UNA Partners with National Park Service to Offer Wildland Firefighter Training

Dec. 9, 2011


FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and the Natchez Trace Parkway with the National Park Service are partnering to offer a full week of Wildland Firefighter Training courses to students, professionals, and community members March 26-30 in Flowers Hall.

Dr. Tom Coates, Chair of the Department of HPER, said the certified courses will be offered during spring break from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. The courses offered will include Basic Wildland Fire Orientation, Wildland Firefighter Training, Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior, Human Factors on the Fireline, ICS Orientation, and Lookouts, Communication, Escape Routes and Safety Zones (LCES).

“The advantage for our students is they would already have this training when they begin their job search,” Coates said. “Very few students that graduate from college already have this kind of training on their resume. This opportunity will also be a community service because we will be inviting local, volunteer firefighters to take the courses as well.”

Coates said the courses are certified through the federal government and give anyone the basic training they would need to respond to wildland fires. The courses also fulfill the basic class work a person would need to become a federal or state wildland firefighter.

Officials will also offer the Pack Test during the afternoon of March 30 for individuals who are interested in fulfilling the physical requirement to conduct the job of a wildland firefighter. The free test includes a three-mile walk with a 45-pound pack/vest that must be completed in 45 minutes or less.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to start partnering with the National Park Service, and not just in this department, but in other aspects of the university as well,” Coates said.

Individuals from the federal government, National Park Service and local fire departments will also be in attendance for the specialized training. The five-day training course is free to anyone who wants to participate.

For more information about this opportunity, contact Dr. Thomas Coates at 256-765-4378 or Mark Whipps with the National Park Service at 662-840-7574.