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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Dear Madam/Sir, Let me get this straight: in February of 2005 your office clarified what proof of training was necessary for an individual in the Federal Firefigher GS-401 series to qualify for their positions according to NWCG standards.
However, the Human Capital Management office didn't get the message until November 28 of 2007 (i.e. OPM's first directive was to IMMEDIATELY REMOVE ALL NON-COMPLIANT FIRE PERSONNEL FROM THEIR POSITIONS, even though till now nobody knew exactly what training/education qualifies and what does not.
I have 2 USFS engines and 1 BLM engine to cover about 1.2 million acres.
The BLM engine crew has a GS-7 Captain who is only funded for 13 pay periods, and 2 seasonal firefighters. I understand this is a state office mandate and it is certainly not enough to support the numbers of BLM fires we get.
With directives like these, we clearly are not being treated like valued assets. Sincerely, Kibby (Ab: I signed my name on the original, along with contact #'s. I pointed this out some years ago when R5 was looking to bring people up to speed on the new DOI-created requirements.
R5 got on the ball to help its fire-trained professionals jump through the academic hoops.
The other problem is the Captain, who now will only work for 6 months, will have extremely limited opportunities for attending training sessions, teaching on training cadres, hiring the crew, participating in Rx burn plan development, maintaining or increasing fire qualifications, etc. The USFS PR budget has to supplement the BLM understaffed fire program.
My Captain is already looking at USFS or Cal Fire positions so he can once again have permanent full time employment. I have the BLM budget to support a 7 day effective engine crew but it seems funding the fire suppression resource is the lowest priority.
I average just over 100 fires per year with 61% of the federal fires occurring on BLM lands.What about others moving up in the fire organization and those in other regions? Can we expect other regions' programs to go belly-up in 18 months?Good luck on the OPM time frame, university folks are almost into finals and will be taking semester break soon.Thanks for any information you may have, Kevin Joseph Ab, Kashdan's memo was so unbelievable I had to send letter to the department that oversees training and development for OPM (and hopefully the one involved in this mess) where some secretary will probably round-file it, but oh, well.Hopefully there will be LOTS of e-mail for them to contend with in the coming days.