"THEY SAID IT" ARCHIVES
Home of the Wildland Firefighter
Sent you the contact info for the video of the Johnson Fire, UT taken in
Maybe the video could get shared with the
Lessons Learned Center as well.
Sad news: passing of Anthony Ricci
Story about deployment (with photo) and surfing
His funeral is on Friday in San Jose, CA.
Condolences to his family, his crew, his girlfriend and all in the
wildland fire community who knew and loved him.. Ab.
GLEASON as coming from this not so hot shot
I'm not surprised Paul has lots of
Hot Shot friends. I'm one of his Not So Hot Shot friends.
I found this site today, and found I had lost a friend. I lost touch with him in
the mid eighties. I never had to go through the Flaming Jaws of Hell of a
wildfire. I would follow Paul in.
I was one of his off season climbing buddies in Southern California and later in
Oregon. I saw a lot of a side of him when we were just plain having fun. One
stint, we went climbing or bouldering almost every afternoon together for three
months. Then working on one arm, one finger front levers on his rings. He was a
deep guy. Paul and Phil, his hard climbing Yang brother, talked about removing
all ego from rock climbing. Not naming climbs, not rating them for hardness, not
telling people what you knew. Not putting your name on it. Very Zen sometimes.
Paul was, oh, so good a climber. In the truly elite of bouldering for a few
years when I knew him. Hunkered down in the wind, smoking, arguing cosmology,
mathematics, and Calabi-Yau manifolds. He saved my butt more than once. Deep
I'd bet it was summer of 1969 when we talked about the Forest Service project he
was doing incorporating thoughts from the Sun Tzu work "The Art of War". He
crawled on the dirt explaining with a stick and drew a big chunk of it out right
there in the dirt. He was fired up to work on the project, something he saw as
revolutionary, while being anxious of the very conventional environment. I
laughed like hell with him when he told me how well it was finally received.
Cro-Magnon strength in a Guru Hot Shot. He had an unforgettable chuckle. Like I
said, (outside of what to do when we left a bar) I'd trust my life on his
decisions, skill, and strength. You knew, and lost, the same guy. He lived,
fully lived. He truly left me with a better life for knowing him. No sorrow.
I hear you laughin' Paul, I'll be right over...
CA Fire Weather 2013 - Red Flag
NWS LA/OXN just issued Red Flag for Wed 5am to Thur 5pm
||Extreme fire behavior video
If it is the fire i'am thinking of, the fire
was named Toms Tornado (well thats what my tshirts say), Suwyns IMT2 team was on
that fire, as was I. i filled an order as a strike team ldr. an went to that
fire, the whole hill side had alot of understory an there was lil smokes
everywhere we decided to light it off with a ping pong machine and... ummm ya as
u saw in the video it lit off nicely... lol i had purchased two shirts from that
fire an still have them today, i believe that fire was in 2004 an yes it was on
fishlakeNF. The firewhirl came off the ridge an we could see trees being ripped
out of the ground, an the resources i had chased smokes from the fire whirl on
that flat for three days. it was actually an awesome fire, an if i remember
correctly we had to sanitize every resource on that DIV an the end of every
shift cuz of the fish disease that was in the creek, there was a large air show
as well on that DIV.
another engine slug
well here is the first correction...l ol sorry ppl i
did a little internet digging an went through some old files an found my
taskbook, the fires actual name was the Johnson Fire an it was in 2002.
The CAL FIRE Firefighter Matt Will Memorial sign that was destroyed in a
traffic accident recently has been replaced at the same location on Hwy. 156,
San Benito County, Calif.
||Extreme fire behavior video
In response to the inquiry about the extreme
fire behavior video, this was a fire on the
Fish Lake NF in September, maybe
2006? The name of the fire escapes me, and I am not sure if the footage is
available online. It was a late season fire, and the extreme behavior belies the
fact that temperatures and humidity were moderate.
Ab added the link to the Fish Lake NF website.
Thought this might interest you:
Reservists ready for wildland fire season
Thanks, -S. Ab.
||What happened to Chips, the Bobcat kitten rescued last August?
Rescued bobcat Chips returns to natural habitat
We hired 6 vets on our district alone doing a VRA hire. It is
easy and simple. For temps it was a no brainer. All that was needed was a DD-214
and a resume. Cut a 52 and viola, you have your new temp! I did look at their
resumes to see what kind of experience they had so we knew whether to hire them
as a 3 or a 4. After the debacle of the Pathways program (we finally got 4 of
them approved, but 3 of them had accepted other positions because it took so
long), the VRA hiring was a breath of fresh air.
Thank you to all our veterans who have served our country. I am glad that we
were able to pay you back! I'm looking forward to meeting all of you.
Sent from my iPad
||CA-ENF Star fire video 9/01
My name is Rush Alexander. NorCal2 DMOB. retired 06. LG CA-SAC. Just
converted tapes to CDs. Have a CD of the Star Fire memorial for 9/11. Love to
share it with the world. My videos are unedited. They are bad. But this is FS
history. I would like to share w/ everyone. No copyright. Just share w/ the
world. Send me your mail address. I'll send you a copy. & please share w/
Forget PC. God Bless America. Out.
Sent from my iPhone
Thanks, Rush. I'd like to see it. Go NorCal2! Amazing days you had in that
Hells Hole area! Ab./Mellie
||Great article on things to come in wildland fire:
This was just published
in Wildfire and Fire Chief magazines:
Information Technology and Work Managing Fires
My only comment is the transceiver being used to transmit data by Philip
Kacerik is HUGE! We started
a thread on the hotlist years ago describing the Inmarsat BGAN terminal
which has been in use worldwide on many disasters where there is no Internet
connectivity or cell towers. The one I’ve used during the Queensland floods,
Australia and Deepwater Horizon Incident in the Gulf of Mexico permits a dozen
computers, cell-phones or PDAs to connect to the Internet through Wi-FI and not
only does it transmit/receive data but also serves as a SatPhone for voice
communications. They also make a smaller unit that can be carried in a fire pack
that can be used with a single device. The attached photos shows how we were
able to provide near real-time mapping from literally IN the Gulf of
Mexico. These portable units are easy to set up just point it south… unless
you’re on an Australia bushfire, then point it north… it even has a built in
compass and emits a loud audio tone when you have the greatest signal strength I
believe I was sending updates to Ab in one of the attached pics.
Tom Patterson | Wildland Fire Specialist | Esri
I added them to the
Equipment 19 photo page. Thanks, Tom. I always knew where you were! Ab.
I've been searching for an app that will keep me informed of
fires in my area (Santee). Can you recommend one?
One is being developed as I type... It will be awesome! Ab.
||Extreme fire behavior video?
I'm looking for a piece of footage of extreme
fire behavior that was shown to my crew last season during our spring S-290
training. It lasted about ten minutes; it seemed to have been filmed in Utah or
a similar area, I believe by a Hotshot crewmember. It's shot from a road looking
across a long field of sagebrush into hillsides filled with conifers. I can't
remember much about the fire behavior pictured, other than that it was truly
extreme -- amazing firewhirls, intense spotting, the wind throwing entire
trees as firebrands, and otherwise a great example of what fire can do under the
right conditions. I also remember that at one point a moose emerges from the
woods and is running full-speed across the sage, and the videographer is
conflicted about whether to film the animal or the fire.
Anyone know what I'm talking about? Anyone know if this video is publicly
available online? Much appreciated!
||Re T cards:
Here's a fire center research document on
T cards from 1977 (403 K pdf)
||End of an Era...
Later to Rick Cowell... an icon in Region 5.....There is a
lot to complain about with the Forest Service in California, But Cowboy makes up
for all its faults single handed. ...I never worked for him, but always saw his
impact on every fire that we were on together.... Every time my hotshot crew was
working around Hobart we'd work a little harder just because they'd raise the
bar so much.... Rick you're the man, probably one of the best Hotshot Supts ever.
