"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
October, 2011

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10/31 Ab, in response to Letterman, 10/28 post:

All permanent, non-entry positions to be filled in the bargaining unit should be posted at a single site for 21 days prior to filling. The site is outreach/Default.aspx. I crosswalked the positions listed at outreach.fsr5.com/  which you cited as problematic and found all of the open ones (6 of 7; one was just an outreach) listed appropriately at the centralized site. So, I see no evidence of violations there. The centralized site is buried on the FS site. We'll put a link to it in a more prominent place on the Council website, at nffe-fsc.org/. It may take us a few days.

If you have information about a position being filled without the required posting and the pulling of a merit promotion referral list, you should contact an official at your Local with specifics.

Now, let me ask you a question: what do you plan to do about making the workplace better? If you want to do something, you can join up and step up and get in the fight. The union is not this outside force folks can dump their problems on and sit back and wait for salvation. The union is just an institution that allows employees to help themselves. That's it. The contractual provision that is so important to you was negotiated by a Forest Service employee just like you. It will be enforced, if it is, by a Forest Service employee just like you. By somebody who has stepped up to be a Local official. There are no knights in shining armor, waiting to ride in and save the day. The union and the contract are the horse. Nothing more. The vast majority of employees sit on the sidelines and demand that others do the work. We need to change this if we're to have the strength to fight the battles ahead. If your Local doesn't have the strength to enforce our contract, there's only one way to change it.

Folks have to saddle up. Get in the fight. Simple as that.

Mark Davis, President
NFFE Forest Service Council
920-992-6208
10/31 I think folks are making to much of big deal about the Chief attending Society of American Foresters convention. It appears to me that important issues will be addressed. Here's an agenda: convention agrnda.pdf.

We should show support of travel to all training, forums, meetings and other events at any level no matter were it's at.

ea

10/31 Regarding the Chief's travel to Hawaii,

Perhaps the Society of American Foresters is picking up the tab. If not, I totally agree that it is certainly not leading by example, but it's quite possible that it isn't costing Forest Service for him to go. In that case, I wish him well.

rmm

10/31 Re: NWCG

FC 180 - I am agreeing to disagree with you. I feel that putting the onus on instructors to flesh out what I believe to often be mediocre and substandard products is a joke, when the majority of NWCG's customers (Us) have little time to augment their products. Don't get me wrong, I understand the importance of supplementing any NWCG class and I do for every class I teach. But in this day and age, the canned product NWCG puts out can and should be significantly better in my opinion.

Below is the NWCG mission statement and creed as taken from the NWCG website:

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) is made up of the USDA Forest Service; four Department of the Interior agencies: Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS); and State forestry agencies through the National Association of State Foresters.  The purpose of NWCG is to coordinate programs of the participating wildfire management agencies so as to avoid wasteful duplication and to provide a means of constructively working together. Its goal is to provide more effective execution of each agency’s fire management program.  The group provides a formalized system to agree upon standards of training, equipment, qualifications, and other operational functions.

Creed

  • We believe the goal of effective wildfire management is best served through coordinating the resources of all fire management agencies, irrespective of land jurisdiction.
     
  • We believe in the concepts of full partnership, trust, and mutual assistance among the fire management agencies.
     
  • We strongly support professionalism in all facets of fire management.
     
  • We strive to bring the best talent to bear on vital issues in a timely manner, irrespective of agency affiliation.
     
  • We strive for economy, efficiency, and quality in all activities, and practice concepts of total mobility, closest forces, and shared resources without geographic limitations.
     
  • We constantly search for areas of agreement to further the effectiveness of the wildfire management program.

So to boil it down, it seems to me that NWCG is missing the boat on several of the points in their mission statement and creed; while in theory NWCG provides a framework for standardized training, I do not feel this occurs in practice. I have worked with many people who are "qualified" or have taken a particular NWCG class only to find their lack of basic knowledge in that subject area to be mind-boggling. And in the Creed, fourth bullet, I feel as though the powers that be at NWCG are tightly constraining the SMEs and not allowing them, at least in some cases, to have more control over the final product in which the SMEs names will be plastered all over the inside front cover.

And finally, when did we move from high expectations to targeting the lowest common denominator; to giving everyone a trophy, or in our case, an NWCG cert just for showing up? So now we are rolling out firefighters who are not prepared for the fire world they are entering. Every season that goes by, I become more and more weary of the up & comers; did they really get a high quality S-290 class or did they just take it online, for instance?
We are the customers and I, for one, am not happy with meal they keep serving. So... I'm sending it back, and will continue to send it back again and again until we get what we need, And if the cooks can't get the job done, I suggest we take over the kitchen and make it right.

What is best for the customer?

Mat Wood

10/30 Apprentice, Fall hire and the travel cap for training:

AL said: That said, the most logical changes should come at the lowest GS level.

Answer: Not at the expense of the most qualified applicants.

AL said: Not sure how Chief Tidwell is not "leading by example" in this case. Isn't he just doing his job as you or I would in his place?

I agree with Lead on this one. All things considered, it might be a good year for the Chief to cancel this trip to Hawaii, or maybe have someone set up a video conference, or something. The Chief just asked us all to look at options to traveling, like video conferencing.

Most important, we have Firefighters nationally who spend a career responding to America's emergencies and are required to attend Forest Service mandated incident training to build ICS skills. These firefighter are being denied development incident training everyday. If America's largest emergency responder organization is told to sacrifice career development, so should the "leader" of America's largest emergency responder organization. For the cost of his DC to Hawaii trip, we can pay for 15 Firefighters to attend fire training classes. Hey Chief, it's call "The Greatest Good". Remember?

Damian, I wish I had better news for you. I can only recommend you follow the advice given to Sergio. Temporary time does not count to the best of my knowledge. I wish I was wrong, I hope I am wrong. Call this number, tell them you are an applicant for a permanent firefighter position and you're wondering if temp time counts toward extending past age 37. (877) 372-7248 Select Option 2. Good luck Damien, hang in there.

If you're a vet, you may enter past age 37 based on a lawsuit that was decided a couple years back. The judges decision only covered vets, and was won since the 37 age maximum entry was based on retirement reasons and it violated the VEOA Act and USERRA Act. To get this for all others over 37, it's probably going to take another lawsuit.

www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=341702&version=342258&application=ACROBAT

Here are some other links about the maximum entry age.
www.fs.fed.us/news/2001
www.nffe-fsc.org/ committees/ legislative/ FS 110517 Support.pdf
mso.oldenglish.com/.../retirement.php
www.firehouse.com /...t-112790.phpl

Finally, I don't care if they are looking at national apprentice hiring, international apprentice hiring, or apprentice hiring on the back side of the moon. My issue is the lack of any kind of formal update or communication on this issue. That is disgraceful. Very important people are being made aware of this issue every day.

ms

10/30 Apprentice, Fall hire and the travel cap for training:
 
Last week's R5 BoD meeting offered up discussions pertaining to hiring.  Yes, there is discussion from Chief Harbour to move toward a national apprentice hiring forum.  When and if that occurs, all those interested will have to re-apply.  Of bigger concern is the effect that the current hiring pause will have on this week's R5 fire hire. 

As you know, back hires occurred as soon as an offer was accepted.  Well, at this time, the region has to go through the WO for approval as these positions are filled.  Given the time lag of the WO, back hires may not occur.  Many forests are sending employees to local community colleges to cut costs associated with training.  The effect is that training centers are cutting classes, crippling the training program.  Remember, training is safety.  So this so-called safety journey is headed for failure if they are willing to impede travel.

Noname fire

10/30 For Signed: Lost!

R1 isn't doing "fire hire" quite yet, although it's being looked at the last I had heard.

R4's fire hire webpage is: www.fs.fed.us/ r4/ fire/ r4fire_hire/  The R4 fire hire for fall is odd... you had to have your app in two and a half months before the eval/hire weeks (deadline was September 1st, eval/hiring is mid-November).

Young and Still Learning

10/30 Ab,

I have been looking on the web for awhile , for R-1 and R-4 fire hire page. Is there anyone out there that knows where I can FIND these pages?

Signed: Lost!

10/30 Apprentice hiring /and/ scrutinizing the FS Chief:

ms,

The requirement for diversity hiring came down from the top. People who are SES like the R5 Forester In Charge will ruin their ability to advance in career to Chief of the FS if they do not comply with some sort of viable strategy or appear to be complying. That said, the most logical changes should come at the lowest GS level. It does seem late for the functioning of the Apprenticeship Program to have a pause now.

Lead,

As far as the meetings the FS Chief goes to and how he travels, going to the Society of American Foresters Annual Convention seems like part of his duties. For people that fly often, if you book Coach and have acquired a lot of air miles, you have the option to bump up to First Class. I see nothing wrong with that; it doesn't necessarily cost more. Not sure how Chief Tidwell is not "leading by example" in this case. Isn't he just doing his job as you or I would in his place?

AL

10/30 Re hiring after age 37 and credit for years worked as a seasonal:

Hi Abercrombie,

My name is Damian and I am in the same situation as the poster Sergio who posted in they said a few days ago. I have 2 years collective experience as a seasonal. I got a late start in the Forest Service and have been trying to get full time for the past 3 seasons. I was just wondering if it is indeed true that those years worked as a seasonal firefighter can be used as a buffer if you are over the age of 37. 

If you have any additional info that may help it would help a great deal.

Thank you for your time.

Damian

10/30 MS, regarding region 5 apprentice hiring

The director of human resources for region 5 was recently asked about the status of apprentice hiring in region 5. He stated that it was paused for many reasons. One reason he did mention was that there is an attempt to consolidate it with national apprentice hiring. Don't know if this is the truth or the politically correct answer but there you go.

rtn rn
10/29 Re Travel Caps:

13,

GREAT post!

I think that the type of "response" that we receive on this specific issue will illustrate just what I have been preaching since Tidwell took the position of Chief. That being, when there is a difficult issue where the integrity, leadership and accountability of the FS hierarchy is called into question, there is almost always NO RESPONSE when the issue is brought up publicly.

Many of us feel that this type of lack of accountability, which is exhibited by the chief (just one example) on such a wide and public basis, provides an example of the lack of accountability which is then mimicked by many others in leadership roles. You said it well when you focused on leading by example.

NOT RESPONDING to this issue will allow it to just fade away. We will forget about it. As one regional forester (still in the role) once said to me, "That's just something you have to expect from the ranks and you have to avoid devoting too much attention to it. If you attempt to engage the accusers, it will become a bigger issue".

So then we are left with a few options, or rather few options: Let the union know (done) and wait for a response along with a copy of the letter they have hopefully sent to the chief... But don't hold your breath. Alert the media (done here on wildlandfire.com). Write a letter to your congressperson (a couple of us have done this and I would encourage others to do the same - keep it short and concise, I have already received a reply, automated, but a reply nonetheless). Write a letter to the chief (I have never received a reply), or just forget about it.

If you do choose to write a letter to anyone, remind them about the morale survey results for the agency and ask if what the chief is doing is something that supports enhancing our morale, or if it's something that is simply not a vital or necessary and therefore a waste of money. (I know I've had to forego my DIVS training, but then I'm just a peon.)

I'm guessing the chief won't be focusing his keynote address on the plight of the agency due to the cuts we are undergoing. And I could be wrong, but I'm guessing he won't be flying economy either.

Lead by example, maintain accountability and practice what you preach. Three good ideas to keep in mind when you oversee many thousands of federal employees or even when you lead 5 people on your squad.

Sign me: Lead by Example

10/29 Re: Quick question about task book and prior Experience

RO,

Like ms3 mentioned, "No" is the appropriate answer. From my IQCS / FQRC experience, when the taskbook is turned into the rating committee for final approval, you do not want an incident experience record to be from prior to the task books initiation date. That will be an obvious red flag. Remember, your name is attached to the document!

With that being said, if you have an employee that is high quality and has lots of previous experience and is ready to be a FFT1, it wouldn't be all that unrealistic to expedite his taskbook over the next few incidents he goes on. Basically, If there are tasks that the trainee has completed previously to satisfaction, you could apply those items towards the experience records of future incidents. Don't forget about the tasks that do not require an incident or wildfire to check off. Those can be done in a classroom setting, just create an experience record for it! With the classroom entry, plus a minimum of 2 incident entries, you should have the minimum number of incidents and be ready to turn in for approval.

Hope this helps.

- Centrifugal Pump

10/29 Quick question about task book and prior experience:

RO, the quick answer is no.

ms3

10/28 Maybe a better way to put it is that one Party is talking to and fighting for the middle class of this country. The other Party is talking to themselves, wearing Uncle Sam costumes, filibustering and protecting the 1%.

