"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
Home of the Wildland Firefighter
||Making the rounds in Military, Municipal and Federal Emergency Services:
Fire as a Weapon (1,450 K pdf)
||From the document linked below:
Let your voice be heard!
The deadline is quickly approaching for participation in the 2012
Federal Employee View-point Survey (FEVS).
As of the second week of the FEVS, USDA has a 33% response rate.
Here are the people to contact if you have not gotten the survey link
or have been told you are not eligible to take it.
They say on page 4,
"As a USDA Employee, You Can Directly Influence
Mary Jo Thompson email@example.com
Ed Cierpial firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhonda Flores (FS) email@example.com
Dana Schrock (FS) firstname.lastname@example.org
I have heard from those in the know that all full time and part time
Forest Service employees are requested to do the survey. I know some of you,
if not a lot of you, have been denied. Try again.
Please document all your efforts to participate. If you read that
Progress Report for Employees, on USDA’s Cultural Transformation
it's clear and upbeat and positive... hopefully real effort will include
||New Air to ground frequencies in R5
From Jim911Fire on the Hotlist
Just got this in an dept email about an hour ago....
"FYI – heads up. Pre-alert.
California has received an extension for the use of the Federal A-G
170.000 until 7/1/2012.
The USFS will be sending a safety alert tonight with the extension and
new expiration date."
||New Air to ground frequencies in R5
This was posted back in March, but
tomorrow is June 1, so here's a heads up! (Thanks for the reminder, dude)
CWCG Safety Alert Frequencies (2,227 k pdf)
Region 5, program your new air to ground frequencies:
See the new direction in the email above...
I am so grateful for the this community that supports the
We recently had Family Fire Weekend. There were many families who drove
several days to attend.
What a gift to see families healing families. They seamed to be talking in
that sacred language that only those who have lost can speak or understand.
As always Jack Wilson opened with a prayer. He is in his 90’s now and still
serving firefighters on the ground and in the air.
I am so proud of our all our agencies' Honor Guards including Cal Fire and
the Bag Pipers. This year, after the presentation of the Colors, we asked
them all to come forward together and tell us a little about themselves and
why they Serve. It was so touching and humbling to hear their stories. There
wasn’t a dry eye in the place. Each family shared some of their
firefighter's stories, with a few tears and lots of laughter.
The kids don’t want to leave each other. It is wonderful to watch them grow
each year. They do the talent show before the barbeque. I think some of them
should be on America's Got Talent.
Saturday evening closed with a sacred native ceremony.
We usually do a "dove release" on Sunday. This year we did a "butterfly
release". Each person received an envelope with a butterfly in it. They were
all released at the same time. It was mystical to watch the butterflies
linger on people's hands and arms and even on the markers in the Monument.
It seams like time stands still when a butterfly lands on you.
One little girl came up to me with
a butterfly stuck on her shirt.
She said, "Is this my dad?"
I said, "I’m not sure… but just maybe he borrowed that butterfly so he could
be close to you, for a while."
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
2049 Airport Way
Boise, Idaho 83705
Thanks for what you and Burk et al do, Vicki; and
thanks to Rowdy for his very helpful donation of air miles. I feel honored
to have met you, Rowdy. IC with a big heart! Ab.
Regarding the survey. The note about the survey is great! When I brought
this up earlier I looked into it and found out the same thing from the
person I talked to at the USDA. And I then called ASC and mentioned it to
someone in HR. I was told without any doubt that the survey would not be
made available to anyone except for Full-Time Permanent employees. I am a
Permanent Seasonal employee (PSE) and I was told that I would not receive
it. And I haven't, nor have any of the other PSEs or temps in our office (16
of them - the majority of our office employees). And I even directed this
person at ASC to where it was stated and asked if I could be contacted after
it had been followed-up. I have not been contacted and I'm quite sure it
hasn't been followed up.
I also contacted the NFFE at several different levels and have not received
Does anyone have a recommendation for how we might get this topic moved
forward??? Casey?? Could you help? I contacted my Congress person (her aide)
and they gave me the USDA contact to call, but no one seems to be able to
get the FS to do anything. I know my local management won't do anything.
So what do those of us who care do to resolve this??
Ashamed of my Employer
Maybe the WO can request supervisors get it to
the part-timers, and get ASC on the same page, and inform R5 about the
expectations of distribution to seasonals... Ab.
Someone please explain to me how crews that are not a current IHC (Tallac
and Elk Mountain), are in the
IHC rotation? Kudos, however, to crews that can not maintain the standard
and are honest enough to
change their status appropriately.
Norcal Dirt Pig
Florida - Crowl Road Fire Burnover Review (667 K pdf) is available for
reading and lessons learned,
sent in by Rangerjake72. I also posted it on the Hotlist Lessons Learned for
easy reference as he requested.
This survey is 15 pages, but page 3 and 4 spell out who USDA
wants to take the FEV survey (census).
It states all fulltime and temporary employees. Also lists FS
contacts for the survey.
June 11th is cut off.
All supervisors should make the survey available to temps.
From: USDA News [mailto:USDA_News.FSNOTES@mci.fs.fed.us]
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 3:01 PM
To: ALL FS
Subject: MyUSDA May 2012
The following message is being transmitted to you as a
Departmental Management (DM) service to all USDA employees.
Agency E-mail administrators: Please forward this message to all USDA
***** Please do not respond to this mailbox. Thank you. *****
I am pleased to share the latest issue of
MyUSDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA’s Cultural Transformation.
In this edition, we mark the 150th Anniversary of our Department’s creation
by President Abraham Lincoln. You’ll also read about a number of recent
successes, such as a significant inter-governmental partnership with Alaskan
Tribes, the recognition of key administrative professionals, and further
progress of Secretary Vilsack’s Cultural Transformation Initiative.
One overriding theme of this issue is the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint
Survey (FEVS). Last year, 25% of all USDA employees were randomly selected
to participate in the survey, which can be used to gauge how well Federal
agencies manage and engage their employees. This year, for the first time,
all Federal employees should have received (or be receiving) an email with
the survey so they can participate and have their voice heard.
I encourage you to take the time to complete the FEVS because your feedback
is instrumental in ensuring that USDA’s cultural transformation actions are
recognized and strengthened. This year’s survey also includes three new
demographic questions, focusing on veterans’ status, disability status, and
sexual orientation. Your response will help us better serve and meet the
needs of all employees.
Thank you for being committed to helping USDA accomplish its mission to be a
top leader in food, nutrition, agriculture, natural resources, and other
vital services. Let’s continue to be driven by sound public policy, the best
available science, and efficient management. We could not do it without you.
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration
US Department of Agriculture
||Incident Management Team Questions:
This might be another good website
for Anne. Teams are sponsored by an agency or a coordinating group
of agencies and made up of individuals from multiple fire agencies.
The Incident Commander(s) (if in unified command) works for the Agency
Administrator who is responsible
for the land where the wildfire is burning.
||Incident Management Team Questions:
We had a public meeting in
Glenwood, NM yesterday evening with several agencies and experts.
The question that has been asked of me (that I cannot answer) is who the
works for. Is the team employed by a government agency or is the team a
working for the gov.? How does that work?
The Interagency Incident Management Team always works for the Agency
or entity that manages or "owns" the land where the fire is burning. If you
look here on our
Hotlist or on the official
site, that complex is burning on the NM-GNF, that's the Gila National
Forest. Thus, the Incident Management Team of firefighting experts works at
the behest of and in consultation with the forest's overhead.
The Interagency Incident Management Team is comprised of individuals
from federal, state and local wildland fire and emergency services agencies;
members have expertise in operations, planning, logistics, finance,
information, and safety. Here's a diagram of the
Incident Command System Structure, compliments of Jake. There are 16
Type I Teams in the Nation. Each team is a national resource that can be
sent anywhere in the country as needed. They are well trained, experienced
and equipped to help "bring order to the chaos" of emergency incidents,
usually large wildfires. (my words about chaos)
The person on the team who can answer your questions is Mary
Rasmussen. She is usually the team's PIO (Public Information Officer). If
she's not there, whoever is PIO can give you the info you need -- call
575-533-6901, 7AM until 10 PM -- or feel free to ask here. Tell 'em Ab sent
Why is it so hard to get our Trainees on
assignments these days? The days of who you know and
I scratch your back you scratch mine are gone. ALL of our federal
firefighters that are in Overhead
trainee positions should be utilized. When you see UTFs for overhead
positions not being filled, one
can only ask, why wouldn’t they accept a trainee. That’s what the individual
went to training for and
needs to utilize that knowledge and skill.
I'm the guy who makes several items you may have seen in the
Supply Cache catalog. There's the little black 'charger / adapter' which
changes your King radio clam shell into a power source for your phone, and
the 'Toy Hose Roller' which as it sounds, allows you to single or double
roll your toy hose in about 45 seconds. I also make a locking clamp for that
toy hose, but have had to find a new powder-coater so inventory on those is
a bit... Low.. Oh! And I make a 1" and a 1.5" foam nozzle for all the engine
guys out there.
Why am I pointing all this out? Well... I've had a few "Unexpected Bills"
and while I have a pile of all that stuff I make waiting to be ordered, I
need some orders. Hence the Shameless Promotion here with Ab's approval.
What kind of bills doesn't really matter I suppose, but if you are very
curious- Tuition came due, I had a tooth fall apart, and I had to spend
about $700 on wheelchair related items all in the same month. OWCP *Will*
reimburse me for the 'chair stuff, but they are rather glacial, meanwhile
other bills come due... So I'm a bit.. Stretched at the moment. I have food
and there's gas in the van so it's not Crisis Moment, but my mastercard is
grinning & drywashing it's hands in anticipation of all that interest.
I'd like to pay that off as fast as possible.
So. If you don't have a way to charge your phone on the line, you need one.
Have a pile of foot-ball rolled toy hose?
Get yourself a roller. How about a
couple foam nozzles while you are at it?
Give me about two weeks and you can get yourself a couple toy-hose clamps as
But you already have all that stuff you say?
Well, if I made it (everyone
has competition) why not take it & show your FMO? Tell all about how Awesome
it is and maybe some will be ordered for the rest of the engines & crews on
your forest. But you are on a fire you say? Awesome! Go show it to the folk
at Supply! Maybe they will order a bunch!
