Looks like the final count is in and the attendees at this year’s academy break down as follows.
There will be 352 people attending (students and instructors)
DOF full time employees 152
DOF part time employees 25
Fire departments and local willand fire crews 116
Maryland DNR 2
Virginia Tech 6
VA Dept of Conservation and Recreation 12
US National Park Service 14
US Fish and Wildlife Service 1
Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry 1
VA Dept of Fire Programs 1
Virginia Master Naturalists 2
Nature Conservancy 3
National Weather Service 1
Kentucky Division of Forestry 3
This breaks down to 204 employees of various state agencies
22 federal employees
126 local government employees
There will be 17 people attending from Out of state
South Carolina 4
It is quite the testament to the quality of the training provided by the Virginia Department of Forestry that so many folks from so many agencies/organizations and from several states have all elected to devote their time and funds to attend Virginia’s Wildland Fire Academy. It does not hurt that the Virginia Academy is one of the lowest if not the lowest cost to attend training opportunities in the nation. Funding from the National Park Service and other grants allow us to offer a full week of training for $50 per student (registration, lodging and meals) for a majority of those attending.
I hope you enjoy seeing some of the activity around the academy today.
John Miller (on R) Incident Commander enjoys a morning chat with Steve Counts the Safety Officer for the incident (ie academy)
Phil Manuel, a meterologist with the National Weather Service gave a weather report at the morning briefing. He kept it short..... HOT!
Several vendors were very generous with products we used as "door prises" in all vendors gave over $1,000 worth of items. More about these great supporters of our academy later. Above a lucky student (and an excited one at that) receives his prise, a can of Monkey Butt Powder.
Sam Lindblom (Nature Conservancy) tackles the unit on fuels. Think he brought 1/2 the forest into the class to give the students something more than pictures to look at as he discussed fuels and fire behavior.
Who says adults cant play in the sand box? In the S-131 class sand boxes, toy tractors, toy bull dozers and toy fire trucks are used to train in tactics and decision making.
Well today was a long one but we are off to a great start with a great bunch of students, instructors and overhead. Looking forward to tomorrow its actually suppose to be "cooler" 90-95 instead of 95-100.
Check back for more from day 3 at the academy.