We're all going to have to pick up a little more of the slack with you not
around this summer... Have a good retirement thanks for all you've contributed
over the years.
||Rick Cowell's retirement
What a great party. It took two days and 250
people to send Rick out in true Hotshot style. Numerous past and present Supt's
were in attendance from crews all over California. Old friends, Lot's of laughs,
memories, and story telling over campfires. Great BBQ food, cold beer, and one
happy Rick Cowell. He introduced his large family and claimed the Klamath River
is the center of the earth. Who can argue that!!
What a ride, Cowboy!! Thank you.
||Hiring military vets
I just used the VRA authority to hire someone and it was easier than any
other hiring I've ever done. It did take finding the right HR person to get me
the straight scoop on it. Resume and DD 215, a vacant position, and a SF-52
initiated by the employer was all it took. Good luck.
||Rick Cowell's retirement
Today, 4/27/13 is Rick Cowell's retirement party at Bullards Bar. Starts at
1100 with a 3 mile run, then festivities at 1300 to whoknowswhen. 27 years on
the Tahoe (Hobart) Hotshots. Another legend, finishing a tremendous career.
Congrats to Rick! Ab.
||Hiring military vets
I was just notified that a lot of Military Veterans didnt even show up on
Referral Lists this Fire Hire, I was just told that it was a bug in the new
system. I was told that once the investigation is done (if they even conduct
one) that someone is going to be in a lot of trouble. Thats great and all, but
what about us Military Veterans that didnt get a job offer because of this?
I have VRA eligibility and called some Forests and was told that they didnt
want to hire VRA because of the hassle or were told not to hire VRA candidates
and just fly the announcement. Isnt that illegal? What I really thought was
funny is one of my apps did get through and ASC said I was unqualified, but the
funny thing is that it was for the grade and position I last held. Maybe this is
There were also a number of non-vets that had the same problems with not
showing up on the referral lists. We'll see what the outcome is. I haven't heard
of an investigation. It is a new system for the FS but already used by the DOI.
Anyone know the full story? Ab.
Saw this page on the web
Minds Wan to Know (IMWTK) and thought I'd try submitting a question.
I'm preparing training for our Bureau in the use of ICS 219 Resource (T) Cards.
Can you advise the history of the use of T card use in wildland firefighting?
I've found some history on the use of T-cards for logistics and transportation
efforts in the military in WW II and Korea, but no mention of when the use of
T-cards started in the fire service. I'm retired from the fire service (urban
and suburban 25+ yrs) but do not know the historical beginnings of the use of
||Photo of Faller from Mellie
The fella standing on the stump is CAL FIRE SKU Fire Captain Pat Bailey. Hell of
a fireman and a good cutter.
Thanks for the confirmation. Be safe out there. Ab.
||Webinar next Tuesday: The Use of Wood Mulch to Reduce Post-fire Erosion Risk
On Tuesday, April 30, 2013, Pete Robichaud will be presenting a webinar
titled “After the Smoke Clears: The Use of Wood Mulch to Reduce Post-fire
Erosion Risk” at 1pm MDT. To sign up to attend go to
Thanks and Take Care!
Brenna MacDowell – Communications Specialist
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
Hey Ab and all,
I was able to find the episodes with Riggles' and Ab's help.
Survival... episode #1 (youtube)
those lives... episode #2 (youtube)
You NEED to watch these...You NEED to push leadership to get on board with
current medical practices.
Until next time....stay safe
Risk Management is Self-Preservation and, It Starts With You...
Thanks, Bill R and Bill A. Crowd sourcing. Ab.
||re West, TX:
The West VFD lost a considerable amount of their equipment in
the explosion, and the Texas A&M Forest Service is coordinating with outside
agencies that want to help. Equipment of all kinds (from engines down to SCBAs,
hoses, ladders, nozzles and fittings) is being processed through the Helping
Hands grant program. Anyone interested in helping this department can contact
TFS at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or they can call the Emergency Services Grants Division at (979) 458-5540.
What is going on in region five? I've heard from colleagues that
many seasonal returnees are being hired late this season and some have been
offered jobs then took them away. I an no longer living in CA but we need to
take care of these boys, what's going on?
As you all begin to prepare for Fire Season 2013, I would like you to ask
yourself, "Am I prepared to care for myself and my coworkers if something goes
If you are relying on someone else on the crew to be your medical provider, what
happens if they are the one injured by a tree, cut by a saw or Pulaski, or
become incapacitated because of illness. Do you know what to do, how to do it,
and where to find the appropriate medical equipment and supplies to care for
your crew's medical provider?
I have attached an absolutely awesome web-link to a documentary done by Dr.
Michael Mosley. He is a physician out of the UK who went to Afghanistan and
followed the boots on the ground regarding the medical care that has been
provided to soldiers in combat. Unfortunately, I cannot get it to open the video
link, however there is also other great stuff from his postings that I have also
attached including how they (the Brits) make sure for every 4 people in a team
one of them is trained to do moderate medical care (EMT/Combat Medic style). He
also talks about some amazing ideas out there regarding the "Platinum 10" vs the
old Golden Hour" as well as using Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).
Platinum 10 minutes of care
Progesterone for TBI
I hope this helps provide you all some more information in regards to Caring for
On a more personal note:
Folks, this will be the first time in a long time that I do not go out on large
wildland fires to fight fire or provide medical care to you all (since 1994).
No, I am not deploying to some far away land.
I have decided to accept a Senior Paramedic position with an EMS agency in the
local area that has also decided to work on a consolidation of EMS and Fire
services for their community. I could not be more excited about this awesome
opportunity and the big picture plan that it offers its citizens as well as my
own professional future growth. I could not be more excited to work with the
Fire Chief/EMS Agency Administrator and have enjoyed the conversations he and I
have had to make this goal become a reality. The people of the EMS, Fire, and
Law Enforcement community in that county could not be more exited to work with
me and I could not be more excited to work with them. Some of them are former
EMT students that I taught over ten years ago.
Often times over the last several years I have wondered, questioned, and been
bewildered by the fact that I could not seem to secure a more fixed position
within the wildland fire community and agencies as a true Wildland Fire EMS
Development Specialist. I have talked with buddies of mine that are IHC Supts,
district FOSs, FMOs, and other higher level FAM personnel on how to make a go of
it with places and people who truly need this. Often I have heard, "something
bigger out there for ya Billy". Now I know what that is. While I will miss
sleeping on the ground for months on end, living in hotels, eating MREs, sharing
a smile and a laugh with my buddies on some remote chunk of line, popping the
occasionally knarely blister, or making the medical unit bobsled team... the
thing I will miss most is simply meeting and hanging out with you all in some of
the most beautiful places on earth.
My family could not be more excited... well maybe. With a wife, two teenage sons
who are in every sport possible, two Labs, three chickens, and three acres, I am
sure it will be an adjustment for all. Especially the three chickens and two
dogs (Molly will now have to sleep on her pad and not my side of the bed.... and
the chickens will have to be in the coop more so they stop crapping on my
freaking sidewalk and driveway.)
I hope to see you all again in the future as the system I will be working in
grows to meet the fire and ems needs of others. I will continue to support you
all from the sidelines as best as possible with continued medical article
posting and I still have on-going projects with medical care videos for wildland
fire, Pulse Check (bimonthly IAWF WILDFIRE magazine), and supporting federal law
enforcement as there is still a significant portion of federal land within the
county as we also have MOUs with LEO agencies.
Until then, be safe, have a great fire season, and remember... Risk Management
is Self-Preservation and, It Starts With You. (I am going to copyright that
saying,,, so nobody take it: -)
"Risk Management is Self-Preservation and, It Starts With You."
Thanks, Bill, glad to hear your good news! Your informative posts here are
invaluable in saving lives! Don't be a stranger. Ab.
||Re West, TX:
Get hold of them directly.
