Applying the heat |

Applying the heat

Fire management unit offers jobs to students

Bridget Manley

This summer, high school students may not only get a job.

They also may start a career.

The Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit is accepting applications for summer job openings. Students ages 18 and older can apply for the positions, which gives them a taste of a career in fire management.

The job requires physical fitness and stamina.

“It can be : rugged work,” said Ron Simpson, Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Management zone training representative.

Students must pass a physical fitness test – a 45-minute three-mile walk while carrying 45 pounds – as part of the application process.

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Other job requirements include passing a drug test and completing basic firefighting training offered during the summer.

Employees also must complete one hour of physical fitness activities, including running, hiking and lifting weights, per day.

The training prepares employees for the physically demanding work the job requires, including fuels reduction – collecting and disposing of wood and other combustible materials.

Positions require long work hours and consecutive days in rugged conditions.

Employees also fight land wildfires throughout Northwest Colorado, sometimes camping in remote locations for an extended period of time, the fire management unit reported.

While the work may be physically-demanding, it provides youths a chance to earn adult-size wages.

Base rate pay begins at about $11 an hour. Overtime hours are compensated at base pay plus half – roughly $15.50 per hour.

Hours spent fighting fires includes hazard pay.

At the most, students could make their base pay plus three quarters – about $18.25 per hour.

Less tangible rewards accompany the job.

“It gives (students) real-world experience,” said Paula Duzik, Moffat County High School counselor.

“They’d have to have a really good work ethic.”

The job is a good opportunity for students looking for a summer job, especially those interested in fire management as a career, Simpson said.

How to apply

Go to http://www.firejobs.doi….

Click on “How to Apply”

Follow directions under “New Users” to set up account, create a resume and look for open positions; use “location search” function to find open positions in Colorado

For more information, go to the Colorado Workforce Center, 480 Barclay St.

Applications due Jan. 24