Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ready and Not Called to Fight Wildfire

It was surprising how many people when asked if they worked on any of the big fires in Oregon did not raise their hand.  Many wanted to go, packed and ready, with open task books, but for one reason or another were never called.  One reason is that work duties at their site of employment, Salem or in the field, have completion deadlines to meet meet Program responsibilities.  Another is that picking out that one person you know would be a good fit for the job at hand was not an available option. There is another reason that we as employees should be able to discuss, availability.

Under current policy when you say you are available to fight a wildfire you are committing to a 14 day hitch.  The Program you are working on also has to be willing to see you gone for two weeks.  Not everyone has 14 completely open, consecutive, unplanned days within Oregon summer’s short 12 week run. Year after year.  It seems like there are other availability models to try, like 3 or 5 day surges, get in, help and go home.  If you have stories about what a reasonable assignment might look like and what prevented you from participating in Oregon’s wildfire season please let me know.

Our next Forestry Sub-local Statewide meeting will be Saturday, October 21st from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. at the Salem Convention Center, 200 Commercial Street SE.   

No comments: