F.A.Q.

When does the Gannett Glacier Fire Crew season begin and end?

Work for the 2015 season will begin April 20th, 2015. This is not negotiable. During our initial training covers a lot of information in a very short amount of time. You can expect to work long days and to learn a lot. Our end date is September 30th, 2015 at the earliest, unless pre-arranged with management.

 

How do I Apply?

Go to Workplace Alaska. The location of the job is Palmer. The job title is “Wildfire and Resource Technician I, II or III.” Be sure to review the minimum qualifications to see whether you qualify. This job requires that you have a national “red-card” certification. If you haven’t applied for a job with the State of Alaska, you will need to create a user profile. Please note that there are numerous jobs posted in the Mat-Su area every spring, so pay close attention to the header and job description for each job. Jobs will be posted in March, but it may be necessary to check back frequently.

 

What is a Red-Card?

A Red-Card is the National certification required to perform as a wildland firefighter in the United States. The certification includes training courses S-130: Basic Firefighter Training; S-190: Introduction to Fire Behavior; I-100: Introduction to ICS; and L-180:Human Factors on the Fireline. The class to obtain a Red-Card is 40 hours long and avaliable at various locations nationwide.

 

Where can I get my Red-Card?

You can get your Red-Card through any Division of Forestry offices around the state. The timing of each Red-Card class varies, so be sure to call well in advance of the fire season (i.e. early March) to find a class that works for you. The Mat-Su area hosts a Red-Card class each year in early April. You must call (907)-761-6389 to get on the roster. Space is limited, so call early to get enrolled. There is no cost associated with the Mat-Su area Red-Card class. Some federal agencies teach the same course, but dates and times vary from place to place. Contact the BLM or Forest Service for information on these classes. The Red-Card course is also avaliable online; however, Gannett Glacier will not accept certification from this version unless discussed prior to taking the course.

 

What is the crew work schedule?

The standard work schedule is Monday through Wednesday 0800-1830 and Thursday 0800-1600. This work schedule applies when we are in the local area waiting for a fire “order”. While on fires you can expect to work 16 hours a day, for up to 21 days consecutively. During the summer, it is impossible to have any other commitments besides Gannett Glacier when we are avaliable for fires.

 

Can I work for Gannett Glacier Crew but take time off for a vaction this summer?

No, every person employed by the crew is needed everyday. You will get mandatory days off from work, but they are intermittent and unpredicatable.

 

How many crew positions will be avaliable this year?

The number of positions avaliable varies from year to year. There is no way of knowing until advertising for our positions is closed. We would encourage you to be as prepared mentally and physically as possible for your interview due to the competiveness of the applicant pool.

 

Do women work on fire crews?

Yes. In fact, women are encouraged to apply.

 

What does Gannett Glacier do when not fighting fires?

When not fighting fires, Gannett Glacier perfoms fuels reduction and works on trails development in Southcentral Alaska. These projects involve cutting, chipping, and burning trees and brush. We also assist the local area during times of high fire danger, perform physical fitness daily, further our education for wildland fire, and generally prepare for the next fire.

 

Do you provide housing for your employees?

No, every employee is expected to arrange their own living situation.

 

Are there benefits attached to these positions?

Yes. Long-term non-permanent employees with the State of Alaska receive holiday pay, retirement, vacation, and health insurance while employed that season.

 

How rigorous is the Gannett Glacier physical fitness program?

Physical fitnes is one of the keys to reducing fatigue, preventing injuries and helping us to excel during fire assignments. To be successful in our P.T. program, employees must already have an existing personal program in place for a minimum of 2 months before the season begins. We suggest that your preseason program include cardiovascular, plyometric and strength training components. If you arrive for the first day unprepared, you will get injured. We take PT very seriously on the Gannett Glacier Crew. Additionally, to be employed you must meet the national standards for physical fitness. To meet these standards, you must do 25 push ups in 60 seconds, do 40 sit ups in 60 seconds, run 1.5 miles in 10 min 30 sec or less, and do pull ups based on the following wieght ratio: 7<155 lbs / 6-155lbs / 5-165lbs / 4-175lbs.

 

What gear do I need if offered employment from Gannett Glacier?

The only gear that you need to provide is boots (approved to work on a fireline) and personal clothing (i.e. socks and underwear). On the first day of employment you will be required to bring a passport, an Alaska Driver’s License, a copy of your driving record and prove that you are a State of Alaska resident. You will also need to bring proof of your Red-Card certification.

 

What can I expect while working for Gannett Glacier?

You can expect to be held to a high, but not impossible, standard. You can expect to work with 20 motivated, diligent, and selfless individuals. These people aspire to be the best in all aspects of their profession. They are passionate about fire, hard work, the outdoors and physical fitness. You can expect to travel to remote regions of Alaska, Canada and the Western U.S., places that the average person doesn’t even know exist. You can expect to be challenged and pushed beyond your limits, and you will provide a vital service to the State of Alaska and your fellow Alaskans.

 

For additional Questions please visit our Contact page and email Josh Leutzinger and/or Norm McDonald.