Help me out with a little promotion, get some folk some cool new toys while
helping me pay off those bills and everyone is happy!
But I haven't told you exactly HOW to order anything?
That is Very easy- Simply head over to
and in the little search box on the upper right type "Evans" and hit Go. A
list of my products will pop up and you can order as many as you like.
Hope you all have a long & safe season!
||Firfighter first, manager second,
What's so confidential about how you decided to mobilize Hotshot Crews out
of region and rotation? The
information is readily available through the FOIA process. Not that big of
deal and frankly not that
important to the community as a whole. I would suggest you just brief your
Superintendents on the circumstances
and move on. Also this has nothing to do with today's world. 20 years ago
crews knew where every crew
was, even without cell phones.
To be honest, many including me don't even know where some of those crews
are located. So please, you
don't need to offer the "why we fight fire speech".
Finally, do the GACCs plan on posting the rotation anytime soon?
So Cal Ridges
||Re IHC rotation:
In our day and age its pretty much public every
movement of every crew. Unfortunately, the conversations that
happen prior to that happening are not published, nor can they be. This
still does not change how or why we
fight fire. Its never possible to make it fair for everyone yet cover all
the needs of each gacc, this is why we
don't right a set rule book on resource movement.
Just don't get worked up over decisions your not paid to make.
Firfighter first, manager second
||building dedication at the Bald Mtn Helitack Base on the Stanislaus to
There will be a building dedication at the Bald Mtn Helitack
Base on the Stanislaus to John Greeno on Saturday,
June 2nd at noon. It was
John’s greatest wish to have a new building put up at Bald Mtn, one that he
relentlessly. It is finally done! There will be goodies to eat and a
dessert potluck following the ceremony. Come
join us for some camaraderie,
good food and one of the best views in the Sierras.
If you have any questions you can call Dave Phillips at (209) 586-7650.
Good news. Ab.
Of all my bi-weekly allotments from my paycheck, the one I have set up that
sends 10 bucks to
FWFSA is the one I am most proud of. Period!
||Re: IHC Rotation:
I thought a closest resource, immediate need might have been the case.
However when will a receiving GACC ever
ask for the furthest IHC? Also if we are asking for the closest resource for
a preposition to a wildfire refuge then this
whole thing needs to get looked at again.
Got staff work done?
||Re: IHC Rotation:
I have been trying to get a firm date as to when the ONCC/OSCC SIT500 will
be up and running. I believe
there was a tentative date for June 1st.
As far as the rotation goes, I know OSCC is following the current rotation
that is set in place. Not sure what
ONCC has going on. However, I do know that in the write up for the rotation
if an order comes in that states
"Closest Resource" then that would be cause for not following the rotation
order. Again, the ordering unit has
to request this, not ONCC/OSCC.
||Re: north OPs R5 IHC Rotation List
North Ops isn't working backwards, just picking crew
that are out on staff rides and such since that means
they "are closer". Not sure how the others are getting out. Nice to see
things haven't changed again this year.
||Re: R5 IHC Rotation List:
MB, here is the rotation for R5 IHCrews. After
checking the SWA webpage I can't understand how Mendocino and Redding got to
R3. I spoke with a friend of mine up in Northern California and he thought
maybe NOPS was starting from #18 and backwards. Or maybe they don't have all
the crews available up there yet.
Hope this helps
So Cal Ridges
1. Horseshoe Meadow
3. Texas Canyon
7. Kern Valley
8. Rio Bravo
9. Golden Eagles
11. Arroyo Grande
14. Crane Valley
17. El Cariso
18. Mill Creek
19. Bear Divide
20. Kings River
22. Los Padres
23. Vista Grande
24. Little Tujunga
27. Big Bear
28. Del Rosa
1. SALMON RIVER
2. ELK MOUNTAIN (T2IA)*
3. FEATHER RIVER
7. AMERICAN RIVER
9. SMITH RIVER
10. DIAMOND MOUNTAIN
13. TALLAC (T2IA)**
15. SHASTA LAKE
||Classification on the Agenda...!!??
Hi to all. On this Memorial Day weekend a shock from Capitol Hill...wildland
firefighter classification to be a priority for some in Congress next
Why now? Who knows. I've learned over 18 years that things in DC just don't
make sense so it isn't prudent to even try to understand. During my last
trip there several months ago as I previously posted, there were a lot of
apologies... and promises from both the House & Senate about the lack of
interest or effort on wildland firefighter issues.
We had a lot of effort in 2004/6 & 2008/9 but as I've said repeatedly, since
the change in Administrations in 2008, the atmosphere is DC hasn't been
conducive to getting anything accomplished. That said, not a day goes by
that the FWFSA does not communicate in some manner with staff and others in
DC. Like an iceberg, most of what we do is "under the surface." I don't
necessarily enjoy doing business that way but as I'm sure those in
leadership positions in NFFE and other organizations will attest, that's
simply how things work.
The "unknown" is the willingness of the Agencies to "play" next session.
Forest Service Chief Tidwell has stated that he supports a wildland
firefighter series but it "will require significant time & effort." NFFE
also concurs that a series is a long term goal. However as I have posted
previously, the FWFSA has already accomplished the "heavy lifting" back in
2006 when the House of Representatives passed a classification bill "with
It would be wonderful if the leadership of the FS and DOI would simply pay a
little attention and respect to their firefighters and tell OPM "this is
what we want" rather than the FWFSA having to take the time to "legislate" a
series. However it is a sad fact that these issues have been around for
decades so expecting the agencies to all of a sudden reform many of the
archaic pay & personnel policies affecting their firefighters on their own
just isn't a real promising expectation.
I cannot go into details as with any election year, a lot depends on how the
cards fall after the elections. There will be a significant change given
redistricting etc., but I am confident that many relationships we have
established over the years will be intact and finally result in some
On this memorial Day weekend, please know that we continue to do our very
best to educate those in a position to effect positive change for all of
you. Progress is painfully slow and so incredibly frustrating to know that
just a little interest in their firefighting workforce would return such
incredible dividends for the agencies and taxpayers of this country.
However, until the Agencies demonstrate some respect for all of you, we'll
continue to do what we can to provide all of you with the pay & benefits you
all deserve. I'm also hoping we can reaffirm our relationship with NFFE in
the coming months to work together for the common good for all of you.
||R5 IHC ROTATION
I heard that S.ops and N.ops came out with an
out-of-region rotation for the R5 IHCs,
just was wondering if anyone was able to find it on the (OSCC) or (ONCC)
or if it was posted somewhere else
||ATV Rescue sled
My park (NPS) has two of these:
Their 800lb capacity (rescue and a patient) make these a great choice
You just need to make sure your ATV has the capacity to pull this as
well as carry whatever is on the ATV.
There are several accessories for this to use it with snowmobiles or by
||looks like it's going to be an interesting season!
I know that you are enjoying your holiday...but had to pass this on as I
hadn't seen it posted anywhere:
Talk about LCES!!
This was CRAZY to listen to on the radio in our dispatch....
Rescuers bring in disoriented hiker
R5VetFF on WLF
||Heading out to the wilderness until Sunday night. The Hotlist carries
Got word from the Chief Pilot for Conair (Canada) that former tanker pilot,
writer and all around good guy Linc Alexander passed away on Thursday
morning. His latest book "Firebomber
Into Hell" pretty much sums up the mans life. An earlier publication
"Pilots Notes For Fire Bombing", while written in the mid 60's is still
considered a bible to the industry.
I was just talking to him last week, giving him some images and info for his
latest (unpublished) book. I am saddened by the loss of my friend, but more
importantly, I am saddened by the loss of a great man whose input and
foresight into the aerial firefighting has helped make it what we know
today. In his days, the learning curve was rather large. He took notes and
shared his findings. He wanted to see everyone come home at the end of the
day. His observations and accumulated experience were invaluable to the
youngsters in the business.
We have lost a true American/Canadian hero.
That was a good book. Very Sad loss. Ab.
||ALLCAIMT REUNION SURVEY
This came in through another fire circle...
Hutch posted a note a few days ago. Do it! Ab.
Group I'm sending this out to you again for you guys to fill out the
survey form send it in and to forward
it through all your team contacts and networks past and present at
We need a good head count to put this reunion on were at 75 folks and were
looking at a min. 200 to move
We need all the surveys back to us by 6-15-12
Some folks think this is a done deal and its going to happen ,Not so this is
a large undertaking by
a group of retired team members and its a non-FS / Privately sponsored event
NO GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT.
So please fill the form out and talk it up with all your contacts.
If you have questions please e-mail at hanrahanfire@ nospam hotmail.com
Thanks and have a good memorial day weekend !!!
||Hey all, go here and please sign this petition. Ab.
Barack Obama: Support health insurance for seasonal wildland firefighters
President Barack Obama: Support health insurance for seasonal wildland firefighters
||I put up some photos of the Oak Grove Hotshot reunion.
Grove Hotshot Reunion 1 & 2 and Logo: The 52 year OakGrove Hotshot
reunion was held this week at the ANF Sups' office. The crew was formed on
the Angeles N.F. in 1950, making it the first Hotshot crew on the forest.
The crew was disbanded in 1978.
Hotshot History Photos compliments of Russ M. (0512)
Thanks, Russ. I added them to
Handcrews 29 photo page. Ab.
||Big CONGRATS to the rookies. Continued success and BE SAFE!
||SJ Training achievement:
I would like to congratulate the Redding
Class of 2012 Rookies on completing their smokejumper training.
They put in many hard hours and completed the training of Friday May 18th. I
wish them the best of luck
and hope they have a safe fire season.
TRE Wildfire article from the Nevada Appeal, Carson City's
||Passing of Don Wisseman
It is with great sadness that I inform you
that our longtime beloved Shuteye Lookout Don Wisseman has passed away
Wednesday May 9, 2012 at the age of 76. He was a Fire Lookout at Shuteye and
other lookouts on the Sierra
National Forest forest from 1989 to 2006 and worked with the Forest Service
since he was in his late teens, holding
various positions in fire. Don was one of the best lookouts that the Sierra
ever had, with his vast knowledge of the
forest and his beautiful fiddle playing.
He will be greatly missed.
||Some info making the rounds in R5, for the Heat Illness thread.
