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General Training Information

Hotshot training is conducted by a cadre of BLM Hotshots. BLM IHC crewmembers will receive 40 hours of basic or refresher training before their first fire assignment in a fire season. Refresher training will include, but is not limited to, crew safety, risk management, firefighter safety, fire behavior, communications, and organization. The final responsibility for crew availability will rest with the Superintendent's certification to local unit management that all training is complete.

The time frames for Hotshot training vary for each crew. Generally, BLM Hotshot crews start up sometime between the middle of April and the middle of May. Specific timeframes can be obtained by contacting individual crew Superintendents.

During crew training crew members are continuously evaluated on the following:

  • Physical fitness
  • Ability to learn Hotshot skills and successfully perform these skills
  • Ability to function as a team member
  • Overall attitude and work ethic
  • Ability to remain productive in a physically and mentally stressful environment

Fitness Training

As part of the training program for IHC's, all crew personnel will be required to participate in a minimum of 1 hour of physical fitness training, 5 days a week, during periods of non-fire assignments. The physical fitness training program will focus on stretching, aerobic fitness, and strength building. All crew personnel shall be notified of the agency's current Arduous Duty fitness standard at least 30 days prior to the crew start up date in order to allow individuals sufficient time to accomplish pre-fire season physical conditioning.

Fitness Standard

All personnel shall meet the BLM's current arduous duty fitness standard for fire line personnel. At this time, the current standard is the pack test which consists of carrying a 45 pounds pack for 3 miles on level ground in 45 minutes or less. Meeting this fitness standard by the end of the critical training period will be considered a condition of continuing employment for all personnel on the crew.

Fitness Goal

As a part of fire line performance required of IHC's, the physical ability to perform arduous labor is critical to crew morale and personal health and safety standards. All IHC personnel will strive to meet the following goals found in "Fit to Work" a publication from the Missoula Technology Development Center:

  • 1.5 mile run in a time of 10:35 or less
  • 40 situps in 60 seconds
  • 25 pushups in 60 seconds
  • Chin-ups, based on body weight:
    • More than 170 lbs. = 4 chin-ups
    • 135-170 lbs. = 5 chin-ups
    • 110- 13 5 lbs. = 6 chin-ups
    • Less than 110 lbs. = 7 chin-ups

Each crew has it's own physical training program. If you are hired by one of the BLM crews you will be informed of what will be expected of you prior to you starting work. Take the time and make the effort to arrive in outstanding physical condition.