
Apprenticeship Program (WFAP) Vacancy Announcement opened today - June 17. It
will remain open through August 1, 2011. Due to budget uncertainties, most
Forests don't know how many positions, if any, WFAP positions will be filled. We
are encouraging interested applicants to apply to the Forests where they would
accept a job offer - even if no vacant Apprenticeship positions are currently
available. Applicants may select up to 9 locations/Forests.
Apply through the AVUE Digital Services on-line application system –
Announcement # 11-R5-WFAP-345DP
R-5 Civil Rights Staff
Fire Recruitment Liaison Specialist
As far as I know R-5 still requires the CDL standards of tank air etc.. I know I
had to do all of them to operate my
truck and also had to have my ENOP task book signed off before I was considered
a "operational" driver... And
also complete 80 hrs of driver training to convert from my apprenticeship many
||Original Fire Orders:
Important reminder / refresher in today's IMSR (Daily Sit Report) from NIFC. The
original rollout of the Standard Fire Orders was on June 17, 1957. They are
worded in the vernacular of the day -- not politically correct today. It is
worth comparing the original version below and today's revised version.
Origin of the 10 and 18’s – June 17th, 1957
Summary: The original ten Standard Firefighting Orders were developed in
1957 by a task force commissioned by the USDA-Forest Service Chief Richard
E. McArdle. The task force reviewed the records of 16 tragedy fires that
occurred from 1937 to 1956. The Standard Firefighting Orders were based in
part on the successful "General Orders" used by the United States Armed
Forces. The Standard Firefighting Orders are organized in a deliberate and
sequential way to be implemented systematically and applied to all fire
Shortly after the Standard Firefighting Orders were incorporated into
firefighter training, the 18 Situations That Shout Watch Out were developed.
(Began as 13 Watch Outs) These 18 situations are more specific and
cautionary than the Standard Fire Orders and described situations that
expand the 10 points of the Fire Orders with the intent that if firefighters
follow the Standard Firefighting Orders and are alerted to the 18 Watch Out
Situations, much of the risk of firefighting can be reduced. Below is the
original recommendation and fire orders from the report:
Standard Firefighting Orders. Recommendation:
Adopt for service-wide use the attached "Standard Firefighting Orders."
These orders are to be committed to memory by all personnel with fire
STANDARD FIREFIGHTING ORDERS
- FIRE WEATHER. Keep informed of fire weather
- INSTRUCTIONS. Know exactly what my
instructions areand follow them at all times.
- RIGHT THINGS FIRST. Identify the key points of
assignment and take action in order of priority.
- ESCAPE PLAN. Have an escape plan in mind and
subordinates in event of a blow-up.
- SCOUTING. Thoroughly scout the fire areas for
which I am
- COMMUNICATION. Establish and maintain regular
communication with adjoining forces, subordinates, and
- ALERTNESS. Quickly recognize changed
immediately revise plans to handle.
- LOOKOUT. Post a lookout for every possibly
- DISCIPLINE. Establish and maintain control of
under my supervision and at all times know where they are
and what they are doing.
- SUPERVISION. Be sure men I commit to any fire
clear instructions and adequate overhead.
Our S.O. and District offices and Work Centers here on my southeastern forest
resemble ghost towns lately -- fires here on the Forest; and personnel (primary
and many militia) assigned off-forest in R3 and throughout R8 -- on Teams and as
freelance overhead, engine crews, helicopter personnel, etc.
Godspeed to all; keep your wits about you -- and Abs, thanks always for this
||It is disheartening to read the recent posts from those who have left the
federal system early and who referred to my earlier post about the fact that far
too many are retiring early because they are simply fed up.
It is disheartening because working to make your job more rewarding so you will
stay until the maximum age is precisely why the FWFSA exists. The slow pace of
change is palpable to many. Obviously so palpable to some that they have
terminated their FWFSA membership under the perception that we simply aren't
making progress fast enough,
Without trying to sound like I'm making excuses, the fact remains; the slow pace
of change to improve the working environment for our Nation's federal wildland
firefighters is a direct result of the failure of the federal land management
agencies (let's face it, primarily the Forest Service) to be willing partners
with the FWFSA & NFFE to change archaic pay & personnel policies and change
their organizational structures to provide America's taxpayers with a more
efficient & cost-effective federal wildfire response.
Had any recent Forest Service Chief, starting with Bosworth, then Kimbell & now
Tidwell given a damn about their firefighters, they wouldn't summarily ignore
the FWFSA and consider us adversaries. In fact, if it is true that the Chief is
aware of what's on TheySaid, I challenge him to a face to face dialogue on the
issues facing his agencies firefighters. Video tape the conversation and make it
available to every firefighter.
If they'd given a damn they would have acknowledged the decades-old issues;
embraced their Agency's own findings from as far back as 1985 about the virtues
and benefits of classification as wildland firefighters, portal to portal pay,
hazard pay as base pay for retirement purposes, hazard pay on prescribed burns
and benefits for temps/seasonal, and worked with us to implement the necessary
Had there been an inkling of interest and effort by the Forest Service over the
last 25 years, we wouldn't be forced to have to go the legislative route which
is tedious, stressful, and difficult. It is precisely those descriptions of the
legislative process that have allowed the Agencies to ignore their
responsibilities to their firefighters.
Just watching this week's Senate hearing with respect to the oft promised
aviation program; the fact that the Agency has not complied with reporting
requirements of the FLAME Act, etc., gives credence to the fact that the Agency
is using its knowledge of the slow pace of Congress as a mechanism to not do
what is right.