Safety Alert for Heat Safety (doc)
MTDC Heat Illness Doc (pdf)
||Re Diversity Hiring:
I am cc-ing the post below to all the USDA
Diversity Officers and the Union Representative attached to the team,
also to Tom Harbour and Secretary Vilsack. This 5/14 post is from R6 Smokey
Bear on the Summary of Diversity
Decision Points .
I believe it is direct violation of Section 15: Race and Color
POST from 5/14:
Re Diversity Hiring:
Diversity Checkpoint List (pdf) comes from the Region (6), I did not
edit in any way, the red is there. I really like check point #4 where it states the option of cancelling a cert
if there is not diversity on the cert, and of course, a couple other ways to work the system, like changing job series
Here is the contact information for the Officers and Union Representatives,
we need an answer to how this practice, which is not just in Region 6, is acceptable.
This list is accurate to the best of my knowledge:
Farbrook Salt: 301-504-3976
Clyde Thompson: 202-692-0200
Frank McDonough: 703-605-1505
Joanne L Munno: 202-720-5213
Jim Bradley: 202-690-2575
Eloris Speight: 202-720-7847
Charles L Myers: 202-205-1707
Phillip G Short: 202-720-3438
Rick Swensen: 202-720-9824
Ronald Guillen: 202-720-6902
Carol Jett: 202-720-3631
Anne Todd: 202-720-1021
||Flaming Mini-Van Rolls into Firefighters and Freeway Traffic
the safety rounds:
Interesting video received form Ken H. He makes some great points below.
There are many lessons in this video.
This is not the first time a vehicle on fire has started to roll down the
road. This should be anticipated on any
vehicle fire. Please share with your engine crews as they do their SCBA
training for the upcoming season.
Here is some extra training for vehicle fires that presents a good “lessons
learned” without major consequences.
This would serve as an excellent safety session during your SCBA & vehicle
- Do you train with a protocol of chocking the vehicle and who’s
responsibility is it?
- Are you wheel chocks easily accessible to grab if you pull up and
the vehicle is about to roll?
- Engine placement at the scene, are you thinking about that vehicle
rolling and will it roll into your engine or
- If you are donning your SCBA or working the scene and it rolls, do
you have an escape route?
YouTube: Vehicle Fire Drills
Enjoy the video and be safe in all that you do!
||President Barack Obama has ordered all major government agencies to make
two key services available on mobile
phones within a year, in an effort to embrace a growing trend toward Web
surfing on mobile devices.
Good news for firefighting agencies... Ab.
From the hotlist...
Today's Sit Report is not correct for this fire. The Whitewater Fire grew 60,500 acres
yesterday for a total over 70,000 with the Type I IMT ordered.
Incident: Whitewater Wildfire
Released: 1 day ago
The Whitewater Fire burning in the Gila Wilderness is approximately five
miles southwest of the summer community of Willow Creek and was detected on
Wednesday, May 16. The fire is currently estimated at 10,079 acres as it
continues to burn in steep, rugged terrain of mixed conifer forest. The fire
remains at 0% containment as firefighters are unable to directly suppress
the fire due to extreme fire behavior and rough terrain. The fire did make a
SWA wildland fire activity map
RED FLAG WARNING
NM Fire Info
||I would like to encourage all current and previous members of the
Federal Type One IMTs and those that were
at that level in the Old LFO organizations that predate ICS to take 5
minutes and go to
complete the survey before June 15. This is about a reunion that is being
planned next year. Also please pass this
on to all those current and previous team members in your e-mail and snail
mail address books. Looking forward
to seeing folks in Reno.
||Union HS Crew Carriers on American Idol...
I would like to
congratulate the Union Hotshots crew 65 and 66 and their Supt. Truck for
their appearance on the
American Idol finale show. Shortly after the start of the show a segment was
done on the road travel of the judges
and low and behold what to my eyes appear, 2 green crew carriers and a large
white Supt. truck. To the untrained
eye this could be missed in the short second that they appeared but not this
Hotshot. This is the second time I have
seen a Hotshot crew on the Idol show.
I thought I saw several Supts rocking out on their air guitars backing
up Aerosmith! "WALK THIS WAY!"... Rock on! Ab.
Another great day here on the Six Rivers. Forest Sup. decided the forest
can't be trusted with their
own budgets so now we have to have permission from him or the Deputy for any
$100.00. When will these people get a clue.
||Thank you, thank you, thank you for the forum.
The community's assistance has really helped us to locate many off this list and in our
effort to carry out the
Court Order, you have been a savior. We at CDF
Firefighters appreciate wildlandfire and the wonderful staff
help keep wildlandfire.com alive and well!
Stop and think about it. What other venue do we all have in this profession?
Your efforts are appreciated by
many throughout the world.
Mellie, and hotlist crew, you are GREAT!
||Another couple of TRE fire photos from yesterday from MK taken on
NV- TRE wildfire
NV TRE wildfire 2012-05-22.jpg
||NV-CCD-Tre Fire: Photo taken 5/22/12 of the Tre Fire about 4
showing the winds. Heading south to kernville. Photo compliments of
Thanks. I added it to the
Fire 46 photo page, last photo. Hotlist thread:
the TRE Fire. Ab.
||Heads Up!!!!!! Red Flag Warning has been issued for Santa Barbara
www.wrh.noaa.gov ... Forecast
posted on hotlist:
CA Fire Weather 2012
Can you help us. We are trying to locate those CAL FIRE (CDF) firefighters who will be
reimbursed as a result of the successful
conclusion of a Labor Law suit.
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 8:33 AM
Subject: Request for help contacting missing individuals
I have added the Unit Worked, Rank and Years below to make it easier.
Honorable Executive Board Members
In order for CDF Firefighters to comply with a court ordered notification
procedures we are sending you the following request for assistance. We
request you send this email to every member, retired of otherwise as quickly
as possible, we need to complete our search by May 30th, 2012.
CDF Firefighters Local 2881 Missing Class members
CASH OUT Lawsuit settlement
We need your help in finding the individuals listed below; they are
members the of classes covered by the CDF Firefighters Local 2881 cash out
lawsuit. We are looking for these class members to give them a court
required notice. These individuals may be entitled to a cash settlement and
must be notified by the department (CAL FIRE). These individuals also have a
right to opt out of the lawsuit settlement if they wish.
Please make every attempt to locate the listed individuals by May 30th, 2012
We are requesting you to make every effort to find contact information for
the following listed individuals.
|1. MickeJ. Alexander
2. Jessie D. Barnes
3. Rick G. Bracelin
4. Melissa Brinckerhoff
5. TJ English
6. Joel D. Ficher
7. Joshue P Fisher
8. William Harrover
9. Chris J. Huddleston
10. Christie J. Lucas
11. Colt J. Maule
12. Chris J. O’Brien
13. Richard R. Shade
14. Brandon Vaccaro
15. Shaun M. Welsh
16. Jennifer L. Whipple
17. Dave Zablocki
LT FAE Med
LT FAE Med
- Mailing address
- Contact phone number, home and cell
- Email address
Please document your personal efforts to contact these listed
individuals, we request you keep a phone log, written notes or emails. We
will be required by the court to document our efforts to notify all
individuals listed as members of the classes covered by the lawsuit
settlement. Once you have completed your effort please forward an email with
the specific steps, actions you have taken to comply with the court's
If you recover missing information please transmit it to the following
Jennifer S. Stoughton, Assistant Legal Council: Jstoughton@ nospam
cbmlaw.com (take out the nospam and the spaces)
signed, Bob Wolf, President
CDF Firefighters Local 2881
Representing the Professional Firefighters of CAL FIRE
||Information on rescue litters:
If you are looking for a tow-behind litter carrier that is suitable for
uneven terrain and which can be dismounted and propelled by hand I can
recommend the Cascade Levitator.
www.Cascade-Rescue.com/the-Levitator/. You can see this demonstrated on
YouTube. The two wheel models get very tippy on any gradient. For back
country off-road trail rescue (read fire line) I use a Traverse Titan litter
with a Cascade Trail Tech litter wheel which lets me bring all my rescue
gear rapidly to the scene and halves evacuation time. Your patient and the
litter carriers will thank you.
He might be looking for Orion sleds. Summit County
Rescue Group uses a snowmobile version.
They make wheeled ones as well.
Thanks, contributors. Ab.
||In regard to MR in TS looking for information on rescue litters:
I am sure someone could adapt one of these
The NPS uses a “wheeled litter” they mention it on occasion. Found this:
||Wilderness rescue equipment
I’m trying to find a source for a towable
(behind an ATV or Gator) rescue litter for use on back country
trails. I’ve seen two wheeled versions, some with a seat on the back for an
aid giver and an IV pole,
but can’t find anything online….
Can you point me in the direction of a possible source please?
||Photos needed of fire viewed from the air as if from a lookout or air
Ab and wildland firefighter community,
Thank you for not only sending photos and information to us but also
replying so quickly! It is really nice to receive
other pictures of T-61 that we don't have.
We are not actually looking for photos of Tanker 61 but for an aerial
wildland fire photo to put into our display
cabinet with the firefinder just below it as part of our education to
the public regarding aerial and ground firefighting.
It needs to be a photo taken from the air of a wildland fire to simulate how
the firefinder is used in a lookout tower,
which is what the memorial building is. We need a 1 MB for the resolution to
be prime but can use a smaller one if
there is no such thing as 1 MB. Is there?
Please continue to forward us information at any opportunity. It has
taken 4 years to get this project off the ground
and we are planning a major fundraiser this fall with a rededication, as it
has been 20 years now.
There are high resolution photos taken from the air of fires burning
below. Readers? Ab.
||FYI: Goleta Air & Space Museum has two photos of Tanker 61 on its web
Douglas DC-6 and DC-7 Tankers
Thanks, Old Sawyer. Ab.
||WX Guy (professional) in socal has some interesting comments... Ab.
We are on the hunt for an aerial wildland fire photo that is 1MB for the
Tanker 61 Memorial in Klamath Falls, OR.
Any leads for this size?
Tanker 61 Memorial
Readers this is a high resolution photo about 1,000
K or larger of Tanker 61. We don't have one. T-61 crashed in 1992 on the ENF
before our time, killing Chuck Sheridan and Leonard Martin. Does anyone out
there have one? My experience is that even good photos for the mid 2000's
were not that large. If you have an any-sized photo of T-61, I'd be happy to
try to adjust it in Photoshop so it could be printable. Ab.
