firefighter at workNew wildland firefighter certification this spring

Do you love working hard and getting dirty, I mean really dirty? Do you love working outside and enjoy pushing your limits alongside a crew? Are you looking for a summer job that makes good money or do you think you might want to explore wildland fire as a lifelong career?

New for Spring 2020

Centralia College East is offering a Wildland Firefighter Certification course spring quarter. Upon completion, you will be prepared to apply for entry-level firefighter positions throughout the country with a whole array of organizations or agencies, including local opportunities with the Department of Natural Resources and US Forest Service.

“I was born and raised in East Lewis County,” explained Sami Schinnell, instructor with more than 20 years of experience. “Fire has taught me a lot about life and a lot about myself, while getting paid to work in some of the most amazing places. I’m excited to be able to provide some exposure to those opportunities to other folks in East Lewis County.”

National Certification

Schinnell explained that everyone in wildland fire starts out as a Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2). Successful completion of the class qualifies participants for this designation. Although students do not need to be 18 to take the class, they do need to be 18 to apply for most fire jobs.

Students who successfully complete the course requirements will be certified by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

Register Today

The class fee is $185. There are a limited number of scholarships available. Call 360-496-5022 to be sent an application.

You can register by calling 360-496-5022. Space is limited to 12 students. This class is expected to fill quickly, so early registration is encouraged.

After registering for the class, students will complete an online orientation. This will include an overview of the class format and expectations, instructions for setting up online accounts for the modules, practice navigating the modules, and an overview of fire jobs and how to apply.

Students will have from March 31 to May 14 to complete 30 hours of online modules, which include Firefighter Training, Intro to Fire Behavior, Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service, and Introduction to the Incident Command System.

On May 16 and 17, students will participate in two eight-hour days of hands-on field exercises and fire demonstrations. Students should have adequate boots and be prepared to be outside regardless of the weather. Tools and other personal protective equipment will be provided.

“The camaraderie of the fire world is truly something special,” Schinnell said. “The work is hard, the hours are long, and the food at fire camp is sometimes mediocre, but when you see a ‘thank you firefighters’ sign hanging on someone’s fence, you know your work is worth it.”

For more information call Centralia College East at 360-496-5022.