I presume the Agency's idea is to force us to undertake the legislative process.
That, coupled with Congress' misguided assumption that the Agencies, now aware
of their problems and solutions are willing to work to fix them without
legislative intervention, will simply cause us so much grief that we'll give up.
I would hope that anyone else fed up with the system join the effort with us to
effect change through whatever means is necessary. Congress IS listening. It IS
understanding. The next obvious hurdle is to get them to realize that the
Agencies will not change on their own and said changes will require legislative
As we've said before, if the Agency isn't willing to do what is right &
necessary for their most important resource, its employees, then give us the
ball and get the hell out of the way.
Executive Director, Governmental Affairs
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
||Backcountry Lightning Risk Management
Here is an article on Backcountry
Lightning Risk Management that was written for people who spend time in remote
areas of the great outdoors. This article is full of excellent information that
pertains to us as wildland firefighters and
our ventures during those summer lightning busts.
The same can be said for our law enforcement personnel who are out in the same
areas during their patrols or doing
Please take time to review and discuss with your crews as we start into our
traditional lightning season.
Backcountry Lightning Risk Management (676 K pdf)
by John Gookin
fair use disclaimer
So, does the USFS requirement to obtain a full State certified
Tank, CDL & Airbrake cert. to operate a Model 60 or
26K weight series not be the standard anymore? HMMM... us old guys had to go
thru the whole process to meet full
Glad I did the full process & test....cause it made post employment ( fed)
opportunities that much greater.
If you can add a PAX endorsement ...do it!
Got a call from Vicki with a request from the Wildland Firefighter
We need someone to pick up 9 WFF boxes in Prescott, AZ and get them to Show Low,
about 4 hours away, by
vehicle -- or any other way. The boxes will arrive in Prescott between 3-5 PM
tomorrow afternoon and it would be
ideal to get them to Burk in Show Low tomorrow night or early Saturday, if needs
be. The WFF will pay for gas
and overnight if you get into Show Low late tomorrow.
Anyone looking for a little road trip? Call Vicki 208-863-9090 for details.
Wish I could go!
Would be fun and worthwhile. Ab.
I've held back from throwing my two cents into this fire up
until now. Unfortunately, I am not fully educated on the historical events that
have taken place on the Modoc IHC over the past 4 years, but I know a majority
about the underlying story as to why it is that the MODOC IHC has been
I will start off by saying that it is sad and unfortunate that good crew
members were caught in the middle of this mess. There were a lot of good people
that suffered because of the actions of a few bad apples. I hope those quality
people will be able to find good jobs on better crews for this up and coming
2nd: I find it funny that none of the REAL problems were addressed during the
discussion. The crew members that decided to post on this forum left out a lot
of critical information that led up to their ultimate demise. Its easy to point
the finger at over head in order to direct the attention away from THEIR
actions. Yes, the crew boss wasn't the most experienced and, yes, he was put in
that position to help mentor a group of troubled youth; but it is hard to mentor
a bunch of individuals that refuse to listen or are unwilling to learn. It's
also difficult to have respect for a new supervisor when the previous one is
held in such high regard. Sometimes we need to remember that every day is full
of challenges and we need to do our best to function as a team for the greater
good and put our petty differences aside. NO ONE IS PERFECT! We all have
different strengths and weaknesses. Its our diversity in skills that make us
strong, not the backbone of a few key individuals. If the crew would have
embraced this mentality, the crew would have benefited from the variety of
specialized skills that each one of us possess. A squad boss once told me; "The
strength of the wolf is in the pack, the strength of the pack is in the wolf!"
3rd: No one addressed the following:
- No one addressed the fact that certain overhead had a habit of coming
into work intoxicated on a regular basis.
- No one addressed the stolen explosives that were found by CHP in
- No one addressed the sexual harassment that took place on the crew.
- No one addressed the dysfunction of the overhead and their inability to
work with one another.
- No on addressed the fact that certain overhead openly created division
amongst the crew in order to have crew members choose sides.
- No one addressed the lack of respect crew members treated each other
- No one said anything about all of the verbal threats that were said
openly during crew meetings.
- No one spoke about the dysfunctional overhead that plotted against crew
members on the various ways they could get people to quit.
- No one said anything about how the leadership would pick on key
- No one mentioned the times when they would have a key individual hike
the only saw to the top of the mountain after experiencing an injury in an
attempt to get that person to quit. Not only that, but the potential of
injuring that individual even further. Then how would they feed their
family? ? ?
- No one mentioned the seasonal employees that openly refused to sharpen
their tools when directed to by their superiors, among many other things
that were asked by them.
These are just a few of the glaring issues that have been intentionally
Yes! It bothers me that the crew has been disbanded; But for good reason. If
I were sitting in the Forest Sups' chair, I'd be considering all of the
potential lawsuits that could potentially come out of this situation. I'd think
of the welfare of the crew members and the reputation of the MDF and the Forest
Service. I'd think of the safety of my employees! I would try and do the right
thing. I've learned that sometimes the right thing isn't right for everyone. You
can never make everyone happy, but you do have the choice to either turn a blind
eye to it, or do something about it.