Always Remember Chuck and Leonard.
US forecasters say heat will stay on this summer
Associated Press - Thu, 17th May 2012 08:43 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) — And the heat goes on. Forecasters predict toasty
temperatures will stretch through the summer in the U.S. And that's a bad
sign for wildfires in the West. The forecast for June through August calls
for warmer-than-normal weather for about three-quarters of the nation, the
National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. The warmth is
expected south of a line stretching from middle New Jersey to southern
Idaho. Only tiny portions of northwestern U.S. and Alaska are predicted to
be cooler than average and that's only for June, not the rest of the summer.
Last May until April was the hottest 12-month period ...
||"Wildland Firefighter Heat Illness Awareness and
Nice job. Should be online in an hour and a half, about 4 or 4:15 PM
Heat Illness Awareness and Prevention from wildfire lessons
This Yosemite burn was planned to be done this week on the north side of
Wawona and East of the South Fork
of the Merced. The lower portion would have been just above 4000' elevation.
Things are drying out and this is
a south facing slope for the most part.
rx-fire-projects from NPS
NIOSH Report on Caleb Hamm's death is out.
Don't forget the “Wildland Firefighter Heat Illness Awareness and
Prevention” webinar, scheduled for tomorrow: Thursday May 17, 2012 at 1 pm
Pacific. This webinar will discuss the indicators of heat illnesses, the
physiology of heat illnesses for appropriate mitigations, and examples of
mitigations used successfully by IMT and IHC crews in extreme conditions. Go
www1.gotomeeting.com to register.
It will be available for viewing afterward at
Just a reminder to all for the Big Hill Helitack 50th Anniversary /
WFF Fundraiser is happening this weekend May 19th and
20th. The following events are as follows:
52 mile hike:
Starts May 19th at 8am at Camino Heights Drive. Ends just east of the
intersection near South Shingle Road and Mother Lode Dr at the railroad
tracks ends approximately 4-5 pm. The hike will start where it left off on
May 20th at that location at 7am, and end at Town Center in El Dorado Hills
between 2-3pm. Alumni interested in hiking a single day are welcome.
-Big Hill Gathering on May 20th @ Big Hill:
starts at 10am, ends at 2pm
-Reunion Dinner Benefit at Diamond Springs Firefighter Hall on May 20th:
Doors open at 5pm, ends at approximately 9pm
Please direct questions to Sean Cox at (530) 409-2363 or Rob Allan at (530)
To make a
donation to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. You can add a comment
Big Hill Helitack 50th Anniversary. Ab.
||The WLF staff is happy to introduce a new sponsor on the Hotlist Forums.
Manuel Villegas , the owner of Ambry Equipment, designed and is marketing
a new and improved hose deployment pack called the MVP Hosepack. Manny says
he realized there had to be a better system where a firefighter didn’t have
to bend over so other firefighters could pull hose from the pack and that
removing gloves to grab hose wasted time and compromised safety. He also
states the MVP Hosepack allows firefighters to fight fire faster and allows
many options for configurations, sizes, and amounts of hose.
You can find out more information on the MVP Hosepack including
instructional videos at:
||Sounds like ROSS and phones may be down in R3. ROSS was down last night.
Message one of our firefighters got is to use email. Ab.
Well atleast you weren't accused of being Secret Service haha. You're moving
up in the world.
Take care and be safe Casey.
||Re Diversity Hiring:
Diversity Checkpoint List comes from the Region (6), I did not edit in
any way, the red is there. I really
like check point #4 where it states the option of cancelling a cert if there
is not diversity on the cert, and
of course, a couple other ways to work the system like changing job series
||Historical photo of Schoolhouse Fire Camp 1966
I found your photo of
Schoolhouse Fire camp from 1966 in the
Equipment 11 photos. The descriptive text from that photo is:
School House Fire Camp, 1965 or '66: I ran in some slides
taken on the School House Fire on the LP in 1965/66 Cuyama RD (now part
of Mt. Pinos RD). Time Keepers were in long trailer on left and the
small trailer to the right of center was Plans. The copy machine was
carbon paper. No tents: the kitchen had a tarp over the stove and a
shower was what you got when you got home. Times have changed. Photo
compliments of jmck. (0808) My records for the Schoolhouse Fire
confirm it was in early July, 1966. I was a rookie on the Dalton crew
with only two weeks on the job. The Schoolhouse Fire was my first large
fire and I was on the fire for two days. I remember night shift, some
squirrely winds at a saddle, and backfiring with one gallon cans of
napalm with a pull fuse. BobW (0112)
We still own the property that they camped on in 1966. I would
enjoy any other photos of that fire or camp if available. I was 10 at the
time and my grandfather lived on the property while I lived 80 miles away.
We came out to see the sights for one day as I remember and I walked all
through camp amazed at how our sleepy little ranch had turned into such a
Thanks for the memories.
Jim, thanks for the year. jmck, do you have any other pictures? Ab.
Sad reminder of the Esperanza Tragedy:
This October will mark the 6th anniversary of the Esperanza Fire and the
stunning tragedy of the loss of life of five Forest Service firefighters.
Some may have felt a sense of justice prevail upon the conviction of Raymond
However the wildland firefighting community needs to be aware that at least
one individual has taken up the pathetic cause of accusing many, including
the FWFSA, Senators, judges, firefighters, sheriff etc., of participating in
a conspiracy to wrongly convict Mr. Oyler and alleges that all have perjured
themselves. He has suggested that he has evidence of how the fire actually
The FWFSA was first alerted to this issue a couple of years ago when I
received a letter from this individual claiming that he had proof Mr. Oyler
was innocent. The letter listed a number of judicial, legal and other groups
& individuals he claimed had conspired in the conviction of Mr. Oyler. I
didn't give it much credence until I saw the FWFSA listed on the 2nd page as
one of those who, according to this individual, was complicit in the
conspiracy. In fact the FWFSA and many, many others are called "architects
of conspiracy" by this individual.
I then made a serious mistake of judgement by responding to the individual
to let him know the FWFSA played no role in the legal process. Unfortunately
this led to the opening of the flood gates and letters with more and more
serious allegations started to arrive. It got to the point where this
individual suggested the FWFSA (in a more recent letter it is now the FBI)
had hacked his computer. The allegations and threats became far more
I tried to explain to the individual that his actions and allegations were
serious and that he could face legal action and be held liable for his
slander and libel. Obviously this has not deterred him.
I was contacted by the individual's son-in-law early last year who indicated
the man had recently lost his wife and was aged and that perhaps this issue
was his last gasp at doing something with his life. The FWFSA received at
least 4 additional letters between August 2011 and February 2012 which I
chose to simply save but not open.
Recently I was contacted by investigators from the California Highway Patrol
seeking my thoughts about the level of concern of the allegations/threats.
The CHP asked me to read the more recent letters to see if the text had
become more aggressive etc. They have.
This week I have been in touch with law enforcement officials,
representatives from Senator Feinstein's staff (she is also identified as a
"cover up specialist") law firms and others who have not only been targeted
by this individual but who have also received letters claiming the FWFSA did
this and that.
Sen. Feinstein's staff will be sharing these documents with the US Capitol
Police. It is sad to think that an elderly man feels compelled to make such
allegations yet throughout his many rants, fails to acknowledge the
realities that 5 brave firefighters lost their lives needlessly.
Perhaps I have been remiss in not sharing this information with our members
or the community until now but I had hoped this was a simple case of some
eccentric old man, lacking some of his sensibilities, ranting and raving and
thus hoping it would go away. It has not and unfortunately has escalated to
the point of this individual recklessly indicting this entire community as
well as law enforcement and anyone he can list on a piece of paper. To this
day I still am unclear as to how the FWFSA even got on his initial radar
Without a doubt investigations are either on-going or will commence and I
will ensure I provide accurate information without compromising those
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
Wow, hope everyone is careful, including you, Casey. Ab.
||R5 Fire Work Environment Update
Date: May 9, 2012
Subject: Fire Work Environment Update
To: All Region 5 Employees
As the field season draws near, I’d like to take this opportunity to provide
you an update on the progress of the Fire Work Environment group. As you’ll
recall, this effort began late in 2011 with a goal of identifying challenges
in the fire work environment in Region 5. By identifying and addressing
these issues brought forth by our employees, we can work toward ensuring an
inclusive workplace for all employees.
I’d like to extend my thanks to Deputy Director of Fire and Aviation
Management, Willie R. Thompson, and the team she has assembled to tackle
this important project. I know there were many long discussions undertaken
by this group to arrive at common thematic areas, specific issues within
these areas, and recommendations for myself and the rest of the regional
I have received the initial Executive Report and supporting materials from
Willie and the Fire Work Environment Planning Team. This report contains
your thoughts and insights as to how you view the conditions on the ground
and what opportunities may exist for positive changes to occur. It speaks to
the responsible attitude of our fire personnel that such a thorough list of
possible solutions accompanies this request. Over the next couple of weeks,
I’ll be reviewing the report in its entirety and having pertinent
discussions with my staff as well as USDA Deputy Director, Administration
I’d like to acknowledge that this report would not have been possible
without your candid input. Your suggestions and valuable insights will help
guide the transformation of our fire work culture and our overall regional
work environment. We will continue to provide you updates as these issues
are evaluated and a realistic course of action is taken.
If you have any questions regarding the Fire Work Environment Group and its
mission, you can contact Willie Thompson at __________ or ______________.
/s/ Randy Moore
||Re Diversity Hiring:
Is that an official R-6 form hiring form? Are the highlights in red added
by you or part
of the official form as you found it?
Anyone from NFFE in our forum have any thoughts on this form and how the
processes outlined in the Master Agreement are being implemented?
||retired CSRS ad's & Soc. Security
Can you provide any tips on how one
would go about getting Social Security credit for AD work?
They tax wages for federal income tax, but don't pull out SSI taxes and when
I called the national
SS hotline, they had no clue about how to pay back into the system to get
credit for quarters worked.
||Making the rounds:
Please join us for the “Wildland Firefighter Heat Illness Awareness and
Prevention” webinar, scheduled for Thursday May 17, 2012 at 1pm
Pacific. This webinar will discuss the indicators of heat illnesses, the
physiology of heat illnesses for appropriate mitigations, and examples of
mitigations used successfully by IMT and IHC crews in extreme conditions. Go
gotomeeting.com to register for
the webinar. If you have any questions let me know!
