Title: Crew Member – Veterans Fire Corps 2024 Nation Park Service
Reports to: Crew Leader, Fire and Fuels Coordinator
Locations: Crew will be based out of Chattanooga, TN, but will be camping and working on various federal and private land agency locations across the southeast region.
Season Dates: January 15 – May 10, 2024 (16 weeks)
Status: Seasonal, Full-time, Exempt
Stipend: $500/week living stipend & $100/week housing stipend, paid bi-weekly. A $1,824.07 AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of the program.
Benefits: Paid certifications and training (see below) related to wildland firefighting, uniforms, and personal protective equipment. Food and transportation will be provided when working/camping away from the home base area.
Hitch Schedule: Typical “Hitch” Schedule is 9 days on, 5 days off. This is subject to change depending on the project partner’s needs.
Housing: Housing is NOT provided to members. SECC only provides accommodations (camping, bunk housing, etc.) when the crew travels from home base for overnight stays.
Application Deadline: December 1, 2023, or until positions are filled.
Southeast Conservation Corps:
Engaging future leaders who protect, restore, and enhance our nation’s lands through community-based service.
Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC), a program of Conservation Legacy, is a non-profit, AmeriCorps-affiliated organization. SECC selects young adults, ages 18-30, to complete conservation work projects on public lands throughout the Southeast. SECC programs encourage environmental stewardship, foster community partnerships, and emphasize experiential learning. SECC serves a diverse population that is representative of the Southeast, including youth, graduates, veterans, and a cross-section of ethnicities and income levels. SECC is also an active member of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT), and as such, selected crews may be deployed on Disaster response projects for up to 30 days.
SECC works with various land management agencies in Tennessee and Southeast regions, such as the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, State Parks, and conservation-based non-profits. Projects vary but include trail construction and maintenance, ecosystem restoration, habitat restoration, fire fuel reduction, public land fencing, invasive weed removal, herbicide applications, and many others. The project work is manual labor based, and most projects require a hike into and out of the project site daily carrying tools and a day pack.
Crews work in front-country and backcountry locations in all types of weather conditions. Schedules may vary, but generally are 9 days on and 5 days off for camping crews. Workdays are 10-hour shifts with scheduled breaks throughout the day. Depending on project work and location, other schedule variations may be implemented. While the staff at SECC works to provide consistency throughout the season, personal flexibility is expected. It should be prepared for when entering the term, as schedules, times, and work locations are subject to change per project needs.
SECC is an independent, non-residential program. Crew Members are responsible for finding and attaining their housing when not in the field. On-hitch crews prepare all their meals and work together to complete all necessary chores. Community/camp chores will be completed every evening, with many evenings including group discussions, conservation, and/or corps-related topics. The Crew Member must supply their outdoor gear and equipment such as a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, day pack, multi-day pack, work pants, hiking/work boots, etc. SECC will provide group camp equipment, tools, protective gear, and transportation between the SECC office and project sites.
The Southeast Conservation Corps’ Veterans Fire Corps (VFC) program provides specialized training through hands-on, mission-based experience for veterans ages 18-35 who are interested in entering careers and gaining experience in wildland firefighting and natural resource management.
The program engages participants in a cohort environment in which a crew of 8 Veterans and non-veterans work together to train and complete projects related primarily to “fuels management,” which will include prescribed burning. Members should expect projects and schedules to vary depending on region and season. In addition to fuels management, projects may include a variety of interdisciplinary work pertaining to natural resource management as needed.
Comfort with ambiguity and working on a fast-paced team is a must with this position as schedules and work change often. When working locally, the schedule is typically 4 days on, followed by 3 days off. Camping “hitches” require members to camp and live on project locations for 8 – 14 days at a time, followed by a pre-determined number of days off.
The home base for this crew is Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is paramount that members understand they will be roving throughout the Southeastern United States for the duration of the program.
Note: When camping on a project location is required, members will camp, travel, work, and eat as a crew. No drug or alcohol consumption is allowed during work-related travel at any time.
Members will earn the following training and certifications:
Fuels management work demands a high fitness level in challenging environmental conditions, including steep terrain, extreme temperatures, altitude, and smoke. Crews are generally comprised of individuals 21-35 years of age with minimal financial and/or personal commitments.
This program will provide practical, hands-on training and certifications related to natural resource management and wildland firefighting. The program is comprehensive and intentionally structured to prepare Veterans to transition into civilian careers focused on wildland firefighting. Additional opportunities, such as repeated networking with Federal employees and training on the federal land management application process, are also included in this program.
Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements:
Essential eligibility requirements for the program must be met. If you are unable to meet certain requirements, we may be able to assist you with some modification unless it alters the fundamental nature of the program, compromises the health and safety of participants or staff, or places an undue financial or administrative burden on the organization. These requirements are written the same for all positions and, therefore, may not apply directly to your particular position.
Expectations of an SECC Corps member:
AmeriCorps members will receive an AmeriCorps living stipend of $500/week and a $100/housing stipend per week before taxes, dispersed biweekly. Upon successfully completing the term of service, AmeriCorps members will earn an AmeriCorps Segal Education Award for student loans, qualifying programs/classes, or tuition for traditional Title IV accredited colleges.
Participation and Expedition Behavior
Safety and Judgment
Outdoor Skills and Fitness (where appropriate)
Substance Free: In accordance with a drug-free workplace, alcohol, and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property.
This program is available to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, marital or parental status, genetic information, and military service. Where a significant portion of the population eligible to be served needs services or information in a language other than English, the recipient shall take reasonable steps to provide written material of the type ordinarily available to the public in appropriate languages.
To Apply: Complete the Application, upload cover letter and resume if available.
Any questions can be addressed to:
This position is located at 2001 N. Chamberlain Ave, Chattanooga, TN. View the Google Map in full screen.
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