NATA’s S-130/S-190/L-180 Basic Wildland Firefighter training sizzles with satisfaction

Overview

Participants learn how to use water on the fireline. Photo by NATA.

NATA hosted S-130/S-190/L-180: Basic Wildland Firefighter training in Gainesville August 6-9 and is pleased to report it was very well-received! This training is always in demand by natural resource professionals, land managers, and people interested in getting into the environmental field. That being said, this workshop reached capacity in just under a week! Participants from many different agencies and organizations attended this workshop, including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, St. Johns River Water Management District, City of Gainesville, Wildlands Conservation, University of Florida students, and Latino Outdoors. At the conclusion of the workshop, many participants reported the instructors being what they liked most about the training. One participant wrote, “[..] it felt like we were learning from the best.” Specifically, they appreciated the variety of instructors, their enthusiasm, and their willingness to share their experiences.

Format

Participants learn how to attach hose. Photo by NATA.

This training includes required pre-coursework that is done online. Students have approximately a month to complete the pre-coursework, which includes the online S-190 course through NATA’s Canvas account and ICS-100 through the FEMA website here. The in-person training follows and takes place at the Doyle Conner Building in Gainesville on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday for the classroom component. On Thursday, participants meet at the University of Florida’s Ordway-Swisher Biological Station for the live fire exercise.

 

 

Live fire exercise

Instructor Rick Wilson (FDEP) shows a participant how to use a fire hose. Photo by NATA.

The live fire exercise is often reported as one of the components participants liked best about the training. During this field day, participants acquired hands-on experience with wearing fireline PPE while outside in the hot Florida sun. In addition, instructors showed participants how to use hand tools, learn how to use water from an engine, and review various ignition techniques. Undoubtedly, what makes the live fire day run so smoothly are the experienced and knowledgeable instructors that come to help out. We thank all of the instructors that helped, representing agencies and organizations including The Nature Conservancy, University of Florida, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Wildland Restoration International, and Avon Park Air Force Range.

Next year

Does this training sound like something you’d be interested in? We hope to offer S-130/S-190/L-180 again sometime in August 2020. To stay informed when registration will open, join our listserv here. Also, be sure to periodically check back to the calendar on our website here.

Do you already have this training but want to pursue taking other fire trainings? NATA also offers S-131: Firefighter Type I and S-215: Fire Operations in the Wildland-Urban Interface.

Feel free to contact the workshop coordinator at nata@ifas.ufl.edu with any questions!