Accelerating Professional Development
There are a number of ways to ensure that you are competitive for advancement in a wildland fire career. Having a diverse operational background by working on wildland fire engines, handcrews, and aviation modules is a good start. Working for different agencies will increase your competitiveness. A willingness to move to different locations is also a plus. Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a natural resource discipline will help you advance to higher-level management positions. Ensuring that you have experience in wildland fuels management should be part of any development plan in wildland fire today. As with any career, taking responsibility for your own advancement by finding mentors, seeking developmental opportunities, and attending training will help you get ahead.
You can also apply to work as an AD employee (emergency hire) at your local Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, or other wildland fire agency. Taking preparatory classes can also help. Listed below are the minimum interagency qualifications requirements to become a first year wildland firefighter, some of which are available online:
- IS-100.B: Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100
- IS-700.A: National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction
- S-110: Basic Wildland Fire Orientation, 2003
- S-190: Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior (online), 2012
- S-130: Firefighter Training (Blended), 2008
- L-180: Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service
- RT-130: Annual Fireline Safety Refresher
*Note: The Annual Fireline Safety Refresher (RT-130) is not required for the first year as a Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2); however, it is required for subsequent years.