West Fire Dept. | City of West
I’m a dispatcher in Calif and keep hearing rumors on the web that the West,
TX fire dept lost much equipment and some of the station (not to mention the
terrible loss of life) in the fire there this week. Any way you can think of to
||Thanks guys, it's not Chris.
||The picture is of a CDF (CALFIRE) Captain B from Deadwood Camp in Siskiyou
County. I am certain it’s Pat A.
The photograph of the faller is Fire Captain Pat Bailey. Pat was the
Leader of ST9262G with the Deadwood Camp crews and a "C" faller. He told me he
cut down a whole bunch of trees on the complex.
||Photo of Faller posted 4-21-2013
The guy in the photo is wearing the old CDF patch on his shoulder. Think it is a
Fire Captain from Cal Fire San Diego but cant say for sure. Who knows if he fell
the tree or not. Looks like the kind of tree a professional faller would tackle.
||faller on a stump in a norcal photo?
I was poking around looking for a
photo that shows our norcal extreme mountains terrain and I came across photos
from 2006 by the Northern AZ Team on the Klamath NF, Titus Fire (part of the
Happy Camp Complex). I know Hwy 96 through Hoopa, Orleans and Happy Camp, so I
was recognizing landmark bridges, etc.
I found this photo of a faller:
Northern Arizona Team faller photo
Does anyone know if this is Chris Seelye by chance, without his pipe? It's
hard for me to tell without a higher resolution photo. Chris used to fell those
HUGE hazard trees. Here's a
photo of Chris from the Goff fire in 2012 (click the thumbnail under Photo
credit Fillmore). This would be 6 years after the Titus Fire, before Chris'
death. Chris' daughters grew up here in norcal near me. If it is Chris, I'm sure
they'd like to see it.
Thanks for any help,
I am pleased to announce that the former Congressman the FWFSA has teamed up
with in an effort to navigate the dysfunction in Congress will be attending the
WFF's fundraiser next week in Sacramento at McClellan as our guest.
Since he did more for federal wildland firefighters than anyone in Congress to
date, this will be a great opportunity for him to learn more about the wildland
firefighting community and for some of our members to get to know him as well.
I'm certainly looking forward to a great night for the Foundation.
McClellan Fundraiser info on the Hotlist Calendar
||Original Ab or New Ab or Just Plain Ab,
I know things are changing with
WildlandFire.Com. This is just a short note to thank you for all you have done
to keep the wildland fire community best informed. There is no other forum, real
or virtual, that keeps the community as well informed. Every day, morning and
evening, I check your various web pages. I have benefitted from your forum.
What you have provided with your commitment to excellence will never be
forgotten or dismissed. We cannot even estimate in numerics how many lives you
have saved or how many young, aspiring FF's you have helped find job placement
or how many of us old dawgs have been best informed because of your efforts or
all of the rest that you have done.
Please understand I cannot in easy words thank you enough. Best wishes. As I
frequently tell our FF's, take care, be safe, have fun and live the FF dream...
John R. Hawkins, Unit & Fire Chief
CAL FIRE & Riverside County Fire Department
Thanks, John, and thanks for your help through the years. Carry on.
Ab/Mellie Coriell and Original Ab/Steve Myers.
||Defining Fire(s) and lessons learned?
Over the years, specific, defining
fires have contributed to changes in training, practices and wildland fire
doctrine. So, over the last 10 years, what do you think was that defining fire?
What's the fire that you would really want your crew to know and understand so
the same mistakes aren't repeated?
Still Out There as an AD
||Headline says so much...
got him!': Boston bombing suspect captured alive
Carry on, Ab.
||Boston Marathon Bombing
One MIT police officer was killed as he sat in his
cruiser last night. A car jacking of another vehicle occurred.
Re Suspects in the Boston bombing who are brothers.
One suspect is dead, the FBI (police, military SWAT, etc) powers-that-be know
where the second suspect is. Boston and 5 communities surrounding it are on
shelter-in-place orders. Two more persons from the home where the two suspect
brothers live are in custody.
Watch your TV for news.
||Boston Marathon Bombing
FBI releases photos and video of the 2 bombing suspects, supposedly on
fbi.gov but I don't see them there.
I found them
fbi.gov Updates on Investigation into Multiple Explosions in Boston
Here's an article with the photos:
Here Are the Boston Bombing 'Suspects' — Photos and Video, but FBI Needs Help
Video on YouTube:
The guy with the black ball cap followed by the guy with the turned-around white
||Red Flag Wind advisory
from the NWS:
Southwest Cal: Moderate Santa Ana wind event with low humidity.
also for SW Texas
(Austin, San Antonio) with higher humidity.
Prayers for our West, TX brothers, sisters and citizens.
||TX Industrial Explosion
Condolences to firefighters, families and friends in Texas. Looks pretty
Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Rescuers Searching for Survivors, Missing
Heads up about a new avian flu virus: H7N9, that could go pandemic. This
watching as fire season with firecamp approaches. Key is if it is transmitted
human to human.
of CIDRAP (Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Prevention)
H7N9 sickens 5 more in China; family cluster suspected
Apr 17, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – The number of people infected with H7N9
influenza in China grew by five today, with Shanghai and Zhejiang province
reporting fresh cases, and news reports described an H7N9 family cluster
apparently linked to one of the outbreak's first confirmed cases.
The five new cases announced today are all in adults. Three are seniors, two
are younger adults, and all are hospitalized, according to official and
The family cluster of infections is reportedly connected to an 87-year-old
man from Shanghai whose illness and death were announced on Mar 31 when
China first revealed the detection of the novel virus and the first three
known human cases. At the time... (More at the link...)
||Good afternoon members of the wildland fire community:
Last week I sent
you a notice that author John Maclean would be on our radio show, FEDtalk, to
discuss his new book, The Esperanza Fire: Arson, Murder, and the Agony of Engine
57. The interview with Mr. Maclean has now been posted online, and we hope that
you will share it with your networks. The show can be accessed by clicking
Thank you, and please let me know if you have any questions or would like
Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C. | Attorneys at Law
1100 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 463-8400 | Fax: (202) 833-8082
www.shawbransford.com | email@example.com
Hi Jason. No email came into the Ab account. Given that this is a mass
mailing, it likely went into the spam filter, which can collect more than 200
spams a day, more if it's tax time. That's where I found this message. Next time
if you put theysaid in the subject line I might notice it there. Ab.
||Boston Marathon Bombing Incident
Best thoughts and prayers for the
Condolences thread on the hotlist if anyone wishes to contribute.
Congrats to all the agencies using the Incident Command System and working
together based on Interagency Agreements to streamline and enhance the
investigative response. I am very proud of our brothers and sisters who are
"doing their jobs". Ab.
||Boston Marathon Explosions
2 Explosions at the end of the Boston Marathon, according to CNN; apparently
at least 4 people are down and being given aid by first responder Boston
Fire/EMS in view of the CNN producer who is reporting from the scene. Ab.
||Thanks for 10th Anniversary of the Lucky Peak Challenge, Boise ID AND
The New Mexico Interagency Wildfire Awareness Week Fun Run and WFF Fundraiser!
Many thanks to
Chad and Sara Fisher for bringing everyone together in celebration of the 10th
Anniversary Lucky Peak Challenge, another successful WFF fundraiser, gathering,
and memorial climb in memory of Roger Roth and others who have fallen or been
injured fighting wildland fires. I heard it was a chilly/windy one, but plenty
of warmth and spirit at the BBQ to make up for it! Wish we could have been
Thank you to Karen Takai (Sandia Ranger District) and the others that helped
organize the New Mexico Interagency Wildfire Awareness Week Fun Run and WFF
Fundraiser! Your support will help us continue to: provide immediate travel
assistance to get an injured firefighter's family to their firefighter's bedside
and assist with expenses for families while their firefighter is recovering,
help an injured firefighter meet their financial needs until they receive
benefits, or are able to go back to work, and network crews and families with
information and support after an injury or fatality. We value our role in being
the funnel to pass on financial assistance, ongoing emotional support, and
recognition efforts to our fallen and injured wildland firefighters. Our efforts
would not be possible without you! Thank you!
