Tuesday, January 13, 2015

University Sponsors New Hand Crews

Source: Juneau Empire.  Photo: Alaska Division of Forestry.

This spring, University of Alaska at Fairbanks is offering the first nationally qualified wildland fire hand crew sponsored by a university.  The crew is designed to give wildland fire students the chance to use the techniques they've learned in class. 

"The UAF Wildland Firefighting Crew is going to be one of the nation's first fully nationally certified wildland fire hand crew sponsored by a university," said Tylan Martin, Assistant Professor of Wildland Fire Science at UAF. 

Utilizing technology and distance learning, UAF is also providing opportunities to strengthen and prepare the wildfire response in rural villages in Alaska. 

“For rural Alaskans, wildland firefighting is a vital part of communities,” Martin added. “Crew members will get that strong sense of organization and discipline that comes with a Type 2 fire crew. When they’re done, they’ll earn their degree so they can get well-paying jobs in the wildland fire industry or go back to their hometown and strengthen their Type 2 crews. 

A trifecta for implementing actions under the Cohesive Strategy, UAF is increasing the response capacity in rural areas, providing quality firefighting education at national standards and utilizing technology to advance these efforts.  Read the press release here.

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