Some really good classes to take would be S-130/S-190…thatâ€™s the first, basic fire behavior and fire fighting tactics course. You might check out your local community colleges for one that offers a degree in Fire Behavior (I think Ab has a list posted, but you might want to fish around on your own). Not all 130-190s are created equal, though…try to find one (if you have the option) that has a field portion, not just classroom time. I had a great one where we did an actual live burn and got to run through everything from ignition to mop up, acting as a squad. Iâ€™d also recommend getting some medical training. CPR for sure, First Responder (or Wilderness First Responder), EMT-Basic if you want to make the commitment. Iâ€™ve never heard of crew who thought that an extra medic on the line would be a bad thing.
I think itâ€™s so funny that you havenâ€™t told your HS about this…because I did exactly the same thing. Iâ€™d decided that fire was something I really had to do about two years before I had the opportunity to get into it â€˜for realâ€™, and I never told my HS about it. When I did get into it (after we broke up) I just sent him a pic of my crew. Floored him pretty good. But one thing he said a number of times keeps coming back to haunt me. â€œIf youâ€™re tough enough to be a Hotshotâ€™s girl, youâ€™re tough enough to be a Hotshot.â€
Hoosier Fire wife:
Two things I found really help with the alone time: a hobby you enjoy (even if itâ€™s just reading) and making a concentrated effort to have something to look forward to every day. I used to try to give myself a treat every afternoon or evening; one chocolate, a wildflower, or my favorite, frozen dark cherries. Just a nice little present you can give yourself. That cheered me up enormously. I also found that taking a little effort to cook something nice for just myself for dinner did wonders for my attitude. Makes you feel cared for, even if just you doing the caring. Keeping a journal also helps a lot.
Nerd on the Fireline