Salt Lake Helitack is a nine-person crew. The Crew consists of a Helitack Supervisor, Assistant Supervisor, two Squad Leaders, and five Helitack Firefighters. Several additional Helitack Firefighter positions may be added when severity conditions exist.
Helitack personnel receive training in fire, aviation, and physical fitness. Rookies and veterans report at the beginning of May and receive two weeks of intensive training. The first week is dedicated to general topics such as: orientation, fireline safety refresher, first aid, CPR, defensive driving, fire cause and determination, and basic aviation safety. The second week is reserved for Helitack specific fire and aviation training and other courses to meet the individual needs of Helitack personnel.
Physical conditioning is a vital part of both wildland firefighting and the Salt Lake Helitack program. Each day begins with physical training. The training is designed to prepare crew members physically and mentally for the demands of wildland firefighting. The morning session targets cardiovascular fitness. This is accomplished by alternating between running and hiking in the West Desert or Wasatch Mountains. Either session is followed by extensive stretching. The afternoon session targets muscular fitness and consists of push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and various other exercises to increase muscular strength and endurance. Using a combination of cardiovascular and muscular exercises results in physically fit firefighters who are agile, productive, and less likely to suffer fatigue related sickness, injury, or accidents. Crew members must report to work in excellent physical condition. All firefighters should maintain a high level of physical fitness throughout the off-season and gradually increase workout intensity 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the season.
Salt Lake Helitack strives to maintain the highest level of safety, professionalism, and productivity. Performing to this standard can be both challenging and rewarding. A positive mental attitude is essential to success in the wildland firefighting environment. Teamwork is the foundation of this success.
Before appointment to a position on the Crew, everyone must pass the Interagency Pack Test. Personnel are strongly encouraged to meet the following minimums: 1.5 mile run in under 11 minutes 40 seconds, 40 sit-ups in one minute, 25 push-ups in one minute, and 7 pull-ups. The above are minimums; actual numbers are expected to be much higher.
After the necessary training has been completed, the Crew will switch to a staggered work schedule to provide seven day coverage for the helicopter. A typical work day starts at 0900 and ends at 1800. After morning physical training, the Crew is expected to be fire ready until the end of shift. In the past, personnel have had the opportunity to work many of their days off due to fire activity or off-district assignment.
The Salt Lake BLM provides our firefighters with the best equipment, support, and training possible. Conversely, we actively pursue only the best candidates. Firefighters must be able to deliver the highest quality service through integrity, respect, and pride.
Competition for seasonal firefighting positions is intense. We seek highly motivated, dependable people who are in excellent physical condition. If the values of Salt Lake Helitack and the nature of the work appeals to you, contact us.