Brenna Macdowell wildland fire Lesson Learned Center
PS -The webinar will be recorded and available for viewing after at
||FS Employee View Point Survey:
I wrote to OPM and asked why there was
no spot for any additional comments at the end of the survey and this is
what I got back from them.
(Me) “Hello, I just finished taking the FEV Survey and wanted to put some
comments at the end of it, but there was not a place for it. I wanted to
comment on how the diversity questions were inspired. While the answer to
most of the questions were geared to make the employee to answer the
questions as the FS being very motivated to hire diverse candidates, I
believe this is not true. Most people feel the way the Forest Service is
trying to get diverse candidates hired is somewhat illegal.
Another comment I was going to make was that the lack of budgets in
Recreation, Wilderness, etc.. has really impacted Fire employees. We find
ourselves doing other departments work and charging the time on the job to
Fire Preparedness, Fire P#'s, or severity overtime codes. Most Fire
employees think that this is a mismanagement of funds. Just something for
(OPM) “Thank you for your desire to provide us with additional comments
about the subject and completing the survey. After this year’s survey
administration, we will compile all survey suggestion and make
recommendations for improvements in future administrations of the survey.”
All this blatant (reverse) discrimination is
overwhelming, I am so glad that I am already in, and actually able to step
out at any time, I just find it hard to watch an Agency that I have worked
for 30 plus years implode. I used to read They Said to snicker at all the BS
you R-5 folks went through in the past and are still going through. Well I
tell ya, the border between R-5 and R-6 leaks like a sieve, (just like the
Arizona/Mexico border), and all that stuff is here now! If you aren’t
diverse or a veteran, go ahead and apply but don’t think you’ll finish any
higher than second place. If a cert does not have adequate diversity, it is
cancelled and outreach/advertised again.
You R-5 folks are pretty good at law suits, I think I see one in the making.
Our front desk received a phone call yesterday from a potential mushroom
picker that demanded to speak to someone in Spanish, as it was his RIGHT!
Diversity check point list.
The cancelling and re-advertising is probably illegal. Ab.
||FS Employee View Point Survey:
I pulled this from FedSmith.com and I believe it was mentioned earlier here
on They Said. It's yet another tidbit about the
And by the way, I'm a full-time permanent employee and I have not received
it in my Outlook In-Box yet.
Perhaps we should take a poll to see how many people have or haven't
received the poll. No one else is doing it. We
could use a proactive advocate and this site is a great venue!
Are people comfortable with this? I would have hoped for some sort of a
statement from the union.
Call me: None of Your Business
||The Fire Line Officers Team announces awards for Line Officers.
Date: April 30, 2012
Subject: 2011 Fire Line Officers Team Award Recipients
To: Regional Foresters, Station Directors, Area Director, IITF Director and
It is with great pleasure, the Fire Line Officer Team (LOT) announces the
recipients of the 15th Annual Fire Leadership Award Program. These national
awards recognize Forest Service line officers who made a difference through
their commitment to fire management principles in 2011. We had an excellent
response across the Nation, with 13 nominations for the four categories of
Fire Leadership Awards. The following line officers are recognized:
Excellence in Line Officer Commitment to Firefighter & Public Safety
· Jim Upchurch – Forest Supervisor, Coronado National Forest, R3
Excellence in Line Officer Commitment to Restoration of Fire Adapted
· Jim Zornes – Forest Supervisor, Apache-Sitgraves National Forest, R3
Excellence in Line Officer Commitment to Building a Workforce for the Future
· Kevin Martin – Forest Supervisor, Umitilla National Forest, R6
· Line Officers, Unita-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, R4 (Brian Ferebee,
Cheryl Probst, Jennifer Parker, Rick Schuler, Robin Redman, Cathy Kahlow,
Sylvia Clark, and George Garcia) (Group).
Excellence in Line Officer Commitment to Partnership Efforts in Fire
· Chuck Oliver – District Ranger, Darby Ranger District, Bitterroot National
Forest, R1 (Individual)
We congratulate the recipients for their contribution to fire management
principles these awards represent. We had many outstanding nominees for this
year’s program and the selection process was difficult. Awards will be
processed and sent to you for distribution in the next several weeks. We
hope you continue to encourage your people to nominate line officers
deserving of recognition for the leadership they provide to our agency and
the public we serve.
/s/ James E. Hubbard
JAMES E. HUBBARD
Deputy Chief, State and Private Forestry
cc: pdl wo spf fam regional directors, pdl wo lot
||Firefighter Pay in Florida:
A colleague of mine posted this news link on Facebook, I would like to
share it with the community here.
I know the situation is not unique to just Florida, but I would like to
get the message out.
||FS Employee View Point Survey
Like I posted some time ago "9 out of 10
dentist surveyed said" the gum company wrote the survey, as the Government
this one, in addition, read the sign in message on all Gov computers, then
tell me how what I express will be confidential. I never
liked the taste of Dentyne, Bazooka Joe is where it's at.
||FS Employee View Point Survey
Regarding the survey does anyone think its odd that no 13/13 or 18/8
employees will be getting the chance to fill
out this survey? Just some quick figuring shows what over half of the USFS
fire org will not get the chance to fill it
out. By this happening I think the survey results will be very unrealistic.
Any others thoughts out there?
||Re Roddy Baumann's passing:
I am so sorry to hear of Roddy Baumann's
passing. I worked for him in 1980 as a young and ambitious patrolman on
the Redfeather District of the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest in northern
Colorado. He was a fairly new FMO
with lots of ideas and a very motivating supervisor. I had a few seasons in
southern California and thought I knew
everything. He gave me a few slices of humble pie and I was a better person
and firefighter for it. After not hearing
from him for decades I ran into him on the Ranch Fire on the Angeles in
2007. He was there as a Strike Team Leader
for several FWS crews I think. We had a very nice reunion. Rest in peace
||Ab & All,
The Wildland Firefighter Foundation needs your HELP....
We have several of our fallen firefighter family members who want to
Family Day 2012, but they can't afford to travel here.
We have a few firefighters who have donated awards for motels, but we
use a lot more. Mostly we need airline awards or miles donated, to
help families make their journeys here.
Family Day is May 18, 19 and 20 here in Boise, so time is short.
If you can help please call 208-336-2996 or email us at
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
||An email from the Chief of the Forest Service:
When I meet with employees and review our performance, I am always
impressed with the tremendous dedication I see, and with the great
amount of work we accomplish. Because of the hard work of you and our
partners, the Forest Service provides essential and sustained benefits
to this Nation and the world in countless ways.
We recently published a report to shine a spotlight on some of this
great work, to share with the public how much we have been able to
accomplish in restoring the resilience of our forests, and how we expect
to build on that in the future. The report, “Increasing the Pace of
Restoration and Job Creation on Our National Forests,” cites the many
benefits our work provides for the environment and for communities. Our
restoration work included over 3.7 million acres of treatments in 2011,
and we are projected to increase the pace to 4 million acres in 2012.
In light of our funding situation, one of the questions I get is whether
leadership is asking employees to work harder and to do more with less.
WE ARE NOT ASKING THAT, AND WE WILL NOT. Rather, we are improving
processes and systems to stretch funding to accomplish more, to put more
money into projects and less into documentation and process. By
improving our collaboration with partners and communities, we expect to
build consensus, allowing the work to get moving and more quickly
produce results that people value.
Folks in the lab and on the ground are finding new ways to assess needs,
work with partners and seize opportunities to improve forest and
rangeland resilience across all lands. A modernized forest planning
rule, streamlined NEPA procedures approved by CEQ, and a pre-decisional
administrative objections rule are a few tools we are developing to
empower our workforce to carry out the tremendous mission that has been
entrusted to us. With your commitment, I know we will excel.
We have the responsibility and a well-deserved reputation for developing
better delivery systems and expanding capacity through partnerships. We
also have the responsibility to make sure that expectations match
resources. When appropriations are reduced for parts of our mission,
production and service will also be reduced. I know this is not easy,
especially with our publics requesting more of us. It is essential that
we focus on our priority work. By doing this, I am confident we will
continue to deliver the highest level of service and stewardship
possible with available resources.
A safe outcome is a critical piece of our successful work. We will not
sacrifice safety for production. If it cannot be done safely, we do not
Thank you for all you do.
||EMS changes for emergency medical providers:
Recently I have had a number of inquiries from all levels of EMS providers
as well as management levels within both Federal and state wildland fire
programs into some of the changes taking place in regards to Emergency
Medical Providers at all licensure and certification levels. I believe this
is an important piece of information for all wildland firefighters, safety
officers, and other agency personnel involved in any EMS component within
This has included name changes, scope of practice material, and the biggest
question of all, why these changes and why now.
Next to this is a specific highlighted statement from the article itself
which, I feel, may help people find we are stepping in the right direction.
"Supporting the Profession
It’s anticipated that National EMS Certification will standardize
testing across the country and optimize EMS opportunities for career
mobility. It will help ensure entry-level competency, lessen the burden
of interstate reciprocity and eliminate legal barriers to EMS
practitioners crossing state lines, which has been a source of
frustration for providers in these areas for years."
I thought I might include the article "EMS Education Agenda" from the
September 2011 edition of Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS)
It provides an excellent overview of what is happening or about to happen
depending on your state EMS office's current transition timeline.
FINAL NOTE: I have received permission from my medical director to count
this article as .5 hours of CE towards my re-licensure for state and .5
hours for NREMT under the EMS operations and general category.
If you have any questions or comments, I am always here to help.
||Pyro-terrorism & other long-term issue tidbits:
With the recent concerns raised about the use of wildfires as a terrorist
activity, I wanted to let folks know that in 2004/2005 a U.S. Marine Major,
Robert Baird, submitted a paper entitled: FUTURE WAR
PAPER-TITLE: PYRO-TERRORISM-THE THREAT OF ARSON INDUCED FOREST FIRES AS A
FUTURE TERRORIST WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION which he submitted in
partial fulfillment of the requirements for his Masters degree. So the issue
certainly isn't new and the paper makes very interesting reading.
