The Wildland Firefighter Volunteer Program enlists recently graduated North Mason High School students and young adults in the North Mason community, to serve on wildland fire deployments throughout Washington State. They serve a six (6) month seasonal term that corresponds with the wildland fire season.
Each February, the Fire Authority selects four volunteers/students for the Wildland Fire Volunteer Program. Selected volunteers/students receive basic wildland firefighter training and certification during April and May. Initial training is forty (40) hours, held in the evenings and on weekends. Participating students must have satisfactory academic standing, maintaining a minimum grade point average of 2.5. Additionally, participants must be at least 18 years of age.
Following the initial certification program, participants are provided protective equipment. They are required to participate in two (2) to three (3) advanced wildland fire training activities, held on Saturdays. Advanced training continues throughout the summer, until fire deployment requests are made to the Fire Authority by Washington State. Volunteer program participants are required to deploy to wildfires as needed, in order to receive program benefits.
Students enrolled in the program receive a $500 stipend per month for cost reimbursement during the months of June, July and August. This stipend is in addition to any pay received from the state for work performed during a wildland fire deployment. Washington State currently pays firefighters $14 per hour, for working on a state wildland fire.
Students who satisfactorily complete the program’s requirements will also receive a $2,000 tuition assistance allowance that may be used at any institution of higher learning. Tuition assistance cannot be substituted for a cash payout.
When program participants are not deployed, they are classified as Volunteer fire personnel with the Fire Authority. As a Volunteer, they receive accident and injury coverage from the Washington State Board of Volunteer Firefighters. When on deployment, wildland firefighters receive accident/injury coverage from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
If you are interested in this exciting opportunity that can also help with further education, establish a future career and build a unique resume, come join us!