The BLM Folsom Lake Hand Crew began in 2012 and was comprised of U.S. military veterans. This ongoing program helps to build exceptional wildland firefighting forces and employs qualified veterans.
“I found a way to translate my skills from the military and have developed a passion for a new career in wildland firefighting… My goal, when I started in fire, was to be picked up by a Helitack crew. My first season on the Folsom Lake Hand Crew was invaluable, not just from the perspective of hands on fire experience, but also from the perspective of being introduced into the agency through mentors. After interviewing for a position in Helitack, I found that I was selected because of my experience on a hand crew, but not just any hand crew. They had heard of the positive reputation of the Folsom Lake Veteran’s Crew and the leadership of Matt Lynde, Crew Superintendent…”
-Chelsea Cough, Army Veteran and 2012 BLM Fire Crew Member
Meet the members of the original 2012 Veterans Crew and see their firefighter status, as of February 2014:
- Tyler Grenvik (Navy) is on a municipal hand crew in the Lake Tahoe area.
- Nikolaus Von Aspern (Army) is now an apprentice of the Plumas National Forrest.
- Tyson Huyck (Navy) is now an apprentice of the Lassen National Forrest.
- Paul McClelland (Army) came back for a second season on the crew.
- Cody Piper (Army) came back for a second season on the crew.
- Timm Reid (Army) came back for a second season on the crew.
- Chelsea Cough (Army) was hired on Plumas Helitack.
- William Kok (Army) is now an apprentice of the Modoc National forest.
- Lorenzo Serrato (Army) is an apprentice of the Los Padres and will rejoin the crew this next coming fire season.
- David Elizondo (Marines) is now on a fire crew on the Los Padres National Forrest.