November, 2013

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11/30 Gone or ???


I've been a fan of They Said for several years. Never sent before, only receive and enjoy every note.

I'm the Father of Molly (...snipped personal info) ...and a career wildland fire folk with the USFS.

Us grandparent types left Salem on the 20th to Utah, and returned on the 27th. Opening the They Said, there were Zero comments from anybody since the 19th! Is They Said still operating?? Or have the new group thrown in the towel? You all do a fantastic job...even with the "gone to a fire" down times.

Just curious...and below is my new email address.



Hi GD -- firefighter dad and proud granddad!

I'm here; the Moderators, GIS specialist, programmers and new Admin are here; everyone is working on Mapping with ESRI  and developing the new web features.

Not much coming in from posters to theysaid, though. and I've been in and out of town, helping with a wedding, acting as grandparent and working in support of wlf.com website changes. It's impossible to post theysaid from an ipad when I'm out of town.

Federal firefighters have been in the "Use it or lose it mode" as far as vacation time-off goes after a busy fire season. Some have gotten married and others are beginning to travel. Some expecting babies have had them and are now sleep-deprived. The sad news about Mike took all of our breaths away... as has the continuing Yarnell tragedy report and Yarnell families' struggles.

A posting slowdown has happened to lesser degree every fall as Thanksgiving and Christmas approaches. Firefighters take time with their families and relax during this holiday season.

Many of the questions and discussions that have appeared on theysaid throughout the year (or recurrently year after year) have shown up on the Hotlist discussion sites: either the Regional IA Hotlist and Fire Discussion sub-forums, California IA Discussion for example, or the General Discussion subforum. A number of firefighters have migrated to self-posting, rather than sending comments to Ab at theysaid.

I'm happy to post whatever questions, alerts, stories, amusements or discussion that come in.


11/19 Robbie Robertson Press Release


Please find attached with this email, a copy of a Press Release that is based on the passing of Robbie Robertson. Robbie, who was a living legend in fire prevention, recently passed away. Among his various wishes was a desire to continue to support one of his pet projects, the National Fire Heritage Center. The Press Release provides information on a fund that has been established in Robbie’s name to accomplish that objective.


Ronny J. Coleman, President NFHC

Ronny J. Coleman
8866 Saint Anthony Court
Elk Grove, CA 95624
916-799-5363 cell
916-689-5363 office
916-686-5266 fax

If anyone wants the press release, email Ab and I'll send it. For a one-pager it's huge (5000+ K) and I can't save it as anything smaller to provide a link here.

It basically says here's how you donate and here's the NFHC website. Looks like a good historical project. Ron Coleman is the CA State Fire Marshal, Retired.

11/18 To: Nina Charlson & All re: S. 1628

As I have said countless times on TheySaid, the wildland firefighting community is an incredibly wonderful, diverse group of men & women who are supported by a variety of groups/resources at all levels of Government from the federal sector to the private sector.

Those from these various sectors may not always agree on the role of the other and often raise issues of inequities found in camps or on the fireline. Nonetheless, this community is truly special and now needs to stand together and support each other.

You have all read about the FWFSA's legislation, HR 2858 and now more recently Sen. Merkley's legislation S. 1628 that would extend Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) to aviators and private contract firefighters under contract with specific local, state or federal agencies. It does not extend to those who use their 20 year old pick up truck with a mounted 2GPM pump and roams the countryside looking for wildfire assignments!

The FWFSA was contacted by Sen. Merkley's office last year about the bill. Although the FWFSA works exclusively on behalf of federal wildland firefighters, we also want to ensure a level playing field for those responding to wildfires.

That said, for those who would benefit from S. 1628 and for Moms like Nina, it is important to know that the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is on record opposing this legislation. With all due respect to the wonderful rank & file membership of the IAFF, many of whom respond and work side by side with both contract and federal wildland firefighters, history has shown that the IAFF takes a dim view of private contractors, volunteers, seasonal and temporary firefighters. This is because they generally can't be "organized" and thus don't represent a revenue source for Union dues.

Some may question that but as a former IAFF member who was nearly elected to its Executive Board in 2003, I am familiar with the internal union politics. It should also be known to the community that the IAFF does not represent, in any capacity, any federal wildland firefighter employed by any of the 5 federal land management agencies. That Right, pursuant to Title 5 United States Code belongs primarily to the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), and to a lesser extend the American Federation of Federal Employees (AFGE) and some smaller Unions.

