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

Guard school was very cold and rainy, but we pushed on. After twelve hour days consisting of death by power point leading into exceptional practical application, finally paid off. They have learned what is expected from a FFT2 Fire Fighter and the basic tactics they will use. The Corps members are excited to claim the title Fire Fighter.

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Our next project involves cutting down hazard trees next to prime fly fishing spot. We have been doing some good work the projects have been going well, and the forest service seems to have a good deal of work that needs done. Most of the non falling trees work is fuels mitigation.

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

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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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