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

Shadow Lake area Colorado 2013

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After graduating from high school in Williamson, Wayne County, I did combat tours with the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan and Iraq. But like the thousands of other vets returning to upstate New York, I was left wondering what to do next. Where could I put my military training to best use? How could I continue giving back to the country that I love?

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Monday we continue the prep work we started the previous week. We also have received our Red Cards! This means that this will be VFC’s first “real” prescribed burn. We are excited to get our hands dirty. On Tuesday we meet at a predetermined location near where the RX will take place and receive a briefing from our Burn Boss, Mr. Clausen, and Burn Boss Trainee, Lindsey Fournier.

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We started out the week, doing project work, around the Boy Scout Camp, and learning about the tools, specifically the Mcleod (a rake and modified shovel). a {i;aslo (an axe, with a maddox head on the back of it), and a Rhino ( a shovel, that has an axe handle, and bent at 90 degrees). After that the crew sharpened and cleaned the tools, for the days work.

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On July 9th, was the Forest Service living quarters beautification. For this we bucked and moved piles into firewood size to a near by campground, for the campers to burn. We also tore down and scattered several slash piles that were surrounding there own houses, that if burnt would have allowed fire brands to go into there living compound and set structures on fire.

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