CT Fire Crew Members Departing for Western States to Assist U.S. Forest Service in Fighting Fires
The five trained and certified crew members consist of one Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management employee and other four local Connecticut residents and firefighters. These firefighters will be part of a 20 person regional interagency firefighting crew. They will arrive in Marlborough starting at 1:00 p.m. for an estimated 2:00 p.m. transport to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (Manchester, NH). The crew will be flying to Great Falls, Montana, where they will receive a specific fire assignment from the Northern Rockies Coordination Center which is managing several large fires burning approximately 32,000 acres in the region.
DEEP maintains a roster of agency staff members and personnel from local fire departments who have been certified to fight forest or wildfires. Crew members must complete a rigorous training program and participate in an annual physical work capacity test and refresher training.
Connecticut maintains this firefighting capability to participate in a reciprocal aid program operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Under this program, trained personnel from other parts of the nation are available to assist Connecticut in the event of a fire emergency or other natural disaster in return for the support of Connecticut personnel when needed. All state agency expenses directly associated with these deployments are 100% reimbursed to the State by the USDA Forest Service.