Proof is in the pudding. I wonder who is proposing extending the federal pay freeze?
www.federaltimes.com/ article/20111025/ ...BENEFITS
www.federaltimes.com/ article/20111017/ ...BENEFITS
Budget-cutting-proposals-could-affect-federal-employees.phpl
acres-bill-chaffetz-communities

So Cal Ridges

November 6, 2012!
10/28 NFFE, obviously the Forest Service is violating Article 16, page 47. Positions are listed on multiple websites. Many positions are not listed at all.
NFFE, your dues-paying members and potential dues-paying members want to know; What do you plan to do about this?

All permanent positions to be filled shall be listed on the Forest Service Internet a minimum of 21 days prior to pulling a referral list.

Here are a couple others. Where are the R6 jobs? R3 jobs? Other Regions? WO Jobs? Let me guess on 5-10 other websites?
outreach.fsr5.com/
www.fs.fed.us/r5/ fire/ trackingdb/

To repeat. NFFE, your dues paying members and potential dues paying members want to know; What do you plan to do about this?

Letterman
10/28 Travel Caps

I love it when "We" lead by example

From "People, Places and Things"

"Chief Tom Tidwell, State and Private Forestry Deputy Chief Jim Hubbard and Research and Development Deputy Chief Jim Reaves
will be attending the Society of American Foresters Annual Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 2-5, 2011. Chief Tidwell will give keynote remarks on Thursday, November 3."

13

10/28 Folks have been asking what the R5 Fire Hire schedule is and I was not sure it if it was posted in a thread
somewhere, so here it is: R5-firetimeline.pdf

SMG
10/28 The attached press released was sent to major news outlets this week including the Associated Press, Washington Post,
Federal Times, LA Times, New York Times and many others.

For more information please contact the FWFSA at www.fwfsa.org

Press Release

10/28 Hi Ab -

Awhile back someone was looking for the public website for the FS outreach database.

Here it is.

hrm.gdcii.com/outreach

LC

10/28 Quick question about task book and prior experience:

The quick question is....... Can prior experience (say within the last calendar year or two) be used to check off items in a new task book that was just initiated today? I know the standards now allow the task book to be started before all the classroom training has been completed. We have a guy who has been an FFT2 for 7 years who has worked on engines and type II crews, both wildfires and Rx.

Thanks.

RO

10/27 RE the discussion about Fire Behavior training and NWCG in general:

Let me say that I have taught all of the fire behavior series up to and including S-490.

First, the NWCG packages should be viewed as a STARTING point, not an ending point. Liberal regional modification is strongly encouraged, as long as the broader objectives are covered, the instructor has carte blanche to modify as needed for the local situation. So please change and modify as needed to support firefighters in your area.

Second, I find it hard to believe after participating in a re-write for one of the 300 level S- courses, that a re-write could go astray as described in a post below. The process is very stringent and stepwise, starting with the ICS position description, the position task book, then objectives, then content, then supporting materials. It is not unlike pulling teeth. And I believe it results in a good product.

FC180
10/27 Conflict resolution day, “Epic Fail”


I think in order to have conflict resolution day, a workforce must possess the ability or tools to resolve said conflict! On my Ranger district alone there are known personnel conflicts that have been ongoing for months with no resolve because, we can’t so much as put a letter in someone’s file without an investigation and approval of the Forest Stupid-visor!

Here goes


Conflict resolution what a joke
This place is all mirrors and smoke

Engine Captains, Engineers
Resolving conflict takes 12 years

Supervisors, Their hands are tied
In the meanwhile we dam near died

Twice in the meadow once by the truck
In first gear we’ve been stuck

Just ask them then you’ll know
To the safety awareness you will go…… Or else!


Meanwhile……… in the rest of America, it has been Fire safety month and Breast Cancer awareness month. 2 very worthy causes (Because they actually save lives) Not so much as a peep about that!

This is the best we can do, get used to it!

Fraternally:

Thomas J. Foolery

10/27 Sergio:

First of all I've been retired for several years so the following info may not be currently accurate. Several years ago I had an employee in the same situation you are in. He had worked many seasons as a temp/seasonal FF in Primary Firefighter positions. Like you, age 37 was rapidly approaching. I was told by ABQ personnel that each month being a Primary FF prior to age 37 could be added to age 37 to extend the age limit. So, if someone worked 6 months a year as a temp/seasonal FF in a primary FF position for 10 years they could then add 5 years (to age 42) to be hired into a permanent, primary FF position.

To do so, you MUST pay the 7 1/2 % for all the salary you earned in those years as a temp/seasonal FF. By doing so, you have added those years into the total of 20 years required for FF retirement. I believe you can make this payment on the installment plan.

This may not be current information but I hope someone with connections in personnel can check this out.

AK Old Timer
10/27 Hey Community!

Just wanted to make sure that everybody knew that you are invited to THE "FUN Raiser" at the Wildland Firefighter Foundation at 2049 Airport Way this Saturday night @ 6:00PM.

This is a kick off for our Aviation Project at the Firefighter's Memorial. Silent Auction, Raffle, food, beverages and a good time will be had for all!

Costumes optional, clothing mandatory!

Vicki Minor
Executive Director
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
10/27 Conflict Resolution Day Poetry Contest

OK, AB,

I'll try to be more professional this time if the last one is too controversial to post, I think It’s a hoot though! I mean seriously, a poetry contest , Conflict resolution day? What a monumental waste of Taxpayer dollars! It shows that reality is not an important part of our Regional Civil rights Program. I just don't want to be part of it. Rumor has it that California Hotshot crews had to run with 20 instead of 21 on their crews this year, I wonder how much they would give to be able to trade this GS- 13 + CRPCO - "Civil Rights Poetry Contest Organizer" for one hard working GS- 3- STTLM -"Second to the last Mc Cleod". Here's another (lunch hour) attempt at political humor.

Reality Check


Conflict Resolution Day

Up at day break, fight the fire,
Cut that line, in dirt and mire!
Get paid so little, but that’s OK
There's Conflict Res-o-lution Day!
I feel so warm and fuzzy now,
But still I have to wonder how,
A GS-12 can have, such fun,
With nothing, really getting done,
Cept' organizing contests.. yeahh!
For Conflict Res-o-lution day!

First poem from Reality Check that Ab never got...

Conflict Resolution Day
Resolve your conflicts.. right away?
Just put them off till another day,
EEO and grievance too,
Ten or fifteen years will do!
The systems broke and so are we,
A poet is what, I long to be!
Instead of working all day long,
We'll hum and dance and sing a song!
Wear our beads and smoke a dube,
Or stare at Oprah on the tube!
Play the drum, in Wall street square,
Pick the lice, out of my hair!
Wait for you, to give us free,
Cash and food, on bended knee!
What a joke, this is, I say,
A conflict resolution day,
Instead of getting, something done,

I've wasted time, just having fun!

PS: My apologies to us taxpayers of America, this took 18 minutes on my own time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Memo announcing the competition:

10/20/11

Hello Everyone. October 20, 2011 is National Conflict Resolution Day. This occasion affords us the opportunity to highlight the collaborative and creative methods for resolving conflict and strengthening relationships. In honor of the occasion, the Region 5 Civil Rights Office is having a poetry writing contest. Here are the rules.

1. When submitting your entry or responding to this message, PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO ALL.
2. Poems must be typed in regular Arial font. No hand-written entries.
3. Submit your entry on the attached entry form.
4. Only current Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) employees may enter.
5. Only one entry per contestant.
6. Poems must be no more than 400 words.
7. The topic of the poem must be peaceful conflict resolution or resolving conflict peacefully.
8. Poems must not contain profanity nor references of a sexual nature,
9. All poems must be an original product. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.
10. Poems must be submitted to me by email no later than October 27, 2011.

Get creative and have fun. The identity of the winner(s) will be announced and the winning poem(s) will be posted on the Civil Rights web page. Remember, Region 5 strives to maintain a respectful work environment so please keep your entry tasteful and respectful.

name snipped

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Haw haw haw. Thanks! If you don't see something, ask. It's more likely to have been eaten by the spam filter! Hope you had as much fun with the second one as with the first!

Anyone else? Ab.

10/27 Jobs and age limit / FS job announcements / Boots

Sergio. Thanks for your post. I can tell you I really hate to see Firefighters in your predicament. You are really going to need to hustle, applying for everything you see, making calls, visits to station, do whatever you can. When you talk with those who hire, make sure you mention this is your last opportunity because of your age.

First apply to this Forest Service Region-1 announcement. wfap.net/jobs.phpl

Second, the new Forest Service job announcements are due out very soon. Once they are posted, search AVUE for any non-R5 GS-3,4 or 5 (if you qualify) position/announcement you can apply to. Outside of R-5, they still hire entry level permanent firefighters outside of the Apprentice Program. At this point for you, a permanent job is a permanent job. Once you apply, call or visit, and don't stop until you get a job offer.

If you applied to the recently closed R-5 Apprentice announcement, ab's can give you my email and maybe I can help, since nobody seems to know what the hell is going on. Maybe a firefighter applicant and a US Senator can wake a few people up.

Boot topic. I think it's coming soon I believe, nothing confirmed. I also think H-pay for prescribed fire is coming one of these days as well (see 2011 Redbook).

ms

10/26 E-57:

There's a post from Jason's (E-57) mom with her annual reminder to firefighters to update their Emergency Card information.

That's a very good thing to do.

Ab.

10/26 Boot policy:

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the last paragraph of the boot policy merely states that the BIA consulted with the USFS in order to arrive at the decision. To me this does not in any way say that the USFS authorizes reimbursement.

Now if this same sort of letter were written on USDA FS letterhead with each "DOI" exchanged for "USFS" and with the Chief's signature, then I'd say it was the green light for the $100 compensation.

And... Hopefully no congressperson sees this "extravagant" money being spent on "frivolous" items for wildland firefighters. I can just hear it now... "If they can't walk on hot coals, what are they doing trying to be firefighters?! Next they're going to ask for compensation because they inhaled smoke throughout their careers!"

Sign me: Only as good as my boots

10/26 John Hawkins liked the safety nugget Smokey307 posted on the Hotlist...

Ab.

10/26 $100 for Boots?

Congratulations to the Federal Indian Service Employees ( FISE ) folks for getting somewhere on this way overdue / dodged issue.

Am I reading the last paragraph of the first page correctly- The USFS will be granting the same to qualified firefighters?

If so WOW, maybe the USFS could add some boot vendors to its uniform website. What could be next, some socks you could actually wear inside those boots? Nahh, too personal in nature.

Anybody have a USFS confirmation on this?

Dan

Final Signed Boot Policy (558 K pdf)

10/26 Jobs and age limit

Hello my Name is Sergio Ramos. I am 36 and have been part of a typeII IA hand crew for ANF crew 70 in the San Fernando Valley. I have one more year to get on hired as a permanent employee for the U.S.F.S. My question is if there are any other ways to get an extension until I get hired permanently.

This is something I really want to do. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully,
Sergio Ramos

10/26 This week we observe the passing of; the Crew of BDF Engine 57, 5 years ago (10/26/2006) on the Esperanza fire; and Novato Firefighter Steven Rucker on the Cedar Fire 8 years ago (10/29/2003).

As the approaching Wind events appear to be shaping up; take a moment to recall the lessons learned from these tragedies and, in your own way, offer a remembrance for these brave men.

Be safe as you go about your duties and keep your crew safe too.

Always Remember Memorial Pages:
Engine 57
Steven Rucker

Mod Green

HOTLIST thread

10/26 Esperanza Anniversary, 5 years

....the danger is still out there!

ESPERANZA FIRE: Five years later, danger remains

TS, now TJ

10/24 The FWFSA is delighted and honored to have been invited to speak with the graduating class of the Apprentice Academy
at McClellan on November 18th. Additionally, Casey will be in Redding, California Saturday November 19th to meet with
FWFSA members and all other interested folks.

The get-together will be at the Upper Crust Pizza at 2727 Churn Creek Rd. In Redding starting at 4:30 pm. The cost is
$5.00 although it is important to note this is not a fundraiser for the FWFSA. The $5.00 is simply to defray some costs.

The room capacity is 80 so it is asked that you RSVP to either slucas@fwfsa.org or cjudd@fwfsa.org.

Please also note that if you are interested in organizing such a get-together in your neck of the woods during the off season,
please contact the FWFSA at www.fwfsa.org.
10/24 Santa Maria Base Issue:

As is often the case, somewhere between the most optimistic outlook and the most pessimistic outlook lies the eventual reality when it comes to the base. Sadly when things become political they get muddled. However a few points:

I think folks owe a great deal to our active & retired firefighters on the Los Padres NF for not giving up on this issue. The FWFSA has been in touch with the congressional representatives involved and can confirm that Representative Gallelgy & Capps are strong supporters of returning the base to its former status.

However let's temper that with the reality that the Forest Service fire program is still managed by Line Officers who, collectively have little to no wildfire experience and therefore don't necessarily think from a fire perspective.

