Veterans Fire Corps

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

Veterans Fire Corps (US Military Veterans Only)

** Now accepting applications for fall VFC programs **

The Fall 2015 VFC is in the field from Sept 6 to Dec. 6.

Created in 2010 in cooperation with the US Forest Service and expanded into an AmeriCorps program in 2012, 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.

SCA provides programming that works for Veterans looking for ways to transition to civilian life

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

 

Download the VFC Flyer (PDF) for more information or to spread the word.

 

 

Related Posts & Program Information

This week we started out back at the Double A Barn doing the same stuff as the week before. We worked here on the 1st and 2nd. On the 3 though we got to observe the inspection of the districts fire assets, with them working on a mock fire. After the mock fire, we received our Red Cards finally, and did the paperwork needed for the Forest Service to pay us if we go on fire this summer.

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On Monday and Tuesday we finished the last of the slash piles, ending in the experimental forest. Upon completing the last slash pile, we then loaded up the rig, drove to the nearest trail head, where we donned yellows, packs, and tools. It was time for a conditioning hike. With Andrew Novak and Sam Bowen leading the way we speed up the trail.

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We finally got to meet our primary contact this week a Fuels Captain by the name of Bill Ross. We are excited about working for Bill, after finding out he’s a fellow veteran we feel like we can relate to him a little better. Under Bill we got straight from project work to fuels work. Our first assignment with fuels involved rebuilding and building slash piles.

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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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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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Upcoming Events

August 8, 2015 |

Join SCA alumni, current members, and their friends and family for a morning of service work at the Katy Prairie Conservancy Matt Cook Memorial Wildlife Viewing Platform. A longtime SCA partner, Katy Prairie...

Parents Corner

Your child is about to embark on a life-changing experience, where they will have the opportunity to meet new friends, explore potential careers, gain leadership skills, and accomplish hands-on conservation work that will have a lasting impact on the planet.