Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

Home / WLF TheySaid / Fire Discussion about Maximum Age for USFS

  • 06/25/2014
  • Mt Eddy

NFFE is pushing for a path to permanence for temporary seasonal firefighters and others.  We pushed the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (HR 533 / S 1120) at a Senate hearing on June 5.  You can see a recording and download NFFE President Dougan’s testimony at http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/emdc/hearings/wildfires-assessing-first-responder-training-and-capabilities.   Key quote: “Currently, under regulations that treat them the same as off-the-street applicants who have never fought fire, highly trained, experienced, and valuable temporary seasonal firefighters become ineligible for permanent firefighting jobs when they reach age 37.”  NFFE recommends an age waiver for experienced temporary seasonal wildland firefighters.


Anybody want to help?  If you are (or if you know) a temp seasonal who’s about to have the maximum-age door close, I want to hear about it.  Shoot me an email.


Mark Davis

Vice-President, NFFE


The views expressed are not those of this site, this blog or its affiliated companies. By posting your comments you agree to accept our terms of use.

  1. OFG
    June 27, 2014 Reply

    How have you addressed any risk to the continued justification of off retirement if age is no longer a factor?

  2. MLJ
    June 27, 2014 Reply

    Not that I agree with it, but the 37 cutoff was to ensure that someone could work a 20 year career, and be guaranteed a retirement. It would suck to work 19 years, and be told you don’t get any retirement, so any changes to the 37 age, also have to reflect the 57 mandatory out age. And that was originally for the benefit of the government to have a younger, more fit workforce, not a perk to retire early for the employees…so changes need to be holistic and address the whole FERS special LEO/FF retirement system.

  3. Sam
    June 29, 2014 Reply

    BUT!!!! The problem is this—–many of us spend multiple seasons as firefighters;4, 5, 6, 7, 8…. AND NONE OF IT COUNTS!!! That is, those who are lucky enough to ever land permanent status are basically considered new employees and all those of years of hard, hard, hard work don’t count for anything as far as retirement status and benefits are concerned. I think this is the fundamental flaw. Even worse, a guy can work for 4, 5, 6, 7….seasons and NEVER land a permanent job before he or she turns 37—-and then they can kiss it all good-bye and welcome a life of ZERO benefits and very little security. Bottom line, how can one work for the USFS (say for 8 years) and have none of that count toward the “20 year” retirement B.S????

  4. Ron Angel
    June 29, 2014 Reply

    The law that controls the enhanced retirement for FF/ LEO has always allowed the employee to work until they were 60 if they needed to so they can get their 20 in. I met a couple of FFs years ago when it was 35/55 that HR from their forest counted some previous time to get them the fire job, but they needed to go to 57 ( two years past mandatory) to get their 20 in. Not a problem. I was in the same boat at the time, but my HR wouldn’t count the same type of time so I lost the job I had been doing for five years.

Leave a comment