"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
Home of the Wildland Firefighter
R and other Vets
Just to let you know that vets were hired this year and the reason you might not
have gotten a call is because you didn't qual as a GS-5, and well, e-recruit
sucks. If you only qualified as a GS-3 or 4 then they never saw your application
on hiring day because they only hired GS-5 for apprentices. If you didn't get
picked up on the temp jobs, then more than likely its an e-recruit problem.
Check your application and keep it in because we are hiring positions still to
this day. If you think it's another problem, then get ahold of veterans affairs.
Re Traumatic Injury:|
Facilitating Treatment of Traumatic Injuries, March, 2013 (30 K pdf)
issued by the Deputy Chief for Business Operations, (USFS) is yet another
indicator that the US Forest Service has no business trying to manage an
Emergency Services Branch (Fire and Aviation) in today's environment.
New hiring system;
Once again the USFS implements a program they don't understand. Supposedly
there are supplemental documents that MUST be attached in order to clear
so-called hurdles, however .. if you follow what is required of USA JOBS... the
performance rating is optional, the OF 306 is optional. Why do current FS
employees need to do this if they are already federal employees? I am looking at
the application page now and It says on the right hand column that even the
resume and SF 50 are optional. This is very discouraging for a lot of people I
have talked to. I had to recertify my applications three times in one month. And
the emails you are supposed to receive with change of status, as of today, have
not materialized. There also needs to be a way to rank at a minimum the top
three to five places one is willing to work to avoid being offered a like job at
a different location after a job has been accepted somewhere else.
Re: Federal Direction on Treatment of Traumatic Injuries|
So now as a "senior medical professional" I have to factor in the possibility
that my decision to take a patient directly to a burn center based on 25+ years
of experience may cost him or her their Workman's Compensation benefits? Thank
you J. Lenise Lago.
Making the rounds among the IMTs:|
Facilitating Treatment of Traumatic Injuries, March, 2013 (30 K pdf)
Not sure whether to laugh or cry. Feel free to use it or not. I am thankful
that 99 9/10% of all EMS providers will transport burn victims straight to a
burn center.... regardless of what the WO folks are mandating. I am speechless
to their callous regard for their firefighters vs costs of the right treatment.
Webinar on April 4, next Thursday: Exploring fire behavior and wind flows in
bark beetle-infested forests and woodlands using HIGRAD/FIRETEC|
making the rounds...
Please join us for our upcoming webinar “Exploring fire behavior and wind
flows in bark beetle-infested forests and woodlands using HIGRAD/FIRETEC,”
presented by Carolyn Seig, on Thursday, April 4th at 1pm MDT. To reserve your
seat go to
Thanks and Take Care,
Brenna MacDowell – Communications Specialist
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
A diverse team of researchers from the USDA Forest Service, Colorado State
University, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory has been exploring the
implications of bark beetle-induced tree mortality in several forest types on
fire behavior and wind flows using HIGRAD/FIRETEC. Unlike the empirically based
fire behavior models currently used in the field, HIGRAD/FIRETEC simulates the
dynamic processes that occur within a fire and the way those processes feed off
and alter each other. It is a physics-based, 3-D computer code designed to
simulate the constantly changing, interactive relationship between fire and its
environment. It does so by representing the coupled interaction between fire,
fuels, atmosphere, and topography on a landscape scale (100s or 1000s of
meters). We will show examples of insights gained using this valuable research
tool about how changes caused by bark beetle-induced mortality can influence
Title: Exploring fire behavior and wind flows in bark beetle-infested forests
and woodlands using HIGRAD/FIRETEC
Date: Thursday, April 4, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM MDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing
information about joining the Webinar.
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
Required: Mac OS® X 10.6 or newer
Required: iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phone or Android tablet
Forest Service renews wildfire air tanker contracts|
Casper Star-Tribune Online
CHEYENNE — The U.S. Forest Service has renewed contracts to air tanker
companies in Montana and Nevada to help fight forest fires this year. The two
companies are Minden Air Corp., of Minden, Nev., and Neptune Aviation Services,
Inc., of Missoula, Mont. Minden will fly one P2V air tanker for the Forest
Service. Neptune will fly six P2Vs and one jet-powered BAe-146 under the
contract renewals announced Thursday.
Some application advice for future rounds of hiring:
ATTACH YOUR RESUME as a separate document to e-recruit. E-recruit does not
make your application look good if you built it in the system. It's not the
applicant's fault, it is the system. Protect yourself and attach that other
document so the SMEs and hiring officials can do their job and give you all the
credit you deserve for your experience.
So I am guessing that VRA veterans preference didn't apply to hiring
this year? Coming from an agency that wanted to focus on hiring veterans! Or
maybe use a hiring database that notifies applicants if they qualify or not!
Mine says received applications but not one interest call or job offer. How the
hell do I know if I qualified?
fire experience, education and hiring:|
Down and Out, thanks for trusting
Your quals are absolutely STELLAR. I hope the Forest Service doesn't lose you
due to some application technicalities! What a shame if they do...
PS. The National Park Service tries to cherry pick people like you. Any
chance you'd be interested? I know my blood runs green too, but we need to keep
people like you at least in the extended fire and natural resources family.
fire experience, education and hiring:|
I've been calling various hiring
officials trying to get info on this year's snafu regarding hiring and have
learned that qualified individuals are being turned away due to technicalities.
One example that was given is if you have work experience during the summer of
2012 and simply put "worked during summer 2012" on your application you will
most likely be rated as unqualified, you have to provide specific dates so they
can verify you have at least 6mo work experience for a GS3 position. If you're
using education as part of your experience make sure you've got your transcripts
on there, otherwise unqualified.
Update your ap! In the event certs are pulled again, make sure it's
accurate - to the best of my knowledge if you update your ap but they've already
pulled certs, they will not know any of the changes you've made - they have to
pull the certs over again for that to register.
More info posted by folks below - this is a great forum btw, thanks for this.
Thanks for the info. Ab.
Jeffrey Scheuerer, a 35 year old NJ Forest Fire Service firefighter, was participating with the NJ
Forest Fire Service on their prescribed burn this morning. He was struck by a
car and killed as the wind shifted and blew the heavy smoke across the roadway
near the Round Valley Reservoir in Clinton Township, NJ.|
Our thoughts and
prayers go out to his family, coworkers and friends. Ab.
Always Remember Jeffrey Scheuerer
Hints around the new System" aka USA Jobs/E-recruit,|
From a 20 year veteran
Wildland Firefighter I'd like to help those whom had a tough time navigating our
new hiring system...
At the bottom of almost every job announcement I reviewed read "Failure to
submit a resume that clearly explains applicants information and qualifications
will not be considered" or something close to that. Talking with almost all of
my fellow firefighter friends that did not receive promotions or new jobs all
said they included a 1-2 page resume with the application. Most of them have 8
plus seasons of PFT or seasonal experience in Wildland fire. One out of the 7
people I talked to clearly stated all of their experience, followed the KSA
question format and matched their resume to the application. He, submitted all
documentation requested, included supervisor names and supervisor contact
information and had multiple people review his resume/package before he hit the
send button. His resume was 7 pages not including master records, etc. The other
not so lucky folks I talked with did not follow the format that he did, they
turned in a 1-2 page resume that only covered basic information.
AVUE was the system that required all of us to write out our KSAs. USA Jobs
asks us to check the correct boxes and then match our resumes to your answers on
the application. I feel terrible for my fellow firefighters that didn't move up,
get hired or get through this process. Just as most of you I have heard stories
of firefighters not getting any consideration for jobs even though they turned
in solid hiring packages. My heart goes out to those that put in so much time,
blood, sweat and tears applying for jobs this Fire Hire round.
What I have learned from this new system are these Four points...
#1 MATCH YOUR RESUME TO THE KSAs ON THAT SPECIFIC APPLICATION.
#2 MAKE SURE YOU ARE ATTACHING THE CORRECT SUPPLEMENTAL REQUIRED
#3 HAVE SOMEONE YOU TRUST REVIEW YOUR APPLICATION AND RESUME BEFORE SENDING.
#4 COMPOSE A DETAILED RESUME THAT CLEARLY STATES THE APPLICANTS EXPERIENCE
KEEPING ALL KSAs IN MIND.
I hope this helps, I wish the best for all those folks that are applying in
the Fall Fire Hire.
Good luck all,
USFS R-5 Air Tanker contracts let yet?|
No news down here but that isn’t anything new. Has anyone heard which firms will
be flying the fixed wing portion of Aviation contracts yet? The desert areas are
already experiencing a unusually large number of wildfires. I think the summer
portion of the season statewide is going to be busier than normal. I’m just
concerned due to what I deem as “Lack of preparation” for the coming season. In
my view money isn’t the only problem right now. Politics seems to be entering
this esteemed profession in a negative manner.
Stay safe out there!
Seeking Storm King movie|
I'm looking for the name of the TV Movie (or even where to buy a copy of it)
about South Canyon/Storm King Mountain fire that was aired on one of the early
anniversaries. please email me at eaglefirecrew at yahoo.com with any
USDA Logo visual standards guide (1,346 K pdf)|
Making the rounds. Anon
Sad news, also making the rounds. Heart-felt condolences
to the family and friends, Ab.
It is with a heavy heart that I share the following news
from Diane Rendano Cross (Ojai RD, Los Padres NF) and Lance Cross (Tahoe NF,
retired). Diane and Lance’s 19 year old daughter Leilani Cross passed away on
March 20. Sadly, Leilani had struggled with bipolar, depression, and anxiety,
and took her own life during an extremely brief moment of hopelessness. Diane,
Lance, and their younger daughter <snip> (16) are grieving, taking each
moment at a time.
A Celebration of Leilani’s Life will be held on Saturday,
April 6th starting at 1 pm at the Ojai Valley Community Church (OVCC)
located at 907 El Centro, Ojai (805-646-4324). A potluck will follow at a
location yet to be determined.
(Ab note: I'm not posting home locations for condolences but if you'd like
to send condolences, contact Ab and I'll share the addresses or ask the contact
people listed in the last paragraph. This is truly sad.)
In lieu of flowers, you may wish to donate to a fund that has been
established to help with memorial expenses.
Leilani Cross Benefit Memorial Fund
c/o Wells Fargo Bank
202 E. Matilija Street
Ojai, CA 93023
Many people have asked how they can help. If you would like to prepare a meal
for the family during this difficult time, please contact Bobbi Schildt@ nospam
yahoo.com who is coordinating the effort. Bobbi can be reached at bobbischildt@
nospam yahoo.com or 760-458-0873. (For emails: take out the spaces and the
Susan K. Exline
1190 East Ojai Avenue
Ojai, CA 93023
This document has resources:
Learning from a traumatic event -- suicide -- FLA report (973 K pdf)
Also this resource for wildland firefighters:
Firefighters Life Challenge Program
I figured you'd respond to my post about how I perceive Dr.s
visits due to my injuries. As usual you are correct in your advice, but I
suppose it's perception of what's ethical. Like I said in my last post I got
hurt at work, I'd be working not going to the doctor if I wasn't hurt, so I
consider it part of my Wellness program. Should that be coded 66 or 01? As for
the GOV we use them for all of us to go to the hearing tests, the WCT physicals,
the CDL physicals, and assorted other medical visits. Why would it be a personal
errand to go to a local doctors follow up because I got busted up at work?
You're correct that you can put in for reimbursement on I believe it's an OWCP
957 for your travel and expenses for doctors visits and it's one of the few
things that actually works in the OWCP system. Most employees don't know that to
avoid the time and personal costs of dealing with OWCP you can use government
phones, equipment (faxes, computers, mail, etc..) to get this taken care of and
you can do it on the clock. With my 2001 injury I spent two weeks at my desk
loaded on Demerol, redialing the phone trying to get OWCP to accept my claim to
get surgery. Thank God BlueShield jumped in and paid just before I committed
suicide because of the pain.
They got reimbursed after two years of fighting OWCP.
You're also correct in that you should include your ASC WC case manager in
whatever you do they are getting better. I know that there was a letter sent to
Kirk Powell in Dec. asking about what was being done about some that haven't
been that good. Have you heard anything about that? There hasn't been any
I'd sure appreciate it if you could get me some contact information so we could
talk about some of these issues. I'm trying to get some senators involved to fix
some of the problems I've encountered over the past fifteen years of dealing
A couple of questions about the MP 66 incident...
Since I'm assuming the unit checked with MTDC on how to rappel safely with the
approved equipment, what did MTDC say about all of this? Or were they just
avoided and left out of the loop? Why would they do that? Isn't that partially
why MTDC exists?
Also, someone earlier alluded to the "fact" that the rappel operations
guidelines have this worked out already, if this is true why wouldn't the unit
just emulate what they have as guidelines for PPE? They know that they will be
within approved guidelines vs. just ignoring all the work and research that has
already been done for just this purpose? I'm thinking that if you shortcut the
system that is already in place, someone might get hurt. To say that a NOV
related to PPE is wrong seems a bit shady to me. There are guidelines, so follow
them. If I were going to start doing something that wasn't allowed (ground based
rappelling) I would make darn sure that I didn't risk an injury.
The JHA that I saw a copy of didn't even have the word rappel or fire in it, to
claim that it was for either of the two also seems shady.
Misery Whip: Your post about the chief's "safety" letter didn't go unnoticed by
me, I'm just still trying to digest it's (his) intent and purpose of it. I find
it hard to believe that he could actually submit something like this. Especially
in light of the fact that entire units and line officers are ignoring its
predecessor, the Safety Journey. I'll respond to this in a bit. Glad someone
else found it curious and disturbing.
Milepost 66 - OSHA Complaint - Region 6 - Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) (NOV =
Notice of Violation)|
The CRGNSA did not have a JHA for high angle rope
work, and the JHA which they used for the OSHA inspectors was for tree climbing.
If they did have a JHA for the high angle rope work, why didn't they show it to
either the OSHA inspectors or why wasn't it in the FLA?
RE PPE: How did they come to the conclusion that it was safe and acceptable
to ignore what has been determined to be safe in the wildland fire rappelling
world (full-face flight helmet) and go with the fire helmet? The reason it (fire
helmet) is not used in rappelling is because it does not protect the head and
face in a adequate manner. How are they able to just make up what is acceptable
This is all BS!
For your review:
wildfirelessons.net: Milepost 66 FLA (pdf)
Regardless how we got here, I'm sure that whatever PPE will be approved by
the Forest Service for High Angle Ropes will be evaluated by MTDC or through
some similar independent process. CRGNSA (the Unit) will need to mitigate OSHA's
NOVs. As far as a JHA which is recommended, it seems the Unit should have one
specifically for "high angle ropes". Maybe the FS could adopt the JHA employed
by the National Park Service for high angle rope rescue. Hopefully there will be
careful oversight by someone not on the CRGNSA, following the OSHA findings. Ab.
Making the rounds...|
Milepost 66 - OSHA Complaint - Region 6 - Job Hazard
Analysis (NOV = Notice of Violation)
Directors, Forest/Unit Supervisors, and Unit Safety Managers,
A few months ago, Federal OSHA received a complaint following an employee
injury last summer during the Milepost 66 fire in the Gorge. OSHA completed
their inspection of this complaint and levied five “Notices of Unsafe and
Unhealthful Working Conditions”, hereafter referred to as “NOVs”, against the
agency. The NOVs alleged the following:
- Notice 1, Item 1: The agency failed to assess the workplace to determine
if hazards were present…
- Notice 1, Item 2: The agency failed to train employees on proper use,
care, maintenance and disposal of PPE…
- Notice 1, Item 3: The agency failed to provide employees a place of
employment free from recognized hazards which were likely to cause serious
harm or death.
- Notice 1, Item 4: The agency failed to provide employees with safety and
health training appropriate for the work performed.
- Notice 2, Item 1: The agency did not properly classify work related
injuries on the OSHA Form 300.
Although we contested four of the five NOVs, and OSHA agreed to retract
three, this event provides a valuable opportunity for us to share information
and benchmark from this event in order to strengthen our safety program
throughout the region.
The reason we contested four of the five NOVs is that we felt OSHA’s
depiction of events was simply not true. In this particular case, the CRGNSA had
in fact developed a JHA for the activity in question (high angle rope work), had
identified PPE for the task and had provided employees who were expected to
perform the task with training. Although OSHA dropped Notice 1, Items 1, 2, and
4, the basis for these particular NOVs was that the JHA wasn’t adequate to
cover, in detail, the scope and complexity of this high risk work. OSHA also
felt the PPE we had identified was not completely adequate for the work being
performed. After reviewing the NOVs, and the JHA, it was apparent the JHA
certainly had room for improvement.
