I love my forest. Last summer it was dry and windy, and a fire came so close, we were warned we may have to evacuate our house. I worried that I would not only lose my home, but the beautiful area around it. Thank goodness for firefighters!
Meet Tyre Holfeltz,
He's one of those heroic people who dedicate their lives to putting out fires and keeping us safe.
He has a unique job as a firefighter.
Tell us what you do...
I manage part of the wildland fire program for the state of Idaho. I work with partners to get grant money from the US Forest Service to help Idaho residents prepare themselves for wildfire by removing trees and shrubs from around their homes and properties. I also help counties create plans that deal with reducing wildfire