If you’re a federal wildland firefighter, you already know what I’m about to say. If you’re not, this may come as a surprise to you. The lowest paid people on a large wildfire… I’m including the kitchen help and those who are cleaning the toilets, the lowest paid personnel on the fire are likely the federal wildland firefighters. There might be some contract personnel down on that list, but for all the “hero firefighter” bs that we hear, isn’t it amazing that our firefighters are so pooly paid.
Municipal firefighters and some state firefighters can make more than twice as much as a federal wildland firefighter. And technically, the federal agencies who hire the fireghters don’t technically have any “firefighters”. The correct job title of the federal firefighters are actually “forestry technician” or “range technician”. If they were in a firefighter job title, they’d have to be paid more.
There is an organization called “Grassroots Wildland Firefighters” who are advocating for the federal wildland firefighters. This past week, their Executive Secretary testified before the Congressional Natural Resources subcomittee. Riva Duncan is a regular on my podcasts and this week we’ll be talking about the issues facing federal wildland firefighters including their pay, the correct job series (job title) and their health. Please listen and then share with all your friends and family who probably don’t understand the issues facing our dedicated and outstanding workforce.
If you go to https://www.grassrootswildlandfirefighters.com/ you can listen to Riva and watch the hearing. Thanks everyone and please leave a comment about what you heard.
4 thoughts on “#70, The “Grassroots” Fight for Federal Wildland Firefighters”
Bobbie, thanks for sharing this info on Riva at the hearing. I often hear federal land management employees complaining on Facebook or similar venue about pay issues but arising do the say they’ve talked to their Congressional representatives. Until the employees of the land management agencies come together to voice their concerns to the folks who really control the purse strings , nothing is likely to change. Good job!
Thanks for the comment. Couldn’t agree more period from the sounds of the Congressman at the hearing… it sounds like maybe there is some interest in finding a fix. Especially since wild land fires are getting so extreme. The hearing was really about climate change but Riva was able to steer the conversation ahead of time to include the firefighters. Grassroots group is doing good work.
Bobbie, this story was awesome! Thank you for sharing such great information with your followers. And thank you Riva for making firefighters apart of the climate change conversation.
Bobbie, now that I am all caught up on your stories, I have a request. As a single mom of two young children and a FS employee in a secondary fire role, I am extremely interested on how you balanced your work and personal life. Would you feel comfortable sharing how you were able to move around and move up in primary fire position with a family?
Jenn, my personal life is not a good example to follow. When my book comes out you’ll be able to read about my messy life and why I’m not anyone to follow. Please stand by and thanks so much for listening.