My first season I started working in timber for the Forest Service, entering data and then was asked a week later if I would be interested in dispatching on weekends so the Forest FMO could get weekends off. I started the first weekend after taking my first classes ever in fire. Our forest is often referred to as the asbestos forest and they didn’t need a full time dispatcher, so I would run from the timber shop to fire whenever we got a fire. That lasted two seasons and finally in 2002 I did just dispatching and no more timber.
In 2002 we started with a type 3 fire then two weeks later had a type 2 fire then two weeks later a type1 fire. I really want to go out east or south this winter and get more experience especially in aircraft which I love dispatching for. I work from mid April through mid October here then I put myself available to go out as an A.D. during the winter. Not many fires last winter so I stayed at home except when I went to see my FF.
I have met the nicest people in this business. I think I can go to almost any state and would know somebody. I went to a night fire competition in January when I was in Florida and a firefighter recognized my voice from last summer. He came up and thanked me for being there for them whenever they needed anything.
You will get into shape and don’t let anybody say you can’t. My daughter is 5’2″ and 95lbs and is on an engine and can kick most everybodies butt when it comes to the pack test. You just have to want it.
Let me know what you are interested in and I will help with any info I can, also applications for Forest Service positions for next year start in November if you are interested in that. Well it’s almost 2a.m. and I have to work tomorrow and just found out that my FF is headed to Montana from Oregon in his last week out west. I was headed to see him in Oregon next week but change of plans, maybe I can go see him in Montana before he heads out South but not sure yet. Everybody please stay safe as Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are burning strong and I have all my loved ones out fighting fires. I hope to be made available as soon as possible.