The lesson to be learned and shared with our supervisors is to ensure our
JHAs properly outline the potential hazards of high risk work, clearly
articulate what procedures and PPE are required to perform the task without
injury, and ensure employees are thoroughly aware of the content of high risk
JHAs. We must ensure JHAs for high risk work are prepared with participation
from those employees expected to perform the work in order to obtain their rich
insight and experience. We also need to ensure we’re assigning appropriate PPE
and equipment for the job tasks being performed. The reason we agreed to let
Notice 1, Item 3 stand, with some minor edits, is that we were allowing our fire
folks to use nylon rope for high angle rope work in a fire environment when
there were several other rope products available that were more suitable for
fire environments. Nylon rope has a lower melting threshold than some other
products on the market.
Lastly, Notice 2, Item 1 highlighted a problem we experience throughout the
region. When employees experience an injury that results in either lost time
away from work, or restricted duty while the employee heals, we need to ensure
those cases are entered into SHIPS as an “OSHA Recordable” event and that we
accurately enter the total number of restricted or lost duty days. Supervisors
need to ensure when employees are returned to full duty, or return to duty from
a lost time injury, the supervisor goes back into SHIPS to enter the total
number of restricted or lost duty days. If an employee has been injured and is
expected to miss several weeks, but we don’t have a clear indication of how many
days will be lost immediately following the injury, supervisors can project
“45”, “90” or however many days we project the employee will be lost. When the
employee returns to work, we simply go back into SHIPS and enter the accurate
number of days.
Charles "Buddy" Byrd, MPA, CSHM, CHCM, CSMP
Regional Safety, Health, and Wellness Director
U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region (R6)
fire experience, education and hiring:|
You clearly didn't read my original post. I have already been working for the
USFS. I only mentioned my education because this is what the reason was given
for NOT QUALIFYING. Well, that and "not putting helicopter experience on my
resume" --- total Bull. I have worked (3) SEASONS with the USFS --- (2) in
Recreation/Trails as a GS-3 then a GS-4 Crew Lead, and last season in fire as a
GS-4 on a type-4 engine. So, not sure where exactly you are coming from with
your recommendation. Also, as previously mentioned I have been a winter
operations volunteer for (3) seasons (again with the USFS). So, yes this is
total B.S.--- there is no other way around this fact. Anyone have any thing else
they could add --- with knowing the whole situation?
Down and Out,
P.S. I swear this is my last comment I just couldn't let Chick's comment go
without a response.
Re: Workers’ Comp Question:
R9 Captain, FISH,
Let me try to explain how COP works. First of all, there are 45 calendar days
of COP allotted to a person who suffers a traumatic injury. You must file an
injury claim (not an illness), file the claim in writing within 30 days of the
date of injury and provide medical documentation of a disability or verification
of treatment within 10 days of using the COP to be eligible. The other
requirement is that you must begin using it with 45 days from the date of
injury. You can use it continuously or intermittently within the 45 day
timeframe, but the only way to use it beyond the 45th day is if the COP is
used continuously beyond that day. If the disability is continuous at the end of
the 45 day timeframe you can use whatever days remain of the 45 day
COP allotment. The first time you return to work after the 45th day,
your entitlement to COP ends, even if all of the 45 days of COP are not
Now that that’s as clear as mud I will confuse you further. The 45 days
of COP are calendar days, so depending on the medical restrictions, you may
have to count holidays and regular days off. Example: You work Monday – Friday.
If you are injured on Wednesday and the dr’s restrictions say you should be off
through Friday. You would not count Sat and Sun as COP days. But if the dr’s
restrictions say you can return to work on Monday, you would need to count Sat
and Sun as COP days even though you are not paid for them because the
doctor indicates a disability on those days.
The other part of this is the use of a GOV and TC01 time for medical appts.
FSH 6109.11 Pay & Leave Handbook says:
13.61 - Time Spent Receiving Medical Attention.
- Consider time spent waiting for and receiving medical attention for
illness or injury as hours of work only if all of the following
- The medical attention is necessary on a workday an employee reported for
duty and subsequently became ill or was injured.
- The time spent receiving medical attention occurs during the employee's
regular working hours.
- The employee receives the medical attention on the Forest Service
premises or at the direction of the Forest Service at a medical facility
away from the Forest Service's premises.
Treatment for an ongoing workers’ comp injury does not meet all of these
conditions so TC01 is not appropriate.
The question about the use of a GOV for a medical apt. was recently answered by
Jack Edward Fisher, Ethics Specialist in the WO. He states: “A Dr’s appointment
is a personal errand. Government vehicles are to be used for official use
(agency mission) only. Official Use” Under § 102–34.200: Official use of a
Government motor vehicle is using a Government motor vehicle to perform your
agency’s mission(s), as authorized by your agency.
The Department of Labor reimburses mileage and public transportation costs (and
even a driver) for medical appointments. They also pay compensation for up to 4
hours for a routine medical apt. Please talk to your ASC WC case manager for
information on claiming these benefits.
Sorry this is so long but I thought it was necessary to clear up some
misconceptions about COP and medical appointment. I hope it helps.
To All Forest Service Employees:
With passage by Congress last week of a funding resolution that will carry
through the end of this fiscal year, we now have a measure of certainty
regarding our budget situation.
The House and Senate have passed a year-long continuing resolution for the
remainder of Fiscal Year 2013, generally at the reduced levels directed by the
sequester. The measure will be sent to the President for signature soon. In
addition to the 5 percent sequester, Forest Service funding is reduced from FY12
at the appropriation level for National Forest System, Capital Improvement &
Maintenance, and Wildland Fire Management. These additional reductions total
$45.3 million, and we are reviewing our options for how to allocate the funding
I want to thank you for your continued efforts as USDA and other Federal
agencies take steps to implement the sequester mandated by the Budget Control
Act. I know that this has been an uncertain time, but you have worked hard every
day to care for the land, strengthen the rural economy and help achieve results
for the American people.
While the funding cuts for this year are significant, we continue to anticipate
there will not be a need for furloughs of employees given the current estimates
of the budget situation. There may be a need for some employees to shift their
program of work based on priorities and we will need to reduce our seasonal
workforce and contracts.
As we make specific decisions about how to implement our reduced 2013 funding,
we will have a plan to communicate directly with affected employee units and
external stakeholders. The Department has posted a general letter to all
contractors on the FedBizOps website (www.fbo.gov)
and on the website for the
Office of Procurement and Property Management. Instructions regarding
notification to grant recipients will be forthcoming.
Mindful of the reductions that have occurred in every program, it is important
that we re-assess the nature of every outlay, to assure the expense is essential
and aligned with priorities. For example, we have been directed by the
Department to limit or restrict travel to only essential travel. I want to thank
you again for your on-going efforts to reduce travel expenditures. As we have
communicated numerous times before, in these times of reduced budgets, travel
should be for reasons related to employee and citizen safety, mission critical
work, maintaining requirements for certifications, wildfire suppression,
critical meetings with our partners, and training and cultural transformation.
If a meeting can be conducted virtually, that is the preferred way to have it.
Employees should optimize the use of video conferencing, teleconferencing,
webinar, live meetings, and other electronic means to conduct meetings.
Secretary Vilsack has been clear that we will continue doing everything we can
to carry out USDA's mission critical priorities and to ensure that cuts are
implemented in a way that is both equitable, and causes the least disruption.
Thanks to your efforts, we are in a better position to do so. The Department has
achieved more than $700 million in efficiencies since 2009 by cutting travel,
reducing our office footprint, consolidating many IT services, and much more. We
played a part in achieving these savings. Today, the money we've saved will help
USDA continue getting the job done even in the face of across-the-board budget
Thank you for your patience. Please continue to work safely, and I appreciate
your constant dedication to serving the public.
Thomas L. Tidwell
fire experience, education and hiring:|
Not sure it's "total BS"... It's a
hard time to get on with the forest service, and if you think it's difficult to
get a seasonal job, wait until you attempt to find a career position. Your
education isn't exactly practical experience in my opinion, maybe try a
different approach. Start as a GS3 if that's what you need to do. There are ways
In, you just have to do the leg work. Go shake hands, order pizzas, wash trucks,
PT with overhead ect. Bottom line is you have zero Merritt at this point. Forget
your education and military experience, the USA jobs website is very very simple
to use, you've got it easy dude, you weren't around when AVUE was. Go
unconventional, think out of the box. Good luck
Several HS supes I know have said "skip the pizza"... Maybe inquire first?
fire experience, education and hiring:
I am starting to agree with these hiring complaints. Every year but this year
my phone rang non stop and email was blown up with interest calls and job
offers. This year I haven't received anything. I put in for sr firefighter,
apprentice, and afeo to a lot of locations. I am a fully qualified firefighter
1, S-290, CDL, tons of other classes, six years of fire experience, and to top
it all off I am a veteran with a campaign ribbon. I hate to say it but bring
back Avue, this erecruit is for the birds. I am really disappointed and about to
throw in the towel myself.
fire experience, education and hiring:|
Down but hopefully not out...
There are tricks to applying for any job. You've got to know what they are
and they vary from field to field, profession to profession. There are also
glitches with new systems.
For professional education-related jobs, you don't list every course required
for your lowest level degrees unless the application says ATTACH TRANSCRIPT for
all levels of education. For academics, the fact that you have the degree
in the field of expertise is enough verification if you've gone on to do
graduate work. In fact you might be excluded in the "first cut" of some academic
jobs for sending too much redundant, extraneous stuff or "padding". Similarly,
if the application has check boxes, an academic would probably not expect to
have to reiterate the information in a resume unless explicitly told to do so. I
was taught to cram as much as possible on one page with a reasonable sized font
and if it was stated elsewhere, don't repeat it.
Firefighting was a different environment with different expectations. I did
the 56 hr (5 month) intro firefighting class with the Regional Occupational
Program in nor-cal as I began working with wildland firefighters. I felt that as
a scholar and researcher, I needed the hands-on experience that freshman
firefighters got before I could begin to really understand their safety training
and culture. None of it was easy. There were lots of timed procedural tests from
donning SCBA with very little practice, to knot tying, to shelter deployment and
all those emergency medicine procedures. There was a kick-a** CDF fire captain
chick that ran our class kind'a like we were an inmate crew, at least it felt
like it to me at times. We practiced digging line and did some rope work, etc.
Three fifths of our class dropped out, including all the other females... Then I
went to the fire behavior training Doug Campbell taught in so-cal; he was
training the Ventura County firefighters when I was there. Great course!
Down but hopefully not out, I hope you don't give up on getting the wildland fire
career job. Persist. Figure out the application process. Education is
increasingly required for professional firefighters as you move on up the career
ladder. You have a good foundation. You have to be able to read and write and
argue a position in a logical way. Academic degrees may not teach some things,
but for most students, they do teach persistence and resilience if you don't
already have those attributes. You have to figure out what is expected, to study
and to pass tests on an incredible amount of information. Sometimes you need to
retake a course you couldn't pass the first time around. The process teaches you
something about yourself that you can use when the going gets rough.
Try to figure it out, get someone experienced to look over your application
or hire someone like Bethany Hannah -- who knows the nuts and bolts of fire
applications -- to review it. Pay her, happily. Persist. Of course if there are
glitches in the system even that won't help.
Good luck! My husband's dad used to say "The harder I work, the luckier I
I've found that the creative magic of my life springs forth where opportunity
Skip down to THIS POST
ON 3/19 if you think you were NOT considered for a job that you applied
to and should have been considered.
There were problems with erecruit. Read the posts about R3 and R1 job offers.
||fire experience, education and hiring:
I really am baffled here --- I attached my graduate school transcripts
(which have all the courses I have taken as a grad student, with grades,
credits, dates, and also at the top of this transcript it states my
undergraduate degrees, the dates they were received and what University I
received them from). Nonetheless the word I am getting back from the sup.
who wanted to hire me is that "because I didn't attach my undergraduate
transcripts I cant qualify using education".
The second part as to why the HR case manager is saying I don't qualify
is that "I did not mention anything about working around helicopters on my
resume". I checked the boxes on the application for work I had done around
helicopters like, using saws to clear a helispot, setting up pumpkins and
helping with dip-site operations, figuring out crew weights in case of
flights, you know basic helicopter stuff I had done last season. But because
I didn't put this info. on my resume and because I didn't attach my
UNDERGRAD transcripts I am now disqualified.
This is TOTAL B.S!!! And also, I did apply to EVERY kind of module that
exists --- in multiple states --- been calling people since October and
still NOTHING. I am getting ready to throw in the towel in this ridiculous
pursuit of a fire job and career. This is absolutely absurd and extremely
disheartening. I am starting to understand why so many people cant stand the
federal government --- and why others call the USFS the "US Forest
Circus"--- it really is a joke.
research paper on IA fire history|
I'm sure if the person doing research contacted the
Eastern Great Basin Center
they would find that info.
Jim Ott (Pathfinder)
||fire experience, education and hiring:
If it makes you feel any better, we are
doing hiring now and more than 50% of the selections we have made from eRecruit
are coming back 'unqualified'. We do know that if you claim being qualified
based on education, you have to attach transcripts or you will be considered
unqualified, even for a GS-3. We are still trying to figure out what else is
causing people to come back unqualified. As a result of this new system, we will
likely not be able to hire the folks we need this year.
If you can figure out what you did 'wrong' in eRecruit, try to get your
application 'fixed' ASAP. Since lots of hiring managers are having this issue,
many of us will be cancelling referral lists and asking for new ones after we
have advised those we want to hire. If you are out a job at this point with no
other prospects, cast a wider net to include fire jobs other than helitack, such
fire experience, education and hiring:|
That is exactly what the HR case manager is trying to claim, however, there
are multiple issues with this claim:
- Every Helitack crew I am aware of only requires an applicant to have at
least 90 days fire experience (I know many Helitack crews that hire people
with NO Helitack experience and only a year in fire). In fact I am told many
Helitack crews do this every single year with at least one new crew member
- According to the USAjobs quals description for the position you can have
a combination of job experience and education to qualify -- it specifically
states 12 credits in courses like forestry, wildlife management, wildfire
science, natural resource mgmt., outdoor rec. mgmt. etc. Now, I have well
over 12 credits in these exact courses (Ecology, Fire Science, Land and
Resource Mgmt, Parks&Rec. Mgmt, Environmental Assessment (Public Land Mgmt.
course), just to name a few).
So, again I am COMPLETELY confused and a bit upset that I somehow didn't
qualify for this GS-4 Helitack position ... something seems off here to me. This
has been extremely frustrating and it only feels elevated when there is nothing
I can do about it... aaaarrrrgggggg!
Down and Out
P.S. I am not complaining about this as someone who feels like they are entitled
to this job, NO, I was simply really excited at the prospect and now left very
confused as to the reason given for the lost opportunity.
fire experience and hiring:|
Down and Out:
Is it possible that your time on the Engine/Handcrew doesn't amount to "6 months
specialized fire experience"?
I went through this a couple times when I was in school, so my fire seasons were
shortened - often late May-late August. I'd pull 800+ OT hours on a 'Shot crew
in 3 months, but the next year I wouldn't qualify for the next GS level because
my "time in grade" was counted on a calendar basis, not an hourly basis.
Just a thought why you didn't meet quals...
Work Comp ?
Group, first off let me thank you all for your input. Strangel, to answer your
?, I thought, and was told... The 67 was the right thing to do. Let me make
something perfectly clear to the group/forum... (And I know your not accusing me
of trying to milk the system) I am not looking for any other compensation other
than my missed time from work. As stated, "I'd be working if I hadn't got hurt
at work".... My sentiments EXACTLY!! I have also received some behind the scenes
"advice" as well. All the info from everyone was greatly appreciated.... I guess
the only thought from here is "How do we change the system?" (cause it sure
seems to be screwing everyone) Then I think to myself.... "Good God!!? Isn't
this what we have all been thinking for SO MANY YEARS!! On more than one issue!
I have learned, questioned, contributed, and have wanted to throw my arms up
into the air in this forum for about the last 8 years... All I can say at this
moment.. If I stay or if I go.... My FIRE Brothers and Sisters have ALWAYS
treated me well... I have a hard time saying that about the Forest Service as an
agency.... But then again, I'm sure that's not anything new to most folks around
Re: serious kink in my life...|
Down and Out-
You most certainly qualify for that GS-4 position. You need to drive it up the
chain of command on the forest/region you are applying. Do not drop this issue,
pursue it until you get the job you deserve. Someone I know in the pipeline told
me that a Region 5 rookie jumper last year had a singular season on a hand crew
and a bachelor's degree in a non-forestry related major, yet somehow through the
miracle of back door dealings ended up with a GS-5 rookie spot. Go figure. She
was lucky to get that job, yet your genitals may vary.