Add that to the typical double standard we see in Washington with respect to the recent field hearing on the Texas wildfires. The same folks in DC demanding that "meat cleaver" or "slash & burn" cuts be made to the federal government criticize that same government for not being "fast enough" or "big enough" with their responses to a natural disaster.

One final note to Mr. Baskett, referred to in the article. It is not in the best interests of taxpayers for any federal program, in this case the delivery of an effective & efficient federal wildfire response, to become a financial feeding frenzy for some and a "for profit" enterprise.

We consistently see the adverse effects of such a financial feeding frenzy upon our members of the Armed Services and our federal wildland firefighters. While defense contractors get rich, many of our armed forces struggle with being at or below the poverty level. While some make a considerable amount of money off the federal wildfire season, many of our firefighters find themselves at or below the poverty level while also coping with anti-federal employee "hysteria" on Capitol Hill.

Much of the future of the Santa Maria base may be predicated on the "oft" promised but never delivered Forest Service
aviation plan.

Casey
10/23 Field testimony from Tom Harbour on Texas response to wildfires.

Good to hear the Texas official show support  for the quick response of firefighting resources.

Fortunately at least one elected official displayed a great deal of common sense and was not just out looking for a fight.

"We can't be here complaining about the federal government's response when we cut (the budget) and then complain there's not enough money to address the response,"

response to Bastrop Fire questioned during house

mccaul blasts federal wildfire response

 

10/22 Regarding Santa Maria Tanker Base

Wow, what a bunch of “hopes”, “maybes” and possibilities.

Is there any base that has 10 air tankers available (other than during a major fire event) or assigned to it? No, of course not. If this vender is proposing to base his operation there, that is great, but the Feds aren’t going to pay for 10 tankers sitting there. There is no justification for it. If Porterville is too far away for the LPF, why is Santa Maria not too far away for the SQF? He is going to have to get a contract, and assign his planes as the Feds wish. It would seem, based on the article, that the Feds are changing their “floating air tanker” policy, but have we seen any announcement of such?

Additionally, these tankers haven’t been approved by the Fed air people yet, and I sense any such approval is a ways away yet. Doubtful it will be taken up before next summer.

Lots of dreams. Really no serious possibilities I see yet, particularly in today’s economy and budget era.

BlueZebra

10/21 After a long battle Santa Maria Air Tanker Base returns and will have a full service retardant contract and fully staffed Air Tanker Base. Many lined up against this, including Line Officers at all four levels of the Forest Service, including some FAM officials.

The Forest Service has been talking for years about community involvement and collaboration. Now we all know, including Forest Service Line Officers and exhausted Public Information Officers, what community involvement looks like. Get familiar with it, as the fight to save firefighter jobs and the fight to stop the Forest Service travel cap for firefighter training and development.

santaynezvalleyjournal.com /archive

Oh, and by the way. Next time you stop by the Santa Maria Air Tanker Base, don't trip over those 10 new Air Tankers. Yes that's 10 as in TEN new Air Tankers coming soon with a home base of Santa Maria Air Tanker Base creating 80-90 private sector jobs. What, that would just about double the number of federal Air Tankers?

Forest Service wrote a dozen letters opposing an Air Tanker Base, 2 studies, multiple press releases and the strategy crumbled this month.

Community involvement, it works!

Enjoy the article.

Coastal Oaks
10/21 The Serious Accident Investigation is out on Caleb Hamm's death in Texas on July 7, 2011:

It's posted on Lessons Learned and we also have it linked on Caleb's page on Always Remember.

CR 337 Fatality
Bureau of Land Management
Texas Forest Service
Mineral Wells, Texas
July 7, 2011

Always Remember Caleb Hamm

Ab.

10/20 Casey,

Can you contact Randy Moore and ask him what is going on with Firefighter Apprentice hiring? We have not receive any communications on what the next step is after the recent hiring postponement. We are getting questions from our local Firefighter applicants everyday. We are getting phone calls everyday from external applicants wondering what is going on. We have nothing to tell them and Mr. Moore remains mute on this subject.

Appreciate your efforts on this important matter.

ms
10/20 Response to something Casey said...

by some in Congress on the federal workforce, borne out of complete ignorance and political posturing not only demands activism, it demands a commitment to the most human of instincts...protecting thyself and your family. - Casey Judd

I think we can all figure out who are the "some" in Congress that are threatening thyself and family. This can be fixed and it starts now. We can fix four years of the highest number of Senate filibusters in our nation's history. We can fix two years of a do-nothing House who pander to the 1%, fear those who attend rallies in Uncle Sam costumes and who have been accused of spitting on a House Representative.

Two dates to remember: November 6, 2012 and January 3, 2013.

Ridges

Patience-Involvement-Activism! - Casey Judd, 10/7/2011

10/20 If you missed it, here's the photo of the El Cariso HS faction attending the California Memorial Re-dedication on the 8th of October.

Thanks David. Ab.

10/20 Curious,

"My Division Chief asked me if I could stay in the dorms on my next trip down to Sacramento. He said the travel cap is back this year and travel dollars for all employees are limited"

The fact that travel $$ is limited this year is true, but remind your Chief that the dorms at Mc Clellan are NOT free, they charge $50 per night to your job code for a shared room. ( The dorms in Redding at NCTC ARE Free), and the Motel 6 Cal Expo (used to be the Vagabond Inn), is a clean alternative right across from Arden Fair Mall that has internet rates of rooms for $39 per night. It's cheaper than the dorms, and you don't have to share the rooms. That stretches your travel $$ further.

That's where I stay in Sac...

-MJ

10/20 Good afternoon, All.

I have a message from FEDS (67 K pdf) that I requested from them, about professional liability insurance for federal employees.... I hope you take time to read it and act.

(Note: FEDS is a sponsor of wildlandfire.com, but even if they were not, I would highly recommend them and their services to firefighters and fire managers and our LEO brothers and sisters as a needed safety net.)

Here's my question: Are you a FEDS Member Yet?

Tony Vergnetti and the attorneys he coordinates on your behalf do a fine job of representing our federal firefighting community and for the least cost. We all know from experience in this fire community that, since Cramer, no public servant acting within the scope of their job is immune from having to deal with the legal system when fire blows up. The legal system becomes engaged, and once engaged, is a formidable devouring machine even when people are innocent. The federal government will represent its best interests first. It's imperative for all federal firefighters and other public servants to have a legal counsel and an advocate in your corner.

FEDS is that advocate. From what I've seen behind the scenes, they really help our community. Thanks, Tony and crew!

Ab.

10/19 Dear AB & All,

The continued attack by some in Congress on the federal workforce, borne out of complete ignorance and political posturing not only demands activism, it demands a commitment to the most human of instincts...protecting thyself and your family.

These ignorant proposals demand education and it needs to come from those who vote. I can yak all day long but until these members of Congress and their staffers get an earful from their constituency, I'm afraid the ignorance will continue.

Attached is an email I have sent to my staff contact in Rep. Issa's office. Ironically Issa co-sponsored our stand-alone portal to portal bill in 2006 and is responsible for oversight of federal agencies. Stunningly, his committee just last week had hearings on really important stuff like banned substances in the National Football League where "employees" make millions of dollars, yet he wants to continue the federal employee pay freeze.

He (Issa and his staff) MUST hear from those of you on the Cleveland NF and who work for DOI agencies around the San Diego area as must all members of Congress. They need to hear from your family, friends etc. I will be making a request tomorrow for a district meeting for our folks from the San Diego area to attend during the earliest possible district work period.

Additionally, if any of you want us to help organize such a meeting with your rep, please let us know although to be candid, the majority of our contacts are with reps from the 11 westernmost states. Additionally we can provide the names of our staff contacts in certain offices and although our web site contains phone/fax numbers for congressional reps, please feel free to email me directly at cjudd@fwfsa.org.

We need faxes, emails phone calls etc. I will be putting together a "form letter" in an effort to articulate the argument.

Till then, get active. This is your career and the well being of your families deserve a strong response. The staff contact in Issa's office is michael.oneill@mail.house.gov. The DC phone # is 202-225-3906 and the DC fax is 202-225-3303. The phone # for his Vista, CA office is 760-599-5000.

Casey
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Michael:

While we will fax a formal letter to the Congressman, it is my hope you will respond to this email as it is being sent on behalf of our members nationwide, particularly those in the San Diego area.

As I mentioned to you in March during my visit, Congressman Issa, at my request during a Duncan Hunter Sr. fundraiser in San Diego in 2006, co-sponsored HR 408, a bill by former Congressman Pombo that would have provided our Nation's federal wildland firefighters with a methodology of compensation called portal to portal pay.

That bill had no offsets yet many fiscally conservative Republicans co-sponsored the measure. Ironically even though a Pombo bill, we secured more Democratic cosponsors than Republicans.

We recognize times have changed. However we clearly don't understand the attack on the federal workforce. It seems that many in Congress are placing an unfair target and burden on our federal workforce. The federal workforce did not create the fiscal mess this country is in. That was accomplished by both political parties over many years.

Both Republicans & Democrats claim to need to listen to the "American people." Last I checked federal employees were Americans too..yet no one is listening to them. Our federal wildland firefighters, asked to risk their lives on a daily basis to protect our Nation's natural resources, its citizens and their real & personal property from the ravages of wildfires are found at or near the bottom of the federal pay scale.

We recognize the need for everyone to share the sacrifice but with respect to the delivery of an efficient & effective federal wildfire response, continued attacks will drive our inherently less expensive federal firefighters away. The only mechanism to fill in those gaps during the fire season will be for the federal land management agencies to continue to over-rely on significantly more expensive non-federal resources at a higher cost to taxpayers.

Such proposals as well as the Administration's "across-the-board" 5% cut of federal agencies does absolutely nothing to eliminate the fiscal waste & mismanagement inherent in federal agencies. No one on the Hill on either side of the aisle has acknowledged that a lack of congressional oversight on the funds already appropriated by Congress to these agencies has led to such fiscal problems.

As you know we have shared with you a legislative proposal inclusive of provisions Congressman Issa has previously supported. This proposal would not only create a more effective & efficient federal wildfire response but save American taxpayers millions of dollars each fire season. Despite the rhetoric from both sides of the aisle acknowledging that such goals must be achieved, we have received little interest on our proposal.

Perhaps the Congressman would consider a hearing which would afford those federal employees at or near the bottom of the federal pay scale who risk their lives to offer intelligent solutions to federal agency fiscal mismanagement. I am confident that such employees in any federal agency have a far better understanding than anyone in Congress as to where the fiscal waste is in their respective agencies and how to eliminate it.

We therefore challenge the Congressman to give us that opportunity since he has supported federal wildland firefighter pay reform in the past. It is my fervent hope you and the Congressman will hear from our federal firefighters in the San Diego area as well.

Respectfully,
Casey Judd
Executive Director, Governmental Affairs
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
208-775-4577

10/19 Ab,

Here's a pic of the movement we came up with over coffee this morning: #OccupyWildfire - 1% of the fire service, 99% of big flames.

Just think if wildland firefighters had gone to Zucotti Park: they would have gone to work mitigating the fuel hazard, prepped for some prescribed fire later this fall, brought in some porta-potties, and probably ended up painting the picnic tables.

Seriously, the 2012 seasonal job postings are beginning to show up in USAJobs for the DOI agencies. I've heard from a couple of Forest Service firefighters in a recent class who lost most of their AVUE profiles with the update.

vfd cap'n

haw, haw, good sense of humor. Ab.

10/19 To all FWFSA Members. Send in your Conformation cards and book your rooms!!! Lets make this conference a good one!!!!

SZ Capt
10/19 Making the rounds...

RESTORE

It's Here--RESTORE-Episode #3--The Ecological Restoration Video Podcast--FS/CCC Partnership to Sponsor the Veterans Green Corps
 

All Region 5 Employees:

Episode #3 of the new Ecological Restoration video podcast series, RESTORE is now available!

The Forest Service has partnered with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) to sponsor the Veterans Green Corps program. The program focuses on training veterans to accomplish fuels reduction projects near threatened communities.

"The program provides training and jobs for veterans and accomplishes much needed ecological restoration projects, including fuels reduction work,” said Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore.

<photo of CCC members receiving training>

The veterans removed dead trees and brush, piling them for burning on lands affected by the 2007 Angora Fire on the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU). Crew members range in age from 19 to 26, and represent every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. The Veterans Greens Corps program provides skills training to veterans while broadening the applicant pool for future Forest Service recruitment. The CCC, a state agency, hires young men and women for a year of natural resource work and emergency response.

Below you will find links to Episode #3 of our Ecological Restoration video podcast series, "RESTORE." A link to the Region's Leadership Intent document is also provided. These tools are part of a series of products that have already been rolled out to Forest Leadership and will continue to be rolled out.

