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Military veterans trained in firefighting techniques through Forest Service and California Conservation Corps

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Firefighter trainees dig out a fire line during the Forest Service and California Conservation Corps joint training session.  (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Firefighter trainees dig out a fire line during the Forest Service and California
Conservation Corps joint training session. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Posted by Stanton Florea, Pacific Southwest Region & Tiffany Holloway, Office of Communication


The U.S. Forest Service has partnered with the California Conservation Corps to provide firefighter training for military veterans.


“Fire and Aviation Management is particularly appealing because of the significance of our mission and our well-defined organization,” said Robert Baird, deputy director of Fire and Aviation Management for the Forest Service.


In 2011, the pilot program, training military veterans to becoming firefighters, started with three crews which resulted in the initial hiring of 45 veterans.

 

This partnership agreement was extended and expanded in 2012, with five 15 person veteran crews being hired.

 

More than 50 military veterans between the ages of 19 and 27 participated in this year’s training, bringing a total of 100 firefighters in the program.


“The Forest Service helps with the recruiting, provides the wildland fire training for them and obviously hires them on fires we may have,” said Rob Griffith, Fire Aviation Management assistant director in California.

Firefighter trainees practice rescuing an injured firefighter during the Forest Service and California Conservation Corps joint training session.  (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Firefighter trainees practice rescuing an injured
firefighter during the Forest Service and California
Conservation Corps joint training session.
(U.S. Forest Service photo)

Some of the California participant’s military backgrounds include:

  • Hank Lilienthal, 28, of Sacramento. He served in the Navy for eight years, including seven months as a hospital corpsman in Iraq.
  • Justin Jacobson, 24, of Elverta. He served in the Army Reserves for six years, where he worked in communications.
  • William Joyal, 22, of Colusa. He was on active duty in the Army for two years as a heavy equipment operator.
 “The main focus of this program is for crews to accomplish fuels reduction projects,” said Griffith. “The veterans have received training and exposure from the two agencies. This program will also broaden our skilled applicant pool for future Forest Service recruiting, which is a great deal.”

 

US Forest Service
Last modified May 22, 2013
http://www.fs.fed.us

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