Starting over. Is it possible?
Hello all. I was involved in wildland fire from 1995-2001 in the NW United States for a state and one federal agency. I say 2001 even though I didn't participate in the fire season because I spent some time doing non-suppression work into 2001. I managed to get a whole bundle of certifications including IC3 (was working on 2), STL, etc, etc, etc during my time and was an IA engine boss on a type 6 engine.
Anyhow, during the winter break between the 2000 and 2001 fire seasons I had some issues and needed to get my head screwed on straight over some personal matters. Nothing illegal, drug related or anything of that nature. Just didn't belong on the lines and I knew it because of my state of mind. So I declined to return for the 2001 season. Well, one season became two and two became three and before long 10 years has passed.
When I stopped I was 26 years old, now I'm 36 and I've been working in IT for the past 7 years but it bores the snot out of me so I started looking into what I really want to do and returning to wildland fire is it.
I guess I'm looking for words of advice/encouragement from those who have done this before (wildland or structure). Also wondering what I should expect from the hiring process. Do I have a "leg up" in any way shape or form or have I been out of it for so long that I'm at the bottom of the pile as far as hiring goes? I certainly don't expect to be an engine boss or STL, etc.