It is not my intent to inflame any passions among IAFF members (many of whom, especially those with Cal-Fire have joined the FWFSA since 2008 to support our efforts) and non-IAFF members. But for those in this community who support the Senate bill to extend PSOB benefits and for those who support our legislation to reform archaic pay & personnel policies for our federal wildland firefighters, it would be my suggestion to write/call IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger to ask him about their opposition to the Senate bill and seek the IAFF's support for HR 2858. It should be noted that the Nevada State Affiliate VP sat side by side with me at a hearing outside of Las Vegas in 2005 to support nearly identical federal legislation the FWFSA crafted.

Mr. Schaitberger can be contacted at:

1750 New York Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006-5395
PH: 202-737-8484
Fax: 202-737-8418

Additionally, Mr. Schaitberger recently sent a letter to President Obama and a host of others calling for a national discussion on America's wildfire issues. The FWFSA certainly supports that idea. Unfortunately, the FWFSA, NWSA, NFFE and other important organizations involved in wildland firefighting were excluded from the "CC" list. We can only hope it was an administrative oversight. Thus I have provided Ab with a copy of the IAFF's letter as well as a copy of our response. Again it is not meant to inflame. However after a deadly, record-breaking season, I think this community needs to have each other's back.


Casey Judd, President

One simple solution and bottom line... Those that want to sign the petition and support S. 1628, DO IT!  Those that don't, DON'T. Ab.

11/18 Sad news on Mike Kelly's passing:

The CHP has released the accident report. Link on the bottom of the yubanet article:

Death of Tahoe National Forest Firefighter Mike Kelly

11/17 Passing of Walt Darran, airtanker pilot

Just found out that one of the greats of aerial firefighting, CAL FIRE tanker pilot Walt Darran out of Chico, just passed away. Aside from a love of music and human-aiding cockpit technology, Walt and I would share our favorite Hunter Thompson quotes. Walt was dear, good friend for decades, and we prided ourselves on keeping our thinking outside the box. After all, we had no choice because that’s the way we were wired!! And it was my honor to have known this man whom I consider a true visionary.

And I’ll always remember our first meeting in the late 80s. We were talking about pushing the envelope of what could be done in aerial firefighting. He stopped and shared one of his mantras: “Remember this, Hugh. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” A mentor, a friend, a brother in arms.

Safe travels, mi amigo.

Hugh Carson
Emergency Team Solutions

Photos of Walt and friends on the internet.

Thanks for writing in Hugh. I was stunned when I heard. It's hard to imagine a world without Walt in it. Ab.

I sent this out to the Hotlist Mods yesterday: Walt Darren died Friday morning, He was such a fine man, CAL FIRE AT pilot and worked with Hemet Valley Flying Service. I am so sorry that he's gone. What a VERY FINE PERSON! His articulate safety efforts were excellent and his desire to care for the aviation families touched my heart. I will truly miss him...

Comments from airtanker pilots and friends

11/17 Re: Fallen Wildland Firefighter Fair Compensation Act

To: A Wildland Firefighter Organization in contact with many Wildland Firefighters.

Firefighting community:

As you mingle with wildland firefighters it is difficult to tell who works for a government agency or for a private contractor. These Wildland Firefighters work shoulder to shoulder most often under a government Incident Management Team. In the unfortunate case when there is a LODD fatality all the honors and kind words are bestowed on all Wildland Firefighters as Public Safety Officers, whether employed by the government or a private contractor. The only difference is in receiving Public Safety Officer Benefits. The Government employees receive their money benefit in about 2 months after their firefighter's death. Private Contractor employees are not invited to apply for these benefits. If they do apply for benefits (which we did) we receive a rejection notice and the right to appeal. We appealed this past March with no answer to date. Our son was killed in the Line of Duty in the Iron 44 Incident in August 2008 in Northern California.

The reason this letter is coming to you is because Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley has crafted an Act to include Wildland Firefighters who were employed by private contractors to receive Public Safety Officer benefits in the case of a Line of Duty Death. These benefits are not a part of the National Budget. They are administered through the Dept. of Justice.