Best of luck,
Chief's letter and C-47 at Mann Gulch:|
Ab & All,
Did anyone else feel queasy after reading the 3/18 Chief’s letter and
documents outlining the new FS risk management strategy? At least I think it is
supposed to be a strategy, but it’s hard to tell. My first reaction was along
the lines of “oh jeez, here we go again with yet another poorly conceived and
executed product from the WO.”
I find myself wondering, where does this stuff come from? Who is responsible
for writing these documents? Whoever they are, they seem to be inordinately fond
of numerical groupings of “principles.” After reading about the “seven
standards” and the “five rights,” I half anticipated that this new “strategy”
was also going to include three rings for the elven kings and the Ten
It would be nice to know who the target audience is for this stuff. Is this
"guidance" for line officers, or fire managers, or incident commanders? Or all
three? Are these rules supposed to apply to all incidents, or just long duration
fires? Is some kind of training in the works for the intended users?
The risk matrix seems like a hodge-podge of “everything you ever wanted to
know about risk management on fires but were afraid to ask.” Note to the risk
matrix designers; the Lists of Stuff in the IRPG are (can be) a deliberate risk
assessment tool, but are definitely not a Time-Critical risk assessment tool.
You left out the only Time-Critical risk assessment tools that really matter;
the human brain, experience, and the five senses.
Oh, and those IAP requirements? You won’t see many IAPs on Type 4 and 5
incidents, probably because it’s hard to find a place to plug in the copier out
in the middle of BFE.
BTW, the Mann Gulch C-47 is sitting in the
Museum of Mountain Flying in Missoula. This is from their website:
“Our main pride and joy is our DC-3/C-47, N24320. this aircraft was
ordered by the US Air Force in 1944, declared surplus in 1946, and was
purchased by Johnson Flying Service (to whom the museum is actually
dedicated, at least in part). She served smokejumper duty for most of her
life, but her most famous, infamous, and tragic hour was on August 5, 1949,
when she dropped 15 smokejumpers over a routine grass fire in Mann Gulch,
near Helena, Montana. The Smoke Spotter, who reported the fire, hiked in to
meet the jumpers. Tragically, 13 of these brave men were killed when the
fire blew up and chased them up the mountain. Only 3 survived.”
I think we can stick a fork in that one.
Re Worker's Comp question:|
Code 67 is continuation of pay (COP). Cop can last for 45 days and can only
be used in the first 45 days after the accident. After 45 days you have to use
S/L, A/L, LWOP, etc, but only until you put in a claim for lost wages on a CA 7
for the period of lost wages. Then DOL pays you at either 66% of your wages if
you're single or 75% if you have a dependant. It works out as more take home
since nothing is held out and it is normally tax free, but that doesn't help
towards medical or retirement if you have those things. Why are you using
intermittent to go to doctors' calls. That's a negative for you. I've never been
called on it, but my injury happened at work so I use GOV to go to my doctors
visits and do it on the clock. After all, I'd be working if I hadn't got hurt at
One other thing, Tumbleweed has state industrial and federal workers comp
confused in his advice. With federal OWCP you can't hire an attorney on a
contingency basis. You have to pay them and hope you can get reimbursed if you
are lucky enough to get a settlement. Under the FECA law there is no real forum
for an attorney to help since we can't sue. It never hurts to get advice from a
professional, but it's hard to find an attorney that handles federal OWCP since
it is so adversarial, and the settlements are much smaller than state industrial
so there's really no money to be made. Since the first of this year I got rated
at 0% for 70% loss of hearing after thirty years of running chainsaws and 0% for
approx. 50% use of my left leg since it was related to a back injury and the
feds don't accept back injuries.
Re Worker's Comp question:|
For your Worker's Comp question, I had the same thing happen to me. The way I
read it was that you would receive a total of 45 days of COP for an injury. You
could use those 45 days in one span or break it up as needed for doctors'
appointments, therapy, etc. ASC told me that it was 45 days from the start of
the injury, (or maybe when it the injury was accepted, I can't remember
exactly). I argued that what it said in the CFRs as well, but was told it was 45
days straight, not 45 days total. I have been dealing with my injury since Sept.
and used about 4 days of COP before my 45 days was up so I have had to use sick
leave to cover mine as well. I don't agree with it, but since I had to send in
copies of my pay for any pay period I used COP time, there is not much I could
do. Good luck with this one, ASC and DOL aren't generally there to help you out
with things like this.
Frank Small is listed as the Mann Gulch copilot in "Trimotor and Trail"|
Earl Cooley's book "Trimotor and Trail" includes a Chapter with details
about Mann Gulch. Earl Cooley was the spotter on that plane. All 16 of the
jumpers are listed, then it says:
"Elmer Bloom, Forest Service photographer, went along to shoot some film for a
movie he was working on. Kenneth Huber was the DC-3 pilot and Frank Small was
the copilot. Jack Nash was the assistant spotter. This made up the full DC-3
In another chapter Frank Small's last flight is mentioned. That plane was a
Travelair. Mike Malone was the spotter on board with Frank.
Thanks very much, TJ. Ab.
fire experience, education and hiring --
Some guy in Albuquerque puts a serious kink in my life...|
Hi Fire World,
Here is my dilemma. I was expecting to accept a job on a Helitack crew as a
GS-4 seasonal/temp. I was put in for a quals check and it just came back as "Did
not qualify due to not having (6) months of general work experience and (6)
months specialized fire experience". The sup. who wanted to hire me was very
surprised at this and told me that the case manager will not budge on qualifying
me. So, there goes the job I thought I would have. To make matters worse I was
all ready to re-locate back to my home state and was pretty excited...now I am
just left with a knot in my stomach. Oh yeah, and I also turned down potential
offers in the state I am currently living in due to not wanting to flake out on
them once this quals check came back. I guess it pays to potentially screw
Here is my question; how is this possible that I do not qualify as a seasonal
GS-4 Seasonal on a Helitack Crew? My background is this, (2) seasons with USFS
on a trails and recreation crew (went out on a couple small IA fires as part of
a "militia crew", (1) season on a Type-4 USFS Engine (as a GS-4), with (2)
details on a Type 2-IA handcrew. Saw lots of fire last season (obviously most
did). I also will have completed a Masters Degree in Natural Resource Management
come this May, and already have (2) BAs. I have also volunteered with the USFS
for (3) winter seasons as a Winter Operations person (grooming ski trails, and
other winter related work). Yes, all of this was on my resume in great detail.
Yet, somehow I don't qualify for a GS-4 (which is what I was last season on an
Engine) Helitack position? Any thoughts out there would be appreciated.
Down and Out
Work Comp question,
Thanks for the insight folks. Have one more question. I recently received a
letter saying I was not entitled to use code 67 (injury leave) any further.. I
had an audit done approx a month and a half ago and showed I only used 20 days
of the 45 of Continuation of Pay and a gal in ASC said there is 25 days left
(the 20 was used for most of December and part of Jan). I returned to work light
duty and was using intermittent hours to go to Physical Therapy, Doctors Appts
etc... (About 5.5 hours a week) So my question is are there limits to the 45
Calendar days? 20 C.F.R 10.20 reads (a)" the FECA provides that the employer
must continue the employees regular pay during (key word here as I see it) ANY
periods of resulting disability, up to a maximum of 45 calendar days"
I was told that I must convert all code 67 from PP 3 and 4 to LWOP and must now
file with the DOL for whatever percentage they award me for the time lost.
I feel like I'm getting screwed here.
Any advice or comments are greatly appreciated
research paper on IA fire history|
Im doing a research paper on Initial Attack fire history for the Grand Canyon
Park and South Kaibab National Forest and am having a hard time finding a list
of dispatched fires for the 09-12 seasons. Can you help?
I don't know of any records that are kept except perhaps at the dispatch
centers themselves. Readers, any ideas? Ab.
Mann Gulch - C-47|
Regarding the question relating to the smoke jumper plane on
the Mann Gulch Fire, here is a selection of references from the Board of Review,
September 26-28, 1949:
"HAND: I ordered the plane. That was at 1:52 p.m., two minutes after I
gave the order to the loft. Order No. 179 for C-47 to take 16 jumpers and a
radio to the Helena Forest."
"HANSON: Could you give us a brief idea what your volume of business was
in the use of planes that day?
HAND: I believe most of this can be verified, although it is not in the
log. As I recall, one C-47 had the motor out. Something had happened to it
and it was torn out and wasn't in use until a day or two later. One Ford had
taken some jumpers to the Kootenai. That is as I remember it. It was not due
to return until pretty late, too late to give the Helena any help. Another
Ford had taken off or was about to take off to bring some jumpers and
equipment back from another fire. We were getting low, and while we still
had jumpers, we were concerned about getting men and equipment back as
quickly as we could. We have to do that in busy times. One Travelair was
out, I can't recall where, but I am very sure we had just one C-47 and one
Travelair on the line at the time, and we had other fires going. You
understand that at this time we had no means of knowing that Helena was
where the fire was going to blow up."
GUSTAFSON: What type of ship was used?
COOLEY: A C-47.
Unfortunately, there is no mention of Frank Small in the report, and at least
two statements which would seem to indicate, though not definitively, that there
was no assistant pilot.
"GUSTAFSON: What is the name of the pilot?
FITE: Ken Huber.
GUSTAFSON: Names of spotter and assistant spotter?
FITE: Earl Cooley, spotter; Jack Nash, assistant spotter.
FITE: Wagner Dodge.
GUSTAFSON: Who else was in the plane?
HAND: Elmer Bloom, Forest Service photographer, was the only one I know
"Fite" is Fred Fite, Regional Dispatcher, and "Hand" refers to Mr. Ralph
Hand, who was acting as a backup dispatcher during the incident.
GUSTAFSON: How many men were in the ship?
COOLEY: There were sixteen jumpers, Elmer Bloom, the assistant spotter,
pilot and myself.
Hope this is of some help.
Interesting, GM. Thanks. Frank Small worked for and piloted for the
Johnson Flying Service. I wonder if he went along... Seems those writing books
would have carefully researched who was on board. Ab.
Mann Gulch Fire:|
mentions the C-47
R5 hiring follow up|
As an applicant, what can one do to follow up on your
application? If we must navigate this system how can we improve our apps? How
can we get feedback from the people involved with the hiring? I am a current
forest service employee, I meet the ifpm requirements.
Thanks in advance
C-47 vs Ford Tri-motor|
I don't wish to get into a debate with M@2x4 ...... and I'll admit, I'm no
expert on the subject... heck.... I wasn't there, nor was I born yet... but all
research I have says that it was indeed a C-47 and NOT the Ford Tri-Motor which
most people associate with early Smokejumping.
Both Norman Maclean of Young Men and Fire, and Dave Turner of The
Thirteenth Fire ... describe a C-47 as the aircraft dropping off the
smokejumpers that day on August 5th, 1949.
>From Norman Maclean's book, page 81: "a C-47 , could only hold sixteen
jumpers...", page 42: " The foreman who lay on the right side of the door
of the C-47 was in many ways...", Page 39: "The C-47 circled the fire
several times before dropping the crew...."
>From Dave Turners The Thirteenth Fire, Page 15: "Moir is told that the
only airplane available for immediate dispatch is a C-47, but that plane only
holds 16 jumpers and their gear.", Page 16: "At 2:30 P.M. as the C-47 lifts off
from Missoula Field...", Page 16: " On board the east-bound plane on its 40
minute flight to the Helena Forest are the Pilot Ken Huber, co-pilot FRANK
SMALL, Forest Service photographer Elmer Bloom, spotter Earl Cooley, assistant
spotter Jack Nash, and the 16 jumpers..."
Who knows.... maybe Norman Maclean, and Dave Hunter were wrong. I'm just going
by what I've read.
CDF Fire Captain
Thanks for the clarification of the source. Ab.
The Smokejumpers on Mann Gulch, jumped the Ford Tri-Motor, not a Douglas
Re Workers Comp question,|
I can only answer for what I have observed for State and LG in Ca, though I
would think other states would be similar. Feds have unique rules but again I
would think they would be similar.
In Ca, the employers workers comp carrier is responsible for all job related
injury health care necessary up to the point you are considered Permanent and
Stationary. i.e, where no further progress in recovery is possible (Either you
are "fully healed" or ain't gonna get any better). At which point if you have a
compensable injury they will rate you and compensate you. This is regardless of
whether you are still employed with that same employer. Depending upon your
employer, you might be dealing with them in house (self insured) or with an
outside insurance carrier.
If you suspect that you might have a lasting injury, ie one where you "ain't"
gonna get any better, I encourage all to seek a qualified attorney. Not because
I have a fondness for them, it's just that the typical workers comp process is a
labyrinth to make your way through and I prefer to have someone working on my
side rather than the insurance carrier. There are a myriad of rules, paperwork,
time limits that can really mess with your head if you try and figure it all
out. Attorneys here typically cost 10%-12% of any award. I have had only one
rated injury where I received less than $2000 (appropriate). The $200 to the
attorney was more than fine with me after seeing all the paperwork they had to
Pilot Frank Small
Back in late
February of this year, there was some discussion about the Pilot Frank Small
(1956), who had a heart attack, yet landed the plane and then died .....
Just for some further discussion ..... Frank Small was the Co-Pilot of the
C-47 that dropped the Smokejumpers off in Mann Gulch on August 5th, 1949.
CDF Fire Captain
Here's his page:
Always Remember Frank Small. If anyone knows more or
where to find more, please let us know. I wonder if the jumpers he delivered
were Grangeville SJs or others flying in and out of Grangeville. Ab.
follow-up on hiring,|
I wanted to say thanks for the information that has been
posted with regards to getting hired. It has been helpful and I wanted to follow
up and answer some of the questions that were asked.
- I've applied to both OCRs and single vacancy announcements. In the fall I
cold called a few districts/offices and expressed my interest to get started.
After applying I contacted the duty locations that I was interested in working
and they said they would keep a look out for me on the referral list. I was also
told it that I could select duty locations that I hadn't made contact with -- no
guarantee but it couldn't hurt. I've kept in touch with them as from reading
this website and elsewhere, you need to be persistent and keep at it so you are
remembered -- for the right reason.
- Unfortunately a natural disaster cancelled the red card class I was
supposed to take last fall. I live in the northeast and I haven't found another
one since. I am still looking, though, and when I find one, I will do everything
I can to attend. I am aware that my landscaping experience goes further than my
EMS experience. I have a professional, federal resume spelling out everything I
have done. It has been looked over by several in the wildland fire community and
they have told me it's good to go. I just can't seem to make it past that next
step after submission.
- I know being a vet doesn't guarantee me a job or anything else. I'm several
years removed from my service now. It was a great experience, I loved it and
learned A LOT from my time served. But it is in the past and no one owes me
anything for it. It was something that I wanted to do. As stated before, I'm
currently employed and after several years of being interested in wildland fire
and reading the posts here and on other sites, I've decided to go for it. I just
wish I had done so years ago but hindsight is always 20/20.
- I am reviewing my selections for the minimum qualifications and assessment
questions to make sure that I have selected the best answer and will be
resubmitting if I change anything.
Thanks again. I'll be hammering away at this and hopefully I will be working
with some of you this year.
If you run into me, don't hesitate to walk up and say "I'm DB." haw, haw
and give the secret wlf.com salute. No seriously, with the website developments
coming here whenever they come, it will be much easier to find friends on the
road, in firecamp or elsewhere via your droid or i-pod.
Re Workers Comp question,|
Yes they are obligated for life for that injury.
Keep the nine digit claim number they sent you as that's the record they
received your claim.
Workers Comp question,|
Does anyone know if you have been injured in the job, I
work for the FS, and you are still being treated for your injury and decide to
leave, as in quit, your job while still being treated, Is the Gov. still
responsible for your medical bills until you are fully healed? Any info would be
If you're reading, could you please email Ab and get in touch with me?
Idaho - OSHA fine for CPTPA -- in Anne Veseth's death on the Steep Corner Fire
Agreement reached in firefighter's death
After talks with OSHA, Idaho Land Board revises citation against CPTPA,
authorizes it to pay $10,500 fine. Officials from an Idaho firefighting
organization and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reached a
settlement regarding citations and fines levied after a firefighter was killed
on the Steep Corner Fire last summer ...
