National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Master Parachute Rigger, THSP

Position Category: 
Incident Positions
Position Code: 
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This position serves as Parachute Loft Technician.  The incumbent serves as an FAA licensed Master Parachute Rigger, provides the needed technical skill and supervision of parachute packing and repair, and performs various other loft duties.


  • Plans work schedule on a daily or project basis and makes adjustments to meet changes in workload, variations in staffing, and to meet priorities.  Plans for and obtains supplies and insures that equipment is available, ready, and safe to use.  Maintains work accomplishment report.
  • Assigns work to individuals based on their training or experience, and sets standards of performance, participates with supervisors in directing and preparing training and operating guidelines.  Has one or more assistants who demonstrate, observe and correct work practices, and review routine work accomplishments.  Takes corrective action to obtain satisfactory quality and quantity of work.  Informs incumbents of the objectives of management.
  • Assumes full responsibility for numerous technical decisions.  Commonly resolves technical problems in emergency situations.  Unit Supervisor is available for consultation on any project problem.
  • Workforce varies with a minimum of 6 to 40 and includes one or more assistants at the GS-7.
  • The incumbent plans and schedules work assignments; ensures that supplies, equipment and operating plans are provided.  The size of the workforce fluctuates seasonally.  The workload is variable and unpredictable due to the emergency nature of fire suppression.  The incumbent must exercise currency on agency manuals, FAA regulations, national and regional policies.  In the absence of Unit Supervisor and/or Operations foreman is given full authority.
  • Informs licensed parachute riggers of current packing and repair methods.  Provides parachute rigging training to returning experienced jumpers.
  • Interprets detailed parachute loft manuals and insures adherence to standards.
  • Oversees inventory in parachute loft and that all items are accounted for.

Position Knowledge and/or Requirements

  • Thorough knowledge of parachute loft operations and FAA licensed Master Parachute Rigger to advise and perform technical repairs and related loft activities.
  • Responsible for the supervision and training of personnel assigned to the loft for the repair and packing of parachutes and related equipment.
  • Thorough knowledge of FAA rules and regulations to locate, interpret and apply them to recurring parachute loft operation assignments and problems.
  • Well-developed written and verbal communication skills to prepare reports and provide formal and information instructions to trainees.
  • Complete knowledge of entire parachute loft equipment to accurately track inventory.

Supervisory Control

This position works under the general supervision of the Unit Supervisor who sets objectives, establishes priorities, and provides assistance during the completion of unusual, exceptional or precedent setting actions.  The incumbent plans and schedules recurring work and independently handles most problems and carries most work through to completion on own initiative according to previous training and experience.  The Supervisor reviews work for technical accuracy, coordination with parachute loft and fire suppression functions and consistency with policy.


Guidelines include agency manuals (specifically air operation), FAA regulations, the Health and Safety Code, Smokejumper Handbook, Fireline Handbook, and other written guides and oral instructions.  The incumbent must locate and interpret applicable guides and precedents from a variety of sources and apply them to unique problems.  Considerable judgment must be employed because of the complexity in parachute rigging and fire suppression support activity.


Assignments involve organizing, developing and directing projects in the parachute loft and supervising fire suppression support functions.  Incumbent must exercise independent and mature judgment.  Parachute loft projects often require departing from past approaches and extending traditional techniques of developing new ones to meet major objectives.

Scope and Effect

The purpose of the work is to provide technical expertise and leadership skills in the operations of the parachute loft assignments.  Work efforts have a definite impact on the subordinate‚Äôs performance.  Decisions made by the incumbent will provide for safety and minimize the loss of forest resources and wildlife.


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