Furthermore, with all of the POSH, No Fear, Diversity and Ethics training we are
required to take and our policy of zero tolerance, I'm surprised that some
individuals still have jobs. Zero tolerance doesn't have any meaning if we don't
uphold that standard. They should count themselves as lucky to still have a
great job as a member of the Forest Service and stop ruffling feathers. It is
what it is; what happened, happened! Not everyone has to like it, but we all
have to live with it. Your actions are yours alone. Unfortunately, others are
highly affected by them. I just wish our leadership would have stepped up to the
plate when the opportunities had presented themselves instead of instigating
them. If so, we would have never been in this mess. (If you're not part of the
solution, then you are part of the problem.) It's not the Forest Sup, Division
or Battalions' fault as to why the Modoc IHC failed. They are just the ones that
hold us accountable. Stop deflecting the attention away from the real issues and
start looking at ourselves. We ultimately allowed all of this to happen!
I hope this helps to clarify why certain things happened. I'm sorry to all of
the former Modoc IHC members. Our actions and/or inaction caused great shame to
you all! I can't change the past, but we can all learn from it if we choose to.
||Casey's last sentence 6/15 post:
"federal firefighters enjoy early
retirement provisions already and, in my opinion, too many are taking advantage
of the program because they are fed up."
Similar to Fish01 and for the reason Casey mentioned, I left at 54.
||Does anyone know the fed policy (FS) for hiring related to a current
situation we are experiencing on our district?
Our FMO and his wife (biologist) are both on the hiring team of 3 for a
permanent fire/fuels position. When I was in R5, it was
made very clear that this was forbidden. Was this only a R5 thing?
Anyone had experience with this that could give up some advice and what to do
about it? It's a sticky situation and we don't
have anyone to talk to safely.
6 years till retirement in R3!
||Re: Casey and Fish01,
Ditto for me. At the "prime" age of 52.5 after 30 fire
seasons, I too had enough and put the F(B)S to stern.
||Re Casey's last sentence 6/15 post:
Yep. You hit it on the head of the nail...that's why I
left at the ripe age of 52. I had enough, and have not regretted a minute
of my decision. But to be fair, I could afford that decision. Many cannot.
||Re Casey's post:
I am getting ready to start my 75th day on fire in
Arizona and New Mexico after two days off. Curious what Casey had
to say in radio interviews on what is going on down here. Who initiated the
interviews, topics covered, etc.
||This post is in response to Casey's last post on 6/15.
I totally agree
with the whole firehire problem especially in region 5. I'm over this region who
can't follow their own policies. I knew something was up this round. It goes on
in other rounds as well just something different. I have been trying to lateral
over for four years due to hardship and have not even gotten one response. I
have seen lower grades get jobs when I am trying to get the same position. I
hear excuse after excuse and when I call the Region 5 firehire its always lip
service. They point fingers at everybody else instead of saying there is a
problem with the system and fix it. I have heard it all. I contact people in
Region 5 and they never respond as well. I called Albuquerque and they told me
my application is good and there shouldn't be any hang-ups whatsoever. Region 5
has blamed AVUE and they said my application is good too.
I have seen posts on here to wait it out and so on and so forth. That maybe
your supervisor didn't give a good recommendation etc. I have been getting
outstanding on all recent performance evaluations. Will we have to have an audit
in Region 5 before anything improves here? The good old boy club still happens
Well you know what I am leaving the Forest Service. I am over all the
politics on what goes on instead of picking up good solid quality people who
perform with excellence. I see people who get in trouble and then they get
promotions. I have seen it happen at least four times in my career. I'm glad to
say that I am leaving and I am not looking back. We will see more people fleeing
as other jobs are opening up? The agency doesn't care and it starts from the top
leadership of which there is none. No wonder why we rank so low in morale.
Thanks Casey for all the hard work you do and keep it up!
Leaving and done with the Forest Circus
||Narrow Banding Radios
Please post the attachment.
Narrowbanding Safety Bulletin 05-11 (pdf)
||re: shutdown of excess federal websites
Does anybody know if the un-official "official" wildland websites will be
affected? Some of the most useful websites created by
the Forest Service and
other agencies are .NET or .ORG web domains:
www.inciweb.org. If they are switched to
.GOV domains, will the content be as user friendly, relevant or timely?
Does NAFRI need their own .GOV domain or will they be rolled into
www.fs.fed.us? Should the Fireline
Leadership initiative be placed under the
My vote for most useless excess website is Avue. It seems a waste to make Forest
Service applicants apply outside of
www.USAJobs.gov - especially given the talk
that diversity trumps actual qualification for the Agency and potential wildland
apprentices can't apply on-line anyway.
||Hi to all:
Tried to stay off for a while. Several radio interviews regarding the AZ fires
and a few days away with the family.
The FWFSA has been afforded the opportunity to provide the truth to questions
and issues raised at some of the recent Senate
Energy & Natural Resource hearings. I joke with both Republican & Democratic
staff all the time that these hearings are a waste
of their time...and they agree!
I also often reiterate to the staff that if their boss' want the truth, just let
us know. My staff contact in Sen. Risch's office is a
wildland firefighter so maybe things are starting to get through. Climate on the
other hand...geez. A factor which can be mitigated
to a large degree by good policy.
Speaking of policy, the recent Tidwell memo about diversity is somewhat
disappointing to me although, coming from an Agency
head, not all that unexpected.
We have worked very hard to make the point to Congress that while diversity is
well and good, in an occupation where lives are
on the line and crew members must rely on each other and safety is the primary
goal, experience & expertise trump diversity any
Besides, what kind of diversity does the Agency expect to get when it continues
to refuse to implement policy changes that will
improve recruitment & retention and on the first day of fire hire folks are told
to reach down to level 3 candidates...
Sorry to say but it will take a nasty season to wake people up form their
ignorant slumber. I am hopeful NFFE will join us publicly
in making it clear that experience & expertise trumps diversity on the fire
ground. The fire program is already diverse. What is
needed are polices to keep these great people where they are.
