Promoting a Prescribed Fire Workforce

It’s clear that our firefighters are spending more and more time away from their home units, engaged in difficult and extended fire assignments, and have very little time to also be responsible for implementing the needed prescribed fires back home . . . Every reason for not burning can be overcome when you have a workforce who is dedicated to getting it accomplished. This isn’t magic. It’s how all work gets done. You make it the priority duty for that work team or group of employees . . . In this way, we can start to reduce the risk to our future workforce.

Be Nice

Our fireline social structure is just a scrambled version of high school. But in this environment the consequences of that behavior are drastically more severe—like your buddy in a casket severe. Communication is essential. Be nice.

Balance is Personal

The number of scenarios that result in the optimal work/life balance is exactly equal to the number of individuals seeking to find it. Because there are no one size fits all solutions, one of the best things we can do is to share our lessons with each other.