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  • 03/09/2017
  • TylerJ

I am applying to wildland firefighting agencies for the summer season for the first time and I am trying to get a jump on the online training. I have started s 130. I am also planning on doing s 110, s 190, and L 180. Is that correct? should I be doing more? Less? Is there a website that is the standard or might each hiring agency require a specific website to get the certs from?  I am using National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). Any information regarding this would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. Sam Swanson
    March 23, 2017 Reply

    S- courses are standard throughout the wildfire world and hold the same value to both the BLM and forest service. All you need to get your foot in the fire door, meaning getting on a type 2 handcrafted or engine for your first season is your s130 and s190. That qualifies you to take a pack text and be red carded. You also need to be ambitious to get hired don’t take no for an answer, keep calling and harass crew bosses. Ask them what you need to do to show up for season in shape. And take inititative. I have been doing wildfire for 5 years. Three on hotshot crew. Biggest lessons I’ve learned that apply universally to the fire world. Is be low maintenance to your superiors. Of you got a problem start by telling a friend and work your way up chain of command. Have integrity, if you tell someone your going to do something do it. Work first then talk. Never be last. You don’t have to be first just don’t be last. Otherwise man just get your s130 190, and keep applying and follow up every week. Sometime 2 times a week. For months sometimes. And I promise you will be employed. Don’t worry about other certs because your agency once your hired withholding train your for free. And you need a little Fire experience before your going to understand burnout operations, progressive hose lays and the other complex parts of fighting wilfires.
    Hope this helps.

    Learn your tens and 18s.

    My favorite for life is. Be Alert, Keep Calm, Think Clearly, Act Dicisively

  2. Tom f
    March 23, 2017 Reply

    You also need IS700 and ICS100, they are available on the FEMA website. If you are taking the NWCG classes online you should also find a sponsoring agency.

  3. BenL
    March 26, 2017 Reply

    When you mention making calls weekly, how do I find out who to call? I’ve applied to positions on BLM handcrews, engines, and a FS position. IF you have any advice, I’d greatly appreciate it.

  4. Bryce Nielsen
    April 14, 2017 Reply

    Call the districts that you applied to. Have them direct you to fire. Generally they’ll have one or two folks there who are in charge of fielding the calls and asking questions about hiring. Hotshot crews are a little different as there is a crew contact list available online, so you can contact them directly. This year when applying, I contacted the assistant supes via email, then fielded their calls.

  5. MLJ
    April 28, 2017 Reply

    You are off to a good start, but remember, you cant take all required classes to fight fire online. You have to have some classroom training. Its a start, though.

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