Provide us any comments you might have regarding this video podcast by contacting Sherry Reckler, or Trudy Tucker
(Ab snipped emails to avoid spam. Use their FS e-mail addresses.)

10/19 Major changes maybe heading our way. Let's hear some discussion about this. What do YOU think?

Lawmakers propose sharp cuts in federal pay, benefits

Signed - I'm already Poor
10/18 Just a quick “Thank You” for your site.. it has been informative and interesting in the past and your work goes unappreciated most of the time so … Thanks!

Thank You and God Bless,

Mark Hillman

You're welcome. Ab.

10/17 Apprentice hiring:

On July 26 Mark Davis, President NFFE Forest Service Council sent a letter to the Chief of the Forest Service on behalf of employees, about concerns with cultural transformation quick fixes, the 100 diversity hires (100 Hire Club) and how as Forest Service employees we will always welcome our new employees. In his letter Mr. Davis quoted the words of Dr. Martin Luther King who said: “in the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.” Here is the full letter;

wildlandfire.com/ arc/ 2011g_jul.php#nffe

Tonight we ask Mr. Davis on behalf of the 1100 apprentice applicants, current bargaining unit employees and supervisors to contact Regional Forester Randy Moore or his supervisor and ask the following questions:

What is the status of R5 Apprentice Hiring?
If you have decided to seek a larger applicant pool, where is the Forest Service required outreach notice as required per the Master Agreement?
Who can an applicant contact to seek additional information about applying for the apprenticeship program?
Where is the vacancy announcement and how long will it be open?

Mr. Davis, thanks in advance for your efforts to this request. If your response comes though the Forest Service email system, we will ensure it's posted in our forum so future potential applicants have the best opportunity to apply. This forum has the ability to reach a wide network of potential applicants including those with diverse skill sets and backgrounds.

Forum members, Mark Davis can be contacted at the email below. If you have additional information, contact him at:

www.nffe-fsc.org/

President: Mark Davis

Two other NFFE leadership representatives that have also been excellent with representing Forest Service employees are:

Dan Duefrene dduefrene@fs.fed.us
Ron Angel rangel@fs.fed.us

Please ask Dan and Ron to see if they can assist with finding out the status of apprentice hiring and the other questions listed above.

A complete list of NFFE contacts are available at this link. Ask your Union President on your Forest what is the status of Apprentice hiring?
www.nffe-fsc.org/ Local Contact Report.pdf

ms


Patience-Involvement-Activism! - Casey Judd, 10/7/2011

10/17 Re: Dry line passage on the Coal Canyon fire

Sounds very much like a sundowner situation without the high speed wind. I am still wondering how the causes listed can be proven to dramatically change the fire behavior for the worse. Changing humidity in 10 hour time lag fuels doesn't seem like a likely cause of such a quick change in fire behavior.

I would like to run the situation on the new CPS risk mitigation model that Bruce Schubert has developed. I would need the lat and lon for the area in question and would be glad to post a graphic of before and after for review. If it is possible, I would like to have the trigger point where the fire made a distinct run and the point on the terrain where the fire calmed. Another question, did the fire change the weather and how?

Thank you WX guy for the challenge.

Doug Campbell

10/17 Darren-

I appreciate your commitment. And while I am not meteorologist, nor an FBAN, nor expert on fire behavior, I very strongly believe we can develop better fire behavior/fire weather classes. However, my concerns lie with the experience of an acquaintance, who was involved with an NWCG-rewrite, who ultimately had little control over the end-product even though his name was on the title page. Who would ever want to be an author of a book who had little say over the final story? I know I sound like I am NWCG-bashing and rather pie-in-the-sky; this is not my intent. I just don't see the efficacy of gathering a group of SMEs if their input is negated at the 11th hour. And to be fair, I have never been part of the process so I welcome anyone wishing to throw the bulls*#t flag if  I am off-base.

Mat Wood

10/17 In response to a request for ICS Forms on They Said, I am providing links I have used to obtain the forms
training.fema.gov/ ..ICS Resource Forms.php
www.osha.gov/... etools/ics/ics forms.phpl
www.uscg.mil/ forms/ics.asp
www.fema.gov/ emergency/nims/ Job Aids.shtm
www.nwcg.gov/ pms/ forms/ icsforms.php
www.fs.fed.us/ fire planning/ nist/ics forms.php
www.dfg.ca.gov/ ospr/ ICS forms.aspx
www.emsa.ca.gov/ HICS/ forms.asp

JOJ
10/17 Doug,

The fire behavior went from fairly active surface fire but manageable before the passage to extremely active single tree/group torching as the fire moved into the timber fuels during the passage itself. The perimeter burnout was already completed by this time but the fire was poised to make a strong run in the interior canyons. While Darren and I did not see the fire behavior once the dryline completely moved past the fire area, Air Attack reported the column rapidly increased to 16000 ft. We could see it in the rearview mirror on our way back to fire camp for the 1800 night shift briefing. There was a significant spot fire that occurred on the east flank of the fire late in the day due to increased fire activity, low RH's and wind direction associated with the dryline. This was detected around sundown by night shift. Not other spotting was reported.

The trigger for increased fire behavior (torching/spotting problems) on the Coal Canyon fire was a 30% RH with unshaded fuels. With the solar radiation probably being the most important factor. A couple of things worked in our favor to limit the strength of the fire run that afternoon. The dryline moved into the area late in the day reducing the amount of time the fire had favorable conditions to burn and the smoke column helped shadethe fuels in its path. Also the winds shifted more northwesterly than anticipated and was not in full alignment with the canyons. The bottomline is that the firefighters on the ground were fully prepared for the worse case scenario, accomplished their objectives prior to the forecastedweather change and overall it was a very good day. The next day with temperatures in the 90's, RH's in the 20's and clear skies, there was no question as to the potential of the fire in the interior when we successfully burned out the canyons using aerial ignition.

Al Stover
Assistant Fire Management Officer
Northern Great Plains Fire Management
National Park Service
10/17 I must say that I very pleased to see a dialogue about how to better teach weather principles to the firefighter.

As an IMET since about 2006, I have been teaching S190/290/390 for several years (and it is one of the most enjoyable parts of the IMET experience). Our office has always tried to tailor our presentations for 190/290/390 to account for phenomena likely to be experienced by firefighters in Central and Southern California. For example, we always spend a little more time discussing foehn winds such as Sundowners and Santa Ana events. We stress the importance of SA during the end of a Santa Ana wind event as there is the great potential for significant wind shifts as the onshore flow overtakes the diminishing offshore flow. Hopefully by stressing such "local" concerns, we can provide the firefighter a little more useful safety information when fighting a fire in SoCal.

Obviously, there are so many "local" weather phenomena that can be experienced by the wildland firefighter across the country. It is nearly impossible to teach all of these "local" phenomena in any S course as the information would be very overwhelming (both for the students and the teacher). However, good communication between the IMET and FBAN (or other individual hosting the course) can ensure that any course includes information important to the local area. As for phenomena outside of the local area, the principles taught in 190/290/390 (if understood well) can be used to explain unfamiliar weather phenomena. For example to explain the dryline phenomena, I would just compare it to the principles learned about weather fronts. A front is the leading edge of advancing air. With respect to a dryline, it is the leading edge of advancing dry/warm air. Hopefully if the firefighter remembers the principles of weather fronts, he/she will be able to understand the dryline.

Otherwise, forums such as Wildlandfire.com can be very useful to teaching/learning about weather-related topics. Two good examples are the dryline paper (sparking this discussion) as well as the discussion earlier this season about the 4 corners high. If you are in some sort of supervisory role in a fire agency, you can refer your crews to these forums to learn about such topics and initiate discussion amongst yourselves. Also do not be forget that you can always ask any weather-related question on this forum (and hopefully get a understandable answer) or give your local NWS office a call. The mets with the NWS should have no problem helping to explain any forecast or weather phenomena.

Wx_Guy

Four Corners High Hotlist thread

Dryline Hotlist thread
 

10/17 HEMET: Air Attack base readies for fire season

TSJ

10/17 In response to Mat’s comments regarding training and education for the S190/290 series.

You hit the nail on the head when you said,

“In my opinion, we as a community, need to pressure the powers that be at NWCG to drop the politics and refocus their mission on their customers - the FIREFIGHTERS; not the powers that be at the USFS, BLM, BIA, USFWS, NPS, NASF, state, county, or local fire agencies, but the firefighters on the ground.”

I’ve chatted with a few IMETs/FBANs/predictive services folks around the region regarding this topic. We are planning on setting up a meeting over the next few months to discuss how the meteorology community can improve its products to fire personnel. My biggest focus will be on how we can better tailor our products (incident forecasts, fire weather forecasts, etc.) to the firefighter and make them more meaningful for everyone.

I appreciate your comments and let’s keep the dialogue going.

Darren Clabo

10/17 Apprenticeship Program:

Good morning. In the spirit of April 1, 2008

As posted 10/14/2011 - Do the right thing and get Apprentice hiring back on track by Oct 18th.

October 19th - Union Officials will be notified of your decision and asked to investigate this hiring practice.
October 20th - FWFSA will be asked on behalf of its members to inquire about the R5 Apprentice hiring situation.
October 21st - Elected Officials will be notified.

I am confident this will get resolved today and the following will be addressed. We will know where the outreach is and where someone can go to get outreached. We will know where the vacancy announcement is. We will know when the  hiring will begin.

ms
 

Remember - Patience-Involvement-Activism! - Casey Judd, 10/7/2011

10/16 Apprenticeship Pause:

Calling all HR folks, if in fact there is an outreach for more diverse candidates for the Apprenticeship program, when will this announcement number come out? When does this "outreach" close? Will someone please shed some light on this very sensitive subject.

Nondiscrimination Notice
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Updated: 4 May 2007

Diversity is Growing in the Forest Service
The Forest Service is one of the largest Federal employers of professionals who love the outdoors - with a diverse workforce that includes people with disabilities, women and minorities. It's no accident. Our diverse employee base is the result of more than a decade of work implementing outreach programs that help inform and recruit highly qualified diversity candidates. The Multicultural Workforce Strategic Initiatives are exciting programs that offer diverse prospects opportunities to explore a career with the Forest Service.

A highly skilled, hardworking cast of thousands is needed to battle wildland fires.

I was so excited for this year's apprenticeship hiring, I knew of several highly skilled candidates applying for multiple forests. I really hope they fix this mess quick.

Cumulus

10/16 re: the Dryline passage on the Coal Canyon Fire

I am wondering how the passage of the dryline changed the fire behavior. Lot of WX information in the write up but what did the fire do that could be
attributed to the dryline passage?

Always ready to learn.
Doug Campbell

10/16 Fema 502-2 forms ICS forms www.scfr.net/ Forms/ ICS FORM PACKAGE.pdf

Does anyone happen to have this in a word doc format?

It gets pretty chopped up when i try to convert it.

We are working on a friendly version for an APP

Thanks

M
10/16 re: the Dryline passage on the Coal Canyon Fire:

After reading the posts by Al Stover and consequent follow-up by Darren R. Clabo, re: the Dryline passage, I must admit I feel rather foolish. I have taught S-190 and S-290 for 10+ years and have never heard of the concept of the dryline until now.  While I take this as a learning lesson, I wonder if have I done a disservice to my previous students.  I have utilized some very competent and qualified IMETs and FBANs in my classes, yet this concept has never been addressed. Living and working in R2, where this phenomenon exists, I wonder why I have progressed through my 17-year career not having been exposed to this obviously important, if not critical, phenomenon. 

I look to place no blame; rather to educate myself, and those I instruct more appropriately. I know that the NWCG process of re-writes and updates to classes is fraught with politics and agendas unseen to those of use presenting these classes. How do we break through? I know the fatality on the Coal Canyon fire was not predicated on the dryline issue, but many wildland fire fatalities are a result, at least in part, a result of some level of meteorological changes or conditions. 

I would love to hear from those FBANs and IMETs in the crowd about how to tailor the basic fire behavior classes (190/290) to make them meaningful to firefighters in their early years, as Mr. Clabo discussed in his post. I know we can, and should, do better. >From a purely selfish standpoint, I owe it to my students. In my opinion, we as a community, need to pressure the powers that be at NWCG to drop the politics and refocus their mission on their customers - the FIREFIGHTERS; not the powers that be at the USFS, BLM, BIA, USFWS, NPS, NASF, state, county, or local fire agencies, but the firefighters on the ground.

We say firefighter safety is the #1 priority - is it really? We still have firefighters dying from what I believe to be preventable situations; I find this utterly unacceptable. Accidents will happen; this is a dangerous profession. But the day that I have to tell a family that one of my firefighters died in the line of duty, or when one of my students meets the same demise, I will hang up my boots; selfishly, I am not ready to do so - nor will I ever be. We owe them more.