Re: Classification, diversity and primary/secondary positions
With an increased discussion over the USDA's renewed efforts regarding
diversity over the past year, I also wanted to remind the younger folks that
as far back as September 1991, a Forest Service memo to the Chief with the
subject Hispanic Resolution Item 50 Update- Wildland Firefighter Series
stated that in April 1991, representatives from the Forest Service' region 5
participated in a task group to address issues that were raised at the
Aviation & Fire Workforce Diversity Conference in Denver, 1989.
The group was charged with the task of recommending solutions pertaining to
the development of a wildland firefighter series.
Six alternatives were reviewed by the group including:
1) Establish a new wildland firefighter series
2) Fully utilize the existing series 401, 301, 025 & 081
3) Modification of x-118 standards for the 400, 460, and 462 series
4) Stay with the existing 462
5) Contract fire protection in the Urban Interface
6) Creation of a California Fire Service
The alternatives were ranked with the following criteria (no particular
1) Recruit & retain
2) Career Path
4) Recognition (self-esteem)
5) Standards, knowledge, Skills and Abilities
The recommendation... drum roll please: "The establishment of a wildland
firefighter series was viewed in the long-term as having the most potential
to best address and resolve the aforementioned concerns in the criteria
21 years later the Agency is still putzing around this issue. In 2006 the
FWFSA secured passage of the OPM amended (very important fact) Federal
Wildland Firefighter Classification Act in Congress only to have it
literally lost on the way to the Senate floor for certain passage.
Recently FS Chief Tidwell has acknowledged a wildland firefighter series as
a "long term" goal and others have suggested it would require "heavy
lifting." Nonsense. All of you have already endured the "long-term" part of
the goal...some of you in diapers when the issue was first raised or others
not even born.
This issue does not require legislation. The Agencies and OPM could fix this
administratively virtually overnight and it is a travesty that they have
paid so little attention to the one issue that could positively impact
recruitment & retention & even diversity more so than any other proposal.
Finally primary/secondary firefighter positions:
Periodically I like to remind the federal wildland firefighting community
that again, in 1991, in a decision issued by the Federal Circuit Court of
Appeals, Felzien v. Office of Personnel Management (Fed. Cir. 4-17-91)
the Court constructively redefined "primary firefighter" to include those
employees who only maintain or use firefighting equipment in a support role.
At the time, this was a significant departure from the rather limited
definition of firefighter OPM had been applying to determine which employees
were eligible for firefighter retirement.
Bottom line... OPM will not knock on your door and say "guess what, you are
eligible for firefighter retirement." Additionally, I can't think of any
instances in which any of the land management agencies have volunteered such
information. Even if you remotely think you are eligible, pursue it.
For those of you in the bargaining unit, I would contact your union
representative (NFFE) for additional information. I also have a copy of a
Union article about the case I can send out if necessary.
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
BLM topo map of the Canyon Inn 1968 burnover site.
The little red dot
below the heel of the ANF boundary is the burnover site, outside of the ANF.
Thanks, RJM, it was added to the Always Remember page. Ab.
||The site where the FF's were lost was outside the ANF. However, it was
within 1/2 mile of the forest in a mutual aid zone.
There was video footage of the incident taken by a local news helicopter
which I saw a number of years ago while attending a CDF (now CALFIRE) class.
If any one knows a source for this video I would like to get a copy to show
students in the Rio Hondo Wildland Fire Academy as that area is within the
IA zone for the Roadrunners fire crew.
I'm wondering if your southern California readership can help me out with a geography question.
Was the sector of the 1968 Canyon Fire where the 8 LA County firefighters were overrun within the
boundaries of the Angeles National Forest?
Thanks very much for your help.
Leduc County, Alberta
Hi Marty, I'm fairly certain it was not. Readers
from socal who know the location and/or the report, what do you say? Ab.
Always Remember the LAC Canyon Fire teenagers, 1968.
It makes sense to have them all in one web location. Not just fire
outreaches either, having all Forest
Service outreaches in one location would help out our veterans and other
externals looking for a job.
So Cal Ridges
To; NFFE Regional or National Representatives
NFFE can you offer some assistance. Regarding Article 16, Section 2c, was it
your intent to have a single location where all outreach notices for
bargaining unit positions are to be posted? If not, what benefit is
outreaching if the outreach can occur at multiple Forest Service websites?
This doesn't change a thing from previous Master Agreements.
If it was the intention of those who negotiated the 2010 Master Agreement
for a "single" location, can you help get this back on track? In this
difficult job market and a reduction in the number of available positions,
wouldn't the smart thing to do is have a single location where interested
candidates can search for available positions? Or do we want each unit
posting position where ever they like? If so, why even bargain this since
the end result is nothing new.
As directed by the Dep Chief, all bargaining positions are being posted
NFFE, What say YOU?
Highway 2 Protector
||Interagency Incident Management Team website links are updated as much
as possible; asterisks indicate 2011 info and they'll be updated as new
information permits. Links to these are located on our
page under Federal. Teams are still categorized as Type I and Type II
and have their own categories of rotation schedule.
Teams & NIMO Teams
http://www.imtcenter.net/main/default.aspx Any chance CAL FIRE Teams
will all have websites at some time? The ones that exist are nice.
||Dangers of electrical lines:
Always Remember what these firefighters
1975 July/Aug, George (Art) Norton
Hotlist thread: Skee, CDFTIM. Old-and-Gray and the other CDF elder;
incident not entered yet)
Art was a Fire Captain for CDF out of either King City or Bradley Station,
Monterey Co. He stepped on a live powerline during a grass fire in the area
of San Lucas. It was the summer of '75, probably July or August. This
accident began the policy of CDF dispatch announcing "power lines down" and
requiring an acknowledgement from all responding units.
CDFTIM adds: This is from my dad who was on duty with the cat and got
canceled at scene. It was only a few acre grass fire just East of Hwy 101
and San Ardo exit. Art was walking thru the smoke and stepped on the
powerline that was backfeeding from the transformer. As someone mentioned
previously, this fatality brought forth the required announcement over the
radio if powerlines are involved. Dad is unaware of any formal investigation
sheets published within the department.
1999 06/23 CA Matthew Black
2007 09/24 KS Bryon Johnson
||Here's another resource on dangers of electrical lines:
discusses the dangers of wildland firefighting near power lines:
Training video produced by the Salt River
Project (SRP) with help from USDA FS, Coconino National Forest. (18 min)
||Making the rounds:
Subject: Responding Safely to Electrical
Take a look at the attached YouTube video from the Secret List. Although
this happened in a city environment, our friends from Southern California
Edison remind us that Wildland fire fighters can encounter this type of
incident in the Interface. Troy Whitman from SCE presented the First
Responder Safety Awareness program at the Interagency Wildland Fire Safety
Officers Workshop this year and it was well received. SCE has an excellent
DVD program that provides Safety Awareness to first responders. To request a
copy for your unit see the information at the bottom of this message. This
is a must see training package for all emergency responders.
Southern California Edison Safety Awareness Guide
To request a free Safety Awareness Guide, email the following
information to karli.massey@ nospam sce.com:
The safety guide will help first responders identify hazardous
situations, assess the related dangers and make informed decisions so
they can do their jobs safely and effectively. This safety guide is not
a substitute for a thorough course of professional training, however.
This comprehensive guide was produced in cooperation with several law
enforcement and fire agencies. First responder agencies should already
have established policies regarding specific actions in emergency
situations. Please consult your agency for policy details. SCE will,
however, help first responder agencies establish safety guidelines and
policies related to electrical hazards.
This award winning program is available free to any law enforcement,
fire and EMT agency and organization serving SCE customers and/or
operating within or near the Edison service area.
Fire Ops Risk Management, FS
CAL FIRE Green Sheet:
Electrical Shock -- Downed Power Lines 9/25/10
(216 K pdf)
||Dear Federal Wildland Firefighters,
Thank you for attending our webinar today. Our goal was to inform you -
within a very manageable time frame - of your potential liability exposures
and the protections provided by a FEDS PLI policy.
If you would like to view and/or share the taped webinar, please just click
or forward the link below:
Wildland Firefighters Professional Liability Webinar
Enrollment takes just a few minutes and payroll deduction is available.
There are 3 ways to get FEDS PLI protection today.
· Enroll on-line at
· Enroll by mail using
this enrollment form.
· Enroll by phone at 866.955.FEDS.
Comments and feedback are always welcome and appreciated. If you have
additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Thanks and best regards,
FEDS Webinar Coordinator
||Thanks for the Webinar, Tony and other FEDS folks.
Interesting harsh history of legal changes resulting from 30-mile and
Cramer. Interesting point that IGs and LEOs are criminal investigators
first... Good to know when not to speak without consulting your
lawyer... that you want an Agency interview or any interview to be compelled
so it can't be used against you later... Hard to know or remember what to do
if you don't have a lawyer to consult with immediately.
Federal Wildland Firefighters, this kind of legal support -- Professional
Liability Insurance -- is your safety net in terms of Criminal, Civil
and Agency Administrative investigations. Many people who email me asking
for help after the fact figure out that you can be financially and
emotionally screwed even if you did nothing wrong or outside the scope of
your job and are ultimately vindicated..
Tony did not address managerial exposures. Managers, you should
understand you have additional exposures. Watch this webinar that includes
discussion for you:
Professional Liability Insurance for Fed Employees
Please take time to sign up for Professional Liability Insurance with
FEDS, then keep Tony's phone number handy in case the undeserved and
The webinar should be out on youtube sometime soon. I'll let you know.
PS, several questions I've been asked is about FEDS PLI coverage for two
different groups. I got these replies from FEDS:
1) for former feds that now work as ADs on incidents or teams?
Individuals who are hired under the Pay Plan for Emergency Workers (AD
Pay Plan) are considered "federal employees" for purposes of eligibility for
benefits with FEDS PLI. Eligibility for benefits under FEDS, however, is
limited to those instances when he/she is performing a federal function
under the direction and control of a federal agency (i.e. within the scope
of federal employment and are an employee under 5 U.S.C. 2105(a)). When
signing up on line at
www.fedsprotection.com simply select "AD Pay Plan"
when asked to identify the employing federal agency.
2) for fire dispatchers?
