We all met at Medicine Mountain Boy Scout Camp near Custer, SD on May 21st to begin our two weeks of training. The first week of training included SCA classes and making sure that all of our administration tasks were taken care of. We also all went through a Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification class. Each morning we began our day out with an outdoor activity to help make sure that we were all awake and ready for a day of classes.
Our second week of training was much more fun, this was the beginning of Fire School, during which we all camped out in a fire camp like we would during a large wildfire incident. Several members of the surrounding Forest Service District Offices (Custer, Rapid City, Hill City, and Spearfish) came to the camp in order to teach us all we would need to know in order to fight forest fires or help with prescribed burns. Some of the classes were on weather and how it affects the way fire behaves. We also had a class just on fire behavior as well as fuels and how to read the forest for potential hazards. On our second to last day, we all participated in a prescribed burn field exercise. This school also included people with the State of South Dakota, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Forest Service, as well as all of us on the three Veteran Fire Corps teams. Two of these teams will be staying in the Black Hills for the summer, while the third will be going to Arizona.