Hey all...one of my few posts on this forum, but I had a few questions regarding wildland firefighting and the potential to volunteer. I'm a 25 year old volly "structural" firefighter in a suburb of Philadelphia. Been doing it for 3 years, and have a couple levels of FF certification. I've always toyed with the idea of volunteering out west or south when they're in the heart of wildfire season. I read an article about Texas today that mentioned FFs battling the blaze from 34 states, and how exhausted the guys down there are. My questions are thus:
1) Just to be sure, do these states in the heart of wildfire country accept volunteers to come battle blazes when times are getting desperate and they're low on manpower?
2) If the answer to 1 is yes, my next question is about how it works. Could I take 2 weeks or so off from work and travel down, stay in a hotel or lodge in a station and just volunteer for those two weeks? things are tough with a 9-5 job to work around.
3) Assuming the answer to #2 is also a yes, my question then is what certs/training are required for me to do this? Are there wildland classes I can take here in the north that would qualify me nationally to fly anywhere and help out? Or would I have to sit though some sort of academy or something in the state I would want to volunteer in? Is it up to the individual state or department where I would go?
This is all new to me, so I really have no idea. Would appreciate any input anyone can give, and I apologize if any of these questions are come across as ignorant. I only know the world of urban/suburban structural firefighting. Thanks in advance guys.
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Thread: Wildland Volunteering?
04-20-2011, 10:23 PM #1
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
04-21-2011, 10:40 AM #2
You are going to want to get in touch with your local DCNR office (Department of Conservation of Natural Resources). Their forestry division will get you information on PA130, S130, and 190 courses. Once these are completed, you can takea physical test to qualify to go west with a crew on a 2 week tour.
They will have more information on this and exactly how it works.
04-21-2011, 04:09 PM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2008
Thanks for the lead, brother. I placed a couple of phone calls and know everything I need now.
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