Pay raise of $2,500 requested for Florida wildland firefighters

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7:46 p.m. EDT Sept 24, 2021

Florida Forest Service
Florida Forest Service photo.

Last week, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried submitted a budget request for fiscal year 2022-2023 that includes a $2,500 pay increase for 932 firefighter and firefighter support positions within the Florida Forest Service.

A vacancy announcement for Forest Ranger, position #42002179 closing today whose duties include forest fire prevention, detection, suppression and pre-suppression shows a starting salary of $29,080 annually, which works out to $13.98 an hour (based on 2,080 work hours per year). This raise would increase it to $15.18 an hour.

Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

These numbers are similar to the pay for a federal wildland firefighter starting at a GS-3 in most of the United States. Their salary is being temporarily bumped up to around $15 an hour, but there is an effort to rebuild the pay system on the federal side, possibly with a more substantial permanent increase.

Applicants for the Florida job must swear that they have been a non-user of tobacco or tobacco products for at least one year immediately preceding application. They must live within 30 miles of the headquarters, in this case Chipley Florida, throughout employment in the position. Within 6 months of appointment they are required to obtain a Class A Commercial Driver License (CDL).

Over the last three years, Florida Forest Service personnel responded to an annual average of 4,672 fires that burned 147,169 acres, according to a press release from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

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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.

One thought on “Pay raise of $2,500 requested for Florida wildland firefighters”

  1. Too late for this old fire dog, but we need to tell these good men and women, and their families, that they are worth it. And there is no way you can do that while “paying them in sunsets.”


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