Lucky Peak Rappel Crew Home Page


The Job


photo of firefighters rapelling out of helicopter










The Lucky Peak Rappel Crew is a 15-person Initial Attack Rappel and large fire support crew. We are tied directly to a contracted type 2 helicopter.  Our crew encounters the full spectrum of wildland fires - from small, two person lightning-ignited timber fires to running rangeland fires to complex, large scale project fires.  In conjunction with the capabilities of the aircraft, we are often relied on to fill a variety of suppression and support roles which include rappelling for fire suppression, helispot construction, delivering people and equipment for fire suppression, Helibase duties, and helping with management projects. 


The Lucky Peak Rappel Crew typically is very busy with fire suppression from late June until late September because the Boise National Forest has one of the heaviest fire loads in Region 4, and our geographic proximity to BLM administered lands south and east of Boise. Travel away from the home base can be extensive with trips out-of-state trips common.


Special Requirements

Each season, the Lucky Peak Rappel Crew seeks quality employees to fill crew member positions for duty as wildland firefighters.  Before being considered for a position, applicants must meet these minimum requirements:  be 18 years of age at time of hire, provide proof of U.S. Citizenship, and have at least one season (3 months or more) of experience where their primary duty was as a wildland firefighter.  Qualifications beyond basic wildland firefighter, such as squad boss, IC type 5, B or C faller, EMT, etc., are not required but would help in competing with other applicants.


photo of helicopter








Work Dates

For the fire season, work will start in May and end in late September or early October.  Crew members are hired on a Not to Exceed (NTE) 1039 hours in a 1 year basis as a GS-462-4.




Most crew members qualify as a GS-462-4 with an hourly wage of approximately $13.68.  Overtime is paid for duty over 8 hours in a day at a rate of 150% of the base wage.  For hazardous duty which includes fire suppression activities, helicopter rappelling, and a variety of other helicopter related operations, employees are compensated an additional 25% of base wage for all hours worked during that day.  The crew averages approximately 600 hours of overtime each fire season.


Crew Composition

The Lucky Peak Rappel Crew is managed by the Foreman, Assistant Foreman, and two Lead Crewman.  There are also 4 GS-5 Senior Firefighters with WAE appointments.  The remainders of the crew are GS-4 Seasonal firefighters.  The Foreman, Assistant Foreman, and Lead Crewman supervise the crew, manage training, manage the aircraft, and participate in fire suppression.



Physical Fitness

A great deal of emphasis is placed on physical conditioning.  It should go without saying that the work we perform is physically demanding which requires a high level of physical fitness.  Applicants must pass the Work Capacity Test (WCT) consisting of a three mile walk with a 45 pound pack in 45 minutes. Failure to pass the WCT will lead to dismissal.  Physical training during the course of the season will include running and hiking to increase cardiovascular thresholds; strength and muscle conditioning through stretching and calisthenics. Physical fitness goals for the crew’s fitness training are:

  • 1.5 mile run -- 11:40 minutes or less
  • Push-ups     -- 20 in a minute
  • Sit-ups         -- 30 in a minute
  • Chin-ups     --   5
  • 85 Pound 3 mile flat terrain pack out



The first three weeks of the season will be dedicated to classroom and field training.  This training will include annual mandatory fire related training and refreshers, S-271, Interagency Helicopter Training, and Rappel Training.  Trainees must demonstrate competence and proficiency in all aspects of the training to qualify as a crew member.  During the course of the season, other training courses may be offered to further the qualifications and career development of each individual.  This training will be presented as time permits.


Location and Accomodations

The Lucky Peak Rappel Crew is part of the Mountain Home Ranger District and based at the Lucky Peak Helibase, approximately 15 miles east of Boise, off of Highway 21, in southwest Idaho.  The base is set adjacent to the Boise National Forest Lucky Peak Nursery along the Lucky Peak Reservoir.  This base was established in 1999 after moving from its former base at the Boise Airport. 

Nearby Boise has a population near 160,000 and boasts a wide range of services, dining, recreation, and events.  Boise State University, located near the center of Boise, several museums, and parks offer considerable academic, social, cultural, and outdoor opportunities.  Spectator sports like minor league baseball, basketball, and hockey are available and recreation options are extensive both in and around Boise. One can find, within a day’s drive, McCall, Stanley, Sun Valley, and the Owyhee Mts., all offering endless biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing and kayaking opportunities.



We have a 12-person bunkhouse for members of the Helitack Crew, Engine and Hand Crew.  Rooms fill up quickly.  If you are interested in housing please let us know as soon as possible.   There is a monthly rental rate.  For those who wish to live in town, Boise offers extensive rental options.   Sharing an apartment or house is always possible and reduces the monthly rent.


What We Are Looking For

The Lucky Peak Rappel Crew strives to build on a reputation of competence and professionalism.  The effective accomplishment of our work is done through dedication and hard labor with little fanfare.  We take pride in the service we provide.  Individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience, a desire for hard work, and positive attitudes are encouraged to apply.


Job offers will be made February through April. Applicants need to apply through USA Jobs and select the Duty Station of Mountain Home, ID. If there are any questions regarding the application requirements, the job, training, work schedule, housing, etc., please call Jeremy Schwandt at 208-373-4278 or email