For those of you who are going to be assigned into this new Crew program, you have some real opportunities ahead. 1.) You’re going to get more assignment time than many of the engine based personnel. Take a listen to some of the daily traffic in a Unit such as SCU that already has one of these crews in play. Every wildland dispatch includes that crew as part of the Initial Dispatch. I know it’s much more interesting to listen to a major incident but you can learn a lot about how a Unit functions just by listening to the Unit’s routine daily traffic. 2.) The FF Crew program is the way of the future for Cal Fire and you’re getting in on a brand new program. There have been pilot crews such as the SCU crew for a couple of years but overall you’re the first wave of the future. 3.) Keep in mind that the FireHawk program is just beginning. One of the key factors in that program is that the FireHawks have an increased crew capacity which means that the existing crews will need augmentation as those ships come on line. If I am a Helitack Crew Captain looking to recruit new members, the first place I am going to look, in this new world is to recruit the best people from the hand crew teams. Those are now going to be the people with the right skill set and training to best match needs of the helitack operation.
Whatever and wherever you are assigned, strive to become the best at what you do. Those are the people whose brand and reputation expands way beyond your local station or crew.