The mission of the Asheville Hotshots is to offer enhanced leadership training opportunities to challenge individuals in a Type 1 crew setting. We use classroom training in conjunction with on the ground experiences to help accomplish this. Participants are highly motivated individuals who are looking to step out of their comfort zone in a new environment. Past participants continue to refer to the Asheville program as an experience that helped build their confidence and take on more responsibility in their current or future positions.
The Asheville IHC is a detail program with 16 new candidates selected each season to fill out the crew. Our season begins in early January and runs through the end of May, allowing us to support suppression and prescribed fire assignments. Candidates must have a permanent appointment with a federal land management agency. Candidates typically have a taskbook open for either Crew Boss or Squad Boss positions and are rotated into that position during the season. In addition to fireline position training, other support responsibilities are assigned to individuals that help keep the crew functioning during our season. These responsibilities are held by the individual for the entire season and include tasks such as timekeeping, radio programming, etc.
Assignments away from our home base are common and time off can be minimal during our season. Work on these assignments is typically challenging and arduous, requiring a high level of physical fitness. Working in close quarters with the same people for months demands a positive attitude that will see you through. As a trainee, you must be willing to make decisions and have those decisions critiqued. Think about this before you apply and make sure both you and your home unit can stay committed to the program.