Seasonal Firefighting Jobs - How to Join a Hotshot Crew
Every summer, wildfires break out in various locations across the United States The United States Forest Service and state agencies hire seasonal firefighters every yearEvery summer, wildfires break out in various locations across the United States. The United States Forest Service and state agencies hire seasonal firefighters every year. If these types of jobs interest you, there are opportunities available on handcrews, helitack crews, and hotshot crews.
In a situation where a wildfire has broken out, the first line of defense may be the handcrew. The crew is made up of 20-25 firefighters who are responsible for making a fireline. The purpose of setting up a fireline is to remove anything in the path of the fire that will burn so that the fire will burn itself out due to lack of fuel.
Working on a handcrew means getting an early start. The workday starts at dawn, and the crew hikes to the location where they will be working after breaking camp. They use hand tools and chain saws to clear out a section of brush to create the fireline. The workday for the handcrew members is a long one; many times they work 12 hours at a stretch. Candidates for seasonal firefighting jobs must have at least 90 days of firefighting experience to be considered.
Another work option you may be interested in when it comes to being a wildfire firefighter is to get a job on a helitack crew. As the name implies, these firefighters arrive at the scene of the fire by helicopter. They are deployed when the situation calls for a quick response.
Getting a job as part of a helitack team is considered to be quite an achievement, since they are an elite group among firefighters. They usual spend several days working in one location. Instead, they get in quickly and leave to move onto the next area where they are needed just as fast.
This is a job for someone who is looking for a real adventure. Part of the training involves learning get to the ground from a hovering helicopter. This type of aircraft is used because it''s less expensive to run than a fixed-wing aircraft. To qualify for a position on a helitack team, all applicants must have at least one year of firefighting experience as a seasonal firefighter or a university degree in Agriculture, Forestry, or Range Management.
When a large wildfire breaks out, the job of extinguishing it may involve bringing in one or more hotshot crews. These are large work groups of between 20-25 members, they perform a variety of functions. Some team members use saws to cut away brush, while other team members are responsible for moving it out of the way.
The work hours depend on the situation, and hotshot crew members may be required to work shifts of up to 64 hours at a time. The average work day for a hotshot crew is about 16 hours long. Sometimes, the crew is dispatched to the bush for weeks at a time. When they are on the job, the firefighters who work on a hotshot crew can''t count on being able to eat hot meals or shower regularly.
When the hotshot crew is not actively working at a fire site, their days are spent training and working out. They need to be in top physical condition to perform their duties. At least one hour of every working day is spent on some type of physical activity. They exercise out of doors whenever possible. For them, a workout may involve hiking over long distances while carrying a large pack. This helps to keep them ready for the demands they face when a wildfire breaks out.
Whether climate change is the reason for the increase in forest fires is open for discussion. It''s a fact, however, that more and more seasonal firefighter jobs are available every year. Learn about becoming a firefighter from Lisa Jenkins on http://www.JobMonkey.com/. Jenkins also discusses EMT jobs and firefighter testing.