OK I know that I am new to this part of firefighting, but I will ask the stupid question: What are the Red Card qualifications and how do I do it? I've been looking everywhere for information and just cannot find it.
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Thread: Red Card
02-17-2001, 04:46 PM #1RodFirehouse.com Guest
02-17-2001, 05:18 PM #2mark440Firehouse.com Guest
The "Red Card" qualifications are S-130 & S-190 Standards for Survival. Try looking on the National Interagency Fire Center site, sorry I don't know what the site address is. NIFC is located in Boise Idaho. They coordinate Wildland for the Nation. E-mail someone there if you have questions. S-130/190 is about 60 hour course. SfS is a 8 hour course. All very benificail. Lots of opprotunities for Red Carded personell this summer. Also try contacting your local USFS or State Forest Service or BLM, BIA or any of the like.
If in doubt - Call us out
02-17-2001, 07:51 PM #3Captain HickmanFirehouse.com Guest
Your state is located in the Eastern Region of the National Interagency Coordination Centers Areas. For a list of some of the scheduled classes in your region you can check out: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/firetraining...se_summary.htm
For others interested in locating training in their areas you can check on: http://www.fire.nps.gov/mats/matsframe.asp
Look under regions and find the state you are located in or next to. Then start checking the training schedules. Sometimes you may have to travel some distance or contact the regional office or your local state or federal forest office for classes, not all get posted on the web. You can also check with the National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Land Management, or the Fish and Wildlife Service for possible training classes. As Mark stated, you have to have the basic S-130 and S-190 classes to start. From that point you will need some Wildfire or Prescribed experiance to go much farther.
02-18-2001, 08:46 AM #4FFLEEMSFirehouse.com Guest
Adding to what has been already been told to you, get ready to carry 45 pounds, 3 miles in 45 minutes or less. This is called the "Pack Test". Start training now. Good luck.
02-18-2001, 02:01 PM #5Captain HickmanFirehouse.com Guest
Just to add a little to FFLEEMS post. If you want to know more about the Pack test: http://www.fs.fed.us/fire/safety/packtest.html
can give you a good understanding of what you will need to do and can expect.
02-18-2001, 04:04 PM #6newtonbFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for the websites on the Pack Test. My husband is starting to train for the Pack Test and hopes to get his Red Card in a few months.
02-18-2001, 09:50 PM #7BratFirehouse.com Guest
The pack test is not as bad as it sounds. Our VFD is under contract with the BIA and we must meet the Feds standard. Some of our firefighters were going to quit because they thought they could not do the test. Most were surprised how well they did. I am 44 and 10 lbs over weight and do the test in under 42 min. I would recommend you train harder than I do, you'll feel better the next day. Also do not use a back-pack water pump for the 45 lb pack. Use a regular pack or the new vests filled with lead or sand, much easier. Remember the safety rules and stay alive.
02-21-2001, 12:51 PM #8xenophon13Firehouse.com Guest
I am a structural firefighter from SC, and I am soon to be taking the class to get my red card. But the question I have is how do I get in touch with Forestry to get my application in to come join you guys out west or wherever they choose to send me?
02-22-2001, 11:19 AM #9vanaheimFirehouse.com Guest
Like many young firefighters Im also looking into this aspect of fire fighting. In my area (Upstate NY)there are only paid depts in the larger citys and they don't hire often. This site is one of many Ive found and I think it is the most informative. http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fsjobs/fire-hire.html
"If Prometheus was worthy of the wrath of heaven for kindling the first fire upon earth, how ought all the Gods to honour the men who make it their professional business to put it out?"
02-23-2001, 08:18 PM #10CoyoteFirehouse.com Guest
In addition to what the others mentioned, some community colleges out west offer S-130/190 and Standards for Survival. Check your local CC that offers fire science courses and see if they have a basic wildland fire suppression course.
03-07-2001, 04:53 PM #11Monstermudder78Firehouse.com Guest
My dept is currently looking at getting some guys Red Card certified. However, no one seems to have ever even heard of the pack test. If we went to any fires we would be on brush trucks, not on foot, does that make a difference? Is there some way to get certified w/o taking any pack test at all? I am kinda confused and would appreciate any help. Thanks.
03-07-2001, 05:11 PM #12John_FordFirehouse.com Guest
Monster, It goes back to the old basics. It you can't reach it with the truck, whatta ya gonna do??
03-08-2001, 04:35 AM #13Smoke_N_FlamesFirehouse.com Guest
If you cant reach it with the truck...send in the smoke jumpers...
03-08-2001, 12:20 PM #14Captain HickmanFirehouse.com Guest
If your plan on working with the Federal Groups on one of their fires, they require you to have a certain amount of training, physical ability, and equipment to perform your assigned duty.
The best place I could direct you would be to contact your local forestry headquarters with the State or US Forest Service and check with them to see what they would require. Some states require less than the Federal Agencies. You can also go to: http://www.nwcg.gov/pms/docs/docs.htm
and download the file:
310-1 Wildland Fire & Prescribed Fire Qualification System Guide - 2000
This document is about a 117 pages long, but will give you the basic information on all the positions, needed training, and physical requirement for the position. The Feds have become more stringent on requirements for working on their fires for Safety Reasons. Again best bet is to check with Locals and start there.
