February 2, 2010

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Student Wildland Firefighting Crew Established

Thirty students from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (A&M) are participating in a groundbreaking endeavor, forming the nation’s first student wildland fire-fighting crew of its kind recognized by the U.S. Forest Service. As part of the training program and to provide students with firefighting skills, the school is partnering with the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC). This strong partnership and the willingness to afford forestry students such an opportunity has led the Forest Service to provide safety equipment and fund the first year of insurance for the students.

State Forester Linda Casey, University President Dr. Robert Hugine, and other representatives from both Alabama A&M and the Forest Service, as well as the student “Fire Dawgs” crew members were present at the A&M University campus on January 29, when the AFC and Alabama A&M signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a mutually–agreeable framework for complementing the Commission’s firefighting resources. This joint venture will provide the students an opportunity to assist in the suppression of wildland fires in Madison and Jackson counties, allowing hands-on experience and the observance of “live” fire conditions. The “Fire Dawgs” team will also be allowed to participate on prescribed burn fires after receiving certification.

For more information, please call Balsie Butler, AFC Fire Operations Chief, at (334) 240-9329, or Daryl Lawson, Forest Fire Instructor, Forestry, Wildlife and Ecology Program at (256) 372-8287 (office) or (256) 679-8687 (cell).

  • For more information, visit http://forestry.alabama.gov
  • For more state-wide press releases, click here