Firefighter certification can be FF1 or higher, NWCG, or a Wildland RED card. Whatever your level of training, it must be from a recognized agency or school. We also require that you have at least one year of field experience, volunteer or paid. We strongly recommend volunteers attend Burning Man at least one time as a participant prior to volunteering. This helps make sure that volunteers have a more complete understanding of the event, conditions, and culture.
Volunteers are required to provide their own PPE. To work the RITs (Rapid Intervention Teams at large pre-planned burns), structural PPE that meets NFPA 1971 is required. Structural PPE is preferred for engine shifts but may be substituted with wildland gear.
Black Rock City is an austere environment and working here can be rough on the body and soul. If you are an active member of a fire department we will need verification of that and will assume your “active” status with them deems you Fit for Duty. If you are not actively a member of a fire department we require a note from your primary care provider stating you are medically cleared to perform firefighting duties.
We also request Haz-Mat awareness training with Haz-Mat operations (preferred). Any technical or special training is welcome as there are opportunities to apply these skills in a number of ways. The responders who desire to work on the HazMat/Rescue unit should be one or more of the following; HazMat Technician, Rescue Technician, have USAR training, and/or have rope training.
Volunteers must work at least two 12 hour shifts, one RIT, and attend the training to qualify for an event credential (staff ticket). We discourage volunteering with other departments while working for ESD Fire.