RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)

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2021 Update

Due to the current social response to the COVID-19 pandemic, agencies with wildland fire responsibilities are making adjustments to 2021 fulfillment requirements for RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR).  Most agencies are encouraging firefighters to complete a virtual refresher utilizing WFSTAR modules and support materials and focusing on the five core components:

  • Local Topics
  • Incident Reviews and Lessons Learned
  • Fire and Aviation Operational Safety
  • Human Factors, Communication, and Decision Making
  • Fire Shelters and Entrapment Avoidance

The Fire Management Board (FMB) has provided guidance for federal wildland firefighters:  Memo 20-015, Requirements and COVID-19 Mitigations for Medical Exams, Work Capacity Tests, and Critical Training for the 2021 Fire Season.

Consult your local unit training lead for additional direction and information.

Virtual Delivery of RT-130

RT-130 is delivered as an Instructor-Led Training. It is not available as a Self-Directed (Online) training. To receive credit for course completion, students must complete a session of RT-130 with qualified instructors who monitor the quality of the training. However, instructors may choose to facilitate most of the course content virtually, using an online platform (such as web meeting or webinar software, or similar forum). Information on virtual delivery of NWCG course is available at https://www.nwcg.gov/publications/training-courses/vilt

The hands-on fire shelter proficiency drills must be performed by each participant. An individual qualified as a unit instructor (or higher) must monitor the completion of the proficiency drill.

Core Component Module Packages

Watchout Situation #1 Fire not scouted and sized upLocal Topics

Standard Firefighting Order #8 Give clear instructions and be sure they are understoodIncident Reviews and Lessons Learned

  • Observations from Recent Prescribed Fire Reviews - Examine the commonalities of recent prescribed fire reviews that led to declared wildfires. Identify helpful tools that are available to burn bosses, planners and agency administrators when planning prescribed fires.
  • Point Fire Revisited - A case study of the Point Fire (Idaho, 1995) during which a series of unfortunate events led to the entrapment and death of two firefighters. An overview of the events of the fire and the recommendations from the accident investigation that followed, with fire footage, maps/animations, and firsthand interview accounts.
  • Incident Review Summary - Read the latest Incident Review Summary from the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center. 

Standard Firefighting Order #2 Know what your fire is doing at all timesFire and Aviation Operational Safety

  • Standard Firefighting Orders  - A brief introduction to the history and intent of the Standard Firefighting Orders and a review of the orders.
  • Watch Out Situations - An introduction to the history and intent of the Watch Out Situations and a review of the watch outs.
  • LCES - An introduction to the history and intent of LCES (Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones) and a review of its components.
  • The Risk Management Process:  A Universal Tool - An examination of the Risk Management Process used by highly successful organizations in wildland fire and the Columbia River Bar Pilots.
  • Load and Return - Learn about fire retardant and the airplanes that deliver it.
  • Safety and Risk Management Systems - Review the recent submissions and content on the SAFENET system, SAFECOM system, Safety Gram and Hot Topics on the NWCG Risk Management Committee webpage.

Standard Firefighting Order #6 Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act decisively.Human Factors, Communication, and Decision Making

  • Felling Hazard Trees:  Does it Need to Come Down - Create a dialogue among sawyers and fireline leaders about their ability to discuss and identify expectations and decisions to cut or leave a tree. Understand the Human Factors that influence the decision-making process and bring awareness to the option that every saw operator has a right to walk away from a tree.‚Äč 
  • Command and Control - Definitions of command and control, Ted Talks episode, discussions of effectiveness, and a successful command and control naval story.
  • Sleep Deprivation - Examine how sleep deprivation affects the human brain and discuss how it can impact wildland firefighters.

photo of deployed fire shelterFire Shelters and Entrapment Avoidance



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