|Posted by PATC North - Blogger on March 30, 2015 at 1:35 PM|
Contributed by Mary Clark, PATC North Overseer
The weekend of February 21-22 found six members of PATC’s North Chapter Yankee Clippers taking a wildland firefighting class in Mt. Holly Springs, PA. Sponsored by PA-DCNR, the class was organized by Michele Miller of ATC-MARO. Instructors included Philip M. Bietsch, District #1/ Michaux State Fire Forester, as well as other DCNR staff.
This class in basic wildland firefighting and two online courses are required to receive the basic PA wildfire certification. The series of courses qualifies a person to assist with prescribed burns. In the spring, DCRN plans to conduct a prescribed burn of 500 acres at Deadwoman Hollow on the AT near Michener Cabin in the Michaux Forest. The burn is intended to help restore native habitat in that region.
The six Yankee Clippers attending the February class included North Chapter President Bob Wise, PA District Manager Dewey Clark, Lee Fischbach, Ken May, Dee Utz, and Mary Clark. Topics covered in the class included wildfire behavior, fire suppression techniques, the command structure used to manage a fire, and information on personal safety. For example, personal protective equipment (PPE) required to assist on a prescribed burn and the proper use of firefighting tools were covered.
In addition to the North Chapter members, about 15 local volunteer firefighters took the class, so they could certified to serve on wildfire fighting crews. Several times during the weekend, the Mt. Holly Springs fire company volunteers had to dash out of class to respond to a 911 call in the community.
As an added bonus that weekend, North Chapter members recruited some local fire company volunteers who expressed an interest in upcoming AT and TT work trips.