We learned this week that the National Wildfire Suppression Association (NWSA) is supportive of the above Act introduced by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. This brings such encouragement to those of us who have been working to promote interest and support.

My interest in this Act comes because of the death of my son in the Iron 44 incident in 2008. While the past five years have been laced with challenges for us, one of the things we seek to do is to be a voice for change where needed so future Fallen Wildland Firefighters will not have to face some of the challenges we have. There needs to be a change in the current PSOB (Public Safety Officer Benefit) law.

The following links can inform you of the opportunities available to support these Wildland Firefighters. If you want to support our effort, please share with anyone that you know that might want to assist in this effort. Thank you.

1. Senate Judiciary Committee Vote to Enact Fallen Wildland Firefighters Fair Compensation Act S-1628
This is a petition that is being circulated for the Fair Compensation Act. This could be forwarded to anyone that may be a supporter of this Act
so they can sign it, and hopefully, pass it on. I know this is a slow time of year but if your crew comes to the shop have the link available so they can
sign the petition if they have not done so.

2. facebook.com/S1628
Whoever is a facebook user should like this page. This is where we will share updates and ways to help promote this Act.

3. Your Congressional Representatives
This link gives contact info for all the U.S. Congressmen. It is important to contact your Congressmen to express your support of this Act.

4. govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s1628 
A link to the Act and how to track it.

If this Act is adopted it will make a huge difference to the surviving family members as they cope with very difficult circumstances. No one ever plans on being that Fallen Firefighter, but that does not stop tragedies from happening.

Thank you for any help you can be in the promotion of this Act.

Nina Charlson
Mother of Fallen Firefighter Scott Charlson

11/17 Sad news: Mike Kelly has died

Death of Tahoe National Forest Firefighter and Tahoe Hotshots Crew Squadboss Mike Kelly in Camptonville

11/14 Wildland Firefighter Cookbook

These wildland firefighter cookbooks are selling like hotcakes! Thanks to all of you that sent in pictures. And Vicki just called this morning from Prescott. She said that if you get food poisoning, don't call the Foundation.

:p Amanda


11/13 Re BLM phone discussion: Find my friends app

If you cannot talk to your boss directly about this, then just forward your work cell to your personal cell and leave the work cell charging somewhere. They will never know. I bet they didn't even think about this issue.

Have you addressed this concern to your supervisor?


11/12 Re BLM phone discussion: Find my friends app

My wife and I use the app to see where each other is. Commuting almost an hour each way to and from work, she can time dinner so she doesn't have to wait till I get home to start, and visa versatile on my days off. When I'm traveling with work or out on a fire assignment, she can tell where I'm at, when I get back to fire camp, or the hotel.

If you have nothing to hide, no worries.

But now with work, that's a different story.

There is an option on the Me tab to hide from followers.

When not at work, just hide from followers, and they can't see where you are at.

If the phone is a Government issue phone, they do have the right to require you to carry it while on the clock. Additionally they can add or restrict any app on the phone. Now if you have a personal cell, and a work cell, leave the work cell on the desk while not at work. There are no policies, that I know of, that require anyone to carry a Government issue cell while off duty and not in pay status.


11/12 Re BLM phone discussion: Find my friends app

Ground to Pound,

I know from experience that sometimes with employers there is a world of difference between what they "should" be able to tell you to do, and what they do tell you to do. Even if we all agree it's wrong, until someone fights it, or gets in trouble over it, it is what it is.

So I would suggest that you keep the wall charger handy, and when you get home, be such a loyal employee that you want your phone charged in case they need you. So plug it in and leave it there till you get ready to leave in the morning. If they complain that you didn't have it with you, you can tell the truth, it was on the charger. If you are not on call, then they really can't say anything, and you didn't just defy them outright. (Or if you don't want to let them track you that far, put it on the charger at work before you leave. Same excuse will work just fine.)

Hate to play games, but sometimes it is just a matter of not picking a fight until a bad rule gets changed.

Just my thoughts, Good luck,

Flash-in Florida

11/12 Re BLM phone discussion: Find my friends app

More Ground to Pound

When you leave work....... TURN THE PHONE OFF! Hold down the button on the top of the phone until it shuts down. Should resolve the issue. Once gone from work and OFF duty, the government has no ownership of you but you still need to understand you're a government employee, so after duty actions still reflect on the government.