There are some important differences between applying for jobs in the private
sector and applying for federal jobs. The following items came to mind when I
read your post:
1. Are you applying under open continuous vacancy announcements or single
vacancy announcements? Open continuous announcements are the ones that have you
pick your desired locations, and are usually open for a year. Single vacancies
list one or two locations and are usually open a month or so. I ask because if
you are applying under open continuous announcements, it is absolutely
imperative that you contact the districts/offices where you want to work. Open
continuous announcements list all the locations that have that certain position
- it does not mean that the position is open at this time, and it does not mean
that a given district/office will be hiring that position in the near future. If
you have not been making contacts, you could have been applying for vacancies
that do not actually exist. You will only "hear back" when someone starts the
hiring process and pulls a list of candidates. If you are applying for locations
where there are no vacancies, you will not hear anything.
2. Not being referred
is not the same as not being qualified. It means that
other candidates scored higher than you, and only a certain number get referred.
My big question when I look at you list of experience is, do you have
S130/S190??? If not, you are probably getting beat out by those who do. If you
can find any way to take an NWCG certified S130/S190 course, you will probably
start getting referred. At the basic rating level, your other certifications and
qualifications do not count for much. Look through the vacancies and the job
duties, then highlight the experience you have that meets those duties. Rating
officials are not allowed to guess, "figure it out", or make assumptions. If you
have used portable pumps, you have to spell that out in your job experience. At
the GS-3 level, your landscaping experience is probably more relevant to the job
duties than your EMS experience. Make sure you are describing all your work
3. Being a vet does not guarantee you a job, or a place on the referral list.
There are just too many vets looking for jobs right now. There are plenty of
vets out there that have wildland fire experience, and all of them will be ahead
of you on the list. Have you looked into programs like the Green Corps that were
designed to give vets some basic fire/forestry experience?
DB regarding hiring|
Here is a great way for vets to get their foot in the
BLM: Southern Nevada Fire Home Page, Vegas Valley Handcrew
Best of luck
Regarding home to work/take home vehicles|
They are useful but also are at times a pain. I have one and there are a lot of
issues on a personal level that arise.
- Yes they do allow a quicker after-hours response. That is good.
- No you do not get compensated for your commute.
- If you want to go shopping before or after work, no can do. Have to go
home, pick up your personal car, and go back.
- Want to drive thru a coffee stand? Can't do it.
Have some of these basic ideas in mind prior to asking for the home to work
Word from the wise, be careful what you wish for. These are some points or
expressions of my thoughts and experiences not knowing the specifics of folks
knowledge in the area of this topic. It is not my intention to talk down so
please take no offense.
BLM Fire refreshers have ROCKED for the last 10 years...
10 and 18 Fire Refresher|
Refresher is coming up this April, and instead of
doing the same old corny, but important, 10 and 18 refresher training, I am
wanting to spice it up a bit. As many of you can attest, after a few years of
the same PowerPoint, most people lose focus during this segment, and it is TOO
important to have that happen. So, does anyone out there have any ideas or
suggestions? Or can you point me in the right direction to find ideas? My Google
searches haven't revealed any new ideas....
Eldorado Hotshot Fundraiser info|
Just a reminder that the Eldorado Hotshots
Fundraiser to benefit the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and CASA Kids of El
Dorado is about a month away. We are still in need of donation both cash and
raffle/silent auction items. We encourage you to buy your tickets early for
event planning. You can buy your tickets and get all the event details at
eldoradohotshots.org, if you have other questions feel free to contact
us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To: DB regarding hiring|
If you do not show six months general experience with
dates and duties, you will not make it through.
With the ability for folks to apply to an unlimited number of locations, you are
fighting an uphill battle without wildland fire experience, including the basic
classes listed on your application and backed up by certs or IQCS master record.
Keep trying, and don't get discouraged.
Sent from my iPhone
To: DB regarding hiring|
Here's what we're seeing from the other side of the fence on the hiring side. We
had a quality applicant (by quality, I mean good references, good experience,
good quals all depicted in the application) we selected this individual for a "quals
check" and they came back as NOT QUALIFIED with a note of DID NOT MEET QUALITY
GROUP. After doing a little digging, it comes from the basic questions that you
answer in the first part of your application: It's those basic questions that
ask if you have experience using tools, pumps, saws, etc. So picking the FIRST
answer isn't necessarily picking the BEST answer. Make sure to read through
those and make sure you're selecting the BEST answer, not necessarily the first
answer. Your answers assign "points" that will put you in or remove you from the
It seems totally backwards that a candidate could make a referral list, be
reference checked, interviewed and pre-selected, only to come back as NOT
QUALIFIED just before an offer is made. All candidates must be "quals checked"
before offers are made, which is a good thing, but the amount of time that we
put into reviewing applications from the hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of
applicants is obscene. I've been doing it for nearly a month now. To find out
what I believe to be the best-fit candidate is NOT QUALIFIED is making me tear
my hear out.
So, for all of you applying, us supervisors/managers/module leaders are doing
everything we can for you, but there are certain places in this process, where
our hands are just flat-out tied. We deal with just as much frustration and that
feeling of being in the dark too.
Best of luck, and review that application.
The guy you'll see on the fire-line with missing patches of hair
DB- With your military time, if you had an honorable
discharge and you included an electronic copy of your DD-214, then you should be
at the top of the list. Don't let the black hole @ ASC just blow you off. Be
FS Green guy
Reply to "A"|
Regarding the Home to Work Policy/On Call
Last year we had an issue on a Northern California forest that led to a Union
grievance as well as a discussion I had with the Regional Forester on the issue.
The RF agreed that the on-call issue seemed excessive in the amount of time
demanded of the employee to be "on-call" without pay and the limitations
prescribed for being on-call i.e. not being able to use your time as you would
if you were "off duty." Unfortunately the employee left the forest for another
position without the issue being rectified.
It goes to the persistent question of why the FWFSA continues to pursue portal
to portal compensation. The Agencies tend to take advantage of employees with
the "on-call" aspect of the job as well as being taken off the clock while on an
assignment. We firmly believe the correct interpretation of the FLSA requires
compensation for those hours "on call" or those hours when you are on an
assignment and taken off the clock while some cooperators are paid 24/7.
You raise some VERY valid points about response delays. The issue of no policy
on the LP validates the persistent concerns raised by firefighters of all grades
about the role LINE plays in these policies. Politics drove the night-flying
decision and politics will continue to drive land management agency fire policy.
What firefighters need to ensure is that those politicians understand & hear
their ( the firefighter's) perspective and are informed if policies by LINE will
adversely affect firefighters & the public.
Sadly, history has shown that firefighter concerns fall on deaf ears within the
Agency. That is not to say a "line in the sand" has to be drawn between
firefighters and LINE but, with all due respect, with the complexities of
today's wildfires, firefighters need to be making fire policy, not
It would be one thing if the Agency afforded firefighters the right to have
their voice's heard on fire policy and provide firefighters in the hiring
process the necessary tools to achieve the Agency's stated goals (for example
what tools and resources will be required to do face-to-face interviews with
applicants) but that hasn't happened.
Sadly the communication between the RO in R-5 and firefighters has not improved
much since the "ED" days. I hope those of you out there know that people are
listening. But changing a decade's old mentality of a huge bureaucratic
government agency will take time. I can only hope the Agency leadership
recognizes the need for change before we lose more firefighters.
Engine photo of El dorado hills fire California on a grass fire...|
Thanks BC, I added it to the
Engines 29 photo page. Ab.
This is my first year applying for a wildland fire position. I've applied to
multiple vacancy announcements with all of the land management agencies at the
GS-3 level. I've only heard back from the Forest Service and I was "Not
Referred/Not Among the Top Candidates". I've been trying to contact someone
about why I didn't make the cut. I've called the 877-... phone
number and been kicked around the automated menu system but haven't been able to
speak to a human. My qualifications in short are:
- two seasons as landscaper performing construction as well as lawn
- five years in the United States Marine Corps infantry,
- volunteer at a local hospital after separating from the military, and
- for the last six years have been working as an EMT in a major
- I am also a wilderness medicine educator at an ivy league medical
- I was also a volunteer firefighter having attended the and passed the
state fire academy (1999) before joining the military.
- I have ICS 100, 200 and 700 as well haz mat operations.
I don't know what to do at this point and I'm hoping that you could point me
in another direction to find out why I wasn't referred or try something
else/changing something in my application. I'm all ears.
Thank you and respectfully submitted,
If you think you were NOT considered for a job that you applied to
and should have been considered, the one place to go to is the
Merit Systems Protection Board
One thing ASC does not do is rate individuals based on the 5109 or the
red book minimum qualifications for a position. They just rate individuals
based on whether or not they meet the GS level. Big difference in those two.
Erecruit needs to fix this glitch or it will become a bigger issue and
headache down the road.
Erecurit only screens out applicants based on the answers made by the
applicant. The are a series of questions and answered by selecting a radio
button selecting the response by the applicant.
HR then manually checks the apps to make sure folks have documented backup of
the responses, such as SF-50 for Merit applications vs Demo, and looks at the
IQCS master record for IFPM JOBS. FSFPM jobs are not required to have IQCS
master records yet until the October deadline.
Are mistakes made? Yes. Do things slip through? Yes. Does HR still need some
But it is the system we have. We either need to embrace it or change it from the
inside. We bitched enough about AVUE, and the Agency listened and gave us the
system the rest of the Department of Agriculture uses. We might want to watch
what we wish for. Next we are losing GovTrip after it finally works.
For years people said we should be interviewing applicants.... Interviews start
this year and folks are balking at it?
I am predicting a version of R5 Fire Hire next year with the Temps.
It is only the beginning. As I am a Casual observer who is educating myself on
Sent from my iPad
To the individual looking for information on the R4 fire issues, you can always
request your application from the hiring committee through the FOIA process.
Assuming you made the cert and were in consideration for a position they have to
release those records. By doing so, you can see what the issue was and where you
were rated in the process. Maybe you didn’t have a qualification or didn’t meet
R4 hiring specifications. One thing ASC does not do is rate individuals based on
the 5109 or the red book minimum qualifications for a position. They just rate
individuals based on whether or not they meet the GS level. Big difference in
those two. Erecruit needs to fix this glitch or it will become a bigger issue
and headache down the road.
tor, good observations and advice and could be the reason if all new
systems had worked as planned; but this problem is not due to how a person rates
out or is viewed, but has to do with names that should have been there not even
showing up on the final list. Sometimes new systems have problems. Ab.
Gads, I basically agreed with you also and am now getting hammered again. So,
just for drill I re-read your message and it does not come close to lining up
with your rebuttal. Did you or did you not suggest a crewed ambulance on each
district/forest/zone or whatever? Yes or no? So my question was what are you
going to offset to pay for it? Another question is how many IHCs are not already
carrying multiple EMTs? Everyone in my region has three or more. Could the land
management agencies do better, sure. I think I indicated that in my post. But
that does not stop you from jumping on me. Also, please point out where I came
out against medical supplies on engines? All our engines have them, so I thought
that was just a given.
It is disingenuous for you to suggest that the military or any other
organization has all the answers for every situation. My son lost a leg in Iraq
because of a military snafu as he lay on a secure extraction point with a
TOURNIQUET on his leg for eight hours.
I find it almost hilarious that you left the county for the feds and are
throwing rocks at the Feds, DP stayed with the feds and bashes them because he
could have gone to the county. You two need to get together.
Dose of Reality
Everyone, please let's keep this about the what (the issues) not the who
(the personalities). It's easy to talk past each other without any body
language, tone of voice, or facial expression to aid in communication. Sorry
about your son's leg, man. Ab.
re: Piute Forestry article|
Great historical find! This is exactly what I was referring to in a previous
post with the Light Burning Controversy. For nearly 40 years various land owners
in California wanted to continue "light burning," which was also known as Piute
Forestry (referencing the use of fire by Native peoples who were there), and
resisted the fire suppression policies being pushed by the USFS. As you can see
from this article the timber industry was the only concern and fire ecology
(science) was completely ignored and discredited during this time; I have read
numerous documents from the early 20th Century with this same sentiment. People
very much resisted total fire suppression at the time, but the Dragon
Devastation was continually perpetuated over time through publications such as
this... until people believed it.
Region 5 Home to Work Policy?|
Question of the day: Why are fires responded to
differently on the east side of the I-5 freeway than they are on the west side?
Their both in Los Angeles County, both responded to by multiple fire agencies,
both have the same fuel type and both sides provide an equal threat to lives and
property.... But, one is administered by the Angels NF and the other by the Los
That question has been lingering in the minds of many south zone fire employees
for a long time. And with the onset of the night flying helicopter provided by
the Angeles NF, and the training we all received in our annual fire refreshers
on how to use this tool, and south zones 24 hr response to wildfires, there is
still one very critical inconstancy that continues to be practiced.
WHAT IS THE REGION 5 HOME TO WORK POLICY FOR FIRE CHIEFS / DUTY OFFICERS?
It was made very clear by Supervisor Antonovich's office that this new night
flying helicopter would be available to all four southern California forests;
Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and the San Bernardino. Don't get me wrong, the
fire community is welcoming this new tool with open arms. But what happens when
the new copter beats the Incident Commander to the fire? What happens when the
Duty Officer/Incident Commander has to pass the incident so they can get to
their office and pick up a Chief's vehicle? What happens when the next elected
official asks why we had a delayed response to that big fire?
This is a question that should/needs to be answered. Every single Forest Fire
Chief, Deputy Chief, Division Chief and Battalion Chief on the Angeles,
Cleveland and San Bernardino take their vehicles home 365 days/year. Not for a
free ride to work, but to be prepared to respond to emergencies. The Los Padres
NF Fire Chiefs are not permitted this same level of response capability. And for
a good reason, there is no policy! The policy needs to be consistent -- either
we all do it, or none. What if we all made up our own red card qualifications,
or made up our own rules about what PPE to wear on the fireline or decided we
didn't like the WCT? When are we as an agency going to learn that there has to
be constant policy for these types functions.
Come on people... the Forest Service night flying policy has been reversed. Now
let's set our people up to succeed!
Latest News, Video interviews !!!!!! Are you kidding me? Also just heard that we
are only hiring GS-5 for the apprentices after the vets. What is wrong with are
R.O.? Wait, don't answer that.
I read Barry's post on R5's Fire Hire Delay in hiring. I have been in search of
information regarding (apparently and to the best of my knowledge) similar
glitches in the R4 Fire Hire that has already taken place. Unfortunately, R4
Fire Hire DID NOT slow the hiring process and as a result myself and others were
NOT considered for jobs that ASC-HRM is saying we should have been.
I am failing in getting any help from my overhead or the officials who conducted
Fire Hire to even tell me exactly why I was not considered. They claim it to be
an "HRM issue." But, as stated above HRM says I and others with the same
problem, "made the referral list."
This does not seem to be the case in R5 where the Union was able to advocate for
the failing process and act for its delay to correct the issue.
I am looking for information, help, advocacy so that in the future these
problems will not be overlooked but taken much more seriously and rectified
before REAL PEOPLE's careers get delayed/derailed by a broken system.
Thanks for considering and posting this. I am weary of putting my contact info
on this site in fear of negative backlash. Perhaps someone, if interested, can
respond with contact info so I can call/email them.
You and others in R3 and R4 should have recourse for a problem with
referral lists within a new hiring system. Both made offers had the same problem
from what I'm hearing. Ab.
Spinal Injury Devices and the latest science|
I have attached a youtube video link that describes some devices out there for
patient packaging as well transport. It is a brief overview of things people
should be thinking about regarding stabilization and transport for the ill or
injured wildland firefighter.
This material is for all medical providers, supervisors, and leaders in wildland
fire to use in preparing for that medical emergency.
I have also attached the recent articles related to spinal trauma care.
Unfortunately I cannot get the JEMS article link as I believe they may have
changed how they do article releasing, but I am still working on it. However, I
did attach the EMS World article that I placed earlier on "theysaid" for those
who have not seen it.
jems.com 2013 March (for
$20.00 you can get unlimited access to the website for articles, information,
and CE articles and credits.)
Why We Need to Rethink C-Spine Immobilization
Stay Safe....and remember, Risk Management starts with Self Preservation
"Risk Management is Self-Preservation and, It Starts With You."
