Congressional hearing scheduled for Oct. 27 about firefighter pay and job classification

Two pieces of legislation about wildland firefighters will be discussed

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U. S. Capitol building
U. S. Capitol building. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

A hearing is scheduled in Washington, DC at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday October 27, 2021 to discuss two pieces of legislation that would affect the pay and job classification of federal wildland firefighters.

The hearing before the House of Representatives Natural Resources subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands will be titled “Wildland Firefighting Workforce Reforms.”  Members of Congress will receive testimony on two bills:

  • H.R. 4274 Wildland Firefighter Fair Pay Act. (Rep. Zoe Lofgren). It would waive limitations on overtime and premium pay for wildland firefighters that affects higher level employees at the GS-12 and above level. If they work a certain number of overtime hours, they can now “max out”, after which they earn no more money. (The Wildfire Today article from Jan. 29, 2021 has more information about this bill.)
  • H.R. 5631 Tim Hart Wildland Firefighter Classification and Pay Parity Act. (Rep. Joe Neguse). This bill has numerous provisions, including raising firefighter pay, creating a wildland firefighter job series, providing health care and mental health services to temporary and permanent wildland firefighters, housing stipends, and other items. (More details are in the Wildfire Today article from October 19, 2021.)

The full list of witnesses is not yet available but the Grassroots Wildland Firefighters, a group that participated in developing H.R. 5613, will be represented at the hearing by their President and Vice President, Kelly Martin and Luke Mayfield, respectively.

The committee’s web site has links to the written testimony of the witnesses.

A live stream should be available on YouTube when it begins at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

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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.

6 thoughts on “Congressional hearing scheduled for Oct. 27 about firefighter pay and job classification”

  1. Is there any indication their will be an opportunity to buy back seasonal time post 1989 in this bill… Another bill (HR 2478) has this language and currently has 62 cosponsors…that would be huge?

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  2. Hopefully some of these provisions will extend to contractors as well. Always surprises me how little attention is given to contractors despite them being almost half of the available resources.

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  3. Will there be any discussion to get an agreement with the feds and local fire departments for participation on IMTs

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