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

Fire Guard School, allowed us to obtain the proper training and qualifications, enabling us to participate in Wlidland Fire Suppression.

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Monday morning we are in route to Chino Valley to meet Crew 2, we have to finish brushing the trail we started on Friday. When we reach Chino we fuel up our Dolmar (small container filled with fuel and oil for our chainsaws). We prep our equipment and get in the mindset to work. When Crew 2 is ready to leave so are we. We follow the green truck out to the site.

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Hitch Report 2 – 26 Sept. through 7 Oct.

The hitch started off with the crew experiencing line digging for the first time since arriving in the Springerville Fire district. Line is dug around the planned burn area to keep the fire contained. The crew was able to work with the fuels (burning material, trees) assistant fire management officer all week.

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The team is currently conduction chainsaw training and learning basic felling techniques as well as safe handling. We also had the opportunity to see how the chaps work with a live demonstration. During the class an old pair of chaps were attached to a log. With the chainsaw running at working speed it was placed over the chaps and dropped.

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This week we get to work with the trails crew. The hike up to the work site is not long, but almost straight uphill so by the time we get up there we need to have a much needed water/rest break. Up in the higher elevations the trees seem to get smaller so cutting them down is much easier, but the sheer number is rather stunning.

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