11/12 Re BLM phone discussion: Find my friends app

More Ground To Pound,

Good question! I can't speak for all districts or agencies, but when I was researching the introduction of technology into the wildland fire arena for my area, one of the features that was looked at was how the (Find my Friends) app or at the time google latitude could be utilized by the IC during an incident to get real time of where resources were at. In a way this is similar to some of the comments that have been shared recently about GM and use of GPS and the possibility of how that kind of technology could have allowed the IC to see their location before they left the black. There are also other tools that can be utilized in either the iphone or ipad platform where DIVS, ENGB or TFLD can take photos, draw where hose and or fire lines are and sms or email to the IC to again give real time data. This only works where there is cell coverage, but the principal of the technology use was geared towards that.

In terms of big brother issues... Being that it is an issued phone and not for personal use (Although you stated apple owners), if you are not comfortable having it all the time, I would suggest leaving it at home or somewhere neutral. There will always be some management individuals that will exploit the technology so I understand the concern. However, if you are not doing anything you aren't supposed to or where you shouldn't be, then you are good to go. There are several USFS, NPS and other vehicles that currently have AVL (Automatic Vehicle Locaters) which is similar and you may not know it. Something to think about.

Having said that, one can turn off that feature and on again at will, but then you run the risk of getting into trouble if you forget to turn it back on.

I have no dog in the Face Book fight, but tend to think that is overreaching (Personally). Ultimately, there have been many people over the last several years working hard to integrate this king technology into the workplace for good and beneficial reasons and fighting the CIO tooth and nail to get it. Please be careful in the battles you wish to chose so that this privilege and valuable tool is not taken away.

IC Tech Head

11/12 Re BLM phone discussion: Find my friends app

I don’t believe the BLM (or any other agency) can require you to carry a phone at all times. If you are not “on call” they have no claim to your time. Slavery is now illegal in the US. I would say that your employer is way out of line on this one.


11/12 The highly coveted and anticipated Wildland Firefighter Cookbook is now available to purchase! With over 245 recipes from 85 different contributors sent in from around the country over the last several years, it will make the perfect Christmas present! Only $15 plus shipping.

Amanda DeShazo
Executive Assistant
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

11/12 BLM phone discussion: Find my friends app

Hey all,

I have a question and would appreciate any feedback from my peers. I won’t say specifically where, other than I am located in NV, working for BLM. Recently, many of us have been issued iPhone5s (engine captains, operators, etc.). Within a few weeks of having them, the zone FMO and AFMO sent us an email telling us to download the app “Find My Friends”. This was more of an order, not a voluntary request. I felt I had no choice but to comply and download the app.

For those not familiar with this app, it basically allows you to see anyone’s location at any time. This includes both on-duty and off-duty hours. We are required to carry the phones with us at all times. Essentially, my boss can look and see where I am at, 24 hours a day. To me, this feels extremely invasive, “big brother”-ish and a violation of my privacy, as I feel it is not management’s business where I am at, who I am seeing or what I am doing on off hours, provided that I am fit for work when required.

What do you all think? Has anyone experienced this? My co-workers and I do not know what to do. This feels like a similar situation to a couple of years ago when employers were asking for applicants and employees’ passwords to Facebook and other social media, which was determined to be illegal in several states as an invasion of privacy. In NV BLM, we do not have a union to represent us, so most employees feel they have to do what management demands regardless of whether it is right or wrong.

Anybody have any feedback on how we should proceed with this. I can see this becoming more of a widespread issue for all of us, as we turn into Apple “owners” in the Federal Gov’t. I am looking forward to everyone’s thoughts and insightful feedback. Thank you for your feedback.

More Ground to Pound

Wow! Ab.

11/12 Follow up to last post:

To All FWFSA members: In my last post I asked that you let us know if you have gone into a non-pay (layoff) status as we had an issue with the DOI and USDA pay systems this pay period.

It is also important to let us know if any of you were furloughed during the Gov't shutdown or sent into a non-pay/layoff status earlier than expected as a result of the shutdown. You can either use the contact form on our website at www.fwfsa.org or email me directly at cjudd@fwfsa.or.