Respectfully,

Mat Wood 

10/16 Lack of upper GS- vacancies on socal forests?

Centrifugal, I definitely think you're right about as soon as the job market turns around they will begin to leave.

I also think that Congresses support for an extra 25 million a few years ago that lead to a 10% pay raise (bonus), lead by Diane Fienstein has helped and I hope Mr. Moore will extend the bonuses in Feb 2012. I am glad we have a FAM Director who even in tough times, supported an extension in 2011, to the surprise of many.

The other benefit of more filled positions, besides Mr. Moore looking good is that more Forest Service Firefighters have been able to take overhead fire assignments and join IMTs. After a decade + of backing out of commitments, we are starting to be able to engage again.

Can any other Forest validate the information? Cleveland reporting only 2 vacancies and one GS11 vacant. Sierra having only 2 ????

Boyz in the Woods

10/15 Lack of upper GS- vacancies on socal forests?

Boyz in the Woods,

I can say that the low count on the Angeles N.F. vacancies are fairly correct (one of the GS-6 positions is actually not vacant). I would imagine it's a similar situation on the other South Zone forests. Slow hiring over the last few years from municipal fire agencies and other various departments has ultimately created higher retention among the forests.

With that being said, I'm not so sure if it's "good" thing per say. It's great if you're the Regional Forester looking to show filled firefighter / forestry technician vacancies, sure. But when I talk to a majority of the GS 4 to 7's around here, most of everyone is actively searching for an opportunity to move on to another fire, police, etc. It's my opinion that retention is only high currently because many employees have "no better place to go" at the moment, not because they really want to be here because they love the job.

I'm quite sure that within the next few years, when the locals and state agencies begin hiring actively again, we will see a noticeable exodus of federal employees, and once again have similar numbers of vacancies as we've had in years past.

Anyone else with insight?

- Centrifugal Pump

10/15 Upper GS- vacancies on socal forests?

Can someone validate this data for the large So Cal Forests. Is it correct that ANF, CNF, LPF and BDF have that few of vacancies at the GS 6-9?

fs.fed.us/r5/fire/trackingdb/

Click on forest location.

If so, that's good.

Boyz in the Woods

10/15 Dryline Passage during Coal Canyon Fire:

Good day-

Much discussion has recently focused on a critical fire weather event that occurred during the Coal Canyon fire this past August. Originally, this discussion came from an email written by the FBAN, Al Stover, on that fire regarding a dryline passage. I was the incident meteorologist on that fire and fully support what Al had to say. The intent of this email is to clarify what happened meteorologically on that day and hopefully this email will answer any questions that remain.

I’d also like to use this as an opportunity to start an ongoing dialogue that may improve communication between fire meteorologists and fireline personnel.

Please see the above attachment and forward along to your own listserves. Duplication is encouraged.

Sincerely,
Darren Clabo

Attachment: Coal Canyon (2,191 K pdf)

10/15 Training

My Division Chief asked me if I could stay in the dorms on my next trip down to Sacramento. He said the travel cap is back this year and travel dollars for all employees are limited. I asked what effect is this going to have on the development of my Firefighters? I explained to him, Forest Service Firefighters don't travel to fire training because they want to, they travel because they are required to attend. They travel to meet the high level of fire training requirements the Forest Service has adopted over the years, which is well above what the other federal wildland fire agencies require. He's said, I will do the best I can, but it's not going to be easy. He also said the R5 Chief Officers group hasn't met in 3 years and that committee has basically crumbled.

Question; Has the R5 Regional Leadership Team ever stayed in the dorms in Sacramento? Are we all in this together?

Curious

10/15 From the Idaho Statesman

After leaping out of planes almost 400 times to fight wildfires, Walt Wasser is hanging up his parachute.

For someone who spent almost four decades working every summer in the wilderness of the western United States, Walt “Wally” Wasser hasn’t seen much of the forest. “One of the things when you fight fires in summertime is that you don’t have a summer life,” Wasser said.

Read more...

CC

Good luck to him! Ab.

10/15 Academy:

Hi abs. January is the advance academy. The advance academy is for those that were hired last year, not new hires. www.wfap.net/

Monkey deserves to have an answer to his question. He is an applicant who applied for a federal position and is entitled to have the hiring process fair and transparent.

What I don't understand is a few keep saying R5 is doing further apprentice outreach. OK, then:

Where is the outreach? R1 has one posted (see link). If R5 is going to for further outreach, where is R5 the outreach? www.wfap.net/ jobs.phpl
Why is an outreach not posted on the WFAP website? Why is a job announcement not available to apply to?


If further outreach is occurring, that must mean they want more applications. How does a federal agency get more applications without having a job announcement to apply to?

Please tell me I am missing something here. By law they cannot go out to locations and take applications from only the ones they want to apply. If they are accepting additional applications, this is simple, WHERE'S THE OUTREACH and JOB ANNOUNCEMENT?

96 hours, and counting!

Letterman

Carry on. Ab.

10/14 Hi Ab,

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is excited to announce a fundraising endeavor to have an aviator statue commissioned and installed at the Wildland Firefighter Monument located at NIFC in Boise. We're having a FUNdraiser on Saturday, Oct 29, at 6 p.m. to kick off this effort.

If you live in the area, please join us at the WFF (2049 Airport Way) for food, fun, raffles, silent auction, and costumes! Dress as your favorite super hero or aviator. Please get the word out!

--
Melissa Brandt
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

If you can't be there but want to donate, go to the WFF Donation page and do so. Stipulate it's for the aviator statue for the Monument in Boise. Ab.

10/14 Apprentice Hiring:

As I understand it, the program will start on schedule in January even though a "pause" for further outreach is currently in place. Ab.

10/14 Apprentice Hiring:

Dear Ab,

I have been a long time reader of "They Said" and have been with the U.S. Forest Service for over ten years as a seasonal. After many years and under the advice of my peers I have pushed to become permanent. However I am now discouraged with news of the R-5 Apprentice Hiring being delayed for further outreach? What exactly does that mean? I know I am not speaking alone when I say that the very integrity of the anti-discrimination laws of hiring are being breeched. There is no way to skirt this, this is blatant discrimination in full practice. If race has no merit for hiring then how can they use this to hold up hiring? All races have equal opportunity to apply and compete for jobs, so why is it that those of us that sought the jobs out, battled AVUE, met the application deadlines, and waited with fingers crossed are kicked to the side for a number that is supposed to be used for "Statistical data only".

I fail to see how this is fair to any race that is applying for these positions and I feel its only a matter of time before the EEO complaints begin to be filed.

R-5 Hose Monkey

10/14 Supt 1 Big Bear Hotshots retirement party and 10 year reunion:

Dec 9, 7-11 PM:  flyer photo (small for viewing details; nice flyer)

If there are any lurkers out there who were on the Big Bear Hotshots and/or know Jimmy Avila and are interested in making a presence at Jimmy's retirement party and the Big Bear Hotshots 10 year reunion party, here is the flyer, please feel free to disperse as necessary.

FLYER (to print off or save to email and distribute; 239 K pdf)

Seth Mitchell
Captain 1B
Big Bear Hotshots

10/14 Recognition of fallen firefighters

From the NPS Morning Report

The White House
Flags At Half Staff Sunday For Fallen Firefighters

President Obama has directed that flags be lowered to half-staff on Sunday in honor of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. Flags will return to full staff on Monday.

More Information...

CC

10/14 Postponing R5 Apprentice Hiring because of a lack of diversity candidates is an unfair hiring practice.

Does Randy Moore realize that postponing R5 Firefighter Apprentice hiring has frozen in it's tracks planning for a FAM Washington Office program? Yes Mr. Moore, the WO is in the middle of planning for 3 basic academies in 2012. You have stopped dozens of wheels that have been in motion for months. Annually the WO pays over 3 million a year rent for the academy training rooms, caterer, offices and barracks. Your decision to postpone apprentice hiring threatens to waste valuable taxpayer dollars on a program that will not occur in 2012.

Allow the Forests to hire the 80 vacant firefighter positions later this month and then have your Forest Supervisors and Forest Civil Rights Officers to go find the diversity you're looking for with another 40 firefighter positions.

1100 firefighter applicants who read wlf.com are now aware that you postponed Firefighter Apprentice hiring based on lack of diversity candidates. One question: Do you have case managers that can handle 1100 EEO complaints?

Do the right thing and get Apprentice hiring back on track by Oct 18th before this gets out of hand.

October 19th - Union Officials will be notified of your decision and asked to investigate this hiring practice.
October 20th - FWFSA will be asked on behalf of it's members to inquire about the R5 Apprentice hiring situation.
October 21st - Elected Officials will be notified.

Former Sierra Sam
10/14 As usually, Casey has his hand on the pulse of all things associated with Wildland Firefighters. His quote earlier this week on being active:

But we need those of you who sit silently by to start raising your voices and start echoing what the FWFSA has tried to convey to politicians for years. Look at the movement on the Los Padres National Forest to return the Santa Maria base to its full capacity. Led by active and retired federal wildland firefighters the local government firefighting communities are now rallying around the cause and have gotten congressional support and attention. - Casey Judd

Now please enjoy the two articles below, especially the Oct 12th article. Fight for what you believe in.

Oct 12 Article
contract in works for fed air tanker base


Oct 11 Article
county wants small air tanker base back on full time


Veni Vidi Vici !

Patience-Involvement-Activism! - Casey Judd 10/7/2011

Join FWFSA! Be part of the solution.

So Cal Ridges
10/14 good morning Ab,

I thought I might add a follow-up to this with a recently print and posted article I did at the request of the International Association of Wildland Fire.

health- the new dirty word in wildland fire rhabdomyolysis

Additionally, this summer while on a fire, I took care of a few individuals that presented as she described in her posting and ED diagnosed "Dehydration 2nd to Heat Exhaustion". As a matter of fact, a NIFC video photographer actually was on a fire that we had an incident of this and was able to secure video of radio traffic, patient assessment, and movement by conveyor belt of a firefighter who was definitely feeling the effects of Rhabdo. The ED MD actually diagnosed the firefighter with the condition as well as Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion.

Folks, get educated about this. It can and will kill you if you don't recognize it before its too late.

My new wildland fire medical campaign slogan "Don't Wait Till its Too Late".

Bill Arsenault
Wildland Firefighter/Paramedic
10/13 Are the CL-215 coming back to CALIF?

Hello, with all the Demob going on in Tx. Are the 3 Scoopers coming back to Calif. Or will they stage in Az. as a CWN?  I only ask since I missed them by 1 day at the San Berdo Tanker Base, and I would like to get a Pic of the old “round engine” birds..

Thanks

PD

10/13 Texas

FYI

Just for info last briefing I attended, two task forces headed for demob from West Texas IA following rain event last weekend with more to follow. Texas management team still figuring out who to keep and where but for the most part things are winding down; no pending resource order requests for our engine. Our task force is releasing resources to their respective home units as they time out, and those that just showed up are being sent elsewhere. Also relocated dozers and safety officer.

DirtFarmer0254

10/12 A few comments on various recently posted items.

TOTB, funny and so true. If you need intel, all you need is a FFT2, a hotlist account and a smart phone on the android network. Done.

Apprentice experience. Hi Mellie. Sure it has been talked about, however the apprentice standards and a whole bunch of things would need to change to make that happen. They will no longer hire them as GS-2's. For a GS-3 one needs to show 6 months of general experience. Examples include 6 months of farming, construction, warehouse or some kind of experience in a job that was labor intensive.

Thanks Casey. I think it was the diversity and the need to breakdown these regional walls that attracted me to FWFSA. When it comes to work assignments and processes, I may not have much in common with my Forest Service counterparts in Montana or Mississippi, however FWFSA brings us together. We may never do things the same, may never need to, but with FWFSA we are one! FWFSA helps break down that R5 wall and expects us in R5 to not be lone wolf's and work together in partnership with all our regions and other agencies.

Hang in their Case! We got your back! Always!

Patience-Involvement-Activism! - Casey Judd 10/7/2011

Have a great night all...........

ms
10/12 OH NO! What are the GS Fantastics going to do? Maybe go out into the field? No that would make sense.

It would make too much sense to give smart phone to folks who are closer to the ground and make decisions, rather than in meetings all day.

In the back of the buggies, and engines our GS embryos are more wired to the weather, and have a higher SA than the folks in the front seats due to their smart phones, but nope can't have them. it's for the GS Fantastics only.

TOTB (Thinking Outside the Box)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CIO UPDATE from Albuquerque Service Center Chief Info Office
Intended Audience: All FS
October 12, 2011
BlackBerry Outage

The Main Point

BlackBerry is currently experiencing a severe server outage across a large portion of North America, including the entire Forest Service. The outage is affecting the ability of BlackBerry devices to send and receive email.

