Title: Pinhoti Crew Member – Veterans Fire Corps 2024 -USFS
(Preference will be given to military veterans. However, non-veterans are encouraged to apply)
Reports to: Crew Leader, Fire and Fuels Coordinator
Location: Villanow Work Center – Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest (Ideally, will live within one hour of duty station)
Season Dates: January 15 – October 6, 2024
Stipend: $600 per week, paid bi-weekly. A $3,447.50 AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of the program. During AD time, crew members will earn $21.08 an hour.
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.
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 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 and 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 Leaders 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. The USFS Crew schedule is flexible, with the possibility of a hitch schedule with camping involved or working as a day crew from the Villanow Work Center. The crew leaders and members will be provided with transportation to and from the project site from the work center, camping gear, Personal Protective Equipment, uniform pants and shirts, and day gear for the season. Members and leaders must provide their boots, which will be reimbursed up to $200.
The Southeast Conservation Corps’ Veterans Fire Corps (VFC) program provides training and on-the-job experience for post-9/11 era veterans, ages 18-35, 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 Veterans and non-veterans work together to train and complete projects related primarily to “fuels management, ” including prescribed burning and wildland firefighting. Members should expect work to vary depending on region and season. In addition to fire, 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. Hitches require members to camp 4-7 days at a time, followed by a pre-determined number of days off. When on AD status, the crew will work on the fireline for 14-21 days, plus travel on each end.
The home base for this crew is the Villanow Work Center within the Conasauga Ranger District of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, located in Georgia. Crew members and leaders must live no more than a one-hour drive (or less) from this reporting site (12411 East Hwy 136, Lafayette, GA 30728). It is paramount that members understand they will be roving throughout the Southeastern United States and beyond 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.
At a minimum, members will earn:
Members must pass the Arduous Work Capacity (PACK) Test within the season’s first two weeks to participate in this program.
Wildland firefighting 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, is 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 Corpsmember:
AmeriCorps members will receive an AmeriCorps living stipend of $600 per week before taxes, dispersed biweekly. Upon successful completion of the term of service AmeriCorps members will earn an AmeriCorps Segal Education Award to be used 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:
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