Forestry Technician
Department Of Agriculture - Mesa, AZ

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A career with the Forest Service will challenge you to manage and care for more than 193 million acres of our nation's most magnificent lands, conduct research through a network of forest and range experiment stations and the Forest Products Laboratory, and provide assistance to State and private forestry agencies.

It's an awesome responsibility - but the rewards are as limitless as the views.

This position serves as an Apprentice wildland firefighter within the fire management organization. The purpose of the position is wildland fire suppression/management/control as an apprentice firefighter on various wildland fire crews with responsibility for the operation and maintenance of specialized tools or equipment. The incumbent may be assigned for varying periods of time into one or more types of positions within the wildfire program where the individual’s specialized skills are required.

These are permanent positions with varying tours of duty and may include weekend work. Tours of duty include full-time or less than full-time seasonal (guaranteed minimum 6 months/13 pay periods of full-time employment). If on a seasonal tour, you will then be placed in a non-pay/non-duty status for the remainder of the year.

Pay rates vary depending on location. See the OPM website at http://www.opm.gov/ for additional information on pay rates.

Relocation expenses are NOT authorized for this position.

The USDA Forest Service has legislative authority to recruit and fill Permanent (Career/Career-Conditional), Temporary, and Term Appointments under the USDA Demonstration Project. Under this authority, any U.S. citizen may apply.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

US Citizenship required.

Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the Selective Service.

Minimum of 90 days of wildland firefighting experience is required.

Must meet Maximum Entry Age (MEA) requirements.

Primary firefighter retirement covered position.

Must possess and maintain a Valid Driver’s License.

Position requires a Arduous Work Capacity Test (WCT).

May require a Commercial Drivers License (CDL).

Subject to negative drug test prior to entrance on duty if CDL required.

DUTIES:
Serves as an apprentice firefighter on a wildland fire crew performing fire suppression and/or fuels management duties under the most adverse conditions of climate, fuels, and terrain.

Performs various aspects of wildland and prescribed fire operations including preparation, ignition, monitoring, holding, and mop-up, Driving engines to fire locations, frequently over unimproved roads. Starting pump engine, priming pump, adjusting engine speed and pump valves, laying hose, and using appropriate nozzles and nozzle adjustment in effective use of water and additives, Loading helicopter personnel and cargo considering methods, weight distribution, necessity for securing, total weight, etc. and completes manifests of personnel and equipment being transported to the fire or other work site.

Performs wildfire suppression support as directed within training and physical capabilities and other duties as assigned. Duties listed are at the full performance level.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
Applicants must meet all the required qualification requirements, including education if applicable, and any selective placement factors described below before a certificate of candidates from this announcement is issued to the selecting official. Education may only be substituted in accordance with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Qualification Standards Handbook. Additional information on the qualification requirements for this position is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions and is available at OPM’s website: http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/group-stds/gs-tech.asp

Basic Qualifications: Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Specialized experience directly related to this position should be documented in the online application or resume.

Qualifying specialized experience must demonstrate the following:

For the GS-04 position, in addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have had six (6) months of general experience. Examples include: performed farm/ranch labor, such as feeding/tending livestock or general maintenance of farm/ranch facilities; worked in a greenhouse, nursery or landscaping e.g., planting, moving, watering, and tending plants; animal caretaker in a laboratory, zoo or pet store; volunteer work at a park, hospital, community sports league, local fire department, etc. AND six (6) months of specialized experience equivalent to a GS-3 grade level. Examples include: fuels reduction work and suppression of wildland fires using a variety of hand and power tools to control spreading wildland fires and to prepare lines prior to prescribed burning. Patrolled fire line to locate and extinguished sparks, flareups, and hot spots that could have threaten developed fire lines, moved dirt, chopped brush or felled small trees to build fireline using various hand tools and power saws to control spreading wildland fires and to prepare lines prior to prescribed burning.

For the GS-05 position, in addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have had one (1) year of specialized experience at least equivalent to GS-04: Examples include: performed fuels reduction work and suppress wildland fires using a variety of hand/power tools; patrolled fire line to locate and extinguish sparks, flareups, and hot spot fires; moved dirt, chopped brush, or felled small trees to build fire line using various hand tools and power saws to control spreading wildland fires and to prepare lines prior to prescribed burning, patrolling areas of controlled fires to mop-up by searching out and extinguishing any remaining burning material. Cleaned, reconditioned and stored fire tools and equipment. Served on a specialty crew (hotshot, helitack, engines, etc.) to suppress the full range of difficult and complex fires. Operated specialized fire suppression equipment such as portable pumps or drip torches.

Substitution of Education for Experience :
The experience requirements for the GS-04 level may be met by successful completion of 2 years of study that included at least 12 semester hours in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources (except marine fisheries and oceanography), outdoor recreation management, civil or forest engineering, or wildland fire science. No more than 3 semester hours in mathematics is creditable.

The experience requirements for the GS-05 level may be met by successful completion of a four (4) year course of study leading to a bachelors' degree or the equivalent. Education must include at least 24 semester/36 quarter hours in any combination of courses such as forestry, agriculture, crop or plant science, range management or conservation, wildlife management, watershed management, soil science, natural resources (except marine fisheries and oceanography), outdoor recreation management with natural resources emphasis, civil or forest engineering, or wildland fire science. No more than 6 semester/9 quarter hours in mathematics is creditable.