Additionally, with respect to "early outs" for FIRE...that is going to be a
personal choice for employees but as you all know, federal
firefighters enjoy early retirement provisions already and, in my opinion, too
many are taking advantage of the program because
they are fed up.
Executive Director, Governmental Affairs
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
||This came in from Forest Service HR Department today. Sign of things to
Intended Audience: All FS
June 14, 2011
Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA)
As Secretary Vilsack indicated in his May 25, 2011, email to all US
Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees, USDA’s fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget
contains significant reductions. USDA anticipates continued budgetary
constraints in FY 2012. To assist the Forest Service and the other USDA mission
areas in addressing the current and upcoming budget shortfalls, the Secretary
has authorized a Department-wide Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA),
also known as "early out," for employees who meet minimum age and length of
We are currently working with our union partners to complete our bargaining
obligations which will include drafting the memorandum authorizing the VERA for
Forest Service employees and anticipate it will be released in the near future.
VERA criteria expands the normal retirement eligibility to allow employees to
voluntarily retire, with an immediate annuity, if they are at least age 50 with
at least 20 years creditable Federal service, or any age with at least 25 years
creditable Federal service. The early out authority will be offered to all
employees, regardless of grade, occupational series, and location except those
positions for which the USDA has direct-hire authority. The positions excepted
from the VERA authority are:
Civil Engineer, GS-810
Information Technology Specialist (Security), GS-2210, grade 9 and above
The current Forest Service authority does not include the Voluntary
Separation Incentive Program (VSIP), also know as "buyout."
The Forest Service website will be updated to provide additional information
and questions and answers regarding our current VERA authority.
Our Point of Contact (POC) is Don Thompson, snip
||From GA Peach on the Hotlist earlier today:
Thousands of federal
websites to be shut down
by Sean Riley
The Obama administration wants to take down half of the roughly 2,000 major
federal websites in the coming year — with 500 of those shutting down in the
next few months, officials said Monday.
Agencies also are barred from creating new sites for 90 days while a task force
begins updating federal website policy.
Two-thousand sites "is clearly ridiculous," said the Office of Management and
Budget's deputy director, Jeffrey Zients, in a conference call with reporters.
"It's no wonder the American people are unsure of where to obtain information
from the federal government."
USFS Chief Tom Tidwell and DOI Deputy Assistant Secretary Kim Thorson testified
in the Senate Energy And Natural
Resources Committee earlier today. Nothing ground breaking that I noticed but
still a good listen if your into it.
To me it is entertaining, albeit frustrating, to see the politics at play in
these hearings. Senator Franken highlighted the role
of climate change as a contributing factor of large fires while emphasizing the
cost of the fires as a tangible result of climate
change. Senator Risch, on the other hand, made a point of touting his forestry
degree and Pulaski skills yet blamed the
catastrophic fires now occurring on land management policies of 2009 and 2010
and not climate change. Neither side
discussed the long history of aggressively suppressing all fires as a
contributor to the mega fire phenomenon.
Other topics included succession planning and the allocation of funds. They
received boiler plate answers but it still good
to hear the Senators at least show some awareness.
Chief Tidwell received several questions on the large air tanker review but
provided few answers except that he is awaiting
reports from the military (A-10’s?), the Rand Corporation and current
contractors. He will provide a full report to the
committee by the end of the summer. Who wants to bet the Rand Corp get a large
portion of the bid when this is all said
There is a link to the webcast video and transcripts.
energy.senate.gov: webcast video and transcripts.
The meeting actually starts about 18 minutes into the video.
Yep, I agree with everything you said and I was up on the situation and actually
part of it in the mid-80's in R5. And I also
wholeheartedly agree with you insofar as where money could be better utilized
(FWFSA). In fact, because of a situation
where the NFFE took no action (and should have) I realized (and so did several
others here on our unit) that my money
could be spent better going to the FWFSA (and before everyone starts to explain
the difference between the union and
the association, don't! I realize the differences). However for my purposes, and
with my limited resources, I choose to put
my hard-earned money in the hands of the FWFSA. I will soon be retracting my
payments to the NFFE and switching
that amount to the FWFSA. I do think that it will be the most effective way to
"write letters" and respond as a powerful
Thanks for the reminder.
STILL Tired of it all in R6
||Re: Hiring Approvals for Permanent Employees
As stated - Region 5 will continue to hire in the GS-462. I
will post as soon as soon as I have all the opening and closing
dates and Avue Vacancy Announcement Number.
R-5 Civil Rights Staff
Fire Recruitment Liaison Specialist
||Re: Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program
Region 6 and the BLM have always used the SCEP hiring authority. R5 will be
using the 0462 series like they have
been for years.
||Re: Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program
For many regions other than R5, using the 0499 series is not going backwards,
because most of them never stopped
using the 0499 series.
R5 is not going back to the 0499 series. We are staying with the 0462.
||Re: Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program
Great... for the 4th time since the intro of the WFAP program, we are going
backwards to the SCEP and the 0499 series...
both of which didn't work over the
last 15 years.
||Re: Hiring Approvals for Permanent Employees
A Female & Tired R6,
You are chiming in on a long battle waged since the 80'S. There was a group of
employees who filed a complaint under : "The Male Class Complaint" who waged a
mighty battle against what you are rallying against. You can look up the
particulars but the gist of the complaint was the complete disregard of law by
the FS & Dept of Ag. We almost won but were discharged in a court proceeding
because we were not timely in the required timeline to file the complaint. In
the ruling I think the judges were sympathetic, but we failed to meet regs& law
in their opinion.
