[Banner] USDA Fire and Aviation Management.  Header with photo of fire creating the tree tops during a fire, a Zigzag Hotshot crewmember monitoring a fire alongside the road, and a forest on fire. US Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service home Hotshot Crew List About Hotshots Zigzag IHC home Hotshots home Contact Us Employment About Us News & Information Fire & Aviation Home

Physical Training Program

Firefighting demands a high degree of stamina for both productivity and safety concerns. It is extremely important for all crewmembers to be able to stay together while constructing fireline, hiking during shifts and on those occasions when Zig Zag Hotshotswe need to move to a safety zone. We are only as fast as the slowest member of the crew. A chain will always break at the weakest link so our job is to make each "link" as strong as possible. Typically we PT for 2 hours or more each morning while at the station. Generally we either run on back roads or power hike in full gear up Hunchback Mountain. We also incorporate the Crossfit “Workout of the Day” (http://www.crossfit.com) on a regular basis. We may also do “daily doubles” in the early part of the fire season.

All crew members must report to duty on the first day in top shape and ready to go. We do not have the time, interest or patience to deal with crew members who are in sub-standard fitness. We are generally out the door and on the road immediately following our required training in the spring so you can expect within the first two days of employment to be physically tested. Our testing consists of the Pack Test, Hunchback Mountain power hike and the fitness standards listed in the Standards for Interagency Hotshot Crew Operations (http://www.nifc.gov/policies/pol_ref_hotshotOps.html):

--1 ½ Mile Run in 10:35 or less.
--40 sit-ups in one minute
--25 push-ups in one minute
--Chin-ups based on body weight (4-7)

Remember, these are strictly minimums. We will test you until muscle failure and your general fitness is a major factor in determining not only your position on the crew (sawyer vs. pulaski vs. drag shovel) but also your future employment with us and possibly any other IHC that inquires about you in the future. With this in mind, you should start working out now with increasing intensity until you are at your peak physical fitness on the first day of work.