12-28-2014, 08:15 PM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
Military reservist and wildland fire
Hey everyone, I'm just wondering if it is possible to work as a wildland firefighter while serving as a reservist in the military. Do wildland employers hire reservists and are they willing to work around their schedule? Thanks.
01-04-2015, 12:26 PM #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
First off, you need to talk to your military commander about your plans. Your first obligation is to the military.
If you become employed in wildland firefighting, you may be called out of state for several weeks, to a major wildland fire. In this case, you may be missing annual training, reserve drills, etc.. Your career in the reserve would be hampered if this happened. Talk to your military commander first, to see if they would accomodate you missing training.
Not to say both careers would be incompatible, but you would have obligations to both employers and both would be counting on you to possibly be, at two different places at the same time.
01-10-2015, 07:11 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2012
- Northern California
I can't speak for all agencies but I know the Feds will work with you although if it is possible to move your extended training outside the fire season that is appreciated (not too hard to let you go for your weekend drills, but 2+ weeks is a bit of a hardship). I agree with 117, working with your reserve unit is important too, because you may be gone for 2+ weeks on a fire assignment. Assuming you have one weekend drill each month if you can't reschedule or miss one of these drills you will be very limited in your ability to go on deployment with the wildland job.
Ideally your unit would allow you to postpone your drills and make up the time in the off season. That goes back to your particular unit as I know based on mission and command some are very flexible and some have little ability or willingness to adjust schedules.
You do have some legal protections as a reservist to protect your job, but if you don't plan ahead it will be difficult for all involved. It will also help you get hired if you can show that you have worked things out so you can be a reliable employee. We only hire seasonal firefighters to work for 3-6 months. Many of us are willing to work with reservists, but we really kind of need you to be at work most of the time.
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