Excel as a High-Performing Agency

Collbran Job Corps Center student shines during dispatch training

A smiling man, sitting and working at a computer terminal
Erick Romero, working the Overhead Desk at Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center in Lakewood, Colorado. USDA Forest Service photo.

COLORADO – Erick Romero, of Collbran Job Corps, was mobilized to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center on Aug. 25 for a 7-day assignment in order to gain dispatch experience as part of his Job Corps Dispatch Academy experience.

As part of his dispatch training, Romero was assigned to the Overhead desk. Due to both increasing activity and regular staffing schedules, Romero ran not only the Overhead desk, but also assisted with working on the Crew and Equipment desks. 

At the time of Romero’s assignment, one of the Rocky Mountain area dispatch zones was managing a fire which required the support of a Buying Team that the Rocky Mountain Coordination Center hosted.

The Buying Team members took time to sit with Romero to discuss their roles and how they operate. They also took time to answer any questions he had. All the Buying Team members were impressed with the quality of his questions, which demonstrated his understanding of their function and how the team interacts with dispatch.

Rob Juhola, area coordinator for Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, had great things to say about Romero. Juhola was impressed with Romero’s attitude and professionalism as well as his ability to learn new things quickly.

Glenn Bartter, deputy center manager for Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center, also had some praise for Romero. Bartter commented on Romero’s willingness to take on tasks and look for other ways to help out, especially “during the first few days of his assignment when the activity level at the center was lighter.” Everyone who has had the opportunity to work with Romero is quickly impressed with his work ethic and his desire to learn, especially his knack for asking questions that help him understand and prepare for any non-standard situations that might come his way. Toward the end of his assignment, Romero even helped train the incoming dispatch student who would replace him.

Romero’s attitude and willingness to deal with whatever comes his way is a trait that will help him immensely when it comes time to apply for positions in fire. It also reflects highly on the training the team at Collbran provided; not just to Romero, but also to all those who will follow.