Wildland Fire Leadership Blog – Leading Up and Paying Forward

Through their actions, ethics, and traditions the Alpine Hotshots exemplify the firefighter leadership core values of safety, duty, respect, integrity, and teamwork. ~ Alpine IHC Vision

For today’s “From the Field for the Field Friday” entry, we share another leadership best practice from the Alpine Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC).

Eagle Rock School Fire Management Curriculum

The Alpine IHC partnered with Eagle Rock School of Estes Park, CO and the Continental Divide Research Learning Center in 2011 to provide a mechanism in which to foster relationships with young adults. The program built upon the existing relationship between the school, the park, and the hotshot crew while providing a pilot course of formal educational curriculum for the 2013 winter trimester.

The curriculum focused on history, tactics and objectives, organizational control, and firefighting fundamentals while emphasizing forest health and ecology, leadership, physical fitness, IHC tradition, and NPS mission and values.

The initial idea of the pilot course was to put students through a 40-hour basic wildland fire curriculum, ultimately obtaining certification as wildland firefighters. However, it became apparent that these non-traditional students would gain more from a hands-on, field-based learning environment supplemented by lecture.

Achievements included:

  • Completion of the Fire Fit Challenge.
  • Field exercise of firefighting fundamentals through application of handline construction.
  • Fuels treatment mitigation efforts demonstrated through live fire activity within the Bear Lake Road Corridor Burn Unit.
  • Site visit focusing on fire effects and forest health accomplishments as related to the Fern Lake Fire within Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Lessons learned in relation to fatality fires demonstrated through field application of fire entrapment and deployment scenarios.

****************************** Thanks to Paul Cerda, Alpine IHC, and Jim McMahill, Chief of Fire and Aviaton, NPS – Midwest Region and NWCG Leadership Committee Agency Representative, for this post.

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