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UMFK to host fire-fighting training course

January 15, 2009


The University of Maine at Fort Kent will host a 32-hour wildland fire-fighting training course on Saturday, February 7 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, February 8 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, February 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, February 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. All sessions will be held in Cyr Hall, room 113. 

The training course is free and available to all residents willing to fight fires in Maine. You must be 16 years of age or older. Pre-registration is required. It is offered cooperatively between the Maine Forest Service and the University of Maine at Fort Kent, with the support of the University’s Forestry and Rural Public Safety programs and Academic Outreach office. 

“This training is required to fight wildland fires in Maine. Also, with the additional physical test, a person could qualify for fire duty out-of-state.  A student may use it for credit at UMFK in several ways, including credit in the Forest Protection (330) course or as experiential credit in the Rural Public Safety Program,” said Dave Hobbins, UMFK professor of forestry and environmental studies.  “It also opens doors to careers with the Maine Forest Service.  Students who have completed this training and worked with the Maine Forest Service have found it an exciting and rewarding experience.” 

This is a National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) course, which upon completion qualifies the recipient with nation–wide federal wildland firefighter credentials. The course is designed to provide students with the core competencies needed to safely and effectively perform the tasks required of a wildland firefighter functioning within the ICS system. 

The course will be taught by rangers with the Maine Forest Service and will cover areas including fire behavior, tools and equipment, safety, firefighter preparedness, suppression, securing the line, mapping, hazardous materials, and fire survival.  

In addition to the session, an outdoor eight-hour exercise consisting of fire exercise, pumps, helicopter safety, hand tools, radios and hand on fire shelter is being planned for the upcoming spring.         

Individuals who successfully complete both sessions of the course qualify for wildland firefighting (red card) in Maine. Also, individuals who complete both sessions and who pass a physical fitness test may be considered for out-of- state (Federal) fire duty.  

Individuals with questions concerning the course should contact Ranger Lance Martin at 207- 398-3196.  To register, contact Donald Eno, UMFK academic outreach coordinator, at 834-7835. Attendance is required at all sessions.