PS added later: Heartfelt condolences from all of us at the WFF to the people
of Boston, families and friends and those who were injured and killed in the
||Below is the link to the 24 Hour Report for the Driving Accident at Merritt
Island Wildlife Refuge. Please see that it receives wide distribution within
your agency. When available, other investigation documents, specifically the 72
Hour Report and the final Factual Report will be posted on the Wildland Fire
Lessons Learned Center database for incident reports and lessons learned
Learned Incident Lookup).
To view this this Bulletin go to:
Merritt Island Complex.pdf (pdf download from NIFC's Safety
||Matt Will's Memorial Highway sign was destroyed by an "errant driver".
Got this in the Always Remember email account. I don't know the replacement
process, but it seems the driver's insurance should pay for a replacement.
Always Remember Matt Will for reference and a photo of the sign before it
was hit and destroyed.
Hotlist thread on the replacement
I have bum news, the friend that took the photo of Matt’s Memorial sign called
me and stated an errant driver took out the sign and posts (destroyed) in an
accident. At least the photo was captured. I am trying to find out what the
replacement process would be, the sign was paid for with private donations.
||Making the rounds in R5:
Aetna recently released a report on the success of
their Employee Healthy Lifestyle Coaching Program.
Happy Monday everyone. I just had to share this with all of you as you know I
have been going through Duke Integrative Medicine processional Health Coaching
program along with Bequi Livingston, & Jim Saveland and with my clients it has
been truly amazing.
Aetna recently released a report on the success of their Employee Healthy
Lifestyle Coaching Program:
They previously worked with Duke to test a Mindfulness-Based, Mind-Body
Another affirmation of the value of our Mindfulness-Based IHC training
program. Take a look.
Healthy Lifestyle Coaching
Be WELL! Be proactive… it is not just all about learning after, but how we
show up, up front and care for our employees and provide the structure for
resiliency & optimal health & Well-Being.
Pacific Southwest Region Occupational Health & Safety Manager
This past year I was made painfully aware that many people within the federal
land management agencies, at the regional levels (and in Public Affairs), have
very little knowledge of what actually happens day-in and day-out at the large
and very busy air centers and airtanker bases, such as the Grand Junction
Interagency Air Center. They only seem to know the results, either good or bad.
And as has been my motto and goal throughout my career as a public school
educator, school administrator, wildland firefighter, Fire Prevention
Technician, Public Affairs Officer/Information Officer and tour guide in Nepal:
Using any available means, reach out to the public and while you have their
attention... inform them as best as possible.
And that's my intention with this blog. Find it and follow it at:
This could be a very interesting season. Be safe.
This doesn't surprise me as they always cut from the bottom up. It's
popular to rant about cutting government, but nobody says how. Whenever they do
across the board cuts, the agency does it from the bottom up. After all, the
ones with the power to pick the cuts aren't going to cut themselves or their
friends they work with so that leaves the field. We all know that the work that
still has to be done can be done by contractors even though studies have shown
it costs 2 to 4 times as much.
Years ago when I came from the state to the FS, the first thing I saw when I
entered the fire shop was an article on the bulletin board that said Reagan cuts
10,000 federal fire jobs. Since he's their hero we know that this is the
approach todays Republicans are going to take, although Obama didn't do us any
favors with his budget proposal.
Please let's refrain from politics unless it's specifically fire-related.
We each have our own opinions and preferences. Thanks, Ab.
As a former 5th District VP for the California Professional Firefighters (the
5th district covering all federal firefighters in CA) I think it critical for
the Vandenburg crew members to know what, if anything, the current 5th District
VP of the CPF and the current 16th District VP of the International Association
of Fire Fighters did on their behalf to prevent this cut.
We remain keenly aware that agencies will use the sequester as an excuse for the
delay in hiring seasonal wildland firefighters and continue to manipulate FIRE
preparedness dollars to fund non-fire positions and projects which in turn will
increase the risks to the health & safety of our firefighters and those they
protect and ultimately increase the cost of suppression.
Those of you on the LP need to support the Vandenburg crew and communicate to
the Congressional representatives that surround Vandenburg and raise the issue
with the RO & WO (we will follow up as well) that this is a serious action with
serious consequences for the safety of our firefighters and their constituency.
This is not a "Chicken Little" response. It is a clear vicious cycle that occurs
each season. Preparedness dollars are misused resulting in a reduction of
inherently less expensive federal resources in place pursuant to the National
Fire plan to keep fires and less costly. As the season bears down, the Agencies
have no alternative but to fill in the missing gaps with expensive non-federal
resources that needlessly increase the cost of suppression.
These gaps may, in many instances, continue for some time increasing the risks
to the firefighters and Public. While we have gotten the acknowledgement of many
in Congress that they understand these dynamics, it is an entirely different
matter to get them to do something about it. As is typical, it will take a
catastrophic event before they wake up and take some kind of action. In the
meantime the Agencies will throw the dice and hope the season isn't a disastrous
one that results in Public outcry, Congressional hearings etc.So much for MEL!
||Vandenberg Hotshots laid off:
Major Bummer!!! Wonder if the FS is gonna
start The "Massacre" again any time soon...Things just keep getting better all
the time...(insert sarcasm)
Vandenberg Hot Shot Crew Members To Be Laid Off
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.- Central Coast News has learned 14
Vandenberg Hot Shot crew members will soon by out of a job. According to
officials, a full hot shot crew is 21 members and 14 employees will be let go.
Last year, crew members were sent to help fight fires in Colorado and Wyoming.
Central Coast News reached out to officials from the Vandenberg Air Force Base
for comment, but as of Friday evening we have not received a call back.
Fair use disclaimer
||Interagency Dispatch Optimization Improvement Pilot Project (IDOPP) final
The IDOPP final report that was completed in January is finally released to
the public. While I'm still going through it, the glaring fault I see in the
dispatch assessment is the complexity rating of ECCs.
How does anyone who has a clue believe that ANCC (Angeles ECC) and SIFC
(Susanville Interagency ECC) are moderate complexity ECCs? How can any third
tier ECC in California be assessed as anything but high? Considering the busiest
centers as the high-water mark disvalues the complexity of the rest of the ECCs.
Maybe those ECCs have a workload that is too heavy? It is a flawed assessment
and it undermines the rest the recommendations, which is too bad because some of
the recommendations are very good.
I feared this contrived conclusion when I heard a key IDOPP committee member
refer to R5's current high complexity ECC assessment as a "Quintinism" in order
to undermine the Region's current established decision. This biased assessment
also opens up the possibility of downgrades of ECC staff on top of everything
else. If this exercise was really about optimization and not consolidation,
IDOPP would have evaluated and recommended splitting some of the large centers
so they can provide optimal service. Consolidation does not equal optimization
no matter how you phrase it.
Forest Service Management Efficiency Assessments
11. Interagency Dispatch Optimization Improvement Pilot Project (IDOPP)
||Dear TheySaid and TheyWillTell EveryoneTheyKnowToHelpGetTheWordOutPlease,
Last day to register for the WFF Memorial Fundraiser is approaching:
The Deadline is April 17th. THAT'S ONLY 3 BUSINESS DAYS AWAY! Event is on April
All wishing to attend must pre-pay at:
If you are a family member of a fallen wildland firefighter and are attending,
please let the Foundation know, as we want to insure all families members
receive (Hawaiian) leis.
Where? McClellan, CA at Lionsgate Restaurant Club Ballroom. We will be
remembering those who lost their lives fighting wildland fires from the air and
on the ground.
