The following thoughts and observations are derived from my own perspective that is based on 25 seasons filled with two shelter deployments, plenty of near misses, getting hit with branches because I was mesmerized by how awesome falling a burning snag is, falling asleep while driving, falling out on hikes (because I suck at hiking, smoke too much). Oh yeah, as well as one divorce and four or five failed relationships.
A wildland firefighter shares his personal story surrounding mental health and addiction in hopes it will help us all to better understand each other and build a path forward. Content Warning This revealing personal narrative includes the topics of addiction, overdosing, and suicide. If you’re feeling suicidal, talk to somebody. Call the National Suicide Prevention … Continue reading Breaking Down the Walls that Isolate Us
Kevin Reese lived the nightmare. He got mangled doing the job we all love. He survived the injury, but the bureaucratic aftermath almost killed him.
This guide paints a clear picture for new firefighters and their families to help them know what’s coming before that first fire call.
[Over the next several weeks we will feature content related to “Growth in the Wildland Fire Service.” The content published here will also be featured in the Spring 2019 Issue of Two More Chains.] By Travis Dotson Andrew Addey is a Forest Training Officer, a recent position he landed after ten years on the Sawtooth … Continue reading Slow and Steady
[Over the next several weeks we will feature content related to "Growth in the Wildland Fire Service." The content published here will also be featured in the Spring 2019 Issue of Two More Chains.] By Paul Keller For four seasons, from 1986-1989, I was a member of the Zigzag Hotshot Crew, based on the Mount … Continue reading The Student of Fire Era
By Madeline Scheintaub There is a raggedy circle of people standing around a giant map. Look around. Green and yellow; stained green and dull yellow; green and yellow-grey; green and yellow mottled with black; and vibrant green and brilliant yellow. That last person, what are you thinking about them? I am that last person and … Continue reading Clean Yellow Shirt
By Megan Martinez Can you work in fire and also take care of your non-work life and self? I started fighting fire for the federal government in 1998, when I was 19. I spent nine years as a temporary firefighter, and I’ve been permanent since 2010. For a long time there was nothing I wanted … Continue reading What is YOUR Job?
The following is an advisory circulating in the wildland fire community. Fire and Aviation Management Behavioral Health Advisory Subject: Caring for our own: Suicide Prevention and Behavioral Health Distribution: Fire & Aviation personnel, Nationwide Discussion: Suicide rates are increasing in this country, and while we do not have specific numbers, tragically, suicide affects our … Continue reading Suicide: Behavioral Health Advisory
By George Risko Staff Ride for Experiential Learning and So Much More Many in the wildland community are familiar with the use of a staff ride in the learning process. The value of a staff ride goes well beyond training and education; it can be a very therapeutic and healing event as well. Don’t underestimate … Continue reading The Impact of a Staff Ride