What to Expect
In your first week as a wildland firefighter, you will participate in an orientation process, be introduced to co-workers, fill out required paperwork and be issued materials and gear. Your second week will likely consist of attending “guard school.” Similar to military basic training, it is there you will learn the entry-level skills needed as a wildland firefighter. You probably will attend this “school” with other first-year wildland firefighters and spend time both in the classroom and in the field practicing new skills. Upon completion, you will have the basic training needed to function in your position, although your training is far from complete. The next several weeks likely will be spent in training activities at your assigned unit with your crew. You will be trained in first-aid, the use of chainsaws, pumps and other specialized equipment needed to perform your duties. You may also respond to wildland fires or participate in prescribed, or planned, burning activities. The remainder of your first season will be spent gaining experience in both project work and wildland fire management actions.