Cost? Admission is $50.00 per person, includes dinner, non-alcoholic drinks and
live entertainment by “Hawaiian Dancers" Aloha Polynesia!
Goodies? There will be a silent auction and you may win great prizes from our
raffle contest. You're encouraged to bring an auction item from your company or
Theme? Hawaiian attire or not, wear what you want………
Event starts at 1730 (that's 5:30pm) and goes until....
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Ab and Fire Folks,
OK, this horse is being resurrected so we can all beat it once again. Can
someone please explain to me what is LEGAL and ILLEGAL in the diversity
hiring practices. I have heard that it is LEGAL to hire diversity based on a
particular region's demographics. However I have heard that it is ILLEGAL to
hire diversity based on the entire country's demographics. For example, and
this a real life one to boot, the demographics in Southwest Montana look
NOTHING like those say in Southern California--- or even the USA, for that
matter. Yet I am hearing that folks in these areas are expected to churn out
diversity applicants nonetheless. Some are saying that they have to match
their workforce to look like the country--- well sorry but some parts of
this country (say Montana) just don't "look" like the rest of the country, so
why then are USFS people expected to hire folks who: a.) don't live in the
area/region, and b.) would have no real interest in living there even if
given the opportunity? Why are local, quality, highly skilled and
experienced applicants being pushed aside in order to meet some unrealistic
diversity quota? Also, why is it so dam* important that the USFS hire
diversity? This is the FOREST SERVICE, an agency that should be made up of
PROFESSIONALS, you know people who have experience working and living in the
woods, people who have FORESTRY degrees and RESOURCE MANAGEMENT degrees
--- its not some government outfit that just exists to give everyone a
chance --- give me a break. If candidates who fit this bill also happens to
be diversity then great!!! If not, well sorry you don't qualify, come back
when you do!!! I think I need to start looking at the private sector; this
agency really is spiraling down into a big ball of pc irrelevancy.
It sounds to me like the referral list you were on expired. Its only good for so
many days and if they don't request to extend it, it will expire and they will
need to pull a new one and then start the leveling process all over again.
When requesting a referral list, one can select a specific area or town where a
particular crews station (district) is and, there is a 50 mile radius, too. On
my forest we pulled both! On our district we had over 900 applicants to level.
This took five weeks with 1-3 people. We had four vacancies! You don't have to
request the 50 mile radius, too, but our forest supervisor does his own thing,
and might even be pressured to do so?
I personally want to hire a good veteran. They deserve it! They were told when
they signed up and returned home they'd be offered a job. I have some great
veterans working for me now and have had some great ones that have moved on. I
have had some that couldn't cut it either!
I'm glad you had a spot to go back to!
Hotshots and Helicopters
Get a permanent position. That would help things a lot, not to mention the
benefits of intermittent status during the winter and training. That aside, the
folks that told you that you had a job made some mistakes, because they must
clear the vets off a hiring list before offering anyone else a position. (If
your story is true.) It is a big mess this year with the integration of eRecruit,
Temp Hiring, Lotus Notes (thought we got rid of that), and USAjobs. You are not
the only one, maybe ask the question, "Why did you offer me a job before
clearing the Vets?" on second thought, don't ask, if you ever want a chance to
work there again. Just shoot for that PSE position
R5 Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement -- Diversity
Communication from Randy Moore, Regional Forester (30 K pdf)
The president is proposing $74 million for improving the FS wildland aviation
fleet. See pg. 68.
White House Budget
Thanks from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation:
"A big thanks goes out to
Darla Theisen, Anne Connor, Rebecca Metcalf, and others at the AK Division of
Forestry, Alaska Fire Service, and USFS in AK who organized another successful
fundraiser for the WFF at their 2013 Dispatch Workshop! We appreciate your
support! Thank you!"
Reply regarding NJ SEATs:
In 1995 I was on the Sunrise Fire on Long Island, New York which utilized 7
Ag Cats and two helicopters (State of NY and Maine) to help fight that fire. The
Ag Cats all had reciprocating engines back then and did a great job for us.
Given the proximity to wealthy communities and WUI concerns, this fire became
political very quickly. President Clinton's office, in addition to FEMA and
other state and local officials, were on hand to 'help' with the coordination
efforts. You may remember that high level DC officials ordered two C-130's to
assist. It quickly became clear that the aircraft we had on site were adequate
to contain the fire since the winds that initially pushed the blaze had
subsided. Given the politics at work though, the C-130 order stood.
Unfortunately, due to a top level ordering snafu, the aircraft and support
personnel were about 24 hours behind schedule. Numerous media outlets were
onsite waiting for the airshow. Given the potential political fallout from the
President's office, they were directed to drop water (not retardant) on the
environmentally sensitive land where the fire was now being mopped up.
It was one of the more interesting fires I've been on politics wise. Here's a
link for the Downstown Aero story including info by Walt Darren at airtanker.org:
Downstown Aero, Vineland NJ -- oldest surviving airtanker operator
Interesting. Nice piece. Ab.
Fire history maps?
Do u guys have a link that shows fire history maps for
areas u might be going to?
Sent from my iPhone
Not yet, but as I understand it, that feature will be coming. Ab.
Heat related illness and the consumption of energy drinks
Good info in the heat illness prevention pocket guide and some interesting
recommendations. (Safety Advisory: Heat Illness Prevention Pocket Guide
In addition, I have noticed what I perceive to be an increased trend in heat
related illness in those with less experience related to energy drink
consumption and believe this is an issue worth discussing.
I would be interested to see what the data would show if we tracked energy
drinks as a contributing factor to heat related illness in SHIPS for the FS or
by other means.
Any nutritionalists out there with facts worth sharing during upcoming
refreshers related to energy drink consumption?
Any safety officers out there with thoughts on tracking nutrition/hydration
as a contributing factor to heat related illness?
Anyone out there with a lesson learned/near miss experience related to energy
drinks to share?
USDA does about-face, won’t jettison Forest Service’s shield logo
A plan to drop a recognizable logo in this part of the country — the Forest
Service’s iconic shield — generated so much outrage among the agency’s retirees
that the idea has been dropped. (Read the rest at the link.)
Re Resignation Memo from Under Secretary Harris Sherman:
Wow, 4 whole years!
Pretty lengthy resignation letter for such a short tenure.
To be fair, that is twice as long as Sarah Palin lasted as Alaska's governor
before she resigned.
Harris, we hardly knew ye.
FS Memo making the rounds this morning and passed on to R5 via the Public
Affairs and Communications director, Sherry R; It's the same message
circulating last week from the FS Retirees group. Ab.
Subject: Guidance on
Forest Service shield
Good morning, colleagues. Per USDA, we are cleared at all levels to provide only
the following comment when queried about the FS shield. If we get further
guidance, we will let you know.
FYI… this is likely ALL that they will say on the topic at USDA as well.
"The US Forest Service shield is exempted from the One USDA branding directive."
Oh and here's another offering mentioned by Sherry that looks interesting:
Green Fire is coming to PBS stations across the nation beginning
in April. Click on
greenfiremovie.com to check the listings in your area.
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time
Fires in New Jersey:
New Jersey - Bi-Plane SEAT! NJ's warming weather prompts caution on wildfires
Click on the link on the
for the photo and various articles.
Has anyone seen a biplane acting as an airtanker before?
Trampus Haskvitz Golf Tourney
Dear Wildland Fire Community,
The 2nd Annual Trampus Haskvitz Golf Tournament is coming up and I'd like
everyone in the wildland community to pause a moment and consider attending this
year. The Haskvitz family strength is amazing. Last year, they were able to pick
each other up out of the dust and organize the inaugural event only months after
the tragic fire that took Trampus' life. We have seen here at the WFF that each
family grieves differently, and this family grabbed their grief by the bullhorns
and pulled together to remember and honor Trampus with such fierce beauty.
