Each year during the third trimester, Madison Fire Department teaches a zero hour wildland fire class for Madison High School and Sugar-Salem High School seniors. Those who might be interested in this class are graduating seniors looking for summer employment opportunities (possibly with Madison Fire Department, another area fire department/agency, or a federal agency), looking to pursue a career in wildland firefighting (such as with the Forest Service, Idaho Department of Lands, Bureau of Land Management), or just looking to gain more knowledge.

Those who take this class and complete all requirements will gain three national certifications: NWCG S-130 Firefighter Training, NWCG S-190 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior, and NWCG L-180 Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service. Additionally, those looking to work as a wildland firefighter will need to complete the Work Capacity Test (performed as part of the class)—see www.nwcg.gov/term/glossary/work-capacity-test-wct for more information.

Those who complete all class requirements will have the certifications and qualifications necessary to acquire an Incident Qualifications Card (Red Card), which is required of anyone working on a wildland fire.

From this class, Madison Fire Department hires a number of high school seasonal employees each wildland season to assist our department in its wildland deployment program. The wildland season typically starts in June or July and goes to August, and sometimes longer. We generally respond to deployment requests throughout the western states.