The Southeast Conservation Corps’ Veterans Fire Corps (VFC) program provides specialized training through hands-on, mission-based experience for veterans ages 18-35 who are interested in entering careers and gaining experience in wildland firefighting and natural resource management.
The program engages participants in a cohort environment in which a crew of 8 Veterans and non-veterans work together to train and complete projects related primarily to “fuels management,” which will include prescribed burning. Members should expect projects and schedules to vary depending on region and season. In addition to fuels management, projects may include a variety of interdisciplinary work pertaining to natural resource management as needed.
Comfort with ambiguity and working on a fast-paced team is a must with this position as schedules and work change often. When working locally, the schedule is typically 4 days on, followed by 3 days off. Camping “hitches” require members to camp and live on project locations for 8 – 14 days at a time, followed by a pre-determined number of days off.
The home base for this crew is Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is paramount that members understand they will be roving throughout the Southeastern United States for the duration of the program.
Note: When camping on a project location is required, members will camp, travel, work, and eat as a crew. No drug or alcohol consumption is allowed during work-related travel at any time.
Members will earn the following training and certifications:
S130: Firefighter Training
S190: Intro to Wildland Fire Behavior
S212: Wildland Fire Chainsaws
ICS100: Introduction to Incident Command System
IS700: Introduction to the National Incident Management System
L180: Human Factors in Wildland Fire Service
First Aid/CPR certificates
Public Land Corps Hiring Authority Certificate (upon successful completion of hours)
Members must pass the Arduous Work Capacity (PACK) Test within the season’s first two weeks to participate in this program.
Fuels management work demands a high fitness level in challenging environmental conditions, including steep terrain, extreme temperatures, altitude, and smoke. Crews are generally comprised of individuals 21-35 years of age with minimal financial and/or personal commitments.
This program will provide practical, hands-on training and certifications related to natural resource management and wildland firefighting. The program is comprehensive and intentionally structured to prepare Veterans to transition into civilian careers focused on wildland firefighting. Additional opportunities, such as repeated networking with Federal employees and training on the federal land management application process, are also included in this program.
Must be between ages 18 and 30 or up to 35 if a military veteran.
Members must pass the Arduous Work Capacity (PACK) Test within the first two weeks of the season to participate in this program (3-mile hike with a 45-pound pack within 45 minutes).
Wildland firefighting demands a high fitness level to work in challenging environmental conditions, including steep terrain, extreme temperatures, altitude, and smoke.
Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident and provide primary documentation to sup
Be a military Veteran able to provide a DD214 or NGB-22 upon interview.
Be between the ages of 18 and 35.
Able to pass the Department of the Interior Medical Standards Wildland Firefighter exam. Crew members and leaders must pass the exam before taking the pack test or getting their NWCG red card.
Able to pass the USFS arduous level pack test (3-mille hike with 45-pound pack within 45 minutes)
Holds a high school diploma or GED.
US Citizenship or Legal Permanent Residency status
About Southeast Conservation Corps/ Conservation Legacy
Empowering young adults to cultivate compassion, responsibility, and grit through community service, hard work, and environmental stewardship.
Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC), a program of Conservation Legacy, is a non-profit, AmeriCorps-affiliated organization. SECC selects young adults, ages 18-30, to complete conservation work projects on public lands throughout the Southeast. SECC programs encourage environmental stewardship, foster community partnerships, & emphasize experiential learning. SECC serves a diverse population that is representative of the Southeast, including youth, graduates, veterans, and a cross-section of ethnicities and income levels. SECC is an active member of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team & as such, selected crews may be deployed on Disaster response projects for up to 30 days.