OK, having said that, I think if ALL of the current fire employees could better
spend their time an $$$$$$ supporting the FWFSA, making you a cohesive single
cell organism voicing your desire to be seen as professional FF entity and not
some piece of a massive agriculture bureaucracy.
If you can, as individuals, challenge every form of hiring discrimination, do
it. As the 4 wars we are in wind down more vets will apply for our FF positions
and they have earned any extra credit as a hiring bonus. An those credits were
EARNED, not awarded by some bureaucratic ruling about diversity. During the Male
Class complaint" the vet status was disregarded by the bureaucrat's, to meet
diversity goals. A clear violation of congressional law.
Again IMHO use ( join) the FWFSA as your voice to gain recognition. Right now
you are target of the Dept of AG. They need to look good and the FS with all the
lower graded targets are easy politic prey.
||Re: Hiring Approvals for Permanent Employees
If there's another 30-mile
type incident, it will come out. It's not the "fault" of the minority that's
hired and promoted.
It's the fault of the "system" that bends over backwards to retain people that
should not be promoted and placed in
leadership roles whatever their race, ethnicity, gender or military status.
A female, sent from my pink bb
||Re: Hiring Approvals for Permanent Employees
Both "Sent from my droid" and 13 have extremely valid points.
And I'm quite sure that more people will come up with more points that are
equally as valid from a safety and experience point
of view. However, and this is a biggee, saying these things are meaningless
unless we all join together and form a group which
presents this information to Congress. The chief and the agency do not always do
what is most fair, most representative, most
safe or even what the Supreme Court has dictated until there is an incident
(accident) or situation (large letter writing effort to
congress people) which, sadly creates attention and embarrassment.
I know for a fact that the chief knows what is written here on They Said, So
even discussion here is "heard."
On our unit we have been asked (recently) to do some illegal activities in order
to recruit and it was brushed under the rug
because the power of "diversity" rules over all. There does not appear to be an
advocacy group which is taking this issue to
so it will run unabated for as long as it desires.
Or until we do something collectively. Something right, safe and best for the
conditions which we know best.
Be safe & keep up the fight - this is going to be a long battle.
Tired of it all in R6
||Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program
The Pacific Northwest has opened the vacancy announcement for the 2011
Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program.
The Forest Service and BLM have combined their efforts offering approximately 16
positions at 8 locations in the states of
Oregon and Washington. These positions will be filled through the Student Career
Experience Program (SCEP) which is a
“hard copy” application that can be mailed, Emailed or faxed in. Applications
must be received by August 15, 2011.
This is not in Avue! To see more about the duty locations and application
process keep monitoring the
R-5 Civil Rights Staff
Fire Recruitment Liaison Specialist
Virtual Location: Eldorado National Forest
||Hiring Approvals for Permanent Employees
The US Supreme Court made it
pretty clear... diversity quotas or goals... are UNCONSTITUTIONAL
.. even if you call them "aspirations".
Placing one group over the other is wrong and illegal.
It is called MERIT PROMOTION hiring for a reason, and has actual LAWS and
regulations that are
supposed to be followed and NOT usurped.
WTF is he thinking?
signed: Sent from my Droid
||Hiring Approvals for Permanent Employees
Nice find Joe Boy,
I find it interesting that no where in this document are the words
"Qualified, Competent, Knowledgeable, Proficient, Talented
or Trained". It is also stated that our "Actions are not meeting our
aspirations", or in other words Mr Tidwell, "Hiring the best
Qualified is not our aspiration". By the way, the antonyms for the words not
found in this doc are, Incapable, Unable,
Unproficient, Unqualified, Unskilled and Untalented. We have enough "Un's"
already in this organization.
||With all of the fire activity taking place and other discussion folks are
following I hadn't seen this document show up yet.
Hiring Approvals for Permanent FS Employees (171 K doc file)
Date: May 23, 2011
Subject: Hiring Approvals for Permanent Employees
To: Regional Foresters, Station Directors, Area Director, IITF Director and
We have focused a great deal of energy on our diversity goals and objectives
over the last several years. Representing the public we serve is key to
effective engagement and our ability to provide critical services throughout
all of our programs. Our aspiration is to create a diverse culture within
our workforce, to enrich the breadth of perspectives, insights and
experiences of our organization. Our national demographics are rapidly
changing and the latest census results will show even more change. Progress
is evident and I am appreciative of all the activities underway at each of
the units. However a review of our hiring results indicate additional focus,
engagement and action at the senior line officer level is required. Our
actions are not meeting our aspirations.
I fully expect, with your help, to develop a suite of actions to achieve our
diversity goals. The first change I am requiring, effective immediately, is
that you establish a collective, corporate hiring process to ensure review
and approval of all selections for permanent positions at the Region,
Station, Area, and Deputy Chief levels. This should include all term
appointments, wage grade positions, and all student conversions. Your
process should incorporate the 80-day hiring model in accordance with U.S.
Department of Agriculture direction. There is no change to the current
process for GS-14 and above positions.
This change in delegation of authority, along with enhanced recruitment and
outreach efforts, increased accountability, and hiring reforms under way,
will help us meet our aspiration. Your Human Resource Management and Civil
Rights staffs are available to assist with the development of your
processes. They have a wealth of information which displays the profiles of
your units to provide additional insight. Questions can be directed to
Jacqueline Myers at 505-563-7815 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
/s/ Thomas L. Tidwell
||Fire Photos and fire reporting:
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests' photostream 90 photos of the AZ-ASF-Wallow
Hotlist thread of the AZ-ASF-Wallow Fire (Southwest)
||A young Texas volunteer firefighter was injured on 5/24/11 on the YT
Ranch Fire near Andrews, TX. Good thoughts and prayers for his full recovery.