RE Dose of Reality
So right back to the old WLF Adage, how much safety can I afford today! I don't
know who coined it but they should have a day named after them because they get
it! I am not suggesting a hospital on every forest. What I am suggesting is a
few EMT/Bs or P's on the Crews! We've already trained people to carry a saw,
swing a pulaski, use a compass or GPS, why can't we have the tools and training
to save a life if when needed? Some Forest have done a great job of acquiring
some really key medical supplies, others have not!
The answer was first responder training! What a waste of money! EMTs are
already so limited, how is a First Responder more efficient or economical? Why
was that a good answer? I was told we wouldn't re-enforce our medical standards
or institute a training regiment for EMs because we couldn't afford it! I was
told this by a room of 4 AFMOs 2 DFMOs and 3 Forest A/FMOs LOL. It was an
ironic moment to say the least! Here I am looking at almost 10 people to manage
10 engine captains, 2 fuels techs and 2 preventions. The span of control says we
should be able to manage 3-7 people not 1 manager for each employee! WTF? Do we
really need that many people supervising so few? I think it's evident where I
stand with that!
As Mr. Casey Judd says,
"we are the largest Fire Dept. in the World being run by
people that have never seen a tree on fire except on TV"!
Unless you have packed
somebody out of the woods bleeding to death, why would you care about medical
kits on a buggy or engine? Its really the same justification as carrying a fire
shelter! It's not a fix all silver blanket, it's a tool in a tool box that when
and if needed and when properly deployed prescribes the well-trained user a
fighting chance to LIVE!
We can do better, we can make a difference, our Brothers and Sisters are
counting on us to do what's right by them in their time of need while serving
the Country and they deserve our best effort!
Signed: It'll Do
medical issues and budget
I am trying to figure out what I said that set you off. I thought I was
basically agreeing with you and was trying to make the point that the military
has a virtually unlimited budget and the land management agencies do not. I
guess the fixed budget thing was an unfortunate choice of words.
Now as a matter of rebuttal, if you will go back and re read your post did you
or did you not say it was a matter of dollars? You did not say anything about
operating within existing budgets and cutting red tape. I thought I had agreed
with you but something must have got lost in the translation. I do not know
where you work or for what agency but your portrayal of first aid training,
facilities, commitment is not even close to the places I have worked.
Finally, I accept your bet. Just need to know the amount of my soon to be
Dose of Reality
A Dose of reality, re your post on 3/15 on medical issues|
" The land management agencies total budget probably approximates one
B-1, and many years to come up to the level of a nuclear carrier."
Probably approximates?? What are you talking about? Fixed budget? What is
that? Mine goes up and down and down and up, nothing fixed about it. I am not
asking for paramedics waiting at every dogleg in the fireline. I believe, if we
put them (firefighters, eh em forestry techs) in, we ought a have a way to get
them out. I am talking about SHIPS being broken. Not the USS Missouri. Are you
familiar with Eauthentication? You can link SHIPS from there, if you have a
computer with internet access. And if you can provide the information required,
like the attending doctor's email. That is not easy to get depending on the
hospital's or clinic's policy.
I am not talking about things that require cutting into our fire budget, I am
talking about things that cut red tape, and ASC BS
A dose of reality, I bet you work for a county FD or Cal Fire, good for you,
glad you are taken care of. I should have gone that way when I had the chance
Chief's Letter of Direction and FS Wildland Fire Response Protocol|
Letter of Direction for Fire from Chief Tidwell (30 K pdf) is out, as is the
FS Wildland Fire Response Protocol (21 K pdf).
Of the Seven Standards for Managing Incident Risk, the
Standards 1, 2, 3 and 4 should be completed Pre-season Phase (I), and
that can be done through the WFDSS, dialog with stakeholders (especially in #3 &
#4), and taking into account goals and objectives in the Land Resource
Management Plan (LRMP) (See the FS response protocol document linked above for greater
detail). It also has detail on managing risk in the During Incident Phase
(II) and the After Incident Phase (III).
- Complete an Incident Risk Assessment:
Develop an assessment of what is at risk (from preseason work or input from
key stakeholders for boundary incidents), probabilities of harm, and
- Complete a Risk Analysis:
Consider alternatives (objectives, strategies and tactics) against desired
outcomes, respondent exposure, probability of success, and values to be
- Complete Two-Way Risk Communications:
Engage community leaders, local government officials, partners, and other
key stakeholders associated with the incident to share the risk picture and
- Conduct Risk Sharing Dialogue ( using “Red Book”, Chapter 05.11
framework’s 10 questions):
Engage senior line officers and political appointees (as appropriate) in
dialogue aimed at understanding, acceptance, and support for the
alternatives and likely decision.
- Make the Risk Informed Decision: Develop a time frame to revisit
- Document the Risk assessment, analysis, communication, sharing, and
decision in WFDSS.
- Continue Monitoring and Adjusting as necessary or as conditions
Monitor incident situation; revise the risk process as warranted by changing
stakeholders and senior officials as appropriate. Significant changes will
require updates to the published decision and risk support work.
Risk Management Level Matrix for the 7 Combined Standards (82 K pdf). (For
some reason opening this does not work well in some browsers, for example,
Firefox. Try Internet Explorer or download and save it, then open in Adobe Acrobat.)
Fire Decision Support System
LRMP = Land Resource Management Plan
Thanks for the info Mike.|
I googled it and found this link about the museum...
Siskiyou Smokejumper Base (SSB)
Large hot fire burning in
News article with video from CNN
destructive fire in South Carolina seems to be contained, after damaging or
destroying 26 buildings. A
Google Map link. or Google Earth:
Fire Carolina Forest, South Carolina.kml Comment from a western FF:
Interesting to see so much water available and lose some many structures.
Milepost 66 PPE|
Why were flight helmets not required when rappelling on the
Milepost 66? Maybe that's what OSHA thought too.
Fire helmets don't provide face protection.
The firefighter was not in contact with terrain, that's rappelling in my
book. Even if they call it high-angle ropes you should have protection.
I thought MTDC had to approve new gear for something like this. It's hard to
believe the hotshots in the FLA would agree to rappel unless a injured person
The location shown on your linked document is correct. The old base is now a
smokejumper museum with pretty much a self-guided tour. Several of the old
jumpers meet there each summer for a week and refurbish buildings and the
grounds. The old business/dispatch office has been fully restored to its
original condition. We covered the old bathhouse in cedar shakes last year to
make it look like it did in the old pictures. Considerable work was done on the
loft. There is currently work afoot to purchase and refurbish an old Twin Beech
aircraft for display.
Tommy Smith drowned before I got to SSB, and do not really know the details
other than he was trying to cross the river, lost his footing and his rope
snagged on a rock and kept him under.
(SSB = Siskiyou Smokejumper Base)
Ref Prescribed burning article:|
I am pretty sure Greeley thought the world was
A dose of Reality
Interesting take on this. Enjoyed reading the article.
Need location information and here's a lesson you might want to review...|
Mike Mann or any other old oregon or norcal jumper, if you're reading could you
please take a look at this location for the old
Cave Junction Jumper Base. We often stopped to visit when heading up 199
Redwood Highway. Also, do you know what stretch of the Illinois River is called
Illinois River Canyon where Tommy (Smitty) Smith died in 1967?
Geez, my oldest kid who is also a strong swimmer, tried swimming across the
Trinity River (norcal) in a calm section near the gorge (where New River flows
in near old Al's place) with the same idea of hauling the rope across to ferry
gear. He didn't have the rope tied on tightly and he ditched it. What strong
swimmer would think the rope could cause you to drown?? Who would think a calm
stretch of river could be masquerading as a bath-tub when it really has powerful
jets just below the surface?
There are a number of firefighter deaths by drowning in the Trinity River,
the Klamath River, the Illinois River... and probably other western rivers.
Please do not consider our powerful NorCal and Oregon Rivers as "swimming
holes". As far as river or stream crossings go, keep in mind that you're
potentially entering a dangerous environment....
Phew, now I feel better.
PS. One more Q: to those on the Shasta-T, Big Bar District. Does anyone know
where the Oak Creek drainage is?
Always Remember Tom Reginnetter, Redding SJ
Here's a 1920's "take" on Prescribed burning from foresthistory.org 1999.
It's a reprint of Asst Forester William Greeley's 1920 article "Piute
Forestry or the Fallacy of Light Burning" March 1920 (pdf download)
Deanne Shulman retired a year ago. They could try Dale Dague FAM in the
Thanks, Scott, I sent him the contact info. Contributors, thanks for the
other suggestion as well. Ab.
Ramus E Hinge, DEMA
The best person to contact for international firefighters would be Deanne
Shulman. She is in the International Program at the Office of the Chief.
Phoenix Interagency Fire Center
Thanks, Dwayne, I'm forwarding her phone
number. A bit of history...
IMWTK First woman
hotshot. First woman smokejumper, etc. A life well lived!Ab.
Learn from wildland firefighters.|
I'm a firefighter and in Europe and I am an instructor for the firecadets in the
Copenhagen fire brigade and I work for DEMA (Danish Emergency Management
Who should I contact to get to visit and learn from the wildland firefighters in
/Rasmus E. Hinge
Re Fire Hire:|
This message is making the rounds behind the scenes:
I spent time with Jeanne Wade Evans (Deputy Regional Forester with oversight
of Fire and Aviation Management) on the phone yesterday regarding the delay in
Fire Hire selections.
Here is what I have learned:
- The reason for the delay is NOT tied to budget cuts related to
sequestration. Those positions that are to be filled via Fire Hire were
planned in anticipation that sequestration would occur. Forests were told to
plan on a 5% reduction in overall 2013 budgets (from 2012 levels). As long
as the positions they intended to fill through Fire Hire were in line with
that budget advice, sequestration cuts are not a factor since they were
already factored into early budget advice.
- The delay is NOT driven by a concern about lack of diversity in the
qualified applicant pool. I’m told that Civil Rights is tracking on overall
diversity and the numbers are good in the qualified applicant pool.
Remember, nobody in the Fire Hire process is privy to applicants RNO (race,
national origin….) information. Civil Rights tracks that information. If
they see trends or concerns that indicate a lack of diversity in the
applicant pool, they speak up before selections are made. In this instance,
Civil Rights reports good diversity in the qualified applicant pool from
which selections would be made.
- The reason for the delay IS it has been noted that, of the overall
numbers of applications received, there is a significant percentage of
applicants that didn’t make it through e-recruit filters, and thus were
considered non-qualified. Given that we are dealing with a new system
(e-recruit), management though it prudent to pause in order to determine if
there is a problem and, if there is, what the fix needs to be. The concern
is that we want all qualified applicants to be considered properly for hire.
If there is a system problem that is not filtering correctly, we could have
other-wise qualified candidates not making it into the qualified applicant
pool. Region 5’s concerns were relayed up the chain to Deputy Chief Lenise
Lago. Ms. Lago quickly assigned high level staff to work with Region 5 staff
to review the matter, and that review is full-steam ahead. The intent is to
resume with the selection process as soon as possible.
I’ll provide updated information as I have it.
/s/ Barry L. McDonald
NFFE Forest Service Council Vice-President, Region 5
Although the FWFSA is blue in the face from explaining to members of Congress
the consequences of sequestration on the preparedness of the upcoming wildfire
season, it is imperative that if anyone has valid, factual information about
delays in hiring etc., by any Agency, anywhere in the U.S., claiming that such
delays are a result of the sequestration, feel free to let us know.
We assume that NFFE has Rights to "bargain" the "impact & Implementation" of
policies as a result of the sequestration and it is not our intent to step on
anyone's toes. That said...and with all due respect to the leadership of the
USDA & DOI...
Since we already know historically that even without the sequestration some Line
folks do funny, non-fire things with FIRE preparedness dollars, we want to make
sure that sequestration isn't a "tool" used to fund non-FIRE projects or
positions at the expense of delaying the hiring of firefighters. There are
already unwarranted delays as a result of Forest Supervisors having a say in
FIRE hiring despite not necessarily knowing much about FIRE or possessing any
quals and there are enough friends on Capitol Hill that would not take kindly to
the preparedness of the Agencies being impacted as a result of such shenanigans.
See, I can use nice words!
We've already heard from a few folks and will confidentially pass along any
information we get to NFFE and of course key members of Congress if necessary.
Federal Wildland Fire Service Association
That's a great question and guess what.... I have a great answer.
Yes leaving a tourniquet in place for that amount of time is not as dangerous
as one thought and combat operations have shown that. The longest recorded time
is 5 hours with no adverse affects.
If you have ever had some sort of orthopedic surgery for a limb then surgeons
often apply a pneumatic tourniquet while in the operating room.
With today's surgical abilities and prosthetic repairs the ability to retain
a limb or add a prosthetic that compensate for the limb lost are unbelievable.
I hope this helps answer your question. The other part I would look at is
self preservation. Loss of limb or loss of life?! You choose.
Thanks for the great question.
"Risk Management is Self-Preservation and, It Starts With You."
Re: Medical issues|
To compare the military with the land management agencies is an
exercise in futility at best. The land management agencies total budget probably
approximates one B-1, and many years to come up to the level of a nuclear
carrier. Our budgets are smaller than their petty cash drawers.
So, in the arena of a fixed budget it is all about priorities. If you could
have everything you wanted. to be prepared for any medical emergency, what would
you cut out of the fire budget to finance it? I am not saying you are wrong or
disagreeing with you, it is a risky business and we should do all we can to
mitigate those risks. You are totally correct, it is about dollars, but, unlike
the military we do not have a virtually endless supply of them to buy buy every
bell or whistle we may want.
A Dose of Reality
There are Red Flag warnings in
NE FL and
East Central FL
Those of you that went to help in the 90s know that Florida can burn and it
Re Bleeding control for wildland firefighters:|
Does the tourniquet
recommendation to control bleeding hold true even in a wildland situation when
it can take a long time to get someone to a helispot and lifted out? It seems
that loss of a limb would be a high risk if a tourniquet is left on for as long
as it can take to get someone off the fire line. I realize, it's better to lose
a limb than a life, but it seems like it would take some tough decisions to use
Still out there as an AD
Re Medical issues arising out of Bleeding control for wildland firefighters:|
Signed: It'll Do! You said,
" So why not the Forest Service, Park Service, BLM, BIA, Fish and
Feathers Etc. In the big scope of things is it really that out of line to
have a forest service ambulance with 2 paramedics on a Forest, District or
Zone working under the medical direction of a local or Regional Doctor? "
In regard to the fed land management agencies lack of ability to take care of
their own. The simple answer, $$. All the folks who do want make some positive
changes do it at their own expense and risk. Lots of captains are shut down and
told that it is not a priority for anything beyond basic first aid, the
requirement for USFS. Usually first aid training in the USFS is more of a check
the box, we have that completed exercise, than any real learning about what to
do in a emergency.
Sorry, I wish it was not that way either, but for now seems to be. Have you
ever tryed to get medicine, for say altitude sickness victim on a type 3
incident, when you are out of region, on the weekend, and the Doctor's
receptionist has a policy of not giving out the Doctors email (required in SHIPs)?
BLM and NPS are a little better.
The budget situation is beginning to be felt in BLM fire hiring.|
<jarcher@ nospam blm.gov>
Date: Thu, Mar 14, 2013
Subject: BLM Status
Thank you for your recent application for the position of Lead Range
Technician (Fire), GS-0455B-06, NM Merit-2013-0041, in Roswell, NM, US, with the
Bureau of Land Management. The vacancy has been cancelled due to a departmental
hiring freeze. We appreciate your interest in employment with Bureau of Land
Management and the time taken to apply for this position. We hope you will
consider future employment opportunities with us.
Bill Barr from the Hazleton (Pennsylvania) Tanker
Base sent in a bunch of 2012 SEAT photos. The fires they were flying on occurred
between March and April. I posted them on the
Airtankers 37 photo page.
Wikipedia on Hazleton PA.
Thanks Bill! Ab.
Social Media and Fire Information|
Having worked at multiple levels in
communications for the interagency wildland fire community, in duties ranging
from simple PIO fire questions to Communications policy - I have noticed a
significant change in the culture of wild land fire information reporting. From
written correspondence to web-site postings. All in all, the They Said site has
proven to be the most accurate and least instigating rumor, or pardon the pun -
"drama" disseminator of fire related information. The Hot-list is a terrific
source of dialogue which helps bring forth important issues, trends, and
concerns - through the homepage discussions, that help our federal agencies
discern the most appropriate response venue. I know for fact, that when info
comes into the "AB" site that it is verified through a number of agency sources.
