Delaware Forest Service looks to increase wildfire crews for upcoming fire season
DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Forest Service is looking to increase its wildfire crews for the upcoming season through training for new recruits. During the 2018 wildfire season, Delaware sent two full crews out to Colorado, Idaho, and Montana to be first responders.
Interested recruits should be over 18 years old, physically fit, motivated, and willing to travel out-of-state for at least two weeks during the summer on fire assignments. No previous experience is needed, but recruits are required to complete ICS-100 (Introduction to the Incident Command System) and IS-700 (An Introduction to the National Incident Management System), available online, prior to reporting for training.
“The Delaware Forest Service has trained more than 400 wildland firefighters through our program. Delaware crews are in high demand for initial attack because of their Type II-IA crew status,” said Kyle Hoyd, DFS Wildland Fire Program Administrator. “We are able to deploy a full crew, with several of our firefighters able to take on leadership roles within the Incident Command System.”
All trainees must complete the following courses on two separate weekend sessions:
1) S-190: Intro to Wildfire Behavior – October 20 (Sat.) – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2) S-130: Basic Wildland Firefighting – October 21 (Sun.), November 3 and 4 (Sat. and Sun.) – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day
Courses are held at the Delaware State Fire School, 1461 Chestnut Grove Road, Dover, DE 19904 (302) 739-4773.
Applicants should register by October 16 by contacting the Delaware State Fire School at (302) 739-4773 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: statefireschool.delaware.gov. Those with no prior experience can contact Kyle Hoyd, DFS Wildland Fire Program Administrator, at (302) 698-4548 or email@example.com for more information.
Both S-190 and S-130 are required for prospective firefighters to attain “red-card” certification from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG). In addition to the basic coursework, candidates must also complete an arduous “work capacity” or “pack test,” which involves carrying a 45-pound pack over a three-mile course in less than 45 minutes. This is held in conjunction with the annual Wildfire Burn Camp held in early spring, where those recruits who have passed all the training will test their skills and knowledge during a live prescribed burn using tools and equipment typically used during western wildfires. Students will practice wildland suppression tactics in the simulated wildfire while working within the Incident Command System to prepare for deployment.
Delaware has been mobilizing crews and individual resources to serve on out-of-state assignments since the late-1990s. Delaware firefighters have traveled to Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
Media Contact: John Petersen, 302-698-4552, John.Petersen@delaware.gov