1. #1
    Savage15
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    Post US Firefighters in AUS during the winter??

    Has anyone out there actually know someone who has spent their winters on firecrews in Australia? IS this something that can be done, or is it just an urban myth? I've heard old hands talk about it, but never actually know anyone who has done it. If anyone has any contacts, the info would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Richard Woods
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    Whilst most of our people are volunteer firefighters (and do not get paid at all) some government agencies do recruit seasonal firefighters from about October to March each year. Try looking at... www.nre.vic.gov.au as they have posted vacancies on this site in the past.

    It would be great if arrangements were made available between Countries to formalise this proposal as there would be a line from here to New York of our people who would like the experience of working in the US.

    Good luck
    NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE


    ------------------
    Richard Woods
    FIRE INVESTIGATION OFFICER
    NSW RURAL FIRE SERVICE

  3. #3
    paulp
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    The last couple of years has seen the Erikson air crane in service in Victoria and South Australia during the southern Hemisphere summer. I've seen it in action and it really does make a big difference.

    The opportunity to transfer fire personnel between the US and Aust has been restricted by access to appropriate work visas in both the US and Australia. The opportunity to set up some sort of summer exchange program does exist but the political problems of doing so are fairly large. The difference in value of the currency also creates a problem as well
    with your dollar worth 2 of ours. NZ may also be worth looking at.

    The Australian fire scene in mostly limited to the Eastern seaboard and is covered by a number of different government agencies.
    The terrain is not that steep and dry fire fighting is not usually undertaken. On a large bushfire the tactics are to use bull dozers to cut a break and follow up with back burning using crews on DNR 100 gall pigs
    or 400 gall CFA tankers.
    Last year Aust personnel were sent from Victoria to the US to participate in the fires there. They were mainly full time DNR
    people with appropriate skills. I know one of our local blokes went to the US and came back looking like he had been feeding on CJ Hunter dietary supplements. You guys certainly beefed him up.
    As the other post says try the Dept of Natural Recources and Environment (Victoria)

    [ 06-27-2001: Message edited by: Wombat ]

  4. #4
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    Default USA - Australia exchange

    Recently a group of Aussie fire fighters left for the US as part of the exchange program to help with your nasty fire season.

    For those Yanks who get sent downunder in the next 6 months expect a very busy and nasty fire season in Australia. We have the worst snow season on record in the high country. Much of this area was burnt in 2003 however it has left large quantities of dead timber which due to the mild winter is already dry and ready to burn. All along the Easter Seaboard from Queensland to Victoria it is very dry and in drought conditions. The only exceptions would be Victoria South of the Great Dividing Range. Weather forecasts continually show large high pressure systems covering almost the whole contitinent pushing the low pressure systems well to the South meaning that very little rain has occurred.
    Disclaimer
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  5. #5
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    Cool Actually I do....

    I know a Battalion Chief for one of my Departments that prior to coming to our Department was with the U.S. Forest Service. He and his crew went to Australia one year and fought fire...... they were sent by the U.S.F.S. though.

    He is the only person I personally know that has done this, actually I think it would be cool.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

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  6. #6
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    U.S. Firefighters DownUnder--2002/2003

    The Australian State of Victoria, during late 2002 and early 2003, endured its worst fire season since 1939. The 20 year average for acres burned in Victoria is approximately 170,000 acres. This fire season the acreage burned will exceed 3,300,000 acres, 40 times their 20 year average. Responding to the increasing fire situation, the State of Victoria called on assistance from five other Australian states and New Zealand. On January 16, Victoria requested assistance from the United States. This request, which was based on an agreement between the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Interior and five Australian states, represented the first time that Australia had ever requested U.S. firefighting assistance. The U.S. had requested assistance from Australia during the 2000 and 2002 fire seasons.

    The fire of major concern was located in the Alpine region of the State of Victoria. Parts of the fire extended into the State of New South Wales. It began with several small lightning fires which eventually burned together to cover an area of over 2.5 million acres within Victoria. The three largest fires in the U.S. during the 2002 fire season, the Hayman in Colorado, the Rodeo-Chedeski inArizona, and the Biscuit in Oregonwould easily fit within the perimeter of the Australian fire.The State of Victoria requested 36 firefighters and one infrared aircraft. The firefighters represented the five major federal land management agencies responsible for fire management in the U.S. The first firefighter departed the U.S. on January 18.The last firefighter and the infrared aircraft arrived back in the U.S. on March 2. Assignments averaged approximately 30 days.

    The firefighters did a variety of tasks including constructing fireline, burning out unburned fuels, mopping up, managing portions of the fire, and providing infrared information to fire planners. All firefighters returned home safely with only one minor injury occurring during the entire deployment
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  7. #7
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    Default Aust / USA exchanges

    Very Sorry a Duplicate entry
    Last edited by wombat; 08-22-2006 at 07:41 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Default Aust / USA exchanges

    Just wanted to update you guys on what is or likely to happen.