There is no BS, rumor mongering, etc. The site is tracked for what it is
intended to do - reach the wildland firefighting community at all levels.
Now that wildlandfire.com has changed management does not mean it has changed
its core values of integrity with handling information.
I need to say no more.
Remember that the intent of this site has always been to give a voice to all -
and it will remain so. And thru state of the art technology, it will still
"compete" and most likely "out best" most of the federal wildland fire World
Keep up the good work AB's. A fruitful and well balanced transition is
As the old jumper saying goes: "Maintain, you 'modickers' - Maintain."
History Buff too
Re Bleeding control for wildland firefighters:|
Great Video! Its funny how we go back to the tried and true methods of life
saving medical procedures. Makes sense that after long periods of combat
operations we learn what is working in the field and what is not! Sometimes its
the most simple, basic / fundamental procedures that make the difference!
In a similar realm but different subject; I went to the Federal side after 15
years in County Fire. It was the hardest thing in the world to adjust to the
fact that medical treatment of wildland firefighters was still in the dark ages.
No medics, no airway kit, no defib on and on. It literally makes the hair on the
back of the neck stand straight up just watching someone fall trees and thinking
about that what if moment! Or hiking in 6 miles and thinking about the kid who's
going to go into anaphylaxis if he sees something with a stinger.
I always wondered why the Federal government denies wildland firefighters
the benefit of a high level of care but will allow its benefit elsewhere. For
example, an Air force base has ambulances and paramedics, hell on most bases
they have Doctors and Hospitals. The Secret Service has Medics and
Ambulances, Dept of Energy has Paramedics and Ambulances, Dept. of Reclamation
has them! So why not the Forest Service, Park Service, BLM, BIA, Fish and
Feathers Etc. In the big scope of things is it really that out of line to have a
forest service ambulance with 2 paramedics on a Forest, District or Zone working
under the medical direction of a local or Regional Doctor? I know i am diving
into some gray area and i dont want that to become the focus, rather the fact
that we've been left out and people have suffered because of it.
Our job is dangerous yes, that's not going to change! We're only going to be
able to mitigate so much. But, we can do more to provide our own crews with
first responders. How about every Engine with at least 1 Firefighter EMT/B,
Every IHC with 1 Firefighter Paramedic and 2 Firefighter EMT/B's and the
equipment to do the job worthy of our peoples well being!
Ladies and gentleman our Number 1 Mission out there is.......
The preservation of LIFE #1 and Property #2.
Sorry Chief! Taking care of People and the Land (Same thing)! I feel like we
should do more to fulfill that commitment to the first part of that statement!
Thanks again for the great video lesson Bill!
Signed: It'll Do!
Re Fire Hire:|
Allen York Frank Kody Mike
People who earned the right for consideration get passed up every year.
Grousing about it won't change anything. Let it be known there are multiple ways
to play the game. I hate saying that but it happens everywhere, not just fire.
Sorry about your luck.
Bleeding control for wildland firefighters|
I have attached a weblink to a
youtube video that outlines some basic thoughts on bleeding control for the
The current IRPG reflects old practices for bleeding control measures and
from recent military conflicts and research, I would suggest that all interested
wildland fire professionals review this video as we need to be doing what's in
the here and now and not what's been in the past.
While some will say, "It's agency....or not agency policy", I would counter
by saying its high time we start doing what is a currently accepted and
supported medical practice for this type of injury.
Please note, it is not anything fancy, but it is a message that needs to be
Stay safe.... and remember, Risk Management starts with Self-Preservation.
"Risk Management is Self-Preservation and, It Starts With You."
Remembering Shane and Jeff - Cramer Fire|
Angeles Helitack created a
Helispot Checklist shortly after the Cramer Incident (ID, 2003). We were
married up with Indianola Helitack leading up to that incident. We wanted to put
something together to help prevent future accidents and honor those gentlemen we
spent time with.
Thanks. I added it to the
A;ways Remember Shane and Jeff page. Ab.
Ramona Air Traffic Control Tower Could Close
Sequestration could claim the back country airfield.
The Federal Aviation Administration proposed to close the Ramona tower
because they said it is not considered crucial to national use. The tower was
built in 1995 after three people died when two forest service planes collided.
This airfield serves as "ground zero" during fire season and CAL Fire needs the
runway for air tankers that fight wildfires. Fire chiefs and county
supervisors... more at the link.
Looks like the link goes to a
general PPE violation
If the FLA outcome is that the PPE of the ropes program gets in line with
some recognized or approved standards, that would be one good thing.
Let fires burn!?|
You may have already realized it by now, but just in case... you are agreeing
with what I said. My example from the "living room" was an example of how people
will incorrectly misinterpret the situation and falsely accuse the wrong people.
People incorrectly think that it is being allowed to burn because of what the
press release said. The point being that it gave an incomplete batch of
information to the public. And just so you know, it is quite the topic among
some of us in the PIO world and calls have indeed been coming in to many
districts because people misinterpreted it, but it doesn't take a rocket
scientist to realize that was going to happen. Apparently I wasn't clear enough.
Anyway, to repeat, you just echoed what I was saying. And yes, I am familiar
with the history. In fact myself and another person actually went through,
sorted and put to sleep all of the original files from the South Canyon Fire ICP
and aftermath a couple of months ago, ALL of them. They are now in long-term
storage, but not after I copied some of the original photos. Being an apparent
history expert I'm sure you went through the files too and have the same photos,
but for everyone else... This is the
original photo of the South Canyon spot fire that started it all.
Be safe out there
From the Ab account:|
Record of OSHA Report on Milepost 66, doesn't say a whole lot... yet
I guess I should have stated up front that my concern is that
no matter what I do it will get swept under the rug and I will still damage my
career. If I say something I will be told it was a mistake, they will take that
experience off my fire and falsify another fire record. End result I show myself
as "not being a team player" and nothing changes. I would be far more likely to
say something if I thought it would do some good. Unfortunately I know how my
unit is run, and all I would be doing is tilting at windmills. I'm stubborn
enough to raise holy hell about this anyway, so maybe I'll change my name to Don
Same ol' budget games|
It warms my heart to know that, after being laid off for
an extra month, all of the BLM FMOs are on their way to Boise to discuss HROs
which could have been done via computer and saved tens-of-thousands of dollars.
Steve and Mellie - retiring from management...|
Congrats on your
semi-retirement.. since I know it won't be a full-time retirement.. Still wander
into the site once and a while to catch up and see how the rest of the world it
going. I too am feeling the need to slow down a little, but the mind won't let
me, it still thinks I can do more than the body will allow. But, that's life...
Be looking forward to still hearing from ya all..
Video on Vimeo: Wildfire,
Forest fires in the American West (about 5 minutes)|
Script and narration
by Walter Gallacher
Produced and photographed by Steven G. Smith
Let fires burn!?|
Russell, and Be safe out there,
It is not that I don't agree with you, because I do in theory, but here is my
problem with your theme. We do not have the resources to fight the big fires. So
Fire Management is just that. Resources will always be most effective when " It
is the right resource at the right time, in the right place" ,once said by a
So my point is... It is not let burn, not fire use for benefit. Simply once a
fire escapes IA, and there is no backup, due to budget cuts, liability (afraid
to engage), or just everyone is already out and engaged, we have to make
tough choices regarding priorities. Priority usually involves low elevation
before high elevation due to proximity to people and homes.
Be safe out there, you said, "We called the Forest Service when it was just a
little smoke four days ago, but no one did anything! Dang, they could've put it
out with a bucket of water and a shovel. Now we are being evacuated! Why do I
pay my tax dollars?! Those firefighters aren't doing their jobs and this is
Interestingly enough, That is almost exactly what some of the good residents
of Glenwood Springs, Co said about a little duffer up on Storm King Mt. Before
the blow up on the South Canyon Fire. I would encourage you to study a little
history. They were not letting it burn, they were stretched to the max and had
no one else to send until it became a priority (enough phone calls). And that is
how we end up not being safe out there.
Prescribed Fire and doing the best you can with what you have are completely
Thank you, MS
For the update concerning the R5 Fire Hire postponement of selections this week.
Please keep the community posted on when selections will resume, if you can, as
many of us are anxiously awaiting our fates. Also, if you are privy to the
conversations taking place that caused the stall in the first place, perhaps you
can share what the problems are... just curious.
RE: ROCK! Firefighter Extraction Success Story|
First off let me say that it is
fantastic that this injured firefighter not only survived, but also had a full
recovery was made! Kudos to the EMTs on the hotshot crew and the NPS short haul
That being said, over two hours to get an injured firefighter to advanced
life support is ludicrous.
One of my biggest worries as a long time Hotshot captain was and is our
continuing inability to extract one of our own in a timely manner in the event
of serious / life threatening injury. We have been extremely lucky and sometimes
not so lucky in the past....
As an ATGS, I regularly process orders for ground crews for lunches,
batteries, etc.. for air tankers, helicopters, etc… but when it comes to medical
aide, the reality is that it is not done (thank goodness?) on a regular basis.
That being said, training on what to pre load the order with is not at the tip
of most firefighter tongues nor in the “second nature” of our ordering process…
How many times has the “cookie cutter Medical Plan in the IAP been tested? This
is definitely an incident where training paid off, from the Hotshot crew's
readiness to the NPS short haul module being there. Excellent decision making
both during and pre incident!
In this day and age of technology and information, there is NO reason we
should not have the ability to quickly respond to medical trauma for our
firefighters.. whether it be ground (EMTs/ALS on the crews) and air (dedicated
Medi-Vac) on EVERY incident from IA to project. If the land management agencies
cannot pony up and do this then it is time for them to get out of the emergency
As a good friend of mine says “The Agencies are only as safe as they can
R 1861, and hopefully you are a bargaining unit employee and
can use that to help protect you. But even if you aren’t, there are safeguards
in place for your benefit. (In theory)
If you are a BUE and have not already contacted your local union steward, I
would do so. If you don’t know where to go for that, you can contact me through
Ab. Good Luck.
Big thanks to the community:|
Wasatch Helitack, Bonneville IHC, and Lone Peak
Conservation Center members were just a few of those that came out for music,
BBQ, sunshine, skiing/snowboarding, and an epic snowy scavenger hunt at Wasatch
Showdown on March 1st. Not only did they raise over $2000 for the WFF, but they
rounded up some AMAZING prizes for those lucky raffle winners! Thanks to
Brighton Resort for helping to make this day possible as well, because it was
great seeing all of the wildland firefighters smiling and laughing together on
such a beautiful mountain. Thank you for rallying everyone together and
supporting each other!
Be sure to check out the pictures on our Facebook Page
Wasatch Showdown 2013 and on our
WFFoundation profile on the wlf.com Photo Album.
See you there next year!
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Nice use of the photo album option! Between posting the fundraisers on the
Hotlist calendar and following up with thanks and photos, you ROCK! Ab.
I've seen this very thing happen many times in my years with the Forest
Service. The Task Book system is supposed to prevent this type of falsification.
With the many many signers the Task Book requires to ultimately qualify someone,
there is alot of accountability. I guarantee that if you confronted any of these
"qualifiers, signers" with the threat of exposing this fraud, somebody will
withdraw their signature before it goes to the Red Card Committee for final
blessing. It is your duty to do everything you can to expose this. Somebody
could get hurt or worse, killed. You will sleep alot better and night knowing
that you did the right thing for the organization we take such great pride in.
Don't forget, there's always your Congressman who may not look the other way.
2011 Las Conchas Fire (New Mexico) Injured Firefighter Extraction Lessons
ROCK! Firefighter Extraction Success Story from Lessons Learned Center
VERY interesting 22 minute lessons learned video about an injured firefighter
on a 2011 wildfire and what his crew members did to get him extracted out of the
incident and to a hospital within 3 hours (moral of the story – train, train,
train, practice, practice, practice).
Let fires burn!?|
I think you have summarized it well and that's probably the way it will go down.
When reading the announcement I was surprised that more attention wasn't being
directed towards how this might be interpreted by homeowners living in one of
the many WUI zones throughout the country.
And why would you release something like this without a contact person for
questions from the public? Was this really well thought out? I often wonder why
more things like this aren't first reviewed by people who deal with the front
line situations and the public.
I think I can quite safely say that if there aren't members of the public with
confusion and questions about this now, there will be when the small fire they
can see from their living room with binoculars has grown, become much larger,
created its own weather and then advanced a lot further than it was thought
possible! I can hear the news report now... "We called the Forest Service when
it was just a little smoke four days ago, but no one did anything! Dang, they
could've put it out with a bucket of water and a shovel. Now we are being
evacuated! Why do I pay my tax dollars?! Those firefighters aren't doing their
jobs and this is their fault!"
One wonders how this release will be referred to mid-fire season this year.
And there might be even more questions asked (shouted) when the air tankers
don't seem to be available because the same scenario is playing out in multiple
areas across the west.
Be Safe Out There
I got into a discussion this week with a fellow fire fighter/good friend. The
topic was about a certain position in North Ops that has come available. I will
not mention what crew or what position it is for but for those of you in the
loop, I am sure you will pick up on what I am talking about. This job has
clearly been pre-selected. I know of over a dozen people who are applying for
it. These qualified individuals will not even be given a fair shot at the job. I
do understand this in some respects.
Let’s just say you started out on a Hotshot crew as a GS-02, Then through the
years you busted your hump to lead saw, senior fire fighter , squad leader,
foreman than ultimately Superintendent. I would say you earned your job and put
your time in. Doing all the jobs and patiently stood in line for the chance to
break out of your “glass ceiling”. This is understood through the fire community
and typically the candidate is rather respected and well sought out for. Now…..
that being said, the person we all know that is getting the job did not do any
of that. This person is hand selected by the powers above and has told this
module they will hire this individual. HAHA- what a joke. If this person gets
this job over some of the other folks that I know that personally put in, that
just lets me know that as supervisors we are slowly getting our spine chipped
away. Earth to supervisors! If your spineless than you can’t fight fire!
Signed- Allen York Frank Kody Mike.
Let fires burn!?
Let's see, fires are great for the ecosystem when they are in a controlled
environment like prescribed burning in late fall and early spring when
humidities are higher and fuels are wetter. Letting fires burn in the middle of
the summer when we have low humidities, dry fuels, and less resources sounds
like flirting with disaster. Fires are great when they are in the middle of
nowhere and not threatening anything. However, fires start to do what they want
and create their own weather when they get a lot bigger and get a lot hotter. We
humans have no control over Mother Nature, especially when a fire has been
cooking with little or no control over it.
I would like to see these higher ups explain to home owners their reasoning
for letting these fires burn that could end up burning homes. I personally think
we should focus more on the prescribed plan and hit them hard when they're not.
Small fires are a lot cheaper to fight than big ones.
What do you guys think?
Fire Hire postponed in Region 5|
Deputy Regional Forest Jeanne Wade has
announced a postponement of R5 Fire Hire recommendation and selection week. This
was scheduled to start Monday, March 11.
After discussions with Regional Forester Randy Moore this afternoon, we
have decided to postpone Fire Hire selections until we can better understand the
barriers we face this year in hiring and the impacts to our applicants. We look
forward to conversations early next week to get this hiring process moving
forward as soon as possible.
We appreciate everyone efforts on preparing for this significant hiring
event thus far. We are optimistic that after our discussions next week we will
find a successful way forward quickly.
Let burn is cheapest in the long run...
I was making a fuss this summer about when you attack a fire, the goal should
be; out by the next day at 10'.
If the goal is to put it out, the "old" policy worked "too well".
But when a prescription plan is in place, and it's right to burn, you have
backup plans in place ... let the snow put it out!
The problem I see, is turning a problem wildfire, into a "fire use" fire;
without a plan, and making up the prescription as you go.
Forest Service May Let More Fires Burn
Found this FS study to share
"Learning from a Traumatic Event -- Suicide" (974 K pdf) that touches
on a subject that is difficult to discuss.
One cannot know what others are thinking, but we each have our own battles and
way of dealing with them. We also need to realize what our own bodies might be
telling us, that we need more/better rest, exercise and diet to help maintain
our Health, both Physical and Mental. Beware of Accumulated Fatigue, it is a
killer. Here are some more resources from the past archives:
Personally have had experience with Friends and Relatives doing themselves
in, and it hurts and is hard to understand. Life can be a challenge, especially
when there are Family or Money problems, then adding Stress from Work does not
And There I Was
Thanks, good information! Other resources: Bill Arsenault's brochure on
Watchout Situations for Post Traumatic Stress and How to Help is excellent
for PTSD. I also highly recommend the
Firefighters Life Challenge Program, begun by Shawna "Legs" that helps
firefighters prevent suicide and deal with its aftermath. Ab.
