The 15th week of the SCA Phoenix Field School program was devoted entirely to training. Seen as somewhat of a capstone of the program, Wildland Fire Fighting (S-190 & S-130), spanned four days in early December. Three of the eight members had taken this training prior when enrolled in Franklin Fire High School; so our group had high expectations of this training spurred by the romanticized tales of their colleagues.
The training entailed three days in the classroom learning as much as possible about fighting wildland fires. Topics included; factors affecting fire behavior, safety precautions when fighting fires, techniques commonly implemented on the fire line, and an introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS) utilized by federal agencies during emergencies such as wildland fires. One the final day of the training; the class traveled to a remote facility to practice fire-fighting techniques described earlier in the week. This included; constructing a fireline at real speed with real fire-fighting tools, maintaining the tools afterward, and practicing deployment of a fire shelter (a integral piece of safety equipment that serves as the last line of defense when caught in a wildfire). Everyone passed the final exam and our entire crew received S-190 and S-130 certifications!
The next day, we participated in a ATV Safety Training course. This one day course strived to teach the crew have to ride All Terrain Vehicles safely. The members deftly zoomed around cones in figure-eights and banked upon steep slopes for six hours until finally, the last of many trainings undertaken by the crew this year was complete.