    1. Conditions downunder for 06/07 summer are worse than 2003 when a large number of acres in Victoria got burnt along with 500 houses in Canberra etc.
    The high country is experiencing its worst drought on record. I was at both Kosciosko and Bogong National parks in the last 2 weeks. Driving along the road you always see water pouring down the rocks beside the road in late winter. All you see now is dryness and lots of dead timber.
    Unless we get strong spring rains we are in deep s##t.

    2. Some form of exchange program of fire fighting personel is still occuring going by the media reports in Australia.
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0608/S00160.htm - there was some Aust media reports on the same story to but I cannot locate them.
    Last edited by wombat; 08-29-2006 at 02:50 AM.
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  9. #9
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    If looking for some seasonal work in Australia- check out DSE, they've just advertised for:
    Firefighters (includes Operators)
    Hover Exit crews
    Rappel crews

    Click here

    For further information on these roles, go to HERE

    For overseas applicants for these jobs, go to HERE

    For the health and fitness requirements, go to HERE


    Hope that helps....
    Luke

  10. #10
    IrishBrigade
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    Thumbs up

    Well, I guess if the Aussies can go to the US, the US can come to Australia.

    Good luck everyone.

    Aussie firefighters sent to US hot spots.

    Another 43 firefighters from Australia and New Zealand will fly to the USA, where more than 250 wildfires are burning.

    The country is enduring "one of its worst fire seasons on record", Victoria's Department of Sustainability and Environment Chief Officer Ewan Waller said.

    "Strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity (are) fanning fires in Idaho, California, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Texas, Nevada and Washington State," Mr Waller said.

    The firefighters will join an international flight in Sydney.

    "This is the second request from the USA for deployment of Australian and New Zealand firefighters - the first arrived in early August."

    The first request saw 50 firefighters dispatched, Mr Waller said, to take up roles such as crew leaders, aircraft managers and liaison officers.

    Source: AAP News Service

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat
    Recently a group of Aussie fire fighters left for the US as part of the exchange program to help with your nasty fire season.

    For those Yanks who get sent downunder in the next 6 months expect a very busy and nasty fire season in Australia. We have the worst snow season on record in the high country. Much of this area was burnt in 2003 however it has left large quantities of dead timber which due to the mild winter is already dry and ready to burn. All along the Easter Seaboard from Queensland to Victoria it is very dry and in drought conditions. The only exceptions would be Victoria South of the Great Dividing Range. Weather forecasts continually show large high pressure systems covering almost the whole contitinent pushing the low pressure systems well to the South meaning that very little rain has occurred.

    I met a few Ausies and Kiwis recently on a fire, nice group of firefighters and I love the accents.

  12. #12
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    Default desperate downunder

    With the summer season just started in Australia thing are already at breaking point to the extent of asking the Kiwis and other foreigners to come to the party. For those that come to Aust in the next few months take care.
    My local truck has just returned from a trip 200 miles to the North and looks like being sent 200 miles to the South in the next few days getting to be a long season already.

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sto...005961,00.html

    http://www.theage.com.au/ - interactive map
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  13. #13
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    Default US in Australia

    Well last month they brought the Kiwi cousins in, Last week the Canadians and this week a 100+ Yanks. Must be starting to look like the UN.
    For those going or already here please takecare and good luck.
    I say luck because you never know when it will all go pear shaped and that tree will fall on you.
    A part from a couple of slightly burnt Kiwis the safety record is pretty good.

    We are now entering the bad part of the season downunder.
    No recent rain, temperatures of > 35C RH down to 11% with a bit of wind = trouble.
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    The DSE (www.dse.vic.gov.au) has just begun training for anothjer group of FireFighters due to the severity of this fire season. I actually got a job and will start the general firefighting training on monday.
    I'm also a volunteer firefighter with the CFA as well.

    I'm sure that by the end of the season ill have seen a bit of action on the fireground.

    In regard to the comment earlier about firefighting exchanges to and from AUS, has any new informantion come from that because oi think that that would be an excelent idea and a great way of increasing experience for younger firefighters such as myself. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

  15. #15
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    Smile US / Aus exchange

    The exchange program has been going for several years now and due to the severity of fire seasons in the US and Australia looks like continuing. From what I know the organisations require resumes to be submitted and are generally looking for specialist personnel. In the US you need a red card accreditation. This site will give you some of the info on red cards etc. RAFT experience would be a start.
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  16. #16
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    My brother is over there now, he is on a shot crew and got a call one day asking how soon he could have a passport. They send 104 +/- people, mostly from shot crews, and all federal employees. I got an email from him a few days ago. They are keeping busy and having a great time.
    "Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all"

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