So you want to be a Smokejumper?

Rookie smokejumper candidates cross a creek during a packout training excersize | Redding, CA | GACC

Rookie smokejumper candidates cross a creek during a packout training exercise | Redding, Northern California | GACC

Living in Southern California we hear it every year, it’s going to be another hot season. With temperatures reaching 95 degrees in the early part of April, we know that this will be a sizzling summer too. With historic drought conditions and low critical levels in our snowpacks, we have seen an increase in wildfire activity throughout the state. In reality, it will take all residents and a small army of people to keep this Golden State from burning out of control.

The United States Forest Service enlists a growing number of firefighters to help maintain 193 million acres of majestic lands. Every once in a while, firefighters are faced with a most challenging task of reaching a section of the mountainside far from roads or marked trails. The only way to reach these far-off places is to drop firefighters from planes.

So who are these fearless men and women and how did they earn this extreme career? Let’s start with the basics of physical fitness. In order to be considered a future smokejumper you must be able to achieve the following list of physical requirements as measure by the following performance:

  • Pull ups: 7
  • Push ups: 25
  • Sit ups: 45
  • Run: 1.5 miles in 11 minutes
  • 110 pound pack out: 3 miles in 90 minutes
  • 45 pound work capacity test: 3 miles in 45 minutes.

This list is only to qualify for training and must include a completed education history and work experience. According to the California Smokejumper field requirements, an individual will also be chosen in terms of abilities, character, and proven performance during rookie training.

“Only a small group of people are selected each year to become smokejumpers. It is a credit to those individuals to have been chosen for this position in terms of their abilities, character and proven performance. It is an opportunity that very few people get.” – California Smokejumpers, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture

LEARN MORE: UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE

LEARN MORE: WILDFIRE IS COMING. ARE YOU READY?

  1. What are some of the ways smokejumpers overcome the dangers of their job?
  2. From the reading and by watching the video, why do you believe these men and women choose this as a career path?


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30 replies

  1. I think they overcome the dangers of their job because they train and do pull ups, push ups, sit ups, and they run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes. I also think they chose that career because they may like doing that job and saving the forest and wild life.

  2. smokejumpers overcome the danger of their job by getting used to their helping many people. Men and woman.

  3. do not be scary of hights

  4. it is cool when they jump out of the plane

  5. Smokejumpers overcome the danger of their job by getting used to their job and realizing that their helping many people. Men and woman chose this career because they want to help the forest be safe and to kepp people safe.

  6. Men and women chose to be a smoke jumper because they want to save people and the forest,

  7. that’s really cool

    • 1) Smokejumpers overcome the dangers of their job by practice fighting forest fires. They there strengths by training. They do 7 pull ups, 25 push ups, 45 sit ups, and they run 1.5 miles in 11 minutes. 2) I believe these men and woman choose this as a career path because the United States For est Service is protecting us from wildfires. I think smokejumpers choose this as a career path because smokejumpers might like high places or they like jumping because it is fun.

    • It is 😎 softball460

  8. Some Smokejumpers get use to the danger of their job by practicing how to jump out of the plane ( by jumping down from something ) that is about 15 hundred feet high and what to do if your stuck or something happened to you. Also they train by doing things quickly and putting on their suit and know which box is which like food, tools, or something else. Watching by the video I believe these men and women choose this career path because they want to help save people also the animals or plants that live there. Also because it is exciting and challenging and it makes you feel better that you are helping and saving your community.

  9. good job christy

  10. Smokejumpers overcome the dangers of their job by practicing and getting ready instead of jumping out of the plane with no gear to protect them from the fire.

    Men and Women choose to be a smokejumper for their career path because they might want to help protect the forest and other places on fire.They would risk their lives to jump out of a plane and help protect us.

  11. Smokejumpers overcome the dangers of their job by practicing floating down a specific height. They practice that by climbing a set of stairs and tie themselves to strings and practice how to land correctly.
    I believe men and women choose to be smokejumpers because they know their helping all living things.

  12. Smokejumpers overcome the dangers of their job by just getting used to jumping out of a plane. Also by not being afraid of what their doing. Men and women choose this as a career path because they might like to save peoples lives. Also to do what they like to do which is like to jump out of a plane or putting out fires.

  13. I believe these men and women chose this as a career path because they wan’t to explore while in the air and to rescue people.

  14. Smoke jumpers overcome the dangers of their by training first. They train by practicing putting on their suits and jumping off high grounds.

  15. That is very cool and how brave are they jumping out of an airplane because I’m scared of heights.