Forest Service working to ‘close the gap’ on competitive firefighter salary

By Hannah Pagel
Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
October 28, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The future of wildfire management rests, in part, on the workforce that can mitigate the fires, and a leader at the U.S. Forest Service says the agency is working to create a competitive wage and benefits package to attract and retain top talent. “Our firefighters are integral to our ability to do this work, and we need them in high volumes all across the country … the agency is working hard to be competitive in a very competitive market,” said Angela Coleman, associate chief of Forest Service. Coleman says the agency… has “made some progress to close the gap in competition” by bumping salaries and improving benefits for 13,000 firefighters. “…and we’re hoping that is not a one-time deal,” she said. Coleman says the agency is working on creating a package with support for its firefighting staff including access to affordable housing and more mental health services.

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