Please share with our wildland fire community, and if anyone can make the 2nd
Annual Trampus Golf Tourney this year in South Dakota, they should go. Its
another great chance to be surrounded by wonderful people as the Haskvitz's.
In love and light,
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
This information is also posted on the Hotlist Calendar. Sounds like a
wonderful opportunity to gather, to play and to remember Trampus. Ab.
Resignation Memo from Under Secretary Harris Sherman
April 8, 2013
Dear Forest Service Family:
I want you to know that today I have tendered to the President my resignation as
Under Secretary for Natural Resources & the Environment at USDA. As you know, I
am a Westerner at heart and, after four years, I am feeling a strong “tug” from
that direction, particularly from my family in Colorado and California. Although
this has been a difficult decision for me, I think it is a good time to make a
transition. My plan is to remain at USDA until May 8, 2013 to assist in the
I cannot tell you what a rare privilege and honor it has been working with you
on so many critical fronts and knowing how much we have accomplished. I marvel
that in the face of declining budgets, record fires and temperatures, and
challenging forest health conditions, we have achieved so much.
Think about the following successes during the past four years:
--A new National Planning Rule that sets the framework for all future
--Conservation of vast landscapes and watersheds across our national forests as
part of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative.
--Accelerated restoration of millions of acres within national forests to combat
bark beetles, invasive species, and address climate variations which in turn
will reduce the threat of wildfire.
--New public/private partnerships with water utilities, electric utilities,
recreation interests, ski resorts, major corporations, and NGOs to assist in
forest and watershed restoration.
--Expanded recreation opportunities across national forests and ski areas.
--Protection of Native American sacred sites and comprehensive consultation with
--Creation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps to work with partners
to connect thousands of young people to the outdoors through targeted
internships and career opportunities.
--Collaborative efforts with diverse stakeholders reaching consensus on forest
restoration, resulting in fewer appeals and less litigation.
--Streamlining the Forest Service permitting and environmental review systems,
thereby reducing costs, eliminating inefficiencies, and improving environmental
This is in addition to the great work we do every day to protect communities
from catastrophic wildfires, support state and private forest landowners,
conduct critical forest research, manage and conserve our natural resources, and
connect millions of people to our public lands.
These are only a few of the many milestones reached by the Forest Service — all
of which are a testament to why the Forest Service has continued to be critical
to the Nation’s future.
While these jobs are about policies, programs, and the good work we are doing in
communities, they are also about our relationship to each other within the
agency. The Forest Service is a special place: rarely will you see more
talented, hardworking people at every level. The Forest Service has a
well-deserved, proud reputation. Wherever I have traveled these past four years,
I have heard of our good deeds, extra effort, and exceptional results. You have
every reason to take pride in your role and contribution to caring for the land
and serving people.
While I will miss all of you, I know our public and private forests are in good
hands and that you will devote your talents and energies to the work ahead. I
wish all of you good fortune, health, and success in the years ahead.
Safety Advisory: Heat Illness Prevention Pocket Guide
Below is the link to access this document:
To view this Advisory go to:
To view all Advisories go to:
looking for photos or video of the Viejas Fire January 3, 2001
My name is Ian Hay and I was a fire fighter with La Cima Camp in Julian Ca I
was with Crew 3 On the Viejas fire. I was wondering if you had any of those
pictures or any videos of the news that day? I was one of the ones that got
smoke inhalation and was interviewed by the news. I am looking for some Pictures
from that Fire. I took a bunch myself with a disposable but they have all since
been lost. I'm hopeful you might be able to point me in the right direction.
Thank you for your time have a great day.
Several days ago on the hotlist, Firescribe posted a link to an article about
the FS being at odds with OSHA on the Steep Corner Incident in Idaho in which
Anne Veseth died.
Here's the beginning of the AP article:
GRANGEVILLE, Idaho (AP) — The US Forest Service is contesting a citation issued
against it by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration following the
death of a 20-year-old Forest Service firefighter last summer. OSHA spokeswoman
Deanne Amaden told the Lewiston Tribune in a story published Friday that the two
agencies are negotiating after each conducted investigations and reached
separate conclusions. Anne Veseth of Moscow died Aug. 12 after being struck and
killed by a falling tree...
Mellie, what is the status of your "Always Remember" project ?
Is there a place where we can access a list of fatalities that have occurred
over the years ?
Still working on it as time allows. It's here:
If you hover your pointer over the Incident Lists in the menu bar,
different options will drop down: by Date, by Cause, by
Employer, and All Incidents. If you click on All Incidents,
you'll get all the incidents we have done at this time (20 incidents by 25 pages
or so). If you want to see all in one list, you can find the Display # option
and click All. There should be about 478 incidents right now, ordered
by date, going back to 1871. It's easy to filter by last name, by year,
by 2-letter state abbreviation, or by day of the year (xx/xx)
if you want to know who died on that day -- who's also included in the database
Today is April 6. Filter on 04/06 and you'll find the anniversary of the
burnover deaths of
Kevin Smith and Ken Allen on the Island Fork Fire in Kentucky and the heart
attack death of
John Murphy in Massachusetts. Both incidents have NIOSH Reports.
I haven't had time to go through all records to correct the USFA links.
They changed their system some months ago and it's a huge, time-consuming
job to correct the records.
If anyone has a person to add, I need the name and a death date or at
least a month and year and any other information you can find. Thanks,
FS vs USDA logo
Someone just has toooo much time on their hands thinking about stuff like this.
The agency has been loosing its core values for some time and it's this kinda
stuff that shows it.
Back when we were developing the Region 5 web and National web site, this new
branding logo was part of the action at that time. The big issue..... the
pushers of the New USDA brand really were not part of the old guard. Not really
part of the boots on the ground force that formed and held the agency together.
Cool simplistic designs are good and their designers have their place in life,
but not when it comes at a cost of removing a 100+ year piece of history. What
are the heads of the agency thinking???
The Shield was something I wore proudly and was always well received by all
those visitors to the forest (with the exception of a few). It was even a cool
thing to show those kids in the classrooms, pointing out that there was a tree
on the badge making us caretakers of the forest and their lands.
That's my two cents worth...
Re: Initial Attack Spot Tour Changes
Since it's a violation of the MA you'll probably have to file a grievance so you
should get a hold of your union rep. I told your R5 C.V.P. Barry McDonald and
the chair of the NFFE Fire Committee Joe Duran if your local rep. needs some
direction they can probably help.
NFFE R1 C.V.P.
FS vs USDA logo
This may be old news by now but the USDA has apparently relented on its
"head-scratching" plan to eliminate the Forest Service shield and other logos.
I'm not sure how the powers that be thought such a move would improve the
Agency's ranking among places to work in the federal government; or help fill in
the chasm that continues to exist between the Agency leadership and those in the
field; or be cost-effective in the era of the sequestration but the plan
certainly ranks up there with the beauties offered over the years.
Hmmm, now would be a great time for the USDA to finally recognize that it
employs professional wildland firefighters and classify them as such!
And if I might, a word about Lance Cross and his family's loss. Lance is the 2nd
FWFSA family member to lose a child in 2013. Mike Alarid being the first. I grew
up with Lance and his brothers Kevin and Matt in Hawaii where we lived just a
few houses from each other. Our families spent an inordinate amount of time
together and I was shocked to learn he had followed a similar path in life and
became a federal wildland firefighter. After over 40 years we reconnected at the
Castle Rock Fire in Idaho several years ago.
As with Mike, I know our FWFSA Family and all those who know Lance and his
family have their thoughts and prayers with Mike & Lance as they deal with an
unfathomable loss. Much Aloha Lance.
Our best to Mike's and Lance's families as well. Ab.
FS vs USDA logo
Re: FS logo replaced with USDA?
The article dated today (April 4th) says the USFS logo/shield has been exempted
from the new USDA logo regulations. Given my strong feelings of mistrust of the
USDA, I think all FS employees still need to maintain good S.A. for another
sneak attack from our "parent" department.
