Wildland Firefighter Foundation
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Home / WLF TheySaid / Will the USFS and other Fed Fire Agencies ever convert the Forestry Tech Position?

  • 02/13/2015
  • Mt Eddy

I wanted to pose a question on the topic of converting the “Forestry Tech” position to “Firefighter”. Being the agencies have used the title for years to describe the job of a firefighter, will it ever change?

What’s your thoughts? What can be done? How can a solidified voice help bring change?

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  1. Fruition
    February 15, 2015 Reply

    Calling federal wildland firefighters forestry technicians is a joke and needs to change ASAP. This has been a slap in the face for our folks for decades but unless congress steps in nothing will ever change. The Forest Service has chose to ignore this lie for decades. The problem in the Forest Service is that it is managed by non-fire personnel (line officers) that have never thrown a shovel of dirt, never ran out of water after being double shifted, and never even owned a pair of whites. On my retirement statement I’m called LE/FIREFIGHTER but on my position description I’m called a forestry technician. I’m hoping someone in congress will actually take a lead on this issue and see it through rather than someone just getting a bill introduced only to ignore any follow up to actually get the bill passed.

    1. February 15, 2015 Reply


      I couldn’t agree more with you I worked for the State but had, and still do have, many USFS friends that are Forestry Techs. Many a camp fire there’s been pondering why this has never changed. The position exists in federal service classification. The duties are rarely Forestry Technician work, and the requirement to risk it all to protect our nations land is proven year after year.

      I don’t know what could be done, but an idea that pops to mind is using Change.org as a start. Get a petition together, post it to the site, and lets get a strong voice started here. There’s 3.9 million annual visitors, and over 10,500 registered users. If we collect the required signatures, I’m willing to pull our strings to push this forward.

      I know Ab had the ability to bring about change in the fed side of things. The site is watched on a regular basis by the leaders. We have support with a few politicians locally that sit on the Nat Resources House Committees. And I’m ok helping lead the charge. But, we need the solid voice and support behind us.

      TheySaid’ers, whatya say?

  2. Fossilbird
    February 28, 2015 Reply

    I agree, really tired of this. It’s like talking about red lights and sirens. Just do it al ready!

  3. Firefighter in Nevada
    March 9, 2015 Reply

    Most of the country doesn’t care what they are called to be honest with you or what they are classified as. I am an advocate for classification and have been for 10+ years. Just seen a lot of people try to buck the system and have negative thoughts. For instance the will say we aren’t going to get paid differently or are just happy with the status quo. If we want to change then lets talk to all wildland firefighters and have them talk to their friends and families and so on and so forth. Start making the calls to their Congressman. Sign up for WFFSA. Also, their is a link on FB Wildland Firefighters for Pay and Reform. Request to get on that. We can only make a difference as a group and to change Forestry Techs minds that we are Wildland Firefighters. Vote out the politicians that have been in politics for too long. Lets get some fresh blood in.

  4. Bryce
    March 18, 2015 Reply

    A: I remember my captain talking about this issue and how there has been something submitted to congress to change it.

    B: I wonder if the forest service likes the status quo, and it allows them to send fire fighters out to do their clearing projects rather than hiring a dedicated crew for that.

  5. FEO
    March 20, 2015 Reply

    If the FS changes the classification, they lose their peons for facilities maintenance, invasive weed pullers, fence builders, prescribed fire crewmembers, etc and those functional areas would have to provide their own work force. I don’t mind doing any of that work, but that’s how I see it. It’s the government. If something doesn’t make much sense to you just follow the money. It’s the same reason that we don’t have a national fire department. The land management agencies don’t want to lose fire money that they siphon to other functional areas any way they can get away with. Never enough to fuels though, in my humble but cynical opinion

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