Anyone 18 years old and older interested in becoming a wildland firefighter is encouraged to register for upcoming training classes held by the Delaware Forest Service.


Anyone 18 years old and older interested in becoming a wildland firefighter is encouraged to register for upcoming training classes held by the Delaware Forest Service. No prior experience is needed.

“S-130, Firefighter Training,” one of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s “core” certification courses, will be taught from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 8 and 9, at the Delaware State Fire School, 1461 Chestnut Grove Road, Dover, with lunch included.

Another required course, “S-190: Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior and the Incident Command System,” will be taught from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 22 and 23, at the Delaware State Fire School. Lunch on both days is included as part of the registration fee.

The cost for S-130 and S-190 is $50 per course for in-state students or $100 for out-of-state students. Participants must call 739-4773 to register.

 “We’re always looking for dedicated people to join our team,” said Henry Poole, the Delaware Forest Service’s new assistant forestry administrator, who helps oversee the training series. “Every year, we offer a complete set of courses to any able-bodied volunteer willing to learn the fundamentals of fighting wildfires and who also can successfully complete a physical fitness test. These classes are the first steps toward receiving a “red-card,” which signifies official certification by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.”

The NWCG “red card” certification is a prerequisite for participation in out-of-state wildland fire assignments. In recent years, Delaware has sent crews to fight wildfires in New Mexico, Utah and California. While 2010 was a relatively calm year for wildfires, extreme fire has been common in the western United States in recent years. At any time during the year, individual crew members may be asked to join the National Wildfire Coordinating Group for special assignments as needed.