USFS badge dodges bullet
Great news! Ab.
Re: Initial Attack Spot Tour Changes
Good luck. I was actually charged by ASC/NFC when I coded it the correct way. I
had to pay it back, which meant that I received phone calls from a payment
person during my off-tour time. I was confused and pissed because everyone else
on the fire (also FS) did not have to pay it back (and I checked). I complained,
even wrote a note to the newly (and worthless in my opinion) deputy chief of
business operations at ASC and she never even responded. I tried contacting my
union rep, but after not receiving a response from him (and consequently my
quitting the union), I gave up. If you figure out a solution please let me know.
I had to pay back a nice chunk of change - and I was working hard for it the
It may not be enough to tip the deficit in our favor, but it was a lot for me.
FS Owes Me
Re: Initial Attack Spot Tour changes
Thanks for the reply... Sooooo... For all us folks for the last few years who
have been told it is not overtime.... how do we go about getting what is owed to
us... Mass audits from ASC?? Mass corrected time sheets??? Contact our Union
Making the rounds... FS logo replaced with USDA?
The new standards for the USDA logo were making the rounds on 3/28/2013.
"The use of agency and staff logos in Signature Lockups is being
phased out and replaced with a signature model that features only the USDA
symbol." from page 7 of the Standards.
Here's the link to the standards:
USDA Logo visual standards guide (1,346 K pdf). Ab.
Photos of Historical FS Logos from MOC4546 on
Photos 6 and a few on Logos 7.
Why Is USDA Stripping the Forest Service of its Pine Tree Logo? (opinion)
As official badges go, the Forest Service's is pretty plain --
but very much to the point. At its center, a lone pine tree splits the letters U
and S, letters that serve doubly to denote the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, organizations whose names are emblazoned across the
top and bottom of the shield. It is a deft, clean, legible, and
historic symbol, having been the agency's central logo since its
establishment in 1905.
For many current and past
employees, it is also a badge of honor, a reflection of their deep and abiding
attachment to their one-time or present-day roles as stewards of America's
national forests. So you'll understand if they get a little testy when someone
proposes to mess with this sign of their lifelong devotion to the public good...
More at the link...
Attempted Murder on the Potomac (editorial)
On January 8 of this year, Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, quietly put a
gun to the head of the 108-year-old U.S. Forest Service and pulled the trigger.
But if he thought he could kill the venerable agency that easily, he was wrong.
More on the Attempted Murder on the Potomac in a moment, but first some
background from the crime scene.
The U.S. Forest Service has been the designated caretaker of the nation's
193-million-acre federal forest estate since its creation in 1905. It is the
brainchild of two of this country's greatest conservationists, President Teddy
Roosevelt and the much revered Gifford Pinchot, who was the agency's first chief
and its principal architect. Their goal was to transfer the last of the nation's
public domain timberland into forest reserves - national forests - for their
conservation and use by the American people...
More at the link...
83rd Annual Wildland Fire Safety Conference, Southern California Association of
Foresters and Fire Wardens
The Southern California Association of Foresters
and Fire Wardens is hosting its annual wildland fire safety conference at the
Irvine Outdoor Education Center in Yorba Linda, Ca on May 2-3, 2013. The
association is made up of federal, state and local government fire
professionals, including So Cal Edison, who come together to present and discuss
issues related to the challenges we all face. Featured this year are noted
wildland fire author John Maclean and Risk Management expert Gordon Graham. For
more information on the Association and Conference attendance, please visit our
website at scaffw.org .
We hope to see you there.
Southern California Association of Foresters and Fire Wardens
Making the rounds:
NM Congressman Steve Pearce Releases Fire Report
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eric Layer
PEARCE RELEASES FIRE REPORT
Ruidoso, NM (April 2, 2013) – Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce released a
report he requested last summer on recent fires in New Mexico.
“Today’s report is a step toward the transparent, locally-driven approach
to forest management that New Mexico needs,” said Pearce. “New Mexicans have
expressed anger and frustration over the handling of recent fires, which
needlessly cost hundreds of millions of dollars, destroyed hundreds of
thousands of acres of habitat, and killed countless plants and animals. By
understanding thoroughly what has gone wrong with fire management in past
summers, we can work to improve our fire prevention and forestry policies,
The report was sponsored by the National Institute for the Elimination of
Catastrophic Wildfire, and authored by Bill Derr, who retired as special agent
in charge of the California Region for the US Forest Service. The report, which
was completed at no cost to taxpayers, details what went wrong with the
suppression efforts of the Whitewater-Baldy Complex and Little Bear Fires last
summer. It recommends that the Forest Service manage our nation’s forests in
accordance with the Organic Act of 1897, review the National Fire Policy,
calculate the total cost of wildfires beyond suppression, and that Congress
should reform the Equal Access to Justice Act to prevent special interest groups
from dictating forestry policy in an unscientific manner at taxpayer expense.
The full text of the report is available
Rod Duff, a member of the 1952 Oak Grove Hotshots, passed away on March 30 after
a short illness. Rod lived a full life that included wildland firefighting for
the USFS and CDF, working as a Disney Imagineer, owning an animation company,
and serving as an interpretive ranger at Bodie State Park in retirement. He was
an 19th century mining and railroading expert, a lifetime Land Rover enthusiast,
a model railroader and a member of the Bodie Chapter of E Clampus Vitas. Rod
considered his time as a hotshot one of the highlights of his life, and
thoroughly enjoyed himself at the Oak Grove Hotshot reunion in 2012.
will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, April 6, at Joshua Memorial Park, 808 East
Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, CA.
Condolences can be sent to Rod’s wife Cindy Kline at 7229 West Columbia Way,
Quartz Hill, CA 93536.
Best thoughts and prayers for family and friends. Ab.
Re: Initial Attack Spot Tour changes
Read the Master Agreement Article 28 section 4 a. it says “ This means that
initial attack hours worked after midnight until the individual’s regularly
scheduled tour of duty begins will be considered overtime.”
Ronald C. Angel
NFFE FSC R1 CVP
Facilitating Treatment of Traumatic Injuries- Clarification
letter being commented upon- as your readers have noted the letter states:
After on-site medical response, initial medical stabilization, and
evaluation are completed, the decision to refer the employee to a regional
burn center is made only by the attending physician. WC benefits may be
denied in the event the employee is transported to a burn center without a
referral from the attending physician.
As it turns out, we have had patients with relatively minor injuries (small
hand burns treated with salve, then released) transported to burn centers via
life flight. Thus the need for a clearer protocol. A life flight EMT/Paramedic
could make the call in the field to proceed directly to a burn center after
conferring (via radio) with the “attending physician”. The letter does not
preclude a burn victim from being taken directly to a burn center, if necessary.
The letter (which was developed with assistance from a licensed EMT Union
representative) allows the flexibility to provide every patient with the
appropriate necessary care and burn patients may be transported immediately from
the field to a burn center if directed by the attending physician (via radio) to
the attending life flight EMT/paramedic.
J Lenise Lago
Deputy Chief, Business Operations
USDA Forest Service
Thanks for the clarification. Ab.
This season's hiring has been an epic tale of failures. And now this???
On my unit (no names here), we pulled a GS-4 cert with over 350+ names and were
directed to select a dozen 'random' candidates to rate. Where is the sense in
Fairness? We were told to look for strong diversity candidates.
Equality? We were also to look for 'locals' as best possible.
Experience/quals/etc? Thats up to the rating system...
Despite all the talk of federal 'transparency', it seems thats all it was...
I've never felt so conflicted over my agency's hiring policies. I couldn't sleep
a wink last night. Anyone else receiving this kind of direction? I'm open to PMs
for help, I'm sure Abs will forward on.
- Anonymous in R5
I know there has been a lot of fuss about this new hiring system not working
out too good for folks. I have really been hearing a lot of it. I can tell you
from first hand experience that I did not find one problem with it and actually
thought it was better and easier than Avue. I literally had to turn down jobs.