At this time, there is no estimate for when the problem may be resolved. The Customer Help Desk is waiting on word from Research In Motion (also known as RIM, the company that makes BlackBerry devices) as to when this may be corrected.

What You Need to Do

Any email you send may not be received by BlackBerry users. If you use a BlackBerry, you may not be receiving email messages, and messages you send may not be going out.

More Information

Stay in touch with the BlackBerry outage situation by periodically checking the RIM -- BlackBerry Service Update webpage.

Help is Available

If you need technical help, contact the Customer Help Desk or call 1-866-945-1354 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339).

Please do not respond directly to this mass email.

In case you didn't get it on your blackberry, posted here. Maybe they're not the Chief Information Office today! Ab.

10/12 MaryLou,

Check out greatfloridafireschool.org/. The academy is hosted by Indian River State College in Port St. Lucie. They are offering S-130/190 (basic wildland fire suppression and fire behavior) the first week of November. The registration fee is $100, which will allow you to take as many classes as you wish, depending on the prerequisites for each course and scheduling. I've been through some of their training, and the facilities and instructors are quality. You might also contact the FL Forest Service, as they offer various training opportunities throughout the year. Their website is Fl-dof.com. Hope this helps, and best of luck!

SkunkApe

10/12 Re Apprenticeship:

I remember the discussion years ago of wanting Apprentices to have one or more seasons before applying. Is that mandatory?

Mellie

10/11 Re Apprenticeship:

Northnight pretty much nailed it. I would like to add some thoughts.

Just saying, we do seem to see more than a few Apprentices getting hired with 1 fire season, some have none. Right or wrong, I don't see that changing anytime soon.

I can assure you that if Tom Harbour had his way, or a better way to put it, when Tom Harbour gets his way, the Firefighter Apprenticeship program will be the "only" way in all regions and on every Forest to get a permanent fire position. Even those hired as Dozer Operators or hire into a GS-5 and above position will attend the Basic and Advance Academy. This mandate is coming soon, maybe sooner than we think.

Not only have I seen GS-6's attend the Basic and Advance Academy, I have also seen GS-7's and WG-10's attend the academy.

Nothing at all wrong with taking a class again.

Your GS-3 offer was probably more associated with how you did your application than anything else. Not fully your fault, our application program is rife with traps and hitting the save button in AVUE is as reliable as a Peugeot.

The Apprentice program is a good program. I do have some issues with the requirements to complete the program, however the academies themselves are on point and most importantly, getting better every year.

For application rating purposes Northright is correct. A Paramedic certification won't gain you any extra points, however I will take someone with Paramedic skills in a heart beat. Mission or no mission, if one of my people goes down or if we have a medical aid with a Forest visitor, I want someone like you in my backseat. I congratulate you for stepping up and completing a medic program. That's not easy to do and it shows depth and commitment.

You said, the best don't always apply to the apprentice program. First off, I can tell you this statement is incorrect inside R5. Maybe outside of R5 your statement could have some merit. However when Tom Harbour requires everyone to go through the WFAP, this will change the game significantly.

Finally, and this is the most important, I strongly recommend that you spend 4 weeks down at WFAP as a Crew Boss, Asst Crew Boss or a member of the logistics crew and see for yourself. Come back and let us know what you think. My gut tells me after you spend time at WFAP, you might wonder what Tom Harbour is waiting for with making WFAP an attendance requirement for all permanent positions.

Best of luck to you.

ms

10/11 Dear Patience-Involvement-Activism:

Thanks so much for your kind words. One of the neatest things about the FWFSA's membership is its diversity. Yes, that includes the "current" meaning of diversity with respect to the Forest Service' thoughts on hiring, but it means much more.

Since I started with the FWFSA in 2003 we've grown from having members in 11 states to having members in 29 states. We have worked very hard to let folks across the country know that the FWFSA is not a "Forest Service R-5 Social Club" but an organization working for all federal wildland firefighters in all agencies nationwide.

Granted, the vast majority of our membership works for the Forest Service in R5 but just two days ago we were tremendously honored to get our 2nd member from Louisiana! We can go a couple of months without a single application then get five in a day ranging from a GS-4 from the BLM to a GS-13 from the Forest Service. We have Smoke jumpers, hotshots, engine folks, sawyers, helitak, prevention, fuels and dispatch personnel within our membership. It is truly unique and I know I'm incredibly redundant when I say we need to hear from all segments of the federal wildland firefighting community. We need to know and understand issues that Fish & Wildlife firefighters in Minnesota might have that are not experienced by Forest Service firefighters in Arizona.

And again I must emphasize to all that the FWFSA is not intent on forcing an all-risk, R5 firefighting program on all firefighters across the country. That doesn't mean that we don't intend on working to provide reforms to basic pay & benefits for ALL. That's also not to say that there isn't a great deal of discussion among FWFSA members about the creation of a separate and distinct federal wildland firefighting agency. However I don't think too many folks want another FEMA.

For example, it doesn't matter if you are a GS-5 Forest Service employee or a GS-11 Park Service employee. You all deserve to be recognized AND classified AND compensated for what and who you are...firefighters, with the clear understanding that some, as they progress higher in rank may have the desire to expand their careers and not be "locked" in to a separate & distinct firefighter series.

Every seasonal/ Temp firefighter deserves benefits. Every firefighter deserves to earn hazard pay while on prescribed/RX burns and to have that Hazard Pay included as base pay for retirement purposes. Last I checked, prescribed burns are inherently dangerous too. Every firefighter deserves to be able to buy back their temporary time for retirement purposes.

And to those that dismiss these concepts as being unattainable because of cost...fooey. The money already appropriated by Congress for Preparedness & Suppression (even without the FLAME Fund) is more than enough to pay for these additional benefits...IF those dollars were managed properly and by those with the experience and expertise in...wait for it...FIRE! (Hey, I can be cynical once in a while. Besides, they took 8 tubes of blood out of me today to see what's going on with my weight loss so I can be grumpy). Couple that with the expectation that such incentives would improve recruitment & retention which could then lead to a reduction (not elimination) of some substantially higher-priced non-federal resources and we could actually save the American taxpayer money on suppression costs each year and still provide such benefits to our FEDS.

Anyway, thanks again for the kind post and to the supportive emails I get often. It means a great deal to me.

Casey
10/11 Re: Fire school question

Thank you so much!

MaryLou

10/11 Re Apprenticeship:

Just Saying,

I understand your frustration, but there are a couple of misstatements I noticed while you were on your soapbox that I would like to address.

First, there is the capability to be hired as a GS-05 apprentice and it is used often these days. Being hired as a GS-03 is not the only option. I was hired as a GS-04 back in the early 20’s academies. The only requirement to be a GS-05 apprentice is Squad boss and Time in Grade/Specialized Experience. I know a couple of GS-06's that even went through the academy.

Second, Average experience for apprentices going through basic academies is in the 5-8 year range still to this day. Yes, there are folks with one season going through, but also a lot of talented folks with more experience as well. I participate in being part of the cadre at the academy, because I believe in giving back what I took out those years ago. I have seen some talented folks come through those doors and I have seen some folks that should spend the rest of their career as a Pulaski motor.

Third, though I applaud your College degrees and hard work. We currently do not recognize the paramedic certification or a degree in structure firefighting. We are a resource agency by trade so we recognize resource oriented degrees by nature. I currently have the same Structure degree as you and I have found that it buys me nothing when it comes to my job. Besides giving me some general non-fire related skills.

Fourth, I can not count on my fingers and toes the amount of folks that I know have skipped the apprentice program and easily made it into the organization with a perm Job. I currently have a couple that work for me.

Fifth, retaking previous training is a good thing. It serves as a refresher and we all do it at least on a yearly basis.

Lastly, the apprentice program is a solid program that constantly strives to create better employees for the field. Doug, Nate, Ryan, and the rest of the crew there work tirelessly to provide a great product. Our hiring does need a tune up, but I don’t really think it needs a tune up at the apprentice level. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mean to pee in your morning bowl of wheaties.

Sincerely,

Northnight

10/11 Rumor Mill Control:

 I'm hearing rumor that the SME work for apprentices in Sacramento was put on hold or pushed back.  Can anyone confirm or deny?  And...does anyone know if the SME work for the perms was pushed back as well?  I know the date for offers to perm folks was supposed to be on or around Oct. 31st....still hoping.

Signed,
No more nails left to bite.

I know it was put on "pause" for Apprentices to allow for further outreach, but as I understand it, not for GS-6, -7, or -9s. Ab.

10/11 Salt Fire video and FLA:

If you think the Salt fire video was impressive from a distance you should have seen it from inside that run. The FLA for the Salt shelter deployment (7,194 K pdf) is on the Lessons Learned web page.

Joeboy.

10/11
Re: Fire school question

I am looking for a woodland fire training in Florida and am having trouble finding one or getting anyone to call me back to answer questions. please help?

Thank You,

MaryLou Rieves

I'll post this on the Hotlist. Ab.

10/11 Apprenticeship:

Perhaps somebody could help shed some light on our current hiring policies within Region 5. Every year we seem to being hiring more and more apprentices based solely on the fact that they are willing to accept a low GS wage until they convert sometime down the road. Unfortunately that leaves us in a very precarious predicament when it comes to hiring the "BEST" candidate for the job.

Many wild land fire fighters begin their career in the Forest Service (or other agencies) as a way to help pay for college and/or as a fun summer job that will allow them to accrue some spare change to put into their bank accounts. Every year we spend countless amount of funds in training theses individuals so that we are better equipped to fight fire in the future and to help meet the needs of our seasonal employees (if they choose to come back). Many of our current fire suppression personal didn't come into the Forest Service thinking that this is the job they want to do for the rest of their lives; but as time goes on, they begin to develop a love and a passion for what we do. When I first came to the Forest Service I was studying to be a Structural Fire fighter and a Paramedic. After I gained both Degrees, I decided to go to the Forest Service because I enjoyed what I was doing. They offered me a spot in the apprentice program which I chose to turn down because it would require me to loose my GS 5 wages and re take a lot of the training that I had already received over the past 5 years.

The problem that I would like to address is this. Using me as an example: I was a highly qualified structure fire fighter with a degree and technical training in various fire suppression and rescue activates. I had been an EMT for 5 years and graduated with a 2 year degree as a paramedic. I was well versed in chain saw activities (family of fire fighters and loggers), qualified as an engine boss, tender operator, DPSST hazmat technician and a FFT1 among other certifications. From a young age, I grew up in the fire department and had a lot of experience under my belt at a young age. I was offered a position in the apprentice program but I would have gone from a GS 5 to a GS 3 until I completed it. Why would anyone want to do that?

At the time I felt like a large majority of our young seasonal fire fighters do now. I didn't want to take a pay cut for the duration of my apprenticeship, I didn't want to re take a large majority of classes that I had already put myself through. I didn't want to be tossed around within the agency for 3 or more years while my family waited for me to come home. Most of all, I sure as hell didn't want to start off at square one again.

9 years into my career, I finally got my permanent appointment within the FS, but at a steep cost due to my stubbornness. Even though I do blame myself for taking the long road to get to where I am now, I still think our system is flawed. why? Because we would rather bring in somebody that knows very little about the job or is slightly interested in a career in the forest service and invest a large chunk of money into them to find out that they either don’t want to job or are marginal fire fighters at best. At the same time, I see young men and women that have spent 5-7 years on hotshot crews, that have shown they have what it takes to be a hard working employee and have demonstrated proficiency in their job, but they pass up the apprentice program because they don't want to take a step backwards in their career.

So, they real question still remains. What is more important to the Forest Service; getting highly trained individuals that have already invested into their careers, or saving a few extra dollars and hiring someone with only one year of experience at a lower cost to the government? Furthermore, is it fair to require government agencies to choose between a select few of converted apprentices for a job description they do not meet? Example: why should hot shot crew have to choose from apprentices only? There is a very good chance that I can pick up exactly what my crew needs from dedicated seasonal employees (either within the crew or other crews) that have all of the right qualifications and experience that our crew needs, rather than picking some random person off of the list that doesn't meet my crew's needs just because I'm told that I have to!?!

Another example: A good friend of mine has been fighting fire for 10 years now as a seasonal employee. I fought fire with him for 3 years and would jump at the opportunity to work with him again because I have first hand knowledge on just how good this guy is on the fire line. He's a C-faller, Crew boss, FIRB, Engine boss, RXB3 and an ICT4. The major issue that seems to haunt him is the fact that he DOESN'T want to be an apprentice and go through the same ol hoops as before. What can they teach him that he hasn't already been taught; and are we doing an injustice to our seasonal work force by forcing people to only hire within the apprentice program? At what point to we stop and say, "wait a minute, we need to hire the right person for the job rather than always trying to fill the void with what ever we have lying around?" And at what point to we start picking up some of theses seasonal employees and bypass the apprentice program based solely on the fact that they deserve a fair chance at a permanent job because they have dedicated their lives to obtaining knowledge and qualifications that we desperately need.