If using education to qualify, you must attach a copy of your Transcripts (official or unofficial) to this application. If selected, copies of your official transcripts will be required if not attached.

Combination of Education and Experience:
For the GS-04 and GS-05 a combination of education and experience can be used.

Selective Placement Factors:
A minimum 90 days experience performing wildland fire suppression duties as a member of an organized fire suppression crew or comparable unit that utilized knowledge of wildland fire suppression, containment or control techniques and practices under various conditions. This experience must be documented with specific dates in the online application or resume.
Primary firefighter positions include the following age requirements: Under age 37 -OR- less than age 37 after subtracting the months of Federal Service worked in a primary or secondary firefighter/law enforcement position -OR- a veteran preference eligible, older than age 37 and is requesting a waiver to the maximum age requirement.
To qualify at the GS-05 journey worker level, the applicant must have successfully completed Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1). A copy of the Incident Qualification and Certification System (IQCS) master record (or equivalent training document if not a Federal employee) which contains documented proof of certification or attainment of this requirement must be attached to application.

To receive consideration for this position, you must meet all qualification requirements on the date this announcement closes.

REQUIREMENTS:
May be subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary or trial period.

Must possess and maintain a valid driver's license

WORK CAPACITY TEST (WCT) for Wildland Firefighters: This position participates in wildland firefighting activities. Based on the type of work performed, TAKING and PASSING the WCT at the ARDUOUS level is a "condition of employment." The Arduous fitness (Pack) test requires completing a three (3) mile hike within forty-five (45) minutes, while carrying a forty-five (45) pound pack. You are strongly encouraged to consult with your physician and begin training immediately if applying for this position. This announcement constitutes the required 30 days advanced notice for testing requirements.

ARDUOUS FIRE POSITIONS: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to be employed in a position performing hazardous duties. An initial pre-employment medical examination is required for arduous fire positions. Failure to meet any of the required medical qualifications will be considered disqualifying for employment.

This position may require the selectee to obtain or possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and therefore, is a Testing Designated Position (TDP) under the Department of Transportation (DOT)/Forest Service Alcohol and Controlled Substance Testing Program. Applicant tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use unless they currently occupy a TDP under the DOT/Forest Service Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing Program. Final appointment is conditional on a negative drug test. This announcement constitutes 30 days advance notice.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
You will be evaluated based on the category rating procedure as defined in the USDA Demonstration Project Plan. Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position will be placed in the Eligible category. Eligible applicants will be further evaluated against criteria for placement in the Quality category. This evaluation is based on the level of your experience, education, and/or training as determined by your responses to the Occupational Questionnaire. Applicants with veterans’ preference are listed ahead of applicants who do not have veterans’ preference within each category.

Your online application and resume serves as the basis for qualification determinations and must highlight your most relevant and significant work experience(s) and education (if applicable) as it relates to this job opportunity. Your resume should contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the basic/specialized experience requirements as stated in this job announcement for each grade level(s) for which you are applying. In order to fully evaluate your application and receive proper credit, your resume should include: (1) paid and non-paid experience, job title, dates held (month and year for qualifying purposes to receive credit), number of hours worked per week, and salary (2) knowledge of the subject matter and technical skills pertinent to this position; (3) specific duties performed that fully detail the level and complexity of the work with percentages of time performing these duties if work involved a variety of different duties (i.e. 75% of the time performing these duties and 25% of the time performing this duty) and (4) names and phone numbers of your current and/or previous supervisor(s). Applicants found to be among the top qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring official for further consideration. This information should be clearly identified in your online application or resume. Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of consideration.

To view the application form, visit: https://fs.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=CC852C48-F088-45FE-83FE-A10C00B13F81

BENEFITS:
The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/Benefits#icc
.

OTHER INFORMATION:
Relocation expenses are NOT authorized for this position.

We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies per location.

Bargaining Unit Status: Eligible - Coverage is dependent upon unit location.

Government Housing may be available at certain locations.

If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.

Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles must meet the agency's definition for a quality candidate to be considered. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp .

Initial appointment is subject to satisfactory completion of training.

BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.

FIREFIGHTER RETIREMENT COVERAGE: This is a primary/rigorous position covered under the special retirement provisions of 5 USC 8336(c) for the Civil Service Retirement System and of 5 USC 8412(d) for the Federal Employees Retirement System. This position is subject to a Maximum Entry Age (MEA) requirement which has been set at age 37. Applicants must be under age 37 prior to their appointment date for entry into this position. An applicant’s entry age may be adjusted based on credit for past primary/secondary service which is otherwise creditable for retirement. Temporary primary/rigorous service will only be credited if performed prior to January 1, 1989 (temporary service performed beginning 1/1/89 or later is not creditable for retirement). Applicants who are entitled to veteran’s preference are eligible to request a waiver to the maximum age requirement. In instances where the maximum entry-age is waived, the corresponding mandatory retirement age for these individuals will also be higher because it will be reached after 20 years of coverage under special retirement provisions for the entitlement to an immediate enhanced annuity.

Fire positions may have Conditions of Employment such as: a valid state drivers license; a commercial drivers license (CDL); pre-appointment and random drug testing; or a physical or medical examination. There may be additional Conditions of Employment not listed here, however applicants will be notified of any specific requirements at the time a tentative job offer is made.

Applications received become the property of the USDA Forest Service and will not be returned.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Check our website at: http://www.fs.fed.us/fsjobs for general information on the Forest

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