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TNRT Wildland Firefighting Program Update

Taden Peck (Center) was recently deployed to fight wild fires in Thatcher, Arizona.
Photos courtesy of the SRFD

A few months ago, members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, along with members of other neighboring tribal communities, participated in the Tribal Nations Response Team (TNRT) youth program, which is designed to train new firefighters ages 18 to 24. The team members would be on-call for the Salt River Fire Department or any tribal community requesting assistance to help fight brush fires.

The new recruits on the TNRT were required to complete 40 hours of basic Wildland Fire Training Rookie School and pass a fitness test, which includes walking three miles while carrying a 45-pound pack in under 45 minutes.

Community member Stacey Loring recently went through the training and is actively deploying this season with the TNRT. So far she has been called out on several wildfire assignments. Loring received camp crew assignments, she joined firefighter units on fires in the Gila River Indian Community for 28 days, and she was also in San Carlos working on the hand crew.

2017 Salt River High School graduate and Community member Taden Peck recently completed all the employment requirements and was deployed to the Frye fire on Mount Graham near Thatcher. This is one of the nation’s biggest fire campaigns to date. Peck was assigned to a Type 2 Initial Attack Crew on the front lines.

Three members of the Salt River Fire Department, Leif Lake, Justin McMillan and Kimball Cody, mentored and coached Peck during a 21-day deployment. Staff also mentored Loring, as well as the other rookies who participated in the TNRT Wildland Fire Training program.

Stacey Loring participated in serveral wildland fires in the state including fires in Gila River.
In addition to helping on the front lines of the Frye fire, two members of the Salt River Fire Department, Capt. Robert Scabby and Capt. Bill Kuamoo, actively worked in the incident command post with Type 2 IMT (Incident Management Team) under the direction of Incident Commander Alan Sinclair in the planning section of the command post. Sinclair was one of the lead instructors in the TNRT Wildland Fire Training program this spring, and he was in charge of operations for the Frye fire.

The Salt River Fire Department / TNRT partnership is actively engaged in wildland firefighting operations throughout the state, the Southwest and the country.

“We wanted to thank the Tribal Council and SRPMIC administration, who showed support to the program this past spring in its incipient stages,” said Capt. Robert Scabby. “This is the Community’s first year of exposure with its partnership with the TNRT for wildland firefighting employment opportunities, and we are off to a great start.”

This is what one of many forest fires looked like that the TNRT were deployed at. 
The program plans additional promotion and advertising to bring in new recruits for the 2018 fire season and beyond.

Loring encourages other Community Members to take advantage of the program, noting that her dedication to exercise and staying fit has helped her tremendously in her work on the front lines.