Good Luck and be safe this year
03-08-2001, 01:56 PM #15Monstermudder78Firehouse.com Guest
Hey Captain, thanks for the link. As for John Ford and Smoke'n Flames, the fires we would go to are BRUSH fires. Not FOREST fires. The largest vegetation is sagebrush which gets up to 6 or 8 feet. That means that if you can't reach the fire, you just drive farther. If we were to go to any forest fires, we would only send engines for structure protection. We're not into runin through the forest an all that.
03-08-2001, 02:20 PM #16mark440Firehouse.com Guest
What if your truck gets stuck, breaks down, gets burned over, or rolls over... you will have to find alternate mode of travel. Most likely walking. If you are operating on an engine and get burned over you are going to be running. The engine will not save you. There have been many fatalities on what were "typical everyday brush fires". Don't think it won't happen to you! That is what everyone says. Please tell me that you all don't ride on the brush units as you drive through the flames to put the fire out. The pack test is not that bad. Everyone that operates on a wildland fire should be carded, pack tested and all. Just get it over with. Besides, if you go on a fire as a Type 1 Structure protection engine, you are still required to be Red Carded, AND pack tested.
If in doubt - Call us out
[This message has been edited by mark440 (edited 03-08-2001).]
03-09-2001, 05:00 PM #17Monstermudder78Firehouse.com Guest
Mark 440, It appears that you did not read all the posts. I disagree with some of what you said and would like to give you some more information.
"What if your truck gets stuck, breaks down, gets burned over, or rolls over... you will have to find alternate mode of travel. Most likely walking. If you are operating on an engine and get burned over you are going to be running. The engine will not save you."
Really? No kidding? I never said I didn't want to walk, or that I had a problem with walking did I? What I said in my first post was "My dept is currently looking at getting some guys Red Card certified. However, no one seems to have ever even heard of the pack test."
"Please tell me that you all don't ride on the brush units as you drive through the flames to put the fire out." You are right, we don't drive through the flames. What we do is come from behind the fire, in the black, with one guy driving and one guy riding in the cowcatcher putting out fire. The fuel around here burns fast, and then it's gone. 99.99999% of the time it won't burn twice. By staying in the black we can reduce the chance of being "burned over" to practically 0.
"The pack test is not that bad. Everyone that operates on a wildland fire should be carded, pack tested and all. Just get it over with. Besides, if you go on a fire as a Type 1 Structure protection engine, you are still required to be Red Carded, AND pack tested." This is the answer that I was looking for in the first place. I am in no way dreading the pack test. I was just curious why no one in this area had ever heard of it. I agree that everyone should be tested and I am looking forward to the class. Thank you.
03-10-2001, 01:27 AM #18mark440Firehouse.com Guest
Monster, I apolgize for coming off rude, not my intention. The pack test is still relatively new to the Wildland world. It comes about replacing the old, outdated, biased step-test. The step test was measured on stepping one foot up one foot down a 14" box. You were to pace yourself to a tape almost like a metronome. You were to walk this for a set period of time. At the end of such period you counted the testee's pulse rate. You then added the pulse, age, gender to a slide scale. If you scored (if I remember correctly) less then 45 points you passed. It was very unfair, and not accurate to the person in question. Then there was the 1.5 mile run in 12.5 or 13 minutes. This was still not as accurate as the pack test is. The pack test consists of a 45 lb pack (doesn't matter what you use to compile your 45) 3 mile walk (any terrain, just as long as 1 foot is in contact with the ground at a time, you cannot run or jog) in 45 minutes or less. This is a little more accurate in the judgement of ones physical condition. Various government agencies have temporarily suspended the pack test due to a few (less then 5) deaths during or after the pack test.
As for the potential for reburn; 2 firefighters were killed just south of Boise Idaho a couple years back in the black area they said would not reburn. Just food for thought. I must also add that in the NWCG (National Wildland Coordinating Group) S-130 & 190 that riding on apparatus is prohibited unless personell and equipment are separated. Fighting fire from the outside of a vehicle is not encouraged. Not saying you all are wrong, just that is what I was getting at. I have seen a lot of people in the U.S. drive through the fire to put it out. Quite frankly this scares me to death. Any number of thing could go wrong when doing this. Doing this just puts more danger to life and limb.
If in doubt - Call us out
[This message has been edited by mark440 (edited 03-10-2001).]
[This message has been edited by mark440 (edited 03-10-2001).]
03-10-2001, 02:27 PM #19RodFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for all the great information! While most of our fires are grass, we have seen an increase in timber and interzone fires. It would be nice if I could convince some of our staff about the need for some additional standards and requirements for our department. I purchased my own wildland PPE's last year. Command thought it was great that I would be the "TEST DUMMY" but still have not seen a "need" for everyone. We are about two months from our busy season, so we will see this year.
03-10-2001, 04:23 PM #20Monstermudder78Firehouse.com Guest
Mark, no hard feelings. I am curious about the S-190 and 130 part. Are you familiar with using cowcatchers? I am not sure what you mean by firefighters and equipment must be seperated. Could you clarify this for me? Thanks.
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