Becoming a Wildland Firefighter

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Presentation Description

However, the rewards outweigh the risk in my experience. Here’s answers to the most commonly asked questions I get as a mentor for you to get an idea of my day-to-day life as a wildland firefighter and what you’re getting yourself into.

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Presentation Transcript

slide 1:

Becoming a Wildland Firefighter Wildland firefighting is inherently dangerous work. However the rewards outweigh the risk in my experience. Here’s answers to the most commonly asked questions I get as a mentor for you to get an idea of my day-to-day life as a Wildland fire fighter and what you’re getting yourself into.

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It can be daunting. I know. When I first applied to wildland fire jobs in 2012 I had no idea what I was doing. I even had help. A close friend and my boyfriend at the time were both hotshots and helped me through the USAJobs online application process. I remember it not being very intuitive and having no clue what to write on my resume or what all the jargon meant. I literally applied to every single entry-level position I could find. It didn’t matter which town or part of the country it was in. I thought there was probably no way in hell I would be hired as a rookie firefighter with zero fire experience.

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I didn’t even have the basic wildland fire classes. All I knew was that I was intrigued by the job as seen through my friend’s eyes and I wanted to go for it no matter the odds.

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Out of probably 50 applications I submitted I got two interest calls. One promptly wrote me off and the other hired me. I had no idea how lucky I was. Even after seven years as a wildland firefighter that summer was the busiest fire season I’ve ever had. In four and a half months our fuels/Type-2 IA crew racked up around 800 hours of overtime including 46 straight paid days.

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I was only home to sleep shower do laundry and calorie binge. There wasn’t time for anything else but I loved it. I loved the work and I loved my crew. It was one of the best summers of my life. I saw so much fire and I was getting stronger every day. I knew I had found a job I wanted to keep doing season after season.

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One day I shyly asked my captain why he had hired me with no experience. He said that I had written about a two-week backpacking trip I had done and that I enjoyed long distance running. He figured that he could teach me about fire as long as I enjoyed being outside and pushing myself physically.

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Contact Us PO Box 95 Fraser CO 80442 1.303.5796925 www.the5ftfirefighter.com

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