Kermit Volunteer Firefighter On The Road To Recovery
From KOSA News, Odessa
The YT Ranch Fire in Kermit is out this morning, but area residents
continue to support a volunteer firefighter who suffered severe facial burns
Hunter Hardaway is in the Lubbock burn unit recovering with his family. He
was airlifted to Lubbock after getting injured while fighting the fire in
His uncle says that with the support of family and the community hunter will
be ok. “Hunter is a remarkable guy. He will do anything for anybody. He’s
just that type of person,” Hunter’s uncle, Michael Barron said.
Hardaway is listed as “stable” and is expected to recover following surgery
yesterday morning. Word is that a brisket dinner and raffle may be organized
in Kermit to help pay for Hunter’s medical expenses.
Kermit Firefighter with Facial Burns Undergoes Surgery
By Beau Berman at KOSA News, Odessa
Kermit firefighter Hunter Hardaway is in the Lubbock Burn Unit tonight
recovering with his family after skin graft surgery Thursday morning. He was
injured Tuesday night while fighting the YT Ranch fire, that consumed
thousands of acres, but not before Hardaway and his fellow firefighters laid
it all on the line for the community.
Recent grass fires have ruined west Texas homes and taken the lives of two
fire fighters so far this year. This week it was a fire that altered the
life of a young firefighter forever. But in Kermit, it’s safe to say his
sacrifice didn’t go unnoticed.
The YT Ranch fire is out, but memories of Tuesday’s smoke and flames aren’t
far from the minds of Kermit residents. Nor is the fire itself, which
injured volunteer fireman, Hunter Hardaway, forcing an air evacuation to the
Lubbock Burn Unit.
“I couldn’t believe that one of your own, that’s kin to you, is injured like
that”, says Hunter’s Uncle, Michael Barron.
The rest of Hunter’s family is with him now in Lubbock as he recovers.
Barron is Hunter’s uncle, who found out that Hunter had received serious
burns to his face. Today he underwent surgery.
“Hunter is a remarkable guy. He will do anything for anybody. He’s just that
type of person”, says Barron.
The fire was generally contained to the YT Ranch but at one point it did
push up to the edges and came dangerously close to the roadway and were it
not for the hardworking efforts of firefighters and the sacrifice of Hunter
Hardaway, it could have gone all the way down the road to Kermit, which is
just 10 miles away.
“I appreciate so much that he joined the fire department and that he’s given
it his all and I can’t tell you now badly I feel that he was injured”, says
Winkler County Judge Bonnie Leck.
Judge Leck commends both the Kermit and Wink Volunteer Fire Departments.
While Hunter may never look exactly the same, friends say he’ll always be
Hunter, and that’s what is important.
“He’s a strong young man and I know the community’s prayers are all with him
and his family”, says Judge Leck.
Uncle Barron believes Hunter will be OK in the long run, with the support of
his family and the community that cares about him so much. “I think he’ll be
fine. He’s got a long way to go but he’s got a wife, that loves him and he’s
got a baby that loves him and that’s what we all work for”.
||From: "U.S. Fire Administration"
Date: Jun 7, 2011 12:02 PM
Subject: STIHL Recalls Yard Power Products Due to Burn and Fire Hazards
STIHL Recalls Yard Power Products Due to Burn and Fire Hazards
Thu, 26 May 2011 07:33:00 -0500
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announces a recall of gas powered
STIHL trimmers, brushcutters, KombiMotors,
hedge trimmers, edgers, clearing saws, pole pruners, and backpack blowers that
utilize a toolless fuel cap. The level of ethanol and
other fuel additives can distort the toolless fuel cap, allowing fuel to spill,
posing a fire and burn hazard.
video on AZ fire
Hotlist thread on AZ Wallow fire and others
I am a GIS Professional who has taken GIS Incident Management class S-341, and
now I am considered a GIS trainee for
Wildfires, but it has been over a year and I still haven’t had the opportunity
to go out and work a fire. Really I just want to
know how I can increase my chances of making that happen?
Dawn (GISP) (Ab snipped last name)
GIS Specialist II
Some time ago I had come across a write up about a couple of Crews
that had a regular rivalry, it had gone on for some years. I can't for the life
of me find it now. Not a clue where it was, and I wish that I'd book marked
it. I know that one of them is now disbanded. It was a great little history
about the two, and the way that they'd moved from fire to fire to fire a few
years back. I want to say that one was Mill Creek, but I'm unsure of that. It
seems like one of the fires in question was the Fountain fire. For some reason,
too, Hat Cree and Lassen sticks in my head, it seemed like they were both up
Anyhow, I wonder if you've run across anything like that, or might have a
resource on such sorts of things.
The reason I'm interested is that I work in forestry and have done some work
out in CA with Mendocino and Shasta/Trinity and a couple of other areas and
became rather intrigued by the entire history of it. What I can't tell you is
whether they were IHC or CalFire. I'm almost certain they were IHC Forest
Anyhow, just wondering if you had anything.
Thanks in advance-
Hotlist discussion thread on Drug Free Workplace Program
||RE: LincPass Expiration
We were told by out State Office that the USFS was tasked with producing
the LINCPASS for the BLM. All of us here in UT had to go to the USFS
office to get printed and then when they were ready to pick them up.
