1. #1
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    Question Red Cards for Wildland Firefighting...

    Recently at one of my departments meetings, the topic about not doing something that you haven't been trained to do came up. One of the things that many firefighters in my department haven't been certified for is wildland firefighting. This includes, brush, grass, and woods fires.

    Some of the members of my department have stated that you must have a 'red card' to do wildland firefighting. This brings up a problem. If you do not have a red card, should you not be fighting wildland fires? What if the fire is approaching a structure? My department will attempt to rectify any situation of this nature if we are called to it.

    Will someone please tell me exactly what a red card is and what your department will do when called to a wildland fire even if you don't have red cards. Serious replies only please.
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    Being "red-carded" usually is only required for US and State forest lands BUT if you have structures that are threatened but are adjacent to forestry properties,red carding is usually not required but IS strongly encouraged.
    If you guys want red-carded,you can find out the info thru your state forester.Red-carding is basically 32 hours of wildland fire training.
    Also another thought,should you guys get called on a wildland fire,MOST state and US foresters no longer allow you to wear structural turnouts.You must have the wildland certified type including steel toed boots and hard hats with faceshields or goggles.Our MA company responded on a wildland fire last summer here and they was thrown off by the US forestry for not having the proper turnouts used for wildland firefighting.
    What we do in that case is carry a certain amount of wildland turnouts on the trucks just in case even tho we are also contracted with the US forestry.

    Donna C
    Fire Chief
    Bridge Canyon Vol Fire Dept
    http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ

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    July36 pretty much hit it on the head. You must differentiate between Wildland Firefighting which consists of digging traditional fire line to put out the ground fire (and definitely requires specialized training or a "red-card"), or interface operations which are designed more to prepare and protect structures using traditional structural equipment. There is no mandatory training for Interface Ops other than conventional structural skills, but the courses offered by the forest service are well worth the time. A fast moving wildfire can be a deadly opponent.

    Your Dept Officers should also have some advanced Strategy & Tactics training for interface ops, so they can efficiently prepare a home or subdividion for an approaching wildfire.

    Our Dept is in an extreme hazard interface zone, and in addition to receiving the Canadian equivalent of your "red-card" training annually, we also receive a "Warden's Kit" from the local Forestry Division consisting of a 100 gal portable tank, small pump, 3 squirt cans, and 6 each of shovels, pulaskis, axes, and macleods. We also have our own Wajax, and a portable Hale Pump with which to draft from a natural water supply.

    As for turnout gear, we don't have enough coveralls to go around, so if some of the guys get called to a dedicated wildfire, they just pull the liners out of their gear and wear the nomex shell alone. If they are on the interface, it's full turnouts.
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    Information on Red Card-Incident Qualification Certification System can be found at the NPS website, which also has links to other informative sources.

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    Additonally, the Kansas Forest Service website has an excellent description of the Red Card requirements.

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    Are you called to wildland fires? Is there wildland in your first due? Are all of your FD members certified for structural fires? Does your department meet other NFPA Standards?

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

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    Living in Ohio people often don't elieve me that I also fight wildland fires. I am a Level 2 structural firefighter and an instructor but I also have a red card. The State of Ohio has in interagency team that gets called out for large fires anywhere in the country. This crew contains structural firefighters, foresters, OH Dept of Natural Resourses people and Park workers to form its twenty man crews.
    Last year I was in Dunrango CO for 3 weeks. On call outs such as those all gear is provided by the feds, on smaller callouts (in state) the gear and equipment are provided by the state.

    The single biggest thing that I had to learn was that wildland fires and nothing like interface fires and niether are like structural fires. The tools, tactics and pracices are totally different and do require a change of attitude for a structural firefighter.

    I recommend that you go get the red card, then go get certified in interface firefighting. If nothing else its extra train that may or may not come in handy. I think you'll learn alot.

    Scott

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