With regards to a dispatcher's exposure, especially if there is an
injury, death or other tragedy - every act, error or omission - intentional
or unintentional - will be scrutinized. If this leads to an investigation,
disciplinary action, or civil suit without DOJ representation, the FEDS
provides an attorney experienced in these types of matters AND the policy
will indemnify up to the $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 limit in the event the
dispatcher is sued and held liable for the judgment.
||Reminder: there's a FEDS Professional Liability Insurance Webinar
Today, Friday, May 4
9 AM west coast time | Noon east coast time |
Coming up within the hour...
Registration at the link below.
Remember to sign up for
Professional Liability Insurance. Protect yourselves.
||Making the rounds...
Subject: MEDIA ISSUE--Wildfire terrorism
The WO informed us that Staff in R1 and R3 received queries today regarding
a recent Al Qaeda publication that encourages the setting of wildfires:
We have been instructed by the WO that Forests can use the below statement
only in response to queries on this issue:
USDA, including the U.S. Forest Service, works closely
with its partners within the intelligence community including both the
Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice on any
terrorist threats, including threats of this nature.
The below supporting points are also approved for use on background:
- The Forest Service and its interagency partners are prepared to
fight wildfires, regardless of cause. Firefighter and public safety are
the highest priorities on all wildland fires.
- Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations works closely with
law enforcement agencies at all levels of government.
- Most wildfires are human-caused. The Forest Service and its
interagency partners in the wildland urban interface respond
aggressively to all human-caused fires, including arson.
- The Forest Service has one objective for all human-caused wildfires
on National Forest System lands: full suppression.
- The management of risk guides all decisions in the management of
Please ensure you provide a head’s up to R-5 PAC,
John Heil, if you receive a media inquiry on this subject. We would also
like to know of ANY inquiry (non-media as well) on this issue, so that we
can advise the WO.
Director, Public Affairs & Communications
Pacific Southwest Region, R-5
U.S. Forest Service
Good job keeping all in line! Sherry, thanks for joining us every
morning. I hope you and Joe enjoy your coffee with theysaid. Ab.
Yeah, I agree pretty much with 100% of what you said. I answered the
diversity questions with the middle bubble…
No opinion or not applicable. Whatever that option was.
First of all only two of 9 people in our fire shop (permanent employees who
meet the requirements for being given the survey) have received the survey.
That includes some PFTs.
Aside from that, your first point related to Cultural Diversity seemed askew
to me as well. And in discussing this with others (who have actually
received the survey), we all agreed that because of the illegal nature of
hiring and the push that management has initiated to get it done (and boy do
we all wish there was a similar push to create an efficient and effective
ASC type of department!), that one cancels the other. So we all chose to say
that management was NOT motivated about hiring diverse candidates. Leaving
out the word qualified meant to us that they were motivated to do something
incorrectly. Not taking into consideration LOCAL diversity and applying that
to local hiring meant that management was NOT completely motivated.
We really felt that if management was really and truly motivated, they would
have performed this task properly and to its fullest extent AND followed the
They are not and therefore we chose to say that management is NOT motivated.
I would encourage everyone to network and discuss this survey. That is a
very unfair question because it is forcing us to answer with few/limited
choices. For those of you that have had statistics as they relate to surveys
know, this is a sign of an inaccurate survey. And in the world of
statistics, inaccurate = BAD.
PLEASE don't rush this, a lot depends on it.
On the topic of what do to if you haven't received it yet... Does anyone
So, Quick Connect, and everyone else out there who has received and taken
the survey... How did you feel about the sexual orientation question? And
keeping in mind that these surveys are individualized, are you comfortable
with providing this information? Do you understand why they "need" to know
it? And yes, I realize that the question was optional, but... well... I'm
not sure what to say at this point.
I will bet good money that this survey will not help our cause one bit.
Sign me: Skeptical
||Hotlist post from norcal on Fire Terror threats:
similar message from the Ab account:
Just saw this on-line Al Qaeda just released, ( I think last eve)
Direction as to how terrorists can attack US in Other ways Including
wildfires. The report even says that there are detailed directions as to how
to read weather etc. for best possible ignition. So is Al Qaeda now putting
on S-234? Crazy stuff, guess their going back to the playbooks from WWII
Your readership might be interested to know that the sixth edition of the
book Wilderness Medicine has recently been
published. It includes a chapter on “Wildland Fires: Dangers and Survival”
co-authored with Bob Mutch, Kathy Davis
and Colin Bucks.
For additional information visit the following links:www.us.elsevierhealth.com/.
Leduc County, Alberta
Thanks, Marty. If you want it and order from Amazon, it helps support this
||RT 130 classes and locations
Ab said ...
- They learn how to write and think logically if they haven't
already mastered that; they read widely and are exposed to the new ideas
and cultures present in our complex world.
- College degrees are or will soon become required for the
profession of federal and state wildland firefighting.
Ab is right on point. My attitude was only to to give creditability to
folks who have given time like me by hiking the hills with a crew season in,
and season out. As i get older and wiser, my attitude has changed, and time
spent on the fire line accompanied with an education is where I need to be.
I will always cherish the days I spent on crews. But the time came, as it
will in most hotshots' careers, that it is time to help make decisions, and
take action on all of those ideas that have been sparked in those many many
miles put on those power hikes, or even longer drives to god only knows
But pulling a trigger, stacking sticks, dragging a torch, or swinging that
tool did not prepare me to think or write logically. Now when I'm trying to
argue a point I can't get by in an ID team meeting with oligists or line
officers by just saying I'm right because I am. I need to create a logical
argument, and present a case usually written and then presented orally. One
program that has been around for over 20 years is Technical Fire Management
(TFM). The focus is to teach current permanent Federal Firefighters how to
do just exactly that - along with getting 24 upper level credits. The
brochure is out now for the next session!
TFM 28 Fire Brochure
Student of Fire/Leadership
||I think the USFS is fooling itself once again to think they are going to
recruit or retain women and minorities for the long term.
First of all leadership doesnt have the will for it and are only trying to
get out or stay out of trouble ! Secondly, they cant even
mentor and train the women and minorities they do have, Im not alluding to
the expectation of any special treatment... however,
the opportunity to be properly trained and mentored shouldnt be too much to
ask ! but instead....women and minorities are
hired then just get put in a corner like a potted plant so management can
say "see, we're hiring women and minorities"..... it's a
pathetic joke and all the while the women and minorities are choking off at
the roots while the favorite golden boys and girls
who screw up so big that they should be FIRED ! get promoted and get all the
opportunity no matter what Knowledge. skills
and abilities other people have...... ask yourself next time you're in
california how many hispanic or native american or black
firefighters you see and how long the recruiting of certain groups have been
hired ..... then ask yourself how come they only
seem to reflect the ground pounders and hose draggers and why the
Supervisors office / Ivory Tower don't have some of these
groups employed ? it's because they have no one up at the top to give a
helping hand ! and the few minorities that have made
it in the GOOD OL BOY CLUB are merely trying to navigate the rest of their
career without becoming a target or labeled
incompetent or a trouble maker ! end of Rant...............
JUST TRYING TO GET BY WITHOUT SHOVING !
||I have taken a few of these surveys over my 11 year career with the
Forest Service and this time I was
really looking forward to adding some personal comments at the end of the
FEVS. However, for some
reason, there was no additional space for such comments. So, I will add them
1. For those of you who took it, let me know if I’m off base here. The
questions about Cultural Diversity
seemed askew to me. The questions were wanting you to say that Management
was very motivated about
hiring diverse candidates. This is true, but in my opinion, they are so
motivated to hire diverse candidates,
they may be going about it illegally.
2. I really wanted to comment on the narrowing budgets in the Recreation
area and others. This is really
impacting our fire shop as well as others on our Forest. I’m not really sure
what to call it, but where we
work, all duties outside of Fire, that Fire employees do is called unfunded
work. We fill out a sheet with
the time spent on the project. This is done on Fire Preparedness dollars.
Heck we even did Rec duties
on an overtime day that we were charging to a P#.
I realize that work still needs to get done and we don’t really mind helping
out other areas that we work
with. But, at what point does the mismanagement of funds stop?
Thanks for reading
value of colleges and universities:
Ref your last clause. Since you opened the new topic of value of
college and university education, here's what I know...
- People with college degrees are more likely to get a job and make
substantially more over their lifetime than
people without, like $200,000 more.
- They learn how to write and think logically if they haven't
already mastered that; they read widely and are
exposed to the new ideas and cultures present in our complex world.
- College degrees are or will soon become required for the
profession of federal and state wildland firefighting. Without a degree you will only be able to go so far, and no
further, if you want to be part of the federal or state
firefighting force and advance.
Readers, especially young firefighters:
If you're seasonal, fill up your wintertime after fire season with
education. Taking lower division courses in a community college is the least
expensive way to go, then you could shift to state university which is
cheaper than private. You want to have job options in your life. You want
your children to have options. College is the old high school minimum
requirement for a good job, given the complexities of our modern-day world.
Work smarter. Plan to! Ab.
MJ has an interesting post, Civil Rights Staff, National Census Data,
Civilian Labor Force, Collateral Duty Fire Recruiter Course, R5 Civil Rights
Website, Outreach, Recruiting, Forest FCRO, ad nauseam.
"For example, the
Census may say that Fresno has a large Hmong population. But, CLF data for
Fresno might show that even though there is a large Hmong population there,
there are very few Hmong folks in the local civilian labor force, for
whatever reasons, So, the Hmong folks might not show as underrepresented
My guess is that the Hmong population is not working in the local labor
force, however wouldn't it make a great diverse employee to hire someone for
your engine crew that does not work?
All of this has become ridiculous, the Federal State and Local Governments
are broke, there is no more money to spend on all of this foolishness.
Wildland firefighting is not that complicated but it does take dedicated
people to work together as a team to accomplish the mission, not a bunch of
political correct jibberish to satisfy the social engineers that our
colleges and universities churn out.
||Western Communications Working Group Call:
First, thanks to the
communications work group and many others for these efforts. For others this
how we are implementing our program of work in the West. These will also be
posted @ the Western website
This is outstanding work and thanks again to all who have contributed to our
efforts. Please pay particular attention
to the immediate success stories.
