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UMFK to host fire-fighting training course

January 4, 2010


The University of Maine at Fort Kent will host a 32-hour wildland fire-fighting training course on Saturday, January 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, January 31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, February 3 from 6 to 9:30 p.m.; and Saturday, February 6 from 8 a.m. to 5 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 by the Maine Forest Service with the support of the University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Forestry and Rural Public Safety programs.
The course will be taught by a team of Maine Forest Service Rangers and will cover areas including fire behavior, tools and equipment, safety, firefighter preparedness, suppression, securing the line, mapping, hazardous materials, and fire survival. Attendance is required at all sessions.
“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,” 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.”
A student may use this course for credit at UMFK in the upcoming For222 Wildland Fire Ecology course. This course is offered on-line as a pass/fail course. It combines the classroom training of the S130/S190 with on-line modules in fire history, policy, and ecology by three UMFK faculty members. There are a number of interesting learning modules including wildland fire history and policy, forest fire ecology, wildlife and fire, fire use (including prescribed fire and wildland fire use), fire regime management, and the use of GIS and GPS in wildland fire management.  Students may complete the course at their own pace between January and May of 2010.
The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) course, 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.
In addition to the course, 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.
To register for the S130/S190 training, contact Dave Hobbins at (207) 834-7614 or                                            #####                    . To register for the Wildland Fire Ecology course (For222) contact the UMFK Registrar’s office at (207) 834-7520.