So I know it works. I am guessing that people not being to familiar with the
system made errors of some sort on there applications and this is the main
reason for the troubles. Ok so with all that being said here are some tips for
using e recruit.
- Make sure you up load your own resume a word document for example. If
you use there resume builder the format will be all screwed up.
- attach EVERYTHING you can if there is a spot for it. ( SF-50, OF-306,
IQCS, etc )
Now when you write your own resume, you have to include certain key words.
You can easily look at the job description and see what kind of key words you
need to include in your work history description. (JUST key words. write your
own description ) You also need to give dates of how long you worked at what
grade. This is very important now. My understanding is it is up to you now to
prove and reflect that you have the experience and time in grade on your resume.
Avue made it easier in that sense.
Moral of the story do your homework put together a top notch application.
Take your time on it. (the more info you put the better.) Do exactly what it
asks. Have some one who knows what they are looking at check and double check it
before you submit it. I know its a little too late now, but hopefully this can
- Pond bear
Fire in Australia
Hey just found this on Yahoo thought everyone might wanna
know how bad it was last year down under…. This pic is from Astronaut Chris
Hadfield in space.
Thanks Robert for reminders about our friends in Australia. I put it on
Fire 48 photo page. Ab.
Hiring ands Application
PYG and others,
How can you check on an application when it doesn't say if there is anything
wrong with it or not? At least AVUE let the applicant know if they qualified or
needed to attach supporting documentation. Here is my story..
I resigned from an engine operator position from the Forest Service three
years ago due to some immediate family issues at the time. Since then I have
regretted my decision, but have kept current as an engine operator with my local
county volunteer department. So after a having a long talk with my wife I
decided to get back into Federal wildland firefighting this year. I watched
USAJobs like a hawk for the announcements to come out. When they did, I made
sure to put locations that were showing vacancies. I also made sure to attach
all documents like my DD214 and my last federal IQCS Record. I was like a kid
waiting on Christmas for fire hire to begin. I also made sure to call around and
network for positions. When fire hire did start expected phone calls and emails
to start rolling in. When it was AVUE, I practically needed a switchboard. One
day went by, a week went by, two weeks went by, and nothing. I figured being a
war veteran, fully qualified since it was a position I left as, an EMT, and a
cdl that the offers would be coming in like crazy. Today I found out by a fire
management officer from a local forest that I put in for that I didn't even show
up on their cert. I made sure I applied to that location due to my wife and I
wanting to stay as local as possible because we are expecting our first child
and we want to stay close to family and keep the same doctor. The funny thing is
when I go into USAJobs it just says applications received. It would have been
nice to know that I wasn't making certs at least a month ago.
If anybody has a position open and willing to Hire under a VRA Appointment,
please let me know. I am a four time Middle East War Veteran, fully qualified
engine operator, Class B CDL License, and an EMT with BLS.
Always Remember, I still promise to paint the Kingsbury Fire Memorial even if
I don't have a crew this year. I will try to get my voly engine permissed off
district for it. Thanks everyone for your time in reading this and a huge thanks
to the site for allowing me to write this. Stay safe out there!!!
Re: Federal Direction on Treatment of Traumatic Injuries
In response to
Yactack Re: Traumatic injury response. 3/31
I guess I'm curious how a policy written by the Deputy Chief for Business
Operations disqualifies the FS to manage fire. It's a government agency and as
such needs from time to time write and update standard policies. If the letter
was taken as a how to for managing a medical situation, I think that the first
sentence may have bee missed. The letter was written as a guideline. As someone
whom has seen what the costs are when someone does not follow the procedure for
getting Workers Comp to cover an injury, I'm pretty glad that this directive is
updated and circulated each year. It cuts down on the confusion and costs to
employees that seem to sneak up in December when no one is around the office to
Making the reounds:
R5: Celebrating Women’s History Month
Region 5 recently celebrated Women’s History Month by recognizing members of
the Adaptive Management Services Enterprise Team. Several women were honored for
their groundbreaking discoveries in the field of fire behavior. Jeanne Pincha-Tully
was acknowledged for her outstanding accomplishment in fire management and being
the first female Incident Commander for a Type 1 Team.
Civil Rights Officer
Mendocino National Forest
Re: Federal Direction on Treatment of Traumatic Injuries
I offer this, not wanting to upset anyone. But, isn't Workman's Comp for the
feds administered by the Department of Labor? So possibly that may have
precipitated the memo? Maybe the DOL wants it done that way? I don't know just
throwing that out there.
Here are two antidotes that happened here last year that perhaps play into this
Middle of the night, EMS helicopter responds to a remote incident helibase to
evacuate a burn victim to a burn center. EMS helicopter has to refuel in route
so time from dispatch to delivery to the burn center approx four hours. There
was a full service medical center within 45 minutes. Turns out the "victim" had
a softball size 2nd degree burn on his calf. Burn occurred during the morning of
the shift and was not reported until the crew got in that evening and had eaten
and showered. Burn victim returned to the incident the day following his evac.
The other incident occurred in the afternoon, Forest exclusive use contract
helicopter picked up the victim and had them to the burn center in 90 minutes.
First degree burns about the size of a football on a hip. Again, full service
medical center with in 45 minutes flight time.
My point is any policy that is an absolute is bound to have holes in it. I fully
support getting our burned, or otherwise injured personnel to the best available
medical care post haste. I also believe common sense must be part of the
Dose of Reality
FS 5109.34 (Interagency Incident Business management Handbook
Chapter 10) Expired on March31,2012. Is there a new edition to this document,
also what will be the mileage rates for the upcoming season?
Initial Attack Spot Tour changes:
On October 3, 2012, Angeles National Forest personnel received a letter
regarding Initial Attack Spot Tour changes. I have not heard anything else on
this subject.... On the LP they have always paid us reg. time after 2400 and you
did not receive OT till 0800 after 8 hours of base pay... If I am reading this
memo correctly that is illegal and many folks should be receiving compensation
for working all night into the next day.
Milepost 66 Accident:|
So I pulled up a lot of the MP66 postings and looked
them over. My forest is using the situation as an example (not a good one). I
have a few questions I can't figure out, although I think I know the answers.
Is it true that they weren't using flight helmets? I didn't ever see that
spelled out crystal clear.
I have ALWAYS known and been told (2 shot crews, engine, rappel) that it is not
an allowed activity outside of the clearly defined rappel operations from a
helicopter. How did this unit get permission to just do it? Or is that the whole
point, they didn't ask permission. And did they "not ask permission" all the way
up to the line officer? Our district ranger or forest supervisor would enforce
some serious repercussions on us if we did it without his permission, and heaven
help anyone who did it without their permission. That's just plain dishonest.
I would really like to see a copy of the JHA they claim to have. How did they
get something like that past a safety officer?
Someone said that there was a search to see if rappelling wasn't allowed policy.
Really? Aren't we smarter than that? Correct me if I'm wrong, but policy
manuals, fireline guides, etc. don't so much as tell you what you can't do, they
tell you what you can do. Then we have to rely on common sense, honesty and
integrity to ensure that the right and safe thing is done. There are lots of
things that the manuals don't tell you can't do. And if you are unsure, check
with higher ups.
I agree with someone who said this was all shady. I'm thinking it's a bit more
When we used to see unsafe situations taking place we'd say that it was "an
accident waiting to happen." Well, apparently there was a history of stuff going
on at this unit and this was an accident waiting to happen. The accident
happened. And now I'm guessing people will begin to erase it from their memory
until the next batch of people realize that it's an accident waiting to happen.
On our unit we are going to use the situation as a teaching opportunity.
Basically how not to do something, and now thanks to this unit I've got the
perfect reason for why not to do it. Someone will get hurt.
Again, if anyone has the JHA they claim to have used, some of us would love to