With over 200 temporary applicants bidding for 1-3 positions it is imperative you make a considerable effort to touch base with the senior staff at Lolo IHC. We highly encourage you to visit our clubhouse located in Missoula, MT (if appropriate, COVID) but if you cannot make the trip set up a phone interview so we can establish a connection.
Applicants often ask what experience/qualities we seek for first year crewmembers? We begin our tiering process with experience in wildland fire. Experience includes district or park (crew, engine, fuels) or aviation (helitack, rappel) time that will greatly benefit you and your transition into hotshot life. We look at the quality and length (number of seasons) of experience and if the applicant operated chainsaws during fireline and/or project work. Being a hotshots places a considerable demand both mentally and physically. You must be able to understand the basic fundamentals of wildland fire operations to succeed as a hotshot. To get that understanding you need experience before arriving. Motivation is a top quality, but it only takes you so far in understanding operations. The Standards for Interagency Hotshot Crew Operations guide states all IHC's must have "at least 80% of the crew members with at least one previous season of fire experience." The majority of applicants have between 3-5 seasons of experience before arriving. Entry level qualifications vary across the board, but we do not hire based on qualifications alone. However, supplementary qualifications (EMT, HECM, FALB, FALC) and non-fireline (sewing, construction work, mechanical skills, welding) are useful skills in our day-to-day operations and will be taken into consideration during the selection process. If you have these skill sets please describe your proficiency in our recruitment form.
Applicant selection is based on the 'best fit for the team' and filling any experience gaps our crew needs for a particular season. Bringing an array of life experiences (military, student athlete, culture, perspectives, family life) all contribute to your application. Adherence to the core values of duty, respect, and integrity weigh heavy on selection. Wanting to be a part of Lolo IHC and the unique set of our working principles is paramount.
In an attempt to gauge applicants and give you the opportunity to share your experiences, we generated a recruitment form you will find below. We highly encourage you to take some time and fill it out - don't rush the process. When finalized please return the complete recruitment form to Shawn Faiella () and Gregory Anderson ().
After you send the recruitment form, await contact from Lolo IHC to set up a time and date that best fits our schedule for an interview. Please be considerate of our day-to-day workload and do not stop by unannounced. Given the applicant contact load post fire season it may take us several weeks to get a hold of you so be patient!