Initial Attack Squad
The Elk Creek Initial Attack Squad is based in Conifer, Colorado and a branch of the Elk Creek Fire Protection District. It specializes in fuels reduction projects, hazard tree removal, wildland fire suppression, prescribed fire preparation/implementation, and managing fire for resource benefit. The Squad consists of one Squad Leader, one Senior Fire Fighter and three Crew Members.
While working on district projects, crewmembers routinely work long days that include hiking, heavy lifting, and extensive use of hand tools, chainsaws, pumps and other equipment. Some projects are away from the duty station requiring the crew to camp at the project site.
The Squad is also available for wildfire assignments using a wide range of tools and skills to complete a variety of fire management objectives. During the fire season, crew members are on a 1 hour call back and days off are limited.
Assignments may include ignition, suppression, monitoring, and data collection utilizing everything from chainsaws and drip torches to computers, weather stations, and cameras. Fire assignments last up to 21 days, prior to a day off, and are generally spent camping near the fire with few amenities. Safety and training are priorities for the Squad. The Squad is stationed at Elk Creek Station 2 in Pine Junction.
Whether on project work or wildfires, squad members routinely are hiking on steep mountain terrain carrying approximately 45 lbs of gear. Due to the physical nature of this position it is imperative that squad members are in excellent physical shape to prevent injuries.
A physical evaluation will be conducted the first day of work which will consists of the following minimums (which all crew members should be able to exceed):
- Ardous Work Capacity Test (45 lbs, 3 miles in 45 minutes)
- Sit Ups (45 in 60 seconds)
- Push-Ups (30 in 60 seconds)
- 1 ½ mile run (11:30)