Thanks for your help.


11/12 This video is part of the First Lego League challenge for youngsters to come up with ideas on how to mitigate disasters, they chose wildfires/Rim Fire.

5th and 6th graders in Virginia offer campfire education, in the form of a video, check it out and please share. They would like to see stiffer penalties.


S, B

11/12 To All FWFSA Members:

We were alerted today by our financial institution that both the Dept. of Ag and Interior have botched the payroll process with respect to identifying our bi-weekly deposits. While they are confident it can be reconciled in a few days, I want to ask again that if you are an FWFSA member and are in, or will be going into a non-pay lay-off status, PLEASE email me at cjudd@fwfsa.org and let me know. Same thing goes for those who move during the "off-season" in letting us know your new address.

Thanks in advance.

Casey Judd

PS, thanks to all for the kind thoughts and words during my illness. Still no definitive answers. I've received a few replies to my ROSS question which I also appreciate.

11/11 ROSS question:

Has anyone been able to get Casey his requested information? Its a good thing for all of us to be very responsive to Mr. Judd's requests. He's looking out for all of us, and you can't say that we have a long line of other people doing the same, with the exception of NFFE. Unfortunately I can't help with this one.

It sure would be a good thing if ROSS information and reports were more readily available for viewing by emergency responders. ROSS exists to support emergency responders and the incidents they manage.


11/8 ROSS question:

Hi to all:

I was hoping to solicit some help with some questions about ROSS. If anyone knows the system like the back of their hand and can answer the following, please email me at cjudd@fwfsa.org. Thanks so very much.

1. Can a daily report be run during a previous fire day on a specific date for the following info:

  • resources available
  • resources assigned
  • UTFs.

Thanks again,


11/8 Just finished reading the Yarnell Hill Fire report for the second time and I agree with the complaints that it is so soft shoed it gives little direct insight as to what happened and how to keep it from happening again. However the report does a very good job giving the facts within their time line leading up to and through the event. Using ones experience and past mistakes that we have all made in a leadership position, I think we can come up with some important lessons learned. Everyone with experience can look back at a decision/action on an incident and realized, WOW if ______ had happened I/we would have been in trouble.

I firmly believe in using the 10 orders to evaluate these situations. Orders 1-3 deal with fire behavior situational awareness; orders 4-6 are the safety mitigations and the level they are imposed are determined using the findings of the first 3. I don’t believe anyone intentionally violates the 10 orders in situations or ways where it may compromise safety, so why does this continue to happen over and over again? I think the answer is we try or do fit what we see in orders 1-3 into the actions we want to take to be operationally effective as spelled out in orders 7 – 10, then determine how we approach the safety orders 4-6.

On the Yarnell Fire everyone knew the drought conditions, the fire activity grew from mid-morning and TRW was forecast for the area which included outflow wind warnings. All experienced Firefighters can apply (very easy after the fact) these FWX conditions with the fuel and terrain in the area and would certainly consider that conditions for the fire to have a run with extreme rate of spread with matching intensity is possible. However, how often are we in a position where the “possible” never materializes? My theory is we all are willing to tamp down on the “possible worst case” fire behavior when we have an operational priority, in this case to re-engage the fire, amplified by the high value assets being impacted, AKA structure protection. A sense that not knowing what the fire was doing for a short time and brush crash through and area that the topography was friendly to enhanced fire behavior and detrimental to firefighter escape was not a problem in their eyes at the time.

It is so hard to sit and watch a situation develop and take no action because if that “worst case” happens you can’t provide for safety. More often than not nothing happens and you begin to second guess your original decision. Our urge to do something, take action, get the job done is often very difficult to put second after an objective assessment of orders 1-3 and setting safety standards required by orders 4-6 and not changing what you decided based on what needs to be done but changes only in reaction to changing conditions.

I am sure that similar actions by other crews occurred many times this fire season and in the past. Fortunately the “worst case” didn’t happen and no one likely thought twice about it. A take away from this incident is always assess what the worst case fire behavior could be, how it could affect the fire and maintain your safety based on that forecast, and suppress the natural urge to meet operational needs ahead of providing for safety. Easier said than done? You can only fight fire aggressively and safely if you have a solid foundation of knowledge and experience. The more we study and learn the fewer of these incidents we will have.

