As an Ex Forest Service employee, looking at all the madness that is taking place. Get out now while DoD, CAL FIRE, County and City Fire Departments and pretty much any State and Local Government are doing a big massive hire, to replace people who retire, promote, leave to other departments, injuries or become self employed.
The next 3-5 years the Southern R-5 Forest (Angeles, San Berdino, Cleveland, LP, and SQF) will lose a good amount just to CAL FIRE alone. Dont believe me, ask the San Bernardino National Forest as they took the biggest retention hit on how many of there loyal 5-10 year plus employees went over to CAL FIRE. Municipalities LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hire FS people because of the good work ethic, experience and may i add, we come well trained.
The once respected Forest Service is no more, long gone, and never to return again to what it once was. Its a joke and meeting up to the name “Forest Circus”… The way the FS deals business is unimaginable. All the way from how they treat employee’s and the extremely crappy hiring practices. My old forest is practically giving away detail positions to first and second year apprentices, because they cant keep up fast enough to fill them with qualified people. If thats not a safety issue, then honestly, i dont know what is.
After my seventh year with the Forest Service i realized that, it is never going to change for the better. Its only going to get worse. Like many of you, i have seen quality employees get passed up on classes, training opportunities, fire assignments, and possible promotions. And straight out, given to other employee’s due to maybe diversity, but primarely favortism/ golden childs, and nepotism. I for one im happy that i finally got the courage and took the chance at another Department. And you know what, i absolutely love it. I should have left a long time ago. Instead of wasted time with the Forest Service.
And this thing i keep on reading about sticking together. Thats wishful thinking. An illusion that im sorry to say but, being a LONG time Forest Service guy i konw all too well that it will never happen. Because we are all scared of the possible retaliation outcome that is not suppose to happen byt ultimately will happen. My last few years with the FS i was just there to collect a pay check and that was it. If i had love for the job it wasnt because i had love for the FS but because i had love for my coworkers.
Honestly and i really really hope people in the WO and Regional Office up in Vallejo, CA see and read this. Southern California R-5 Forest Service employees are just there for a paycheck, and those who say its not true, are lying to yourselfs. Current employees are not there for the love of the job as they were before when they first got hired. That ship has sailed and is long gone. All thanks to the Tidwell’s and Randy Moore’s of the Forest Service.
May the Forest Service one day become great again, to where people passionately enjoyed going to work and not have to deal with the political drama that has now become the norm!