Don’t get me wrong, the apprentice program has its place within our agency and does a fairly good job with our employees. But we don't always hire the right people to put into the apprentice program because the RIGHT people choose not to apply for a down-graded position.

sincerely

"just sayin"

10/11 You Tube, Salt Fire Footage taken August 29, 2011 on the Salmon-Challis NF in ID.

I came across this and thought you may appreciate the fire behavior.

oregonfirefighter

10/11 Making the FS fire rounds:

Use of California Travel Net (173 K doc file)

10/10 The pic on the WLF front page needs a new one..... how about Tanker 40???? anything from this summer in Texas would be good.

FireHog

Anyone have a candidate for the photo on our home page? It would also get posted on the wallpaper page.
The new jet-powered airtanker from Neptune does seem like a good candidate for that page, although we have never had anything but flames and columns in the past. Kudos to Neptune for tackling the R&D.
FireHog sent in this good photo of Tanker 40 on the Tarmac.
Does anyone have a large wallpaper-size photo of it dropping on a fire or practice dropping on terrain?
Thanks, Ab.

10/10 Re the PPE discussion and outreach;
Re: TIFMAS and request for equipment donations;
Re: messages from Eddie Harris and K.Hester, 'Retired' NPS & TFS

Great analogy K Hester:

Unfortunately, these TX guys are still undertrained, under equipped, and are being placed in conflagrations such as Bastrop. This (municipal FFs) is no different than me going and taking a shot crew to a structure fire in yellow and greens because they saw Backdraft and Ladder 49 at staging one day. ... K Hester

I say thanks to those that can help.

I posted this article below this morning on Shift Briefing

Texas - Burning need (for PPE and equipment)

Firescribe

10/9 Hi all,

I've been researching Always Remember for the very active 1960 fire season, and came across this historical archive page from the Lewiston Morning Tribune with a story about an airman who, after fighting fire with his crew, got separated, stranded and spent some days alone on a sandbar in the Snake River Canyon until he was found and rescued.... Photo too. Use your cursor as a gripper hand to "pull" the page to find the picture and article on the righthand side of the page.

Are there lots of snakes in the Salmon River Canyon as he feared?

The historical newspaper archive available on fires since the late 1800s is remarkable. Very interesting articles on Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies fires.

I have some questions for you aviation folks, but I'll send them in tomorrow.

Casey, I love you! Thanks for all you do!

Right on to whomever sent in the post suggesting the NIMO team members and everyone else sign up!

Mellie

10/9 Fallen firefighters honored at California Wildland Firefighter Memorial

I received this link from Daniel Schott covering yesterday's Memorial Dedication

Firefighters who died battling wildfires in California were honored during a dedicated Saturday at the California Wildland Firefighter Memorial off the Ortega Highway near Lake Elsinore.

2011/10/08 photo gallery fallen firefighters honored at california wildland firefighter memorial 

David Westley

Thanks, David. Here's David Schott's photo of you all at the dedication. Ab.

10/8 Patience - Involvement - Activism

I like that Casey.

Become a member of: Federal Wildland Firefighter Service Association

I recently worked with one of our NIMO Teams. Very good people, hard working. They are away from their families for weeks at a time. Over my two weeks with them, I started thinking about how can any NIMO Team member not be a member of FWFSA after the work FWFSA did to change overtime rules in Congress. All members on these teams are GS13-14's. They work hundreds of overtime hours and without FWFSA they would be working those hours at a rate  lower than their hourly base rate.

I challenge all NIMO team members that are not already FWFSA members to join the organization that supported you and the organization that supports your Firefighters.

Veteran Firefighters, Apprentice Firefighters, Temporary Firefighters, incident qualified support personnel and any family or friends of Firefighters that have been on the fence about joining FWFSA, now is the time.

When I jumped off the fence and joined FWFSA, I did so because I wanted to be part of something positive, something that was moving in the right direction. I knew the road was long and has many turns. However with all the distractions, twists, turns and requirements the Forest Service threw at us, I knew I could take a step back and remind myself I always had FWFSA to keep things centered and moving forward.

10 Bucks a check people. You can be signed up in 15 minutes using your DASHBOARD at home tonight. Thank you for listening.

Signed,

Patience - Involvement - Activism / God Bless Casey Judd
10/8 AB,

Saw the item on Peshtigo and recall this week in 1910 the Spooner-Baudette fire burned in northern MN. There have been number of other major fall fires in MN.

famous minnesota fires a look back in photos

I imagine Pagami Creek (92,682 acres) and Juneberry 3 (33,892 acres) on today's sit report will be added to the list.

Midwest

10/8 saw this engine today on youtube, thought it was cool

-Joshua N
10/8 Peshtigo Fire of 1871

From the Northzone GACC,

“On October 8, 1871 the worst recorded forest fire in U.S. history claimed over 1,000 lives. The Peshtigo Fire started on the same night the Great Chicago Fire took place, and eventually burned approximately 4 million acres of Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan."

For more information, visit FMT64-4.pdf  (page 20)

Thanks, CC. Ab.

10/7 Hi to all:

To put into perspective the difficulties of navigating through one of the most partisan, mean-spirited, dysfunctional sessions of congress in recent memory, I'm attaching text of an email I received today from a senior Senate staffer from the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee.
His email was in response to my email addressing the fact that Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell had appeared before the committee on June 14th and yet again promised an aviation plan "by the end of this summer" and inquiring as to whether the committee had received such a plan as promised. As we all know, this "plan" has been promised by the Forest Service for at least the past 5 years. My email was prompted by the fact that we got our first snowfall of the year yesterday and today here in SE Idaho assuring me that, despite many of you still likely on fires throughout the West, summer is officially over.

"Casey, I do not have an update on the plan at this time. Pretty much all of the spending issues are on hold on the hill right now."
What I interpret this response to mean is "Congress isn't doing anything right now, or anytime soon."

Lots of dues-based organizations go to extreme lengths to "spin" information to their members to ensure those dues continue to come in. I don't operate that way. Our FWFSA members and all federal wildland firefighters should know the truth, good or bad. So, despite a bleak outlook for anything getting done by the end of this year, there are no plans at the FWFSA to be other than persistent. I'm sure some ask themselves "why bother?"

Granted, in 17 years working the "Hill' I have never encountered the atmosphere in DC so pervasive last year and again here in 2011. The stress and depression with this job has caused me to dramatically lose over 30 pounds in the last few months... so rapid in fact that my wife and others say I look like I am "wasting away."

Actually, next week I undergo what my doctor described as a "tumor safari" to ensure the weight loss is in fact stress related and not due to some insidious disease. This post is not to solicit sympathy etc. It is simply to reiterate that while there are worthy efforts being undertaken on behalf of the wildland firefighting community, the realities of what are going on in DC have a distinct human toll attached to them. Obviously politicians don't consider such things.

It will take more than just the growth of the FWFSA to build upon the modest successes we've achieved in the past 10 years. Folks need to believe they have the ability to effect positive change and be willing to go the extra mile and become proactive. Look at the protests on Wall Street. Whether you support those efforts or not, it is a clear demonstration that people with common interests can effect positive change. Look at the Susan B. Koeman (hope I spelled that right) breast cancer movement. Now a worldwide movement started by a handful of folks.

If you believe as I, that federal wildland firefighters deserve reforms not only to their pay & benefits but to the way the Agency fire programs are managed, you've got to raise your voice. No longer can we saunter into DC and say 'we're firefighters, give us this or that." We have to articulate how the issues facing our federal wildland firefighters also adversely impact the taxpayers. Even doing that, there is a stunning inference of indifference on the Hill.

Part of that is trying to educate "20 something" staffers who meet with dozens of groups each day. How do we stand apart when we don't have the revenue, membership and PAC accounts to compete with so many other groups and organizations? We work harder. We work longer. We remain persistent. But we need those of you who sit silently by to start raising your voices and start echoing what the FWFSA has tried to convey to politicians for years.

Look at the movement on the Los Padres National Forest to return the Santa Maria base to its full capacity. Led by active and retired federal wildland firefighters the local government firefighting communities are now rallying around the cause and have gotten congressional support and attention.

That being said, while we would expect such congressional support to translate into a mandate for the FS to return the base to its previous status, politics also come into play. No member of congress who is a member of the party controlling the Administration wants to legislatively compel/mandate, a federal agency with that party's own politically appointed folks to do anything. it would give an impression that their party, and thus their appointees are not capable of doing their jobs.

We struggle with "politics" on a daily basis at the FWFSA. It ain't fun 99% of the time. However, we've experienced a few of those "1%" periods when someone on the Hill actually "gets it" and takes the initiative, regardless of political climate, to do the right thing.

So, all I can ask is for your continued patience AND involvement and activism. I've got some creative plans for 2012 and its got to start with our membership conference so I hope FWFSA members out there will realize the importance of the conference and get registered.

As always, I apologize for my long-windedness.

Casey Judd
FWFSA

Casey, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Hoping for the best findings on your health. As far as politics and what can be accomplished right now, it is what it is and not for lack of trying.

I hope LOTS of folks will show up to the membership conference. FWFSA members and prospective members, you should go, have a great time creating and enjoy each other's company! Vicki, Burk and Casey are a hoot when you get them together!!! Watch out! Ab.

10/7 Don't forget the California Wildland Firefighters Memorial Re-dedication event tomorrow. Flyer

Website

Attend if you can.

AL

10/6 Re: <in the know>

Ab,

I would like to thank <in the know> for the information on some of the TIFMAS grants that I was not aware of. This will give me a new direction for some of the equipment needed. The paperwork has already been submitted for the NWCG engine and a grant application has been filled out for an AFG grant for ppe for the entire department. So hopefully sometime after the first of next year we will have our new engine and ppe in place.

I understand that we can go through the ICP and obtain the necessary equipment when we are mobilized. The problem with this is we have been mobilizing after hours and are being ordered to go directly to the incident, bypassing Merkel all together. We understand that we need to be self sufficient for 72 hours until supply has been set up at the incident.

So herein lies the problem, for 72 hours we have only our brush trucks to work with, all I have asked for is enough equipment for the 10 member strike team that deploys. The guys are leaving the brush trucks behind and are hiking in along containment lines without fireline packs, shelters or hand tools. It is hard to ask guys working for you to do the work needed and then not be able to give them the necessary equipment to be successful.

I can only hope that eventually we will be awarded the grants for the necessary equipment but until then we can only make do with what we have. On our last deployment in Bastrop, one of the guys called his wife to buy a chainsaw and she drove six hours to deliver it to us. This shows how dedicated they really are to do a good job and makes me proud to be a part of the team.

Again thank you Abercrombie for your time and all the individuals that have responded to my request.

Sincerely,

Eddy Harris

10/6 WRSC Update

Another update from the West…this will also be posted on the western website which is:

sites.nemac.org west cohesive fire updates/

Thanks to each of you for the great efforts and feedback…we march forward.

Joe Stutler
Deschutes County Forester

10/6
Re: TIFMAS and equipment donations

Eddy (10/2 post) is a great personal friend of mine, and his plea for assistance is with merit.

The TIFMAS program is still in its infancy and has been thrust into full operation due to the rediculous season we have had down here. The grant funding portion went broke early on as no one could have foreseen the strain the season would place on it. Yes, 'emergency funding' has been approved, but as we all know much too well, there are procedures, tape, timeframes, etc., and these guys dont have time to deal with that.

I spent a week in June teaching an abbreviated PMS-419, S-215, 130/190 class to 50 members of Abilene's FD, I told the training division that it would cost roughly $5.34 per man for materials (IRPG,FLH), they said no class then, no money for it. So we got TFS to provide IRPGs only, through a TIFMAS grant, then I took a week of vacation, and taught for free just so these guys could have some 'basic' info and hopefully come home in one piece. Unfortunately, these guys are still undertrained, under equipped, and are being placed in conflagrations such as Bastrop. This (municipal FF's) is no different than me going and taking a shot crew to a structure fire in yellow and greens because they saw Backdraft and Ladder 49 at staging one day.

If your cache or home unit has some 'extra' or obsolete gear, awesome send it down, if not, then that's ok too, we will find it and make do, always have. Thanks for the space AB...

K.Hester
'Retired' NPS & TFS
Be safe - K -

10/6 Rhabdo Safety Advisory (37 K pdf)

Please take time to revisit a safety advisory sent out in May of 2011 by NWCG. I admit: I skimmed over it, thinking it was unlikely myself or my folks would find themselves in extreme enough conditions to have to worry about Rhabdomyolosis. I was wrong. On 9/21/11, during a pack test, an employee on the CNF came face-to-face with this condition.

