Wildland Fire Certification

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The Wildland Fire Certification helps to prepare Tacoma students develop skills to pursue a career as a Type 2 Wildland Firefighter. 

Student operating a chainsaw to fight wildland fires

The Wildland Fire Certification Program serves to prepare high school students for the career pathway in the industry of wildland fire suppression. This program consists of four basic Firefighter courses required by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) and provides training and information required by NWCG for agencies subscribing to the National Interagency Management System (NIMS).

 

This 75-hour instruction provides the basic training and information necessary to become qualified as a Type 2 Wildland Firefighter. Students who successfully complete the coursework and pass the physical fitness test earn the qualifications to obtain their "red card" which is required to work on forest fires (actual red card is issued by the first hiring agency). The coursework will provide knowledge and theory behind basic firefighting skills of the Incident Qualification and Certification System (IQCS) organization, terminology, and common responsibilities; and includes standard firefighting orders, watch-out situations, human factors on the fire line, suppression tactics, incident response, basic fire behavior, emergency situations, risk management, and fire weather. 

Students dig a fire break to help control a wildland fire from spreading

Fall 2022 Program Details

  • Application window open: Ongoing
  • Program dates: Anticipated Fall of 2022
  • Meeting location: Mt. Tahoma
  • Notify selected applicants: September
  • Approximate hours to complete: 75
  • Certifications: Pump, chainsaw, FEMA, RedCard (Specifics to follow)
  • Completion stipend: $500
  • Credits toward graduation: 0.5 in Skilled and Technical Sciences
  • Total spots available: 24
  • Special considerations for this program: 16 years old
  • For additional information, please contact Ben Meersman: bmeersm@tacoma.k12.wa.us

Wildland Fire Fighter Careers by the Numbers

Average Salary (as of 4/12/22): $52,244 source

Required Education: High school or equivalent, certification class/exam, and on-the-job training

Job Outlook (2020-2030): High (1% per year over the next 10 years source 

Current Job Postings: indeed

What it's like to be a Wildland Fire Fighter: Fire Crew