Learning from these tragedies is one way to honor those we have lost,

North Bay FC Ret.

11/8 For your consideration: Michael I. Smith is a fine writer and researcher. Mellie

After the Sacrifice: A Grim and Dismal Business, posted Monday July 8, 2013

While we might argue whether grief comes before numbness or vice versa, I’m inclined to think that inevitably grief or numbness will be replaced by collective amnesia.  Consequently, I feel compelled to put down some thoughts in the wake of the Yarnell Hill tragedy and, perhaps not surprisingly, the touchstone for me is a similar tragedy that occurred three quarters of a century ago in a Wyoming forest...

More at the link...

11/6 Abs & All,

I've been following the Yarnell hotlist thread, lots of good discussion going on there. Good to see William Riggles is still active, he has a real knack for identifying critical firefighter safety issues.

The attached proposal is a revised version of a proposal I submitted to the F & AM Steering Committee a few years ago. It received some modest support at the time but was never funded as a project. I submitted it again this year, hoping for a better result this time. We shall see.

I would appreciate hearing what you folks think about the RPD concept and proposal, and whether it relates to the Yarnell Fire.

Tim Lynch

Recognition Primed Decision-making Proposal.doc

11/6 Dear Ab,

The WFF Cookbook is within 48 hours of being sent to the printers. During the final proof, it became clear that there are pictures missing of our wildland firefighters eating out on the line or in camp. We need pictures of this for the cookbook! MREs under a tree or in the black, in the chow line, capture the camaraderie surrounding mealtime for the boots on the ground!

Please send to me right away at info@wffoundation.org. 24 hour deadline.

Amanda DeShazo
Executive Assistant
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

11/5 2014 Centralized Fire Hiring - Grades 6 through 10 and Developmental Senior Firefighters

R5 Fire Hire Correspondence

2014 R5 Fire Hire Timeline -enclosure 1

2014 ORCs for R5 with IFPM (10/19/2013) -enclosure 2


11/5 New Senate Bill: S.1628 Fallen Wildland Firefighters Fair Compensation Act

We need your help to get our fellow and fallen wildland firefighters that are contracted in the air and on the ground the same benefits of those they fight fire with side by side. When contracted wildland firefighters are killed in the line of duty, there are no Public Safety Officer's Benefits (PSOB) and the amount from Worker's Comp is often not enough to cover the costs of burying the firefighter. In recent years, over 50% of all wildland firefighter fatalities have been contract aviation related. Federal, state, local agencies do not have their own fleet of aircraft to fight fires, they are contracted. This means that the pilots and the crew killed have not qualified and currently do not qualify for these benefits. Help us change that!

Here are some things we're asking you to do in this time-sensitive period:

1) Sign the petition for S.1628 at Change.org
2) View the Fallen Wildland Firefighters Fair Compensation Act and PSOB One Paper
3) Contact your Congress Member and ask them to agree and support this bill
4) Spread the word on your social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, email contacts, telephone lists, any other source available to you. Copy/Paste this statement everywhere you please: "Contracted firefighters should get the same benefits as state, federal, and volunteer firefighters. Please vote to pass the S.1628."

The hardest part of my job is trying to answer the question, "Why isn't my contracted firefighter's life worth the same as an agency firefighter's life?" I am asking everyone who has ever even heard of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation to reach out and let Congress hear with our voices that we need this done for all those who die in wildland fires.

Vicki Minor

11/5 Collecting Unemployment Insurance:

Hello fire world,

I have a couple of questions regarding unemployment insurance that many seasonal wildland firefighters seem to collect throughout this time of year.

1.) what are peoples' thoughts on federal wildland firefighters "collecting" unemployment during the winter months? I have both positive and negative feelings about it. And

2.) I have been hearing that congress will cut federal unemployment insurance extensions coming JANUARY 1.

Can someone help me understand what this means to those who "collect" during the off-season? Will this January 1 deadline mean those will get cut-off from any income to help them get by until April/May????

