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timeframe for 08 season

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  • timeframe for 08 season

    I am trying to get onto any shot crew I can for the 08 season. I am taking wilderness EMT from 01/02/08-01/25/08. Obviously WEMT would look very good on a resume. My question is wheter I should start applying now (12/21/07) or after I take the class. I am not willing to miss my opportunity to fight fire this season and dont want to miss a hiring time window.

  • #2
    Originally posted by 65x55BPD View Post
    I am trying to get onto any shot crew I can for the 08 season. I am taking wilderness EMT from 01/02/08-01/25/08. Obviously WEMT would look very good on a resume. My question is wheter I should start applying now (12/21/07) or after I take the class. I am not willing to miss my opportunity to fight fire this season and dont want to miss a hiring time window.
    Shots don't have much use for EMTs, Wilderness or otherwise--they don't run medical aids. Might be nice in case of an injury "on the Line", though, and might be the "tiebreaker" between you and another otherwise equally qualified candidate, but it's not going to be a "major factor" in the selection process for a Hotshot Crew.
    Also, do you have prior FF experience? If not, you're going to find it very difficult to get on a Type 1 Crew ("Hotshots"), as they are very limited on the number of first-season FFs they can accept and still be considered a Type 1 Crew.

    If you're that determined that you want a Fire job this season, you should put in for everything that's open--Shot Crews, Type 2-IA Crews, Helitack, and Engines...especially as a first-year FF, you need to seriously hedge your bets.

    Look at USAJobs for a "generic" idea of positions that are open. The Forest Service has a link to FireHire, which contains much of the same info, and might have more specific info about the job/location, etc, than what's posted on USAJobs.

    If you're in California, look at USFS Region 5 Employment Outreach. You might try CDF also, their FF1 (seasonal FF) applications are accepted in November through January, though in the Northern Region you have to apply in person at each unit you want to work at. Keep in mind, though, that in order to be truly competitive you will have to have your FF1 cert already in-hand at the very minimum.

    Another option in the Feds, if you live near a National Forest/Park/Wildlife Refuge (not all NWRs have Fire programs, though), is to apply to be a "casual" or "emergency" FF, more properly referred to as an "AD" (Administratively Determined) Firefighter. This would be part-time work on an "as-needed" basis, but hey, it's better than nothing, especially if you're a college student who doesn't take classes during the summer break.

    You might also try applying at the contract companies: NorthTree International, FireStorm, FireDos, etc, though again, much of their work is scheduled on an "as-needed" basis.

    Perhaps RxFire or NonSurfinCAFF will reply with info/advice as well, they're a lot deeper "in the loop" than I am.
    Last edited by the1141man; 12-29-2007, 02:02 AM.
    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


    • #3
      USAJobs isn't a bad place to start looking... another hint would be to pick up the phone and call the places you really desire.. let them get to know you, get the info on the hiring process direct from them. For example, my unit does NOT use USAJobs for our seasonals... we hire mostly local kids and we hire them on a student hiring provision, which gives us more control of who & how we hire.

      USFS, BLM, NPS, USFWS are the fed players for the most part... Do a SEARCH within the wildland firefighting topic here.. the question of how to get on is asked many times, and answered by many. Lots of good info in those old posts.

      Good Luck.. if you have questions, come back and ask.
      IACOJ
      Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!
      http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

      Comment


      • #4
        On all of the larger incidents I go on, they always ask "give me the name of all your EMTs". But in the Type I and II fires they always have contract EMTs.

        I don't know how they get on the list, but they are dispatched as single resources. Most of them are EMT-I's. Some of them are pack tested for line work and some of them just stay in camp.

        The guys who are pack tested make significantly more money than the average SHOT guys.

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        • #5
          It will help, but you are better off calling around, call and keep calling and if you can do a face to face with the Supt. Go with a R3 crew you have a better chance of getting on then if you went with a R5 or R6 crew.

          EMT's and Medics have been pulled from shot crews and set out for a Line EMT job, and in AZ and a few other places they will take 3 guys and send them off for a single resorce job to help someone, it was the case quite a bit.

          You should have a back up plan, if you dont get picked up by a shot crew look at a type II crew, they are all over the West.

          Other key is to start running now, before you report for duty you should be running around 20 miles plus a week.

          Look up on the web the Regions.

          SMK


          PS R-3 AZ-NM
          R-5 Cali
          R-6 WA, OR

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by kd7fds View Post
            On all of the larger incidents I go on, they always ask "give me the name of all your EMTs". But in the Type I and II fires they always have contract EMTs.

            I don't know how they get on the list, but they are dispatched as single resources. Most of them are EMT-I's. Some of them are pack tested for line work and some of them just stay in camp.

            The guys who are pack tested make significantly more money than the average SHOT guys.
            Most likely, the guys you're talking about ("contract EMTs") aren't on a contract at all, but are most likely AD (Administratively Determined aka "emergency" or "casual" workers) EMTs/Medics. Yes, at the AD rate they're paid hour-for-hour far better than their GS-scale full-time counterparts ... in R5, an AD EMT-1's rate is something like $21.00/hr. However, there's a catch with AD personnel: no overtime. You get your $21/hr alright, but for every hour you work, even beyond 8/day or 40/week.
            No benefits, either, and no guarantee of work. AD positions are "call when needed".

            Also, AD workers, while they may hold multiple IQCS quals, are paid based upon their primary duty at the fire....so if you're an EMT, but have your WCT and FFT2/1, and are out on the line fighting fire, you're probably going to be making FFT2/1 wages (significantly lower than EMTs), instead of the EMT $21/hr pay.

            You should have a back up plan, if you dont get picked up by a shot crew look at a type II crew, they are all over the West.
            Well, like I told him, if he's that determined to get a job, he needs to be applying everywhere...Shots, 2IA Crews, Engines, whoever'll take his app.
            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


            • #7
              If you have new boots, start getting them broken in now... don't wait for fire season.
              IACOJ
              Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!
              http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Your timeframe is fine. I am on shot crew in Region 6 and we begin hiring around the first of April. To be perfectly honest I wonder how valuable the EMT thing is. In my opinion wildland experience carries much more weight than EMT. The previous posters were right about calling around everywhere and inquire about openings. What is your wildland experience like? I got on a shot crew with just one year of contract experience, but I have a degree and am a combat vet as well. Apart from myself I have never known any hotshot that got on without at least 2 yrs wildland experience. Hope this helps.

                Comment

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