The next milestones are the May 10-11 meeting for the Strategic Group to
begin development of alternatives to
implement the CS in the West…
All the attachments are posted at the Western website, so I'm not
attaching them here. Nice work.
||Would you know where can I take RT-130 Refresher here in Bay Area or
anywhere close to my area. Please help.
Readers, Anyone know? Ab.
||Link to description of Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey: Employees
Intended Audience: All FS Employees
May 1, 2012
Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey: Best Places to Work in the Federal
What you need to know
The Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey is provided by the Office of Personnel
Management. This survey produces the rankings for the Best Places to Work in
the Federal Government. Your feedback about the workplace is essential to
understand how we are doing and where we need to focus efforts for
improvement. Survey responses are voluntary and strictly confidential.
What to expect
Most permanent employees who were on board as of October 31, 2011, will be
able to participate in the survey and share opinions and concerns about the
Forest Service workplace.
Participants should receive an email with a link to their personal survey
from OPM by May 2. Participants have 6 weeks to complete the survey, and it
will take only 20 to 30 minutes to complete. (OPM will send weekly email
reminders to each participant until the survey is completed). You can find
the OPM Director’s announcement about the 2012 survey at:
Ab note: At he start of the survey / FS is under NRE not FS
Click on NRE, and the survey will ask “Within Natural Resources and
Environment (NRE), where do you work?”
Forest Service (FS)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
Thanks for visiting our forum, it's not a blog. I would ask you to take a
moment and read this information from OA.
This forum answers more questions and dispels more rumors than any other
website visited by Wildland Firefighters.
This forum offers me more information on official Forest Service decisions
than I would ever get from my email or
any Line Officer.
This site allows to me to learn about the dynamics of my profession more
than anything I will find in aglearn, my email
or in the hallways of my District Office.
This site, our forum, allows for communications to occur, honest
communication, allows for people to ask questions,
learn, grow and be involved, just like OA wanted.
At this site I learn about Wildfires sometimes 10-15 minutes before my
dispatch office does. I know, I have set my
watch to see how long it will take to get a response out.
At the sister site of our forum, I can learn more about the specifics of
Wildland Firefighter fatalities than any official
government website. Because of this site, our fallen will never be
With that said, I look forward to taking your class and thank you for
visiting our forum.
||Disgruntled in Idaho,
Good post. I hear what you're saying and I think there is always a chance
E-Recruit could be a mess, however I do
want to believe that it will improve. I'll take that bet, hang on to the
cash for a rainy day, but the growlers sound good
about right now, you're on.
I'll tell you that the new AVUE (dejuvue?), or whatever it's called, is a
complete mess. I know this because I have
seen it and I've had ASC Case Managers tell me it's a mess. They are as
embarrassed as we are with our on-line
application program. I strongly doubt that applications will mysteriously
disappear at a rate like they are in this new
version of AVUE.
In any event, cheers, see ya in 15.
||U.S. Forest Service – Media Advisory
Black Hills National Forest ● Public Affairs Office ● 1019 N. 5th Street
Custer, SD 57730 ● Voice (605) 673-9200 ● Web:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Craig Bobzien, Forest Supervisor at (605) 673-9200
U.S. Forest Service Releases Coal Canyon Investigation Report
Custer, SD –(May 1, 2012) The U.S. Forest Service has released the Coal
Canyon Fire Serious Accident Investigation Reports. These reports address
the accident which occurred on August 11, 2011, when Trampus Haskvitz, an
employee of the South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire Suppression, died
while responding to a fire in Coal Canyon on the Black Hills National Forest
in South Dakota.
“This was a tragic accident and our hearts go out to the Haskvitz family,
his friends and his colleagues, said Black Hills forest supervisor, Craig
Bobzien. “Our intent in releasing this report is for all of us to learn from
this incident and help prevent accidents of this kind in the future.”
After the accident, a national Serious Accident Investigation (SAI) Team was
dispatched to investigate the accident. The team consisted of employees from
the U.S. Forest Service, State of South Dakota, and State of Colorado. They
worked to identify conditions and events leading to the entrapment, in an
effort to help the greater wildland fire community learn from this incident
and help prevent another in the future.
“South Dakota is blessed to have a top-notch fire organization. As the
report notes, the actions of the firefighters involved were ‘manifestly
heroic, demonstrating the best of wildland fire professionalism.’ Protecting
our citizens from wildfire is dangerous and demanding, and I thank all the
brave men and women who put themselves in harm's way. Trampus Haskvitz lost
his life protecting the lives of others, and he will not be soon forgotten,"
said South Dakota governor, Dennis Daugaard.
A U.S. Forest Service Accident Review Board (ARB) reviewed SAI team reports
and developed a Safety Action Plan (SAP) that focuses on key items to reduce
the likelihood of serious accidents in the future. The Chief of the U.S.
Forest Service approved the ARB’s recommendations.
The Coal Canyon Fire Serious Accident Investigation Reports and the Safety
Action Plan are available
Our thoughts and prayers for Trampus' family, friends, co-workers, all
involved with this sad accident. Ab.
Always Remember Trampus Haskvitz
"I believe that using National statistics gives a very misleading
target to obtain for the FS. Just looking at the tables, charts, and
maps at the 2010 Census website demonstrates that the races and ethnic
groups are not equitability distributed throughout the country."
Civil Rights Staff do not use National Census data and have not for many
years, but have access to very detailed Civilian Labor Force (CLF) data. CLF
data is much more than generic National census data. CLF is figured out by
Forest, County, and in some places, CITY data. And it's much more that just
how many members of each race live there. It's comprised of what groups are
there, how many are in the actual labor force, (By age and classification,
number of babies, inmates, hospital patients, elderly, etc). for a given
For example, the Census may say that Fresno has a large Hmong population.
But, CLF data for Fresno might show that even though there is a large Hmong
population there, there are very few Hmong folks in the local civilian labor
force, for whatever reasons, So, the Hmong folks might not be shown as
underrepresented there. And the local Forests could see this info, and use
it. So, generic National or State figures are NOT what is used. You can see
your local CLF charts on the R5 Civil Rights website. I recommend you look
at the R5 Civil Rights website, which has CLF data for every Forest in R5,
separately. It has tons of links to MOUs programs, policies, partners, etc.
Civil Rights and Fire Training in R5 have gotten together and come up with a
new Collateral Duty Fire Recruiter course. This course started alpha testing
at Danny Rhynes last month, and is coming to Redding next. In this class,
you are taught how to find your local data, how to determine what your local
needs are, how to build networks to help you fill positions with folks that
have the skillsets you need, but still reach the underrepresented groups in
your areas. This will help folks learn to distinguish the fact from the
fiction about Outreach, Recruiting, and Hiring in R5. I highly recommend
folks take this class, to help spread the truth, and squelch rumors.
I don't work in CR. I work in Fire and have for over 30 years. I just pay
attention to what is actually going on, and ignore the rumors. Educate
yourselves on what really goes on, don't listen to blogs or hearsay. Ask
your Forest FCRO, or check out the R5 site.... you might be surprised.
I am one of the first female wild land firefighters for CDF and I have
written my memoir of my experience. I'm writing
to ask if its possible that you include it in your fire books! All proceeds
of my book will go to the
Thank you so much for your consideration!
Fire Girl by Jan Mendoza (on Amazon)
Of course. Thanks, Jan. Can't wait to read it. I added it to the
Books page along with several new fire book listings. Readers, if you've
read any of the books without reviews, please send in a brief review with
the book title in the subject line. Thanks, Ab.
||Historical: US Forest Service Fire Fighting Style in 1916 for District 5
Making the rounds, from the Ab account:
Attached is a 57 page PDF document written by Roy Headley in 1916 as a
Fire Suppression Manual for the District 5 (CA) for the US Forest Service
and reproduced by Jeffrey P. Prestemon:
Headley, Roy. 1916. Fire Suppression, Dist 5. USFS. 57 pages. (556 K pdf)
This fire suppression manual for District 5 (California) of the United
States Forest Service, written by Forest Service employee Roy Headley, is a
reproduction. The only known remaining original of this manual is available
in a library at the University of California, Berkeley.
Ideas advanced in the section Suppression Financial Policy, pages 19-21,
have served as part of the foundation of economic theory of wildfire
The reproduction was created by Jeffrey P. Prestemon, Forest Economics
and Policy research unit of the Southern Research Station, Research Triangle
Park, North Carolina.
Work was completed on February 25, 2012. The text of this manual was
reproduced as accurately as possible for each page as it corresponded with
the text on the same numbered page of the original. Fonts and margins in
this reproduction roughly correspond with the fonts and margins of the
original, as well.
Several minor typographical errors, contained in the original, were
corrected in this reproduction. A version of this reproduction that has
these errors noted but not corrected and a scanned version of a photocopy of
the original from the University of California, Berkeley, are available upon
Jeffrey P. Prestemon
Forest Economics and Policy
Forestry Sciences Laboratory
Southern Research Station
P.O. Box 12254
Research Triangle, Park, NC 27709
Thanks for that. Fascinating. Class D men... the grub list, 5
cents a mile auto transport, chain-of-command, importance of the Lookout,
the Dispatcher, how many men? rest, night work, etc... Ab.
Just a quick note to Aaron on 4/28 regarding the end of AVUE. In
24 years with the Forest Service, the one thing about change I have
observed, time and again, over and over is the “new and improved” very
rarely is. I’d be willing to bet that 3 years from now, after a long and
frustrating rollout of E-Recruit, that we look back at the AVUE days with
nostalgia, because they were the good old days, when things weren’t so
messed up. While I agree that AVUE has been a royal pain in the behind, and
contributed heavily to the Forest Service’s decline from “in the top 10%” to
near the bottom as AK old timer spoke of, I have no faith that the agency
will get it right and the new system will be any better, especially since
it’s a USDA program, the same folks that brought us EmpowHR and AGLearn. I
can’t wait until “sometime after May 2” when I get to fill out another
employee satisfaction survey. Here’s trying for 216 out of 216 on the
employee satisfaction scale…
Sign me, disgruntled in Idaho.
PS: If anyone wants to take me up on my bet, I will hand over a crisp $50
bill and 2 growlers of local microbrew three years from now, say May 1,
2015, to each of the first three people that respond, and believes E-Recruit
will be better than AVUE. They can keep the cash, but we’re drinking the
beer on the spot!