Sometimes a "hero" and other times a "bum"

Hotlist thread on Collecting Unemployment Insurance

11/4 Paramedic VITAL SITES, Article and Blog


I write for the site ParamedicToRN.org, and recently just published an article on our site pertaining to the emergency medical industry. You can view it here: paramedictorn.org/ vital-sites.phpl

The article is an in depth list of great websites and resources for people in the emergency medical profession. I did my best to list key key websites in emergency medicine, EMS sites, and emergency transport. My goal in compiling such a list was to create a reference for those curious about entering the emergency medical field, and foster a better understanding of the industry. It is a fun and informative list!

Hopefully my article will be of great benefit to everyone looking into the industry as a possible career path. I am really excited about getting the word out. If you feel like my list of the best Paramedic sites may be useful on your site page wlf links page, I would certainly appreciate you adding it as a link. Please let me know if you have any additional comments or questions.

Erin Shaw

Nice resource, Erin. Currently we're not adding any new links to the links page. I'm in the process of updating what we already have. It's a time-consuming process and the page gets updated about 2 or 3 times a year. Ab.

11/4 I am currently living in Tennessee, but will be in Oregon by February. I am wondering if I get my red card here will it be valid there?


Walt K

11/3 Making the rounds...

Schwarzenegger, cited for work on climate change, named honorary US Forest Service ranger

YouTube video of Schwarzenegger Honorary Forest Ranger Ceremony (~2 min)

It's pretty funny, we can't get class A uniforms for our firefighters to attend funerals, or look professional as part of the largest fire department in the US. However they are giving them out to politicians in DC. Pretty sad.

Sent from my iphone


From another poster.

"The best in the world."

11/2 Does anyone have a copy of this article?

FS INFO - Title: W. Phillip Saaranzin accident, September 3, 1985, Gorda-Rat Fire, Los Padres National Forest, Region 5 / Jack R. Miller, 14 pages. I found the reference to it in this index, but the pdf does not seem to be available there.

Alternatively, if anyone remembers this incident on the Los Padres NF, could you please share that. The area burns and it's good to learn whatever lessons there are from the accidents that occur.

Thanks in advance,


11/1 Thanks...

Today, on the 12 year anniversary of my Sawyer ~> Wheelchair experience, I want to thank all who have supported, helped, sent good thoughts, and just in general remembered me.

I do appreciate it, very much.

Former 2nd saw, Plumas Hotshots.

11/1 Thanks...

To All:

Although I did not expect my wife to put my "name up in lights" on TheySaid recently regarding my current health issues, I want to express my sincerest gratitude to those who have reached out and offered their thoughts and prayers.

The last 5 weeks have been stressful and frustrating but next week begins serious "invasive" testing to find out what's going on and take care of it.

In the meantime I want everyone, especially our members to know that while admittedly I'm a bit behind on the "administrative side" of things in the office, I remain in constant contact with staff in DC as well as with our lobbying partners.

Since all segments of the wildland firefighting community read TheySaid, I thought it was important to let everyone know that Sen. Merkley of Oregon has introduced a bill that would extend PSOB benefits to private contract firefighters and aviation crews. A copy of that bill has been attached to this post. Fallen Wildland Firefighters Fair Compensation Act.pdf

Sen. Merkley's staff reached out to me about this late last year. While I know there is often conflict between federal wildland firefighters and their contracted colleagues about a variety of topics, the playing field on any given federal wildfire needs to be leveled. Whether that means all cooperators receiving the same pay and benefits at the federal pay level, or everyone getting paid at the highest cooperator level with the same benefits, the current system does nothing to eliminate the strained relationships that can occur between the different firefighting segments.

We are working with Sen. Merkley's office and others to not only continue pushing our federal wildland firefighting bill which has its own Facebook page thanks to Richard Gold, but to push the classification issue separately since it would be much easier to accomplish administratively by itself or tuck into a bill by itself.

Still not as coherent as I should be so I better close. Just wanted to thank all of you for your thoughts and to let our members know we're still pounding away.

Much respect & sincerity to all,


11/1 Saddleback Learning Review: SJ Luke Sheehy

Saddleback CRP Final Report 31OCT13.pdf

Supporting information for Saddleback CRP 31OCT13.pdf

Excellent Learning Review!

I added the learning review to the Always Remember Luke Sheehy page. If you want to see all the incidents and lives lost we've found in the "Falling" trees, snags, logs, rocks, and falling off cliffs category, on Always Remember, you can choose Fatalities by Cause: Falling

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