These rules might be different state to state and or by agency. But you
may want to check this out before blowing them off. I also just
received a notice that my card was expiring and it came from the
||Drug Free Workplace Program
Link to letter:
forest service drug free letter.doc (50 K doc)
Date: June 1, 2011
Subject: Drug Free Workplace Program
To: Regional Foresters, Station Directors, Area Director, IITF Director and
In order to ensure a safe, drug-free workplace as mandated by Executive Order (EO)
12564, Department of Transportation regulations, and the United States
Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Drug Free Workplace Program (DFWP), the
Forest Service Executive Leadership Team has agreed to a strategy which
establishes a phased approach for bringing the agency into compliance with the
USDA DFWP. To this end, the Forest Service has reviewed all EO 12564
test-designated positions to ensure all required positions were included in
agency testing programs.
During our initial review, we discovered all Job Corps employees, Top Secret
Clearance personnel, and wildland firefighters (fire protection personnel) had
not been included in the drug testing pool. Our first priority was to add all
Job Corp employees to the random drug testing pool, as required by Appendix A of
Departmental Regulation (DR) 4430-792-2. We have completed this task. The two
remaining phases for implementation are:
Phase 1: Positions requiring a Top Secret Clearance: There are 171
positions in this category. These employees are test designated due to the
critical decisions they make and the degree of public trust required as
outlined in Appendix A of DR 4430-792-2. Each of these employees has
received their notification letters and will be placed into the random drug
testing pool after the mandatory 30 day waiting period.
Phase 2: All Approved Primary Wildland Firefighter Positions:
There are approximately 6,500 employees in this category. Fire and Aviation
Management (FAM) proposed drug testing of wildland firefighters in April
2008. Department of Interior has been drug testing their firefighters for
the past 17 years under EO 12564. Both FAM and Human Resource Management (HRM)
believe Forest Service employees engaged in similar firefighting activities
should be subject to the same requirements. Meetings have been on-going
between FAM, HRM, and union representatives. Proposals have been sent
forward to USDA for approval. Union negotiations on impact and
implementation will occur once USDA has granted approval.
Implementation of both phases will include: 1) notification of affected
employees, 2) updating position data in position descriptions and the National
Finance Center database, 3) providing training to employees and supervisors of
Testing Designated Positions employees, and 4) implementing random and applicant
testing for the designated positions.
Under EO 12564, the DFWP Plan, DR 4430-792-2, and Article 43 of the National
Federation of Federal Employees Master Agreement, employees and supervisors are
required to receive training regarding the DFWP. To meet these requirements, the
HRM Drug Testing staff, along with union input, has developed five
computer-based training modules which are now in AgLearn to use agency-wide. A
communication plan will be developed and distributed to provide guidance to
supervisors/managers and employees regarding their requirement to complete this
Another long term goal we are working towards is to identify other positions for
possible inclusion in the random drug testing program. These positions may
include: militia/red-carded employees, snow vehicle operators, all-terrain
vehicle operators, and chainsaw operators (to include cross cut sawyers and
I encourage you to become more familiar with the requirements under the USDA
DFWP. You can find more detailed information concerning this program at:
Drug Testing Program.
(famweb Internal FS link.) If you have questions concerning the DFWP, please
contact any of the Drug Testing Specialist listed on their website.
/s/ Charles L. Myers
CHARLES L. MYERS
Deputy Chief for Business Operations
cc: Randal E Wheeler
||RE: LincPass Expiration
I fell off my chair laughing! I have a DOI "Smart Card" and recently was
contacted by USDA Forest Service to come
pick up my new Link pass. The phone tag was hot and heavy as I tried to explain
to the USDA FS that I had not
worked for that department since 1993. I think we could save some bucks if we
just unfunded DHS.
||CA-OES Assistant Chief Powell Passes -
Memorial services celebrating Chief Powell’s life will be held on Saturday,
June 11, 2011, 1100 hours at:
Rolling Hills Christian Church,
800 White Rock Road,
El Dorado Hills, California 95762-5524
For the rest of the arrangements, please see the
||RE: LincPass Expiration
I had a good laugh at the LincPass email myself. I sent my fingerprints in
over 2 years ago and that is the last I have
heard. The other folks who sent their fingerprints in at the same time got their
LincPass probably 12-18 months late
(after two 4-5 hour round trip drive). And no, none of us have ever used this
||RE: LincPass Expiration
At least you all got a gov ID card; I work for a DOI agency and in 2009 we
submitted paperwork, got photographed
and digitally fingerprinted...we are still waiting for our cards. My last email
said we should be getting them "soon," and
that was last fall.
Cheers and be safe.
||RE: LincPass Expiration
Sometimes ya just gotta laff ---- if only to keep from cryin' --
USFS employees received notice today about LinkPass, the still-evolving and
relatively useless USFS version of a secure consistent federal employee
identification card. The email notice informs employees that their LinkPass has
an expiration date, which is two years prior to the date printed on the card.
This notice encourages employees not to treat the email as spam -- even though
the sender and subject line look very suspicious and spam-like.
My LinkPass expires in a couple of months -- my rough guesstimate is that
between fingerprints, background checks, processing, travelling to remote
locations to present verification of identification and to get picture taken,
then returning sometime later to pick up completed card, etc, etc, etc, that
this little ol' piece of plastic, which I have never used or been asked to
display, has cost the taxpayers well over $ 2000.
Chucklin' and shakin' my head --
.... on a serious note, AB's -- thank you for all that you two do,
through TheySaid and Wildlandfire.com, to keep us all aware and informed ....
To: ALL FS
Subject: LincPass Certificate Expires After 3 Years
HRM News Update [banner Albuquerque Service Center, Human
Intended Audience: All FS
June 03, 2011
LincPass Certificate Expires After 3
The Main Point
Your LincPass card includes an electronic certificate which contains your
credentials. The certificate expires after three years. If the certificate is
not renewed your LincPass card will no longer work.
Some Forest Service employees are receiving email messages from
hspd12admin(at)identitymsp.com with the subject line, “TIME TO UPDATE
LINCPASS CERTIFICATE – EXPIRING." Employees are getting this message because it
is time to renew their LincPass certificate. When you get this email do not
delete it. You will need the information to guide you in the next steps you
should take. You can determine your certificate expiration date by subtracting 2
years from the date displayed on your card.
For important details, please refer to the HRM Newsletter, found at
LincPass. (internal FS web)
You can use your LincPass card in place of your eAuthentication username and
password, as well as to log on to your computer. For more information about
using LincPass visit
How To Use Your LincPass For Users. (pdf file) (internal FS web)
If you have questions, please contact the POC identified for your specific
fsweb.asc.fs.fed.us...pdf or call the
Albuquerque Service Center at 1-877-372-7248, press 2 for HRM, press 2 for Human
Resources Inquiries Not Associated with Initial Employment, and press 7 for
Do not respond to this mass email message. For
any questions, please call the ASC-HRM
Contact Center at: 1-877-372-7248, Press 2
Regarding Alison's (Discovery Channel) query regarding fatalities, I see that a
good many regulars have provided her with
At the recent IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Summit in Missoula I presented a similar
summary on the Canadian situation for
the period 1941-2010 which will be included in the conference proceedings.
For a more global summary of fatality statistics and incidents, I might suggest
that Alison and others have a look at the chapter
I co-authored with Bob Mutch and Kathy Davis entitled "Wildland Fires: Dangers
and Survival" that was published in the
Wilderness Medicine book in 2007.
For more information, see the attached. (133 K pdf) A sixth edition
of the book will
appear later this year.
Regarding the issue of fire rates of spread. Grass fires spreading at 14 mph
have certainly been documented in Australia and
fires in conifer forests at about half that rate. These fire behavior facts and
associated details are covered in the above
mentioned book chapter.
Marty Alexander, PhD, RPF
Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
||Hey ab, a coworker asked me about available UTF lists. I know this has been
discussed before, but I thought since I
was putting together a links list for
him, then I might as well copy it to you for those interested. If anyone has a
the areas I couldn't find, please post it. Thanks!
(below are small pdf downloads of less than 100 K apiece)
||Oh yes! We finished
Mann Gulch 1949 Always Remember, as well.
I've been interested in the Mann
Gulch fire for as long as I can remember. Clever, innately intelligent move on
Wag Dodge's part to burn out a safety zone... Norman Maclean's book on Mann
Gulch is a fine one. His interest in the incident was shared by many.
My link with Missoula and the fire:
My husband's uncle and Norman Maclean's brother Paul -- the subject of Norman's
novella and later movie A River Runs Through It -- were very best friends
in Missoula MT during their school years there. The two families (professionals)
were friends too. Both young men -- so promising -- tragically died young quite
a while before Mann Gulch: The young Maclean is depicted a certain way in the
movie A River Runs Through It. Except to say he died in 1938, I won't
comment on that. My husband's uncle died in a Model T Ford accident before Paul
on a trip home to Missoula from Stanford University in California. Roads and
cars were not what they are today. It was a long road trip. Tragic for my
None of that relevant to the fire exactly, but part of the conversations
about "the old days" -- that flowed among our family's older (now dead)
- "I walked 10 miles to school when I was a kid, one way!"
- "we studied by kerosene lamps even into high school",
- fishing, deer and moose hunting, and getting lost, "I was the leader"
- postponing university a year or more because a hailstorm destroyed the
entire wheat crop that was to be used for tuition
- wildland firefighting or firefighting support by every able-bodied
person in Montana when needed,
- summer jobs with the Forest Service
Interesting times. Fascinating stories.
If anyone has any more info to add on any of the Always Remember pages,
please let our Always Remember Admin (Operations) know. To protect against spam
there's a Contact
link in the header bar for messages.
Henry Kim's page 1991 except for approximate location.
We finished the
Romero page 1971.
I still need to get a picture of the memorial on the Inyo if possible.
Joe Stutler says, "The 3 gentlemen who died on the Romero Fire in 1971, their
pictures should be on the wall of the
INF conference room along with a small memorial."
Sundance page 1967 is done.
There are some others we've been fine tuning, but things are coming along.
Thanks for all the help.
||Many thanks for the info on Henry Kim, lead plane pilot. Thanks Kelly for
the old article. I still wonder why NTSB did
not do an investigation.
I'm trying to finish up Kim's Always Remember page.
Will let you know as soon as it's complete.
Does anyone have a photo of the Inyo NF Memorial (June Lake at Oh!Ridge
Campground) to the 3 Inyo NF firefighters
that died on the Romero Fire in 1971? The fire was on LPF and Santa Barbara
County lands. The link that was on this
page no longer works:
www.wildlandfire.com/docs/memorials.php Rino or anyone from the Inyo,
Many of the memorial sites that were online just last year are gone. Our
folks are retiring and are gone. Some of this history
needs to be preserved. It's fascinating.
Thanks for what you all do! and Always Remember!
||Does anyone know if Fritz Cahill still does the Fritz Report for the LPF? It
would be interesting to hear what he thinks
this season could be like.
browsing and found this one from 2002: