From the Front Line to the Fireline Veterans Train to Become Wildland Firefighters

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Release Date: 01/19/16
Contacts: Stephen Razo, (951) 697-5217, srazo@blm.gov
News Release No. CA-CDD-16-05
 

From the Front Line to the Fireline Veterans Train to Become Wildland Firefighters

 

MORENO VALLEY, California – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in partnership with the Department of Interior (DOI) and Team Rubicon, is conducting a wildland firefighter training session Jan. 22 – Jan. 25 at the Victor Valley College Regional Public Safety Training Center in Apple Valley, Calif., for military veterans. The training, one of several sessions taking place throughout the country, will train veterans in wildland fire suppression tactics, including communication techniques, fireline construction, equipment operation and other critical wildland firefighting skills.

 

In April 2015, DOI and BLM formed a partnership with Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response nonprofit organization, to take advantage of veteran skills acquired in the military that can translate to wildland firefighting such as teamwork, decisive leadership, risk mitigation and management, logistics and emergency medicine.

 

Last year, newly trained Team Rubicon wildland firefighters responded to wildfires in Alaska, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington during one of the most severe fire seasons in history.

 

“The Regional Public Safety Training Center and Victor Valley College Fire Technology is pleased to have had the opportunity to train these veterans for the upcoming fire season,” said Heath Cohen, Fire Technology Program Director/Faculty.

 

“It just makes sense to match our veterans’ skills with wildland firefighting,” states Ron Dunton, Director of BLM Fire and Aviation. “They already understand critical aspects of the wildland fire program such as our Incident Command System and they have the work ethic we need in wildland fires.”

 

By engaging veterans in disaster response, Team Rubicon seeks to provide veterans with a sense of purpose, community and identity often missing following their military service.

 

Several Marines founded Team Rubicon in response to the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. Since then, the organization has responded to floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and other severe weather damage, helping disaster survivors all over the globe.

 

For further information regarding the Team Rubicon program, contact Pat Ross,membership@teamrubiconusa.org or Stephen Razo, srazo@blm.gov.

 

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