He was treated at a local ER for dehydration and released to go home. Fortunately, the employee recognized that something wasn't right and pursued further medical care. His second doctor realized the gravity of the situation and sent him on to a regional care facility. He is currently home from the hospital (after over a week as in in-patient) and has been through multiple surgeries with more yet to come. Long term prognosis is unsure - he isn't likely to be back to work until January and time will tell about his muscle tissue recovery.

I urge you to read it over, pass it on, and insure medical providers in your area are aware of Rhabdo. Do not let yourself think that it can't happen to you….

Jennifer Rabuck, West Zone FMO
Chequamegon-Nicolet NF
10/5 from Old LPF...

Survivors trek miles after plane crash that kills 3 (in 2004)

Survivors trek miles after plane crash that kills

Matthew Ramige once decided he didn't want to share space with his roommates, so he moved to a tent in the back yard. In the winter.

His ability to survive in the outdoors is what Ramige's father hoped would save his 29-year-old son, a forestry technician with the U.S. Forest Service, who, along with Jodee Hogg, emerged from the Montana wilderness two days after authorities said they died in a plane crash...

More... at the link

Thanks, Old LPF for the story from September 23, 2004. Great survival stories, even ones that include tragedy, never go away.
Tragically, three died: Ken Good (58), Davita Bryant (32) and Jim Long (60), the pilot. May we remember them... Ab.

Other links on Google:
Aviation Safety Management Systems
www.fs.fed.us
RMRS News Clippings
newsclips 04 09/09 plane crash.phpl

10/4 History Channel just for fun: “airtanker” vs “air_tanker”.

In 1998 or so the military was in a contract dispute with congress on buying new Boeing refueling aircraft and the Forest Service was simultaneously having their very public problem with the historic aircraft swap (old piston airplanes for C-130s and P3s) debacle also being looked at by congress.

The military called their aircraft refuelers “air tankers” being 2 words as did some of the Forest Service folks. The military, Forest Service, the press and congress started getting the two issues crossed up in the papers and in the hearings because of the wording. To clean it up they came up with “air tanker” (two words or hyphenated) carries fuel for aircraft aerial refueling purposes while “airtanker” (one word no hyphen) carries fire retardant for putting out forest fires. By 2000 all of the Forest Service manuals and such were changed as was the military’s clearing up the confusion. Oh and Heli Tanker got changed to Helitanker for some reason, can’t recall why.

Sign me -> Retired Southern Paper Pusher (RSPP)
10/4 Re: TIFMAS and equipment donations: vs grants

If Lt. Harris really wants to push the TIFMAS program to the max for his local departments, he should take a few minutes and apply for TFS TIFMAS grants to purchase NEW gear and outfit his crew. The TIFMAS grant program covers training, ppe, tools and misc. equipment. For qualifying departments, he could also get a NWCG type 3 or 6  engine for FREE. Until they get the grant funding to purchase good equipment, they can also check out equipment at the ICP each time they are mobilized, which is conveniently located in his hometown.

Respectfully,

<in the know>

10/4 CISM - Thank you Sbarn.

This is a topic our agency (FS) continues to not fully address or implement properly. CISM and CISD is alive and well and there are people in our agency who are trained and experienced in its use. Too often the choice is made to keep situations silent and those who are impacted are "deal" with it from within. Or even worse, people are simply asked if they would like to receive CISD - without involving anyone with the CISM training to explain what it involves. Experience has shown me that people will usually choose not to receive this valuable support, thinking it will simply go away.

Well, let me tell you... It won't.

Also, for employees who work with the public and who frequently provide emergency medical aid, work with serious injuries or deaths as part of their jobs, this is an incredibly valuable and necessary tool to have available. Don't talk yourself out of it thinking you can "deal" with it. Demand it of your supervisor.

Thanks again Sbarn for bringing this up on TheySaid.

SB

10/4 new TFS jobs

Ab,

Texas Forest Service currently has 2 full time fireline supervisors and 1 full time forestry/fire specialist positions open.
Specific positions are Regional Fire Coordinator, Task Force Coordinator and Resource Specialist. If anyone is
interested, please look at the listed link. We want to add the best candidates to our family (agency), looking across
the nation and at different backgrounds. http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/

Thanks for sharing,

Shawn Whitley
Emergency Response Coordinator
Texas Forest Service

We don't usually post specific job info on theysaid, but Texas needs good applicants for these positions. Good luck. Ab.

10/4 Posted just after midnight on the hotlist:

NV-NNS-Indian Creek / Dunphy Complex

MODIS is showing a run of 10-15 miles to the north in the 12 hours between 0000 and 1200 PST 10/3/2011!

10/3 Smokejumper articles:

Ab,

A nice article on a recently retired smokejumper Dale Longannecker.

record making smoke jumper makes his last official leap

h

Two hotlist threads from this morning on Shift Briefing NYTimes and  another article (same content) with another great pic of Dale. Ab.

10/3 CISM:

Sbarn, Thank You for your input. A much needed resource.

BDF Retired.

10/3 In reference to CISM teams:

Sbarn made some excellent points about the value and importance of CISM teams. Unfortunately, our agencies have, and continue to, sell a wide variety of products as CISM. I would stress to those ever in need to push for a PEER-BASED CISM team. The Northern Rockies has taken the lead on peer based CISM teams, and has worked tirelessly to adapt the peer model to other teams in other regions. In our tough budget climate, these efforts have had varying degrees of success. Peers are better able to relate to what wildland firefighters do and deal with during periods of tragedy, and are more easily accepted by the impacted groups. Peer teams do include a clinician, but otherwise are built with wildland firefighters and first responders who are trained in CISM. I would also add that the CISM process is NOT an investigation and is entirely independent of all other meetings, debriefs, investigations, or AARs that may be taking place. Peer involvement is critical to the process, and in my opinion, is significantly more valuable to those affected by tragedy than one performed by those from outside the firefighting community.

Dan Cottrell
Missoula Smokejumper and
Peer Member of R1 CISM Team

CISM=Critical Incident Stress Management;
CISD=Critical Incident Stress Debriefing

10/3 From the hotlist re WGB - NV lightning fires:

A 'Dunphy Complex' header has shown up on Inciweb with no information other than the PIO contact who happens to be the PIO for Whalen's team. Anyone know what is happening in this area?

Hotlist thread

OK, there's an answer... They have now put the Izzenhood, Chukkar and Indian Creek fires into a complex and Whalen's team will handle them all.

10/3 R5 Fire Hire:

Revised R5 Fire Hire Schedule (single page, 11 K pdf)

10/3 Critical Incidents, get ready

I was recently told of the death of a well loved and respected young firefighter with the Forest Service in R5. Although he was just off duty, the accident was of major impact to his coworkers as some of them arrived at the accident scene on their way home from work and when his motorcycle clothes were removed, his crew shirt revealed his identity.

This was a double whammy.

From what I am told, the Critical Incident Stress Debriefing was not exactly to accepted protocols so I would offer some thoughts for other units who may have the unfortunate circumstance to need need it. The following statements are based on the above mentioned incident and are taken from the training manual on CISM by Jeffrey Mitchell.

First keep in mind that when something "unexpected" happens, we may have difficulty processing the event and emotions can run high, manifesting themselves in various behaviors. People who experience this are emotionally vulnerable and everyone handles grief differently and it doesn't mean you're weak.

  • There are people trained in CISD, get ahold of them immediately and work with them, they know what to do and who should/should not be involved.
  • A CISD is not a "Y-all come", it is only for certain groups of employees with certain levels of involvement and the CISD Team, and should be kept private.
  • A CISD is not a memorial for the lost person.
  • A CISD is for the employees who are affected by the loss and how they are coping with it. They are given tools to help deal with how they might be dealing with the loss.
  • CISD is not phycho therapy although a health care professional should be involved, depending on the incident and how people are reacting.

Please don't wait until it happens, get a plan, get contact numbers, lets be prepared to take care of our employees.

Here is a link to the Great Basin site, they are leading the pack in in Fed Agency CISM.
cism index.php

sbarn, retired CISM Team Member

10/2 Re: TMK's question re PPE and equipment donations

Ab,

The equipment will belong to the TIFMAS Strike Team, I am trying to build the cache for the guys that deploy. This will not be mine to keep, I will just oversee the inventory. No one else has offered to try and get any equipment for the guys, so I took it upon myself to do this. The equipment will be stored at my duty station for inventory purposes and there I can keep an eye on it. I am afraid if it is sent to the city they will do whatever they see fit with it and it could end up not going to the team. If donated to me, specifically for the team they will have no say so over it. I promise you it will be for the team to use and only the team. To date I have received a small set of mechanics tools from a local mechanic, a few sets of PPE, box of chem sticks, box of flagging tape and a manual weather kit.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call. Thank you for consideration in helping out!

Eddy Harris
325.660.6328

10/2 Photos of Neptune's New jet-powered Tanker 40 taken in Longview TX.

They came in late last night. Three of the four were time stamped 09/29/2011. Quick work folks! I added them to the Airtankers 37 photo page. Thanks JS and firefighter. Ab.

10/1 Neptune's jet-powered tanker could 'revolutionize' aerial firefighting

VIDEO: Neptune Aviation's jet-powered tanker

http://missoulian.com/...ideo

Thanks to young and Still Learning on the Hotlist thread

10/1 Subject: Status of a Continuing Resolution Starting October 1 for FY 2012

In my inbox today... Surprised I have not heard much about this in the forum...thoughts on the subject people? Or are we just tired of the subject.. Haha

TNBG
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2011 10:25 AM
To: FS-pdl r5 rlt; FS-pdl r5 budget contacts; FS-pdl r5 admin liaisons
Subject: Status of a Continuing Resolution Starting October 1 for FY 2012

This morning the House passed a four-day extension of government funding that will keep federal agencies open through next Tuesday (October 4th). This short-term extension will need to pass in the Senate and be signed by the President before it becomes law.

Based on this we do expect all employees to be reporting to work on Monday unless we hear direction that is contrary to this.

Next week the Congress will return to legislative session to take up a longer-term plan (second Continuing Resolution) that would keep the government running until November 18.

As more information becomes available we will share it with you.

John

Ab note: We were watching this. The congressional workaround was to extend until the new fiscal year, which is Oct 1, today. What a waste of time, this extension stuff, imo. Congress has been in session some very small percentage of the days they work. We should make their pay dependent on their work and production. Bet they'd advance some chains if $$ were attached to pay. Stupid gridlock. Ab.

10/1 All,

This email is a helpful reminder of a wonderful upcoming event. You are cordially invited to an interagency formal dedication of the California Wildland Firefighter Memorial (CWFM), October 8, 2011, 10am. The Memorial recognizes all FF’s who have died in the line of duty at California wildland fires. The Memorial was completed and the dedication is being hosted by the California Wildland Firefighter Memorial committee. The Memorial is located near El Cariso about 8 miles west of Lake Elsinore, 100 yards south of SR 74 on the South Main Divide Truck Trail.

A full explanation and the history of the Memorial is available at: http://cwfm.info/.

Additionally, the State Legislature has adopted SR 74 as the California Wildland Firefighter Memorial Highway.

Please attend if possible. Parking shuttles will be available. Please RSVP Dreena Brethorst at (951) 940-6917 or Dreena.brethorst@fire.ca.gov if you can attend. If you have already RSVP’d, please disregard. Thank you very much.

Unit & County Fire Chief John R. Hawkins
CAL FIRE
Riverside County Fire Department

Thanks, John. Ab.

10/1 Nice job Angeles NF!

A great job ANF FAM for getting a new training facility.

Economic Recovery funds build new Angeles National Forest headquarters in Arcadia, Calif.

Approximately $12 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding will be used to build a two-story 24,000-square-foot administrative building and a training facility that will be available to local, county and federal fire personnel. Construction began this month and is expected to be completed in summer 2012. The new building, which will be more accessible to the public, will house nearly 100 employees and will be certified at the Silver Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design level at a minimum. The project will provide employment to many locals.

10/1 Central NV wildcad lists 22 lightning fires.

Check NV IA -- Western Great Basin -- on the hotlist.

10/1 More photos of air tankers in TX from Justin Musgraves:

Tanker 910 leaves Austin-Bergstrom International to help with wildfires in Texas on 9/29/11. Canadian CV-580 tankers on the ramp at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport with the Canadian ‘Bird-Dog’ and some C-130 MAFFS aircraft.

Thanks Justin. I added them to the Airtankers 37 photo page. Ab.

10/1 FWFSA Conference

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is excited to be participating in the FWFSA's membership conference set for  Dec. 1-3 in Reno and to help the FWFSA celebrate it's 20th year of serving our Nation's federal wildland firefighters.

We'd like to encourage all FWFSA members to join us at the Conference and to remind you that the registration deadline is Nov. 1st."

Vicki Minor
Executive Director
WFF

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