The Delaware Forest Service is seeking qualified and interested individuals to participate in its upcoming series of wildfire training classes at the Delaware State Fire School. Ideal candidates should be at least 18 years of age, physically and mentally fit, motivated to learn, and willing and able to travel for up to two weeks or more (usually during the summer months) for out-of-state fire assignments. Previous firefighting experience is not required.
While current members of a volunteer fire company can register through their organization, those without prior firefighting experience must contact Henry Poole, DFS Wildland Fire Program, by phone at 302-698-4548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get authorization before enrolling in the classes. The deadline for course registration is Jan. 3, 2014.
The first course, S-190: Introduction to Fire Behavior/Incident Command System, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 18 and 19 at the Delaware State Fire School, 1461 Chestnut Grove Road, Dover. The second set of classes, S-130: Basic Wildland Firefighting, will be taught at the fire school over the course of two weekends: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, March 1 and 2, and March 8 and 9. The cost of S-190 is $50, including lunch both days, and the cost of S-130 is $100, including lunch every day, with remittance payable to the Delaware State Fire School.
Go to statefireschool.delaware.gov to find out training classes and download registration forms.
Both S-190 and S-130 are required for prospective firefighters to attain red-card certification from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, the lead agency that oversees wildland firefighter training in the United States. In addition to basic coursework, candidates must also complete a rigorous work capacity or pack test, which involves carrying a 45-pound pack over a three-mile course in under 45 minutes.
The capstone of the wildfire training series is the Delaware Forest Service’s annual Fire Camp, which will be held Saturday, April 26, 2014, at Redden State Forest in Georgetown. The one-day seminar features intensive, hands-on training in a range of wildland firefighting tools and strategies, culminated by a live-burn exercise designed to simulate conditions on an actual fire assignment.
To fully complete the entire training series, it is imperative for potential candidates to register for S-190 by the Jan. 3 deadline.