Veterans Fire Corps

SCA's Veterans Fire Corp -- helping to manage our precious natural resources

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Veterans Fire Corps (US Military Veterans Only)

Created in 2010 in cooperation with the US Forest Service, expanded into an AmeriCorps program in 2012, and supported by generous partners includeing C&S Wholesale Grocers, the Veterans Fire Corps trains and engages teams of military veterans in wildland fire mitigation. Projects include fuels reduction, fire effects monitoring, educational outreach, pre-fire preparation of burn units, and participation in prescribed fires. SCA’s Veterans Fire Corps members work together for 13 weeks, organized in teams of five Corps Members and one Project Leader. The leader is most often a graduate of a prior Veterans Fire Corps program who has proven to be a capable firefighter, manager, and logistician.

The training provided to participants has three components: training as an SCA Corps member, Wildland fire and chainsaw training, as well as field-based practical experience. Each training component builds on the prior training, focusing not only on technical aspects, but also on softer skills such as leadership, group dynamics, and conflict management. When not working on fuels mitigation, members may work with various federal agency staff in other areas, such as trails, archeology, fisheries, or other projects. Members receive weekly living allowances. Housing and field-based meals are provided, but positions may require camping in the field for a significant portion of the program.

SCA waives application fees for all US Military Veterans.

Trainings Offered: 

  • Wildland Fire Chainsaws
  • Basic Wildland Firefighter
  • Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior
  • Introduction to Incident Command System
  • Standards for Survival
  • Human Factors on the Fireline
  • Introduction to the National Incident Management System
  • Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and Red Card Certification
 
Eligibility Requirements: 
  • US Military Post-9/11 Veterans
  • DD214 form showing Honorable Discharge or General Discharge (under Honorable Conditions)
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Ablility to pass a criminal background and motor vehicle check
  • Ablility to pass USFS Pack Test at the “arduous” level (3-mile hike with 45-pound pack in 45 minutes)
  • Ablility to hike long distances with a heavy pack and remain composed under pressure while serving in rugged terrain
  • Comfort and ability with using a chainsaw and other hand tools
  • Comfort and ability with living and serving with veterans from all service branches

Learn More About the Veterans Fire Corps

2018 Veterans Fire Corps Positions

Related Posts & Program Information

Stagecoach Fire House - Yampa Trip Colorado, we spent some of our best time working in Colorado here. It was not only beautiful, the hospitality of the locals was amazing. We were put up in a really nice new Fire House, we were invited to 2 barbecues, we worked on a good project at Morrison Creek and we were finally truly able to operate to our fullest as a crew.

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The men and women I’m training know we’re about to confront a merciless enemy. We are all military veterans, and in the field we have an objective, a plan, and the flexibility to change tactics midstream — just as in the armed forces.

In this case our adversary isn’t al-Qaida or any of the other combatants I faced with the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq; it’s not even human but it eats, breathes and grows.

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Another week of prescribed fires. Monday we prep the Groom Creek area including digging line around large snags (dead trees that are still providing for wildlife) so that they wont burn and sawing an area to help contain the fire when its time to burn. This week the plan is to burn Tuesday and Thursday and to monitor the fire on Wednesday and Friday (maybe even Saturday).

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We have horses and are getting qualified to ride and pack them into the wilderness area. Our goal is packing our cross cut saws and clearing trail in the future with the use of horses and mules. The team is very enthusiastic about the experience so far. On a side note; Erik, Charley and Joe( who is currently on fire in Colorado), have all been on two week assignments.

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On July 13th, the crew went on a recreation trip to Arches National Park, and Canyonlands National Park. Here we hiked to Dark Angel, and several of the arches in the national park, after Arches we went to Canyonlands where we were originally going to hike the Maze after reading an article saying that it was one of the deadliest hikes in the world.

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