05-25-16 BLM-CO: From the Front Line to the Fireline Veterans Train to Become Wildland Firefighters in Loveland May 27-30…

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Loveland, CO—The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in partnership with the Department of Interior (DOI) and Team Rubicon, is conducting a wildland firefighter training session May 27-30 in Loveland, Colorado for military veterans. The training, one of several sessions taking place throughout the country, will train Team Rubicon members in wildland fire suppression tactics, including communication techniques, fireline construction, equipment operation, and other critical wildland firefighting skills. Other sessions been held in California, Texas, Georgia, Washington and Maryland.

In April 2015, DOI and BLM formed a partnership with Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response nonprofit, because many of the skills veterans learned in the military translate to wildland firefighting, such as teamwork; decisive leadership; risk mitigation and management; logistics and emergency medicine. Last year, Team Rubicon members trained as wildland firefighters responded to wildfires in Alaska, Nevada, California, Oregon and Washington during one of the most severe fire seasons in history.

“It just makes sense to match our veterans’ skills with wildland firefighting. They already understand critical aspects of the wildland fire program, such as our Incident Command System, and they have the work ethic we need in wildland fire. Plus, some of the Team Rubicon members that take this training may decide to pursue wildland fire careers, which further enhances our firefighting workforce with talented employees,” says Ron Dunton, Director of BLM Fire and Aviation.   

By engaging veterans in disaster response, Team Rubicon seeks to provide them with a sense of purpose, community and identity often missing following their military service. Since two Marines founded Team Rubicon in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the organization has responded to floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and other severe weather damage, helping disaster survivors all over the globe.

The Bureau of Land Management oversees efforts to respond to more than 13,000 wildfires per season. Recognizing the great threat that natural disasters pose to public lands, the DOI recently delivered a mandate to encourage its agencies to explore new strategies to reduce the threat of natural disasters (such as rangeland fires) and to further public-private partnerships that can expand its capacity for improved disaster mitigation and management.

The training will be held at The Ranch Events Complex in Loveland, Colorado.  Interested media are invited to interview Jayson Barangan, BLM Public Affairs Specialist, who will be at the training location from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 30.

Submitted to BARN Media by:

Jayson Barangan, Public Affairs Specialist, 303-239-3681