We recently received the exciting news about the changes and
developments taking place at wildlandire.com and wlfhotlist.com. We would like
to take this opportunity to recognize all that Mellie, Steve, Casey and others
at both wildlandfire.com and FWFSA have done for us and express our appreciation
for all of your support. The wildland fire community has been through some tough
times and your involvement and efforts have never gone unnoticed. As we look
forward to the changes and technological advances brought about by the talented
and ambitious FireWhat firefighting team, we want you to know how thankful we
are for your dedication, commitment, and personal sacrifices to bring necessary,
and often critical, information and changes to the firefighting community.
Your Friends at FEDS
Thanks! for the thanks. It's great working with you! You FEDS folks
provide a very necessary safety-net service for federal wildland firefighters.
I'm so happy to know your passion for and dedication to our federal wildland
fire community. FEDS
for Professional Liability Insurance. Ab.
"Only as $afe as we can afford"|
DOI APB 13-01 Budget Reductions and Risk Management
"Possible cuts to training, proficiency, and maintenance budgets"
Really? what will the next prevention bulletin from "$afety Management" tell us
next, we no longer require Fire Shelters? just think of the millions we could
Milepost 66 and Job Hazard Analysis, training, PPE for rappelling, when OSHA
This direction says JHAs are highly recommended:
FSM 6700, R6 Supplement No.: 6700-2012-2
The JHA referred to in the FLA was for tree climbing not for high angle
rappelling. Does that mean you can locally create some kind of high risk
program, roll your own non-approved, non-agency training and say its official?
Can you use whatever PPE you're able to throw together and say it's agency
Can you say Swiss Cheese?
Anybody know when the OSHA report comes out? I am looking forward to it since
Region 6 chain of command seems to be failing with safety.
Will the Region 6 Safety and Occupational Health Officer step up?
~ ~ there will be some F/F up the Columbia without a paddle ~ ~
Re: Something fishy
That's a tough situation to be in, I know because I've been there. It really
highlights the fact that to be ethical and do what is right is not supported in
the agency (and for me it's the FS). And who can you go to for help? No one, we
have no system in place for people to voice concerns such as these. And anyone
who says otherwise is either talking about a smaller unique area, or is
completely out of touch.
Unfortunately in my case we don't have a strong union rep and he's a buddy with
our line officer so it's not a reliable or trustworthy situation.
And what's really sad and scary for your situation is the fact that this person
is now going to "qualified" to be in charge of a lot of resources in (likely)
dangerous situations. The system is pretty much broken if you ask me.
I hope you have been diligently taking and keeping notes and trying to cover
your a$$ as much as possible. But you may never get a chance to defend yourself
and none of this will come out until someone gets hurt.
Maybe it's a good time to pull that Safety Journey card. After all we're
supposed to be free to discuss anything that is a potential safety risk right?
Without threat of retribution from a supervisor... Don't believe that for a
So what would I do? Hard to say. I wish you good luck though. Maybe someone else
here will have better suggestions than mine. I doubt it would do any good to
write to someone higher up unless you have some strong documented and provable
information. Maybe be careful to not play all of your cards at once and never
ever assume that everyone will be honest and tell the truth - even line
officers. It just isn't so.
And just in case anyone has forgotten what the Safety Journey card is, here is
what it says on it:
Side 1: SAFETY, EMPOWERMENT, AUTHORITY
Side 2: Safety Empowerment Authority
I am responsible for my own safety, as well as that of my fellow employees and
the public we serve.
I have full authority to call a halt to any activity that looks or feels to be
I will use this authority with confidence because Forest Service leadership
fully supports me taking this action so I can protect myself and others from
It's shameful and not very realistic, isn't it?
Afraid to talk
Re Something Fishy:
First, DP offered some sound advice. Second, read it again and sleep on it for a
day or so. I'm really not sure what you think is going to happen here?? You know
how many times I heard my boss say "deny, deny, deny"? Me neither, but I've
heard it enough. Either way, it could just be a mistake? How about just
approaching your boss and letting them know? I agree with DP and try to keep it
low if possible. Now, if they were giving themselves experience as an IQCS
administrator and they didn't perform that particular role, then there is a
problem. I still think approaching your boss first is the right thing to do.
Remember, sometimes you have to pick your battles to fight another day. Like you
said you don't want to damage your career!
Take it from me, this is nothing compared to the bigger issues that are out
there, and the daily battles some of us fight just like this. Look below the
surface before you jump in.
Just by posting this, I think you already know what you have to do, and you're
right, you can't, nor should you let it slide. If you're that concerned that
there will be that much back lash, then file a
SafeNet, you may do so
anonymously and if you are in a Region like mine (5), the Regional Safety
Officer will address it, ours happens to be a stand up individual who would take
this on with the utmost professional manner.
Accountability cannot be checked out of supply, and you cannot order it from a
GSA catalog, but it is free, and you will sleep great at night.
Re R5 2013 perm job offers:
Response to SNS,
Line officers and other officials are headed to Sacramento next week to begin
the recommendation process. Offers could be made at this time or in the week to
follow. Best of luck.
Re Something fishy|
To answer the most frequently asked question, yes this
person is my supervisor and yesX100 there will be retribution if I speak up. And
I can't go to the next level because that person and my boss are buddies. To
answer other questions I'm a fed, and the position listed was ICT3 (a qual this
person needs to keep their job) I'm thinking about taking this to the next level
anyway, just out of pure spite. But knowing it could damage my career (and
paycheck) is making me think long and hard.
Sent from my iPhone
Ab or those that know about FOIAs,|
Is it possible for OSHA to FOIA the
ORIGINAL Milepost 66 FLA?
The SME work is still going on at McClellan rating perm apps. it's taken 13 days
The selections are supposed to be either next week, or the week after that. Be
patient, nothing is going fast this season.
R5 2013 Perm Job Offers:
Can any R5 Fire Hire folks estimate when PERM FEO (7) and AFEO (6) job offers
will come out?
Message from Abercrombie:|
Good question "What gets posted?"
Steve's and my rule of thumb has always been "Treat others in the way you'd like
to be treated." and that leads to Duty, Integrity, Respect.
As much as possible,....
Keep your post about the WHAT, and
- the question,
- the issue,
- the gripe,
- refuting or clarifying the distracting rumor
- the wildland fire alert or heads up about most anything,
- the instant safety news,
- the information,
- the policy,
- the lessons learned...
- the agency structure that brought us here but could be improved... or
what works well,
- how to make things better,
- the answer to a question,
- the insight,
- the logical, informative discussion embedded within each firefighter's
- offer insights or provide info on mitigating circumstances that might
allow us to understand human factors, among other things
not the WHO.
- the other "personality" that might have created your emotional knee-jerk
- the poster you feel you must know and DO NOT like,
- the poster on the other side of the issue,
- the poster that used a buzz word, etc.
It's well known but worth reminding people that
- Anonymous posters may tend to say things that they wouldn't say to someone's
face, or about someone to other's faces.
- Information shared by text only is devoid of facial expression, body
language, tone of voice and a myriad of other clues that inform as to the
- The internet has evolved in the last 13 years and posting styles have changed on professional forums.
Since they-said-it has existed and firefighters have raised their issues, the
Forest Service Fire Organization has responded and fostered
- Firefighter Leadership and other training,
- Safety, as evidenced by
DP, It might be easier to answer "What doesn't get posted?" or
"What doesn't get posted without editorial (Ab) interaction?"
- Firefighter deaths or accidents. They are not posted as they occur. We
know that immediately after, it's a time of chaos, facts are uncertain and
family members have not yet been notified. We do appreciate a "heads up"
email so we can pass the info on to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation to
arrange family support, and to the Hotlist Mods to prevent premature
- Untruths we know to be untruths about people, agencies, etc. But we don't fact check every single
- Posts that need to be clarified or written differently to keep them about the what
not the who.
- Posts that could be considered whistleblower that might get the poster
unfairly fired or blacklisted, especially if they're addressing a safety
concern and have had no success via the chain-of-command. Before posting, we
make suggestions on how they can protect themselves and I may help them
network behind the scenes.
- Posts that need editorial help. If someone has an important
point or points but needs help writing, I've helped. I also spell check, and to some
degree, grammar check. If grammatical changes are substantial, I run them by
the poster to see what they want Ab to do before posting. Often I tell them
is post as is.
- Repeated rants against a public person or agency with no specifics offered.
- Rants against private individuals not filling a public role.
- Copyright infringement is not allowed. Fair Use may be invoked as
minimally as possible. (Do unto others... And we don't like rip-offs
- Posts with overt emotion-laden buzz words, whether or not related to fire issues.
- Posts signed with an inappropriate moniker.
- Posts where one poster asks a question and answers himself using another
- Posts from the same poster who just won't let go of their issue, although no new point
is made and no new information is shared.
- Posts about religion. People have their own preferences, passions and truths.
- Posts about sex (er,um, not gender, but the other regular meaning of sex). People have
their own preferences, positions and passions. (Not so much an issue in recent years, but
in the beginning of the forum, definitely an issue.)
- Posts about politics and political parties unrelated to fire and firefighting. People have their own, and
often emotional, opinions. We do encourage responsible citizenship, voting in elections
and educating policy-makers on fire issues. We do appreciate and encourage FWFSA and Casey's education of Congress on behalf of federal wildland
On this moderated forum, we have worked with people to make concerns and decisions known or understood behind
the scenes. Many people in FS fire circles in Region 5 and in the West have known our
identities. A number of them we have met. Steve and I talk with each other multiple times a week;
we're on the same page. DP, there was a time when we started getting lots of
spam and some posts ended up in our server's new spam filter. I hope one or more
of them weren't yours.
Ab, some old Ab, going on as always.
Re: Something Fishy
R1861, My eternally skeptical personality wants to
know a few things before recommending a course of action. When I say skeptical,
please understand the devil is in the details. First of all, What agency do you
work for? Fed, State, or City/County would suffice. Chain of command and
LEADERSHIP presence would be serious considerations before proceeding with any
sort of complaint.
Second, You said "3 days on a fire I ICed." so are we talking about a Type4
incident? What kind of OPS position are we talking about? CRWB, TFLD? On a
Type3, OPSC position description equals DIVS on a fire experience record.
Third, Is this person equal, above or below you in the chain of command? Should
not matter, but it does. Don't think for a moment that if this person is your
boss and you, "bring up an issue" that you won't be punished. ( in one way or
another ) It sucks when you are not supported. I did not make the rules, but I
have to live by them.
Last consideration for now, Is what do you have to lose, and what do you have to
Can you live with yourself if you just bite your tongue, not all can.... Duty,
Integrity, Respect Not all can do it but YOU should.
By the way AB or new AB, whatever you are going by, quick question... What does
it take to get a post, not posted? A few of my more emotional replies were not
ever aired. I thought maybe the group would like know what would kick their
thoughts out. No one ever responded and said "TOO MUCH, CALM DOWN" or "WE CAN'T
SAY THAT ON THE INTERNET" It just never showed up. Just wondering?
Re: Something Fishy
Sadly, your first reaction of shrugging this off was
probably the correct one, especially if this person has diversity status.
However, only you know the context in which you work, and whether those above
you on the food chain will think of your actions entirely in a positive light.
IF you do have really solid leadership above you and that is a big IF, you may
consider telling your immediate supervisor or their supervisor. However and as I
said before, you may end up attracting unwanted attention to yourself. I'm sure
you've heard the saying "no good deed goes unpunished". Only you can make the
final decision about what to do.
Making the rounds in CAL FIRE circles and more widely. Ab.
Please give this WIDE distribution for Ray. Don't worry if there is a
duplicate of recipients. I just want to make sure we touch as many as possible.
Paul Duncan - District 1 VP CALFIRE Local 2881
The attached article (linked below) was brought to my attention
by some sharp eyed members in Southern California. The article ran in the
Riverside newspaper a few days ago.
Over the past years, since the Viet Nam era from the early 60's to the final
pull-out around 1973, many of our members served in Viet Nam and and it is very
likely many of those that did serve were exposed to Agent Orange. The exposure
could have been through the shipping, preparing and/or application process. And,
it could have been our members were under the canopy of spray when it was
It has also been well documented Agent Orange was used by our personnel, mainly
in the conservation camp system as a defoliant for fuel breaks and truck trails.
I have heard several stories of our camp personnel actually stirring Agent
Orange using just the arm and hand directly as a "stirring stick".
This message is intended to go far and wide to not just our members, most of
whom have retired from that era, but the surviving spouses and children that
lost their spouse to some form of cancer as described in the article. I know
there are many; no study has been completed at least that I know of today.
While I don't know if we could be successful, it may be a worthwhile project to
identify all of our members that served in military and were assigned to Viet
Name during the entire conflict. And also attempt to identify our members
assigned to the camps that used Agent Orange to treat the fuel breaks and truck
trails. Finally, we would need to determine those that died of some form of
cancer that is identified by the federal government tied to the used of Agent
This would be a monumental project but it could bear fruit for those surviving
beneficiaries who lost their spouses/parents, our members, and did not receive
anything except a standard service retirement or not even a service retirement
if the member who did not attain the minimum retirement age of 50 for
At the very least, if you know of someone that may meet the criteria, please
forward this article to them.
State Retiree Director
referenced article from the Press Enterprise
REGION: Veterans Affairs office seeks Agent Orange beneficiaries
The San Bernardino County Department of Veterans Affairs is trying to find
Vietnam veterans and their survivors who are unaware they are eligible for
benefits related to Agent Orange exposure. In 2010, the U.S. government began
paying benefits to Vietnam veterans who had been exposed to Agent Orange and
later developed certain heart ailments, B-cell leukemia and Parkinson’s disease,
said... (more at the link)
Re: Something Fishy
I had a similar experience a few years ago. I was inadvertently given a
coworker's IQCS transcript (we have the same first name) and saw that he/she had
received credit for shifts as an IC3 without ever leaving the station, on what
was determined to be a water dog soon after the initial report came in. I
reported this to my BC who expressed concern with the situation but was not
surprised since the individual had been close to losing IC3 currency at the
time, and that would mean overhead would have to stay in district to function as
duty officer. I did not know how to properly pursue the issue, nor did I want to
get blacklisted, so that was the end of my involvement.
I feel this happens a lot more than people realize in areas without a heavy fire
load, and it will only increase as funding cuts escalate and people are held on
district more to maintain minimum staffing levels. I've seen a couple Safenets
filed over forged WCT results the last few years but nothing about forged
fireline experience. Would that be a viable option? To end on a positive...
thank you very much to the Abs for making this site an invaluable resource.
Please sign me, Just a member of the fishing club
NWSA Conference Auction and visit to the WFF from Peter Cecil,
Australian Wildfire Instructor
Vicki has a lot of old friends from her contracting years and got to spend time
with them at the NWSA Conference in Reno last week. The auction there netted
over $14,000 for the Foundation and fun was had by all! Vicki says that as far
as her social life goes, this is the highlight of the year for her. She also told
me how grateful she is for this auction because the money that we get in here
from the contractors year after year has always been the money to go out first
every year to the fallen and injured. And to all those people, we are grateful
for what you do for our Foundation and we are grateful for what you bring to the
Thanks private sector firefighters! Ab.
Thank you Peter Cecil for visiting with us today at the WFF!
We also want to thank Diego Calderoni, pilot for the BLM Boise Smokejumpers, for
the tour he gave Peter and I of the base today. I want to go back again soon
and watch those burly smokejumpers working on those sewing machines before fire
season kicks off up here!
Mr. Cecil is an Australian Wildfire Instructor
currently touring the States and on his way to Academy in Prescott, AZ. We
spoke about the 3 LODDs in Australia this year and ways that Australia can
continue working towards starting up a foundation there similar to the WFF. I
also learned today that they don't have smokejumpers in Australia due to the
types of fuels there; a burning piece of bark can travel over 20km (12.4 miles)
and ignite dangerous spot fires.
Thanks for learning this cowgirl today, mate!
Cheers and safe travels!
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Re: Something Fishy
It could be just a mistake or a typo and mentioning it to someone could be a way
to get it fixed. Or, it could be someone trying to pull a fast one. Either way,
it seems kinda scandalous. Whether you say something is going to depend on your
comfort level. Is it a co-worker, or a supervisor? The book says to try and
handle it at the lowest level, so I would start there. If that doesn’t work,
then you can elevate it to your Ranger and/or Forest Supervisor. (If you work
for the Forest Service).
Hope that helps.
Yesterday I received my IQCS transcripts to review for the
coming year. Our dispatcher messed up, and I received a couple pages from
another employee. As I looked at them I was shocked to see this employee had
down 3 days on a fire I ICed. This person never left the office but was credited
with time on my fire in an operations role. Normally I would just shrug this
off, but I'm concerned this is being done to maintain this persons quals even
though this person hasn't performed in this position since being signed off. Now
I'm in a dilemma as to what to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
North Carolina LODD:
We just got the
24 hour Report on the Mackay Island WNR fire fatality.
died. He was Chief of the Knotts Island Volunteer Fire Dept., NC.
Condolences to friends, coworkers and family. Ab.
It has been a while since we talked. Again I want to thank you for the help you
gave me in the past. I hope that all is well and Enjoy what is to come.
Gordon H. King
Thanks Gordon. All is well. I think of you often. You're an
inspiration to many of us:F your Loop Fire talk at the Hotshots Meeting in the
early-2000s, our interactions later. I made an
Always Remember page for the Loop Fire. Doug Campbell contributed to it,
along with David Westley who has an El Cariso website with photos. Be safe and
be well, my friend. Abbie, aka same old Ab.
Hello Wildlandfire.com community,
Over the past few days, since the transition announcement came out, we've been
flooded with inquires. Some great, some concerned, and some upset!
I'd like to take a moment to address a few concerns:
They Said is a very valuable portion of the website. We don't intend for it to
2-Hotlist Forums (IA Fires)
The Hotlist Forums are also a very vital tool to every Wildland Firefighter! The
forums will see a few positive changes, transitionally. Most folks won't notice
the change, except the added Live Radio Feed, and Integrated Map showing the
location of the incident, live weather, satellite imagery, and changing
The folks who this mainly affects are our moderators, and contributors of Fire
Info. The new additions will speed up the ability to publish info, and also
automate several current practices.
One of the exciting additions that comes from this upgrade is the info entered
in forum, will power the new "Wildlandfire.com Mobile Application". The Mobile
Application will provide live weather, mapping, historical fire data, NFDRS Fire
Severity, Hotlist Forum Posts, and Agency Verified Info.
The main thing I want the community to know is, we are Wildland Firefighters who
know the challenges you all face. We know how important this site is, and the
specific benefits this community continues to bring. We have been users of the
site for many years.
Please know, we understand the fear of change. And we are going through several
very strategic steps to make sure we don't degrade the value this site brings to
you, your family, and your crews.
Rest assured, you will be extremely excited to see the new additions to the
site. Nothing's going away, but things will improve with the input from our
Thanks for the comments and we look forward to building the tools you need!
The Wildlandfire.com Team
good luck and thanks
Hello Mellie and Steve! I just saw that you're passing
the wildlandfire.com torch and I just wanted to say thanks for all you've done
and good luck with your future endeavors. Enjoy some of the relaxation you've
I'll never forget Sammie's advice to be "strong enough to bend". It's
been a great help through these last years.
Hey Mellie ....and Steve.
I was just thinking about you guys the other day. My son who is now a freshman
at Iowa State majoring in biology, took me by surprise by asking me how I got
into wildland fire (he has never really shown an interest before). When I asked
him what made him ask he said he is thinking of trying it next summer. Of course
as our conversation progressed one of the things I pointed him to was WLF.com.
Congratulations! Im sure this was a very difficult decision to walk away. The
contribution you two have made to the wildland fire community is nothing less
than exemplary. Your replacements will have big shoes to fill.
Best of luck to the both of you!!
Pulaski (Jim G)
Thanks, Jim! Ab.
Thanks to Steve and Mellie,
Just want to say Thank you from the private
Wildland fire services for a job well done over the years! I have had the honor
to meet Mellie in person and admire the job you do on this sight. Wishing only
good thoughts for all involved.
National Wildfire Suppression Association
The pleasure was mine, Deborah Miley. Also really enjoyed meeting the
Original Ab and Ab
Thanks for your years of service. Best wishes in your
Old fire guy
Thanks, OFG! Mellie
We in wildland fire would like to THANK YOU for a great job well done
- the articles, responses and information that you keep flowing to the world of
wildland fire are great.
Thank you for your time and effort you put into keeping everyone informed.
Well I knew Steve was the Original.. and enjoyed working with him when
he was in dispatch.. but not about Mellie. Thanks for everything. I'm a retired
type now and will try to follow the new changes. With all the talk of new tools,
I will say that then and now the best tool we all have is the one in between our
ears, and you Abs have used yours well. Thanks from the bottom of my retired
Retired FF and They Said It reader
HAW HAW, Steve trained me up in 2000 and we two have been at it ever
since, adding in some fine Mods for the Hotlist. Ab.
Now we know who the Abs really are, thanks Mellie and Steve for all you
have done for our fire family.
You're welcome. Thanks for the thanks. It's much appreciated. Ab and
Original Ab. [Mellie & Steve]
So spring is almost here. Everyone is looking to hire folk, get the
gang back together, get everyone trained up and ready to head back out on the
Well, if you are willing I have something to say during that training.
I've already said it quite a few times- Without putting too fine of a point on
it (or "blowing my own horn" too terrible much) it's very likely you or someone
in the room with you has heard of me, actually heard me, or wants to hear me.
Wait. You don't know who the heck I am?
I'm the former Plumas IHC Sawyer who was hit by that tree back in 2001 and now
will ride a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
Who have I talked to? Just off the top of my head:
Entiat, Plumas, Lassen, Tahoe, Ruby Mountain, Lone Peak, Union & La Grande,
Carson, Flagstaff, Mormon Lake, Laguna & all the folk on the Descanso Ranger
District, Mendocino, Ron Marley's Fire Science class of a few years ago.... Plus
a myriad of District meetings, Operations meetings.. Everything from 500+ folk
at the Huge Blingy Conference Center to a single crew with a sheet duct-taped to
the engine-bay wall.
Still not sure? Why not give Ron Marley or Rick Cowell a call and see what they
say about me.
I don't care where you are. Want to see & hear me? Figure out mileage from
Corvallis, Oregon & reimburse me at the Fed rate and I'm there. Oh. And if I
need a place to sleep if you'd hook that up as well that would be Awesome.
So far I only have one engagement this year- 18 April in Klamath Falls for
the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership. I'd like a few more.
I am in school so we'll have to work around that, but usually it's fairly easy-
I come out the night before, talk in the morning (the presentation takes about
an hour and a half) & then head home so I'm only missing one day.
If you'd like me to talk to your guys shoot me some email ( heykrsATgmail ) and
we'll figure it out.
If I see you or not, Hope your season is a good one-
Hello and Welcome,
First off, I would like to express what a honor it is to know we will be leading
an amazing community of Firefighters, Responders, and Family Members. What
started as an idea, has now become a reality. As the head of our team at
FireWhat, Inc. I want each of you to know how important carrying on Steve and
Mellie's dream is to us.
Over the next few months, we will introduce several new technologies and
opportunities to share information about incidents and the whole idea of Wild
Fire. We have spent several hours working with Steve and Mellie to understand
the importance of certain areas of the site. The site serves many purposes,
which we will not change. I have had the recent opportunity to be part of one of
the less known, and extremely important functions of Wildlandfire.com. The
support network that has been established through the relationships with the
FWFSA and Wildland Firefighter Foundation is something we plan to enhance, and
carry on for our community.
If you are unfamiliar with FireWhat, Inc., we are a small company based out of
Dunsmuir, CA. We started our company with the intent to allow the sharing of
tools and resources amongst firefighters. It was always bothersome to us that
the same issues occurred to multiple departments across the Nation, yet very few
resources are available to share the information from the lessons learned.
The entire team at FireWhat, Inc are firefighters, and know what an impact this
job has on our personal lives. Our goal is to build tools and share information
that helps keep firefighters safe, and gets them home to their loved ones after
Again, I am truly honored to take over the ship, and lead on with the dream
Steve and Mellie set out on so many years ago. We are excited to be part of this
journey, and wish to welcome you all aboard!
Co-Founder and CEO
That investigation was done and sent out to the regions RASM, so R5
should have it as you've said.
I was looking
for some info for training and came across this Region 8 2009 Safety Management
System statement on
risk management, just culture and the learning environment . I appreciated
the statement below in bold.
At the time of this writing the aviation authorities are trying to piece
together the facts surrounding the French Airbus crash in the Atlantic between
Rio de Janerio and Paris. The facts emerging are pointing to a break-up in
flight due to weather. The flight path took the airliner through an area of the
world’s strongest storms. One writer characterized the crash as a plane in an
unequal fight with Mother Nature. If I were contemplating a flight in that
area a simple Risk Assessment would yield the information needed to help me make
my mind up on whether to fly or wait for better weather.
I know the situation with the Lead Plane and the MAFFS is not the same, or
maybe it is,,, but
how do know what to watch out for if regional "leaders" holding the reports do
not foster the learning
environment? Has their Safety Journey has gotten us anywhere? Do you think
that management feels like once they know what happened, no one else needs to
Re Job Offers:
When should I be worried about not being offered a seasonal
position? This year sounds slower than previous but I would think I'd get an
offer by mid-March maybe?
Hi Wildland Fire Community,
There are important and exciting new changes and developments afoot at
wildlandfire.com and wlfhotlist.com. As we have mentioned to a number of you
behind the scenes and alluded to in posts over the last year, our plans and the
process of upgrading and implementing new features on our websites this winter
are well underway. It’s been exciting to get a glimpse of the mapping, photos,
and IA options that exist to bring breaking wildfire news to you where you are,
as well as more globally. New opportunities for gathering information abound.
In conjunction with development operations over the last months, we have also
been working closely with an organization to transfer the ownership and
management of wildlandfire.com and wlfhotlist.com. Every organization especially
one such as “the home of the wildland firefighter” has to plan for upgrades,
remodels and continuity. As we’ve gotten older and have been at this for a
while, remaining cutting edge has become more important and more difficult with
only two of us Abs and our great Moderators. We’re happy to say that we have
reached an agreement with our successors, a younger generation, and the
transition to new ownership is also progressing.
This moment is bittersweet. Original Ab and Ab (Steve Myers and Mellie Coriell,
respectively) have been at this for 13+ years, 24-7-365. We get up in the
morning, Steve at 0400, Mellie at 0630, checking our inboxes, and beginning on
our course of work for the day, some routine and some totally unexpected. In a
way, it’s been like Christmas every morning working with all of you -- our
firefighting community, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, the FWFSA, our
supporters and advertisers, and the extended wildland fire family across
agencies and across the USA and beyond.
We’ve all tried to keep the public discussion “about the what (issues)
not the who (personalities).” Thank you for that! Thanks also for the
education, for the inspiration, for the reason to research strange and unusual
topics, to write, to support and feel a part of such a great brotherhood/
As most of you know, there’s more going on than what occurs publicly on the
“forums”. There’s networking and research and educating each other behind the
scenes, alerting the Moderators or Abs to accidents and fatalities so our
wildland firefighter support network can get into action to do the things only
the WFFoundation can do. Privately and publicly we’ve banded together to support
Casey and the FWFSA as he and all of us educate Congress and exercise our
responsibilities as citizens. There’s been laughter HAW HAW and tears, tongue
firmly in cheek comments, sharing memories, sometimes gossip, striving for Just
Culture, striving for Lessons freely Learned and calling out whomever needs it
on issues that relate to firefighter safety.
Through all this and especially through the last few years, it’s become
increasingly clear that the World Wide Web has morphed into a more dynamic
style; delivery of information and social networking have changed (although
we’ll always be the first wildland fire social network); and the communication
devices we use to inform each other have grown in delivery capability while many
have become smaller in size. It’s time to let a new generation with newer web
architecture skills and energy step forward.
Mellie Coriell (Ab.) and Steve Myers (Original Ab.)
What a great post in the Hotlist General Discussion
Remember one very important concept regarding any flight mission's with
the USFS. "The Forest Service is ONLY as safe, as it can afford"
Also, I'm sure their was no question or comment period allowed with Mr. Hanks,
as this would have produced more sweat then swinging a Super P midday in August.
The following is straight out of the 2013 Red Book, Chapter 1, last page, last
paragraph, titled "Cost Effective Fire Operations" -
Accomplishing fire operations objectives safely and efficiently will not be
sacrificed for the sole purpose of “cost savings”.
Sequester and AD Firefighter hires
Does anybody know if, or how this
government sequester will impact AD hires? I know that agencies are looking at
furloughs, shortened workweeks, etc. but being an AD, I'm not sure how it will
impact us during this upcoming fire season. Any and all comments or info would
be appreciated. Thanks.
Hello again fire folks,
Speaking of reference checking, if you are aware that your former supervisors
are getting reference check calls, does this mean a job offer is coming??? I
have been waiting to hear ... but nothing. Anybody know how this works? I would
be SUPER excited if I indeed get a job offer from the people who are apparently
inquiring about me -- just dont want to get my hopes up if I shouldnt be. And
also, should former sups be informing people if they are getting reference calls
from others? Thoughts?
No, we're not done with all the ref checks at R5 FireHire.
We are here @ Mc Clellan working all weekend and into next week to get the rest.
If you have a supervisor thats not sending one back, please get him/her to do
Good Evening, Or Morning......
Attached is a picture we took at our RT-130
Fire Refresher this week. Tanker 48 Staged in Porterville, Also Inyo National
Forest R-5 Packers. Old Vs New , We still need both.
And of course the OC Crews .....
Thanks, nice ones. I added them to the
Handcrews 29 photo page. If any of you crew folks want the very large crew
photo, please let me know and I'll attach it to a reply email. Ab.
Just finished reading John Maclean's "The Esperanza Fire." Definitely a hard
read knowing many of the involved individuals.
That being said... this book should be a mandatory read for anyone who leads /
supervises / manages ANY wildland fire resources... As should his "Fire on The
Mountain", "The ThirtyMile Fire" as well as his fathers "Young Men and Fire"....
Does anyone know if R5 is done making Reference checks?
AVUE has a new fairly anonymous flyer that has gone out to all of you
who applied for federal fire jobs over these last years. They're using your
email addresses that you used to apply for firefighting jobs to spam you.
We have gotten lots of enquiries from our community asking if it's from
wildlandfire.com. It's not. We don't spam.
Apparently the AVUE Mailing about fire jobs is causing some confusion to
those applying for federal fire jobs. We got this message below from USDA Forest
Service, ASC-HRM in Albuquerque, NM.
Be sure you apply for Forest Service firefighting jobs with
This is a reminder that all Forest Service jobs are posted on the
U.S. Government’s official website for employment opportunities at
www.usajobs.gov. You must apply through
www.usajobs.gov to be considered for
positions in the Forest Service that you are interested in.
In response to the Region 4 Fire Hire question:
They are not behind the curve. Job offers have been coming out this week.
They started offering on Monday and I heard from some friends who are applicants
that they received interest calls today for some backfill positions.
Re: Steep Corner Fire
In addition to the SafeNet report by the Flathead Hotshots, there were aviation
issues reported in SafeCom, as noted on page 36 of the Steep Corner
“Air-to-ground communications, target descriptions and general use of
aircraft were not in accordance with what pilots used to working on federal
wildland fires would expect.
This led to high stress levels for some pilots working the fire and
resulted in a SAFECOM being filed by the manager of a heavy helicopter on
As for the Human Factors Analysis, I agree that pay structure can be a
disincentive to firefighter safety. The advantage for a national resource like a
hotshot crew is that they’re pretty sure to get sent to another fire if they
disengage/turn down an assignment. But a federal engine on a district might not
get another dispatch – and the chance for hazard pay/overtime – if they continue
to turn down a local assignment.
It’s worth remembering that Steve Uptegrove was the USFS firefighter killed in
2009 for which OSHA gave the Forest Service the repeat violation in the citation
for Anne Veseth’s death.
Uptegrove - Always Remember
Thanks, vfd cap'n. I don't have a record of that SafeCom. If anyone has
it, please send it in. Ab.
Dalton 60 year Hotshot Reunion:
Here is a copy, please get this on your site to help get the word out!!
Dalton Hotshot Reunion Flyer (840 K pdf)
The flier itself has printable tear offs to pay by check or you can click
this link that will bring you directly to PayPal !!
Hope to see you there!
You can also get additional info about the event on our blog @
I added it to the Hotlist Calendar. Ab.