Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Fulltime Wildland Jobs

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Fulltime Wildland Jobs

    Are there fulltime wildland jobs out there? If so, How well do they pay, What level of training do you need for them, and what do you do in the off season?

  • #2
    Yes there are, but very few are entry level. Depending on where you want to work it might just be Captains and higher other places have fulltime engineers, senior firefighters etc.

    The US Forest Service typically has a career fire captain, fire engine operator and possibly an asst engineer and senior firefighter on engines, a superintendant, 2 crew captains, 2 squad bosses and 2 senior firefighters on hotshot crews, and helicopters typically have a helicopter manager, a captain and 1 or 2 asst captains, some have more personal some less depending on the type of helicopter assigned.

    The other Federal wildland agencies (BLM, Park Service etc) are similar although they tend to have fewer career positions.

    Many of these career positions are still not year round, they may be 13/13 (roughly 6 months), 18/8 (8-9 months) or 26/0 (full time), the xx/xx represents how many pay periods in pay status vs non pay (for example 18/8 means a minimum of 18 pay periods in pay status out of the 26 pay periods in the year), these positions do offer full benefits (medical / retirement) however unlike the seasonal workforce.

    For those places that have senior firefighters the pay starts at $28,000 / yr (that salary assumes they work the whole year which most don't, it also does not include OT).



    The California Department of Forestry has career fire captains and fire apparatus engineers that work year round, their seasonal firefighters (firefighter 1) can work up to 9 months a year but 4-6 months is more common. CDF does have career firefighters (firefighter 2) as well but they work on the structural side of the department.
    If you poke around the CDF website I'm sure you can dig up salaries.

    http://www.fire.ca.gov/php/


    I'm not that familiar with the inner workings of other states state wildland organizations, but most seem to follow the model of career captain with a seasonal work force.

    Typically wildland agencies pay less than municipal fire departments, on the other hand it is not uncommon to find career wildland positions in areas where the structural firefighters are all volunteers so the pay difference is not quite apples to apples.

    Requirements vary but it is unlikely you can get a career position unless you have at least 1 or 2 years as a seasonal with the agency. Training similarly varies depending on what the lowest level career position is, for those places with senior firefighters about the only training / experience is what you will get after being a seasonal for a couple summers.

    The off season is often spent doing maintenance, training (both as student and teacher), planning, doing RX burns and using up all that annual leave you really can't use during the fire season. Wildland is also a feast or famine type job, the fire season is typically very busy with alot of time away from home, the winter is also typically busy but much slower paced and flexible. Also in some areas the season never really ends it just slows down, we continue to staff a few engines through most of the year.

    The idea that we sit around playing cards in the winter is way off base, but seems to be what many people think.
    Last edited by NonSurfinCaFF; 11-01-2006, 11:15 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      CDF does have career firefighters (firefighter 2) as well but they work on the structural side of the department.
      That statement is not factually correct. FF1s are assigned to stations when not on strike team status and when at their regular station respond on all calls for their station...including structure and vehicle fires, HAZMAT, etc.
      If you're an FF1 working a station and a structure comes in, your captain isn't going to say "Oh, you're only an FF1, why don't you sit this one out? We'll be back in a few hours..."

      Keep in mind that CDF is contracted to something like 30 counties in California as their primary fire protection provider agency...they do a lot more than just "Forestry and (wildland) Fire Protection", hence the desire to change their name to CALFIRE.

      About the only difference between an FF1 and FF2 is that FF1s are seasonal only, and are not required to have a CSFM FF1 certification (but try getting on w/o one, hah!), whereas FF2s are full-time year-round and do have to have a CSFM FF1 cert.
      My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

      IACOJ--West Coast PITA

      Comment


      • #4
        I didn't say FF1s don't go to structure fires, I said firefighter 2s are assigned to structure stations, which to my knowledge is accurate, I am not aware of any schedule B (wildland) stations with Firefighter 2s permanently assigned.

        Schedule A is not primary wildland so I didn't go into any detail on it since I don't don't think it really relates to the original question of fulltime wildland jobs.

        Comment


        • #5
          NonSurfin--ok, fair enough...originally your post seemed to say, "FF1s only do wildland, FF2s only do structures," which as we both know isn't the case.
          My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

          IACOJ--West Coast PITA

          Comment

          300x600 Ad Unit (In-View)

          Collapse

          Upper 300x250

          Collapse

          Taboola

          Collapse

          Leader

          Collapse
          Working...
          X