Aravaipa Veterans Interagency Hotshot Crew
The Aravaipa Veterans Interagency Hotshot Crew (IHC) [or "Aravaipa Hotshots" for short] is predominantly comprised of military veterans. Interagency Hotshot Crews are the most highly trained and experienced type of handcrews and they must meet and maintain stringent requirements to achieve the IHC status. The crew transitioned from a Type-2 Initial Attack (IA) handcrew at the end of the 2019 fire season after passing the strictly regimented requirements established under the Standards for Interagency Hotshot Crew Operations.
The Aravaipa Hotshots began operating as Type-1 IHC in the Fall of 2019.
Mission Statement: The primary mission of the Aravaipa Hotshots is to provide a highly skilled, safe, mobile, and professional handcrew for all phases of wildland fire suppression, and all risk assignments.
Objective: Equipping military veterans with the knowledge of wildfire suppression while assisting in the transition to civilian life.
General Information: As a resource of the BLM Arizona's Gila District our season typically begins mid-March and runs until the end of September. This broadens our skillset by allowing us to fight fire in multiple regions and climates as the fire season progresses.
Station Location: Fort Huachuca, an active U.S. Army installation in southern Arizona. Elevation: 4,623 feet
What makes us different?
- We are predominantly comprised of military veterans.
- We have 13 permanent and career seasonal positions, while most established hotshot crews have seven.
- Housing is available: Located ½ mile from our station on Fort Huachuca, an active U.S. Army installation.
How is the crew organized?
- One Superintendent (Full-time, Year-round)
- Two Assistant Superintendents (Full-time, Year-round)
- Two Squad Bosses (Career Seasonal 8-11.5 months)
- Two Lead Fire Fighters (Career Seasonal 8-11.5 months)
- Six Senior Fire Fighters (Career Seasonal 8-11.5 months)
- 7-10 Seasonal Fire fighters (Temporary Seasonal 6 months)
Superintendent and Assistants
- Greg Smith, Superintendent of Aravaipa; formerly of Flagstaff IHC, Globe IHC, Ironwood IHC and Jackson IHC; has 26 years of Type-1 IHC experience..
- Wade Irish, Assistant Superintendent of Aravaipa; formerly of Jackson IHC; has 21 years of Type-1 IHC experience..
- Ryan Hagenah, Assistant Superintendent of Aravaipa; formerly of Jackson IHC; has 22 years of Type-1 IHC experience.
Excellent physical fitness is essential to firefighter performance.
We are looking for individuals of superior physical stamina, mental toughness and positive work ethic, who are able to commit to a demanding 6-month fire season.
Crewmembers are to arrive in great shape! Upon successful completion of the Work Capacity Test (condition of employment) on day one, the crew begins a rigorous Physical Training (PT) program. The PT program is intended to take crewmembers onward into peak physical condition and enhance functional fitness while building crew cohesion. The crew MUST be physically fit and be able to perform in a safe and efficient manner on any firefighting crew. The ability to work, function, and perform arduous and physical labor is critical to crew morale, personal health, and safety standards.
Fortunate to be located at 4,600’, at the base of Huachuca Mountains, the surrounding peaks provide us with ample opportunity for training at elevation. A few peaks (with elevations) play host to our functional fitness training regime: Miller (9,470’), Carr (9,236′) and Huachuca (8,410’) .
The PT program may consist of:
•Distance hikes with weighted packs and full gear in rugged mountainous terrain
•Uphill distance runs on mountainous terrain
•High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Circuit Training
•Calisthenics (pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, planks, etc.)
•Line construction & field work