Federal agencies waive some training and testing requirements in response to COVID-19 pandemic

In some cases returning employees will not have to take the Work Capacity Test this year

pack test Arizona
Members of the Tribal Nations Response Team take the Work Capacity pack test in Sacaton, AZ January 22, 2016. Photo by Tom Story.

The Fire Management Board has provided guidance on how federal agencies with wildland fire responsibilities will make adjustments to annual wildland fire training and physical testing activities this year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work Capacity Tests, including Pack Tests, are suspended in 2020 for some returning employees.

The annual refresher training, RT-130, is also not required this year. Instead, employees are encouraged to complete a self-study refresher utilizing the WFSTAR videos and support materials. The Board recommends that the study include topics that focus on entrapment avoidance, related case studies, current issues, and other hazards and safety issues.

To compensate for hands-on fire shelter training, employees should watch the “New Generation Fire Shelter” video, according to the new temporary guidelines.

These temporary procedures apply to all previously qualified Administratively Determined (AD) employees as well as applicable hand crews, engine crews, water tenders, equipment contracts, and agreements.

Different rules and procedures apply for new employees. Here is a link to more details and the official memo from the Fire Management Board.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Federal agencies waive some training and testing requirements in response to COVID-19 pandemic”

  1. Yes but I will be giving my guys the pack test this year and every year. We don’t walk side by side and I will say six feet unless you are passing..

  2. This is Louis Charlie, and I would be a returning applicant, so, I would just have to do the drug test?


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