After successful year in 2007, Fish and Wildlife's "Blue Goose" handcrew continues into the 2008 season
For the second fire season in a row, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is operating the national Blue Goose Crew, pairing agency firefighters seeking crew management experience with local Job Corps Center (JCC) students wanting to learn wildland firefighting skills. The unique 20-person handcrew based in Moses Lake, Washington, comprises mostly agency fire managers and firefighters on detail from various regions, along with five to six slots available for JCC students.
Last summer, the crew was assigned to 10 fires in four different states and primarily worked extended attack incidents. One of its last fire assignments involved leading a large burn-out on the South Omak Fire in Washington.
“This crew is building leadership and a level of competence beyond a standard Type 2 handcrew,” said FWS Operations and Safety Coordinator Rod Bloms. “It is providing enhanced preparedness capability to our agency and to the interagency fire community, while also helping FWS fulfill on-the-job training requirements for fire staff and completing project work on our refuges.”
FWS firefighters also continue to participate as members on interagency detail crews. In addition, FWS has sponsored several Type 2 JCC crews since the 1980s in several regions of the country, providing training, equipment, and leadership to students through annual agreements with local JCC offices.
Program Manager, Jason Riggins, is currently seeking fire personnel and students to work on the 2008 Blue Goose Crew. For more information, visit the Blue Goose Wildland Fire Crew information page at http://www.fws.gov/pacific/refuges/bgcrew/index.html
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