Nov 2, 2012, 12:23 PM
Post #1 of 9
DZs that train with rounds...
So I'm following in my families footsteps of the line of firefighters. Father a firefighter, uncle a former hotshot/wildland firefighter/current fighter, and my grandfather was a firefighter.
I grew up in a firehouse so I know what the job is about. I start my academy training and station volunteering in January when my girlfriend and I move back to Jersey from CA.
My eventual goal is to train for the 6 weeks course in smoke jumping and give it a rookie go at it (yes, years of training before that point). My uncle will be a good mentor for training for wildland/hotshot fighting proir, before I apply for that.
My question is, is there any DZs that can train with rounds (mainly for accuracy)? Ive been getting into physical shape, the gym, scrambling up and down (bush whacking) with 65 lbs of gear on my back for hours at a time pushing myself farther and farther each time. Jogging up and down hills with that same gear for a few miles at a time, stair runs, ect.
So, I wanted to start now practicing jumping rounds for accuracy (obviously not with all the gear jumping in). I just want to train physically, mentally with fire experience and mentoring for years before I get a chance to prove I can be the best of the best, or at least try to be a smoke jumper.
While all smokejumper bases can operate interchangeably, the USFS smokejumpers differ in that they use round parachutes and provide fire protection coverage primarily to forested lands. The BLM uses ram air square parachutes and work to protect all public lands. The ram air parachute is better suited for areas of high winds found in rangeland country.
Very few if any DZ's actually "train" with rounds. I few people migth jump them from time to time as novelties, or jump them hard core all the time in a place called Canada
In reality, you are better suited to work hard on your wildland firefighter experience then risk getting hurt on a round BEFORE you have the chance to try out for the real deal. Even the website says prior jumping experience is not needed or even desired in some cases because people form bad habits.
The parachute is just a way to get the the fire, being the BEST on the ground is what will seal the deal of actually making it as a rookie, they will train you the "right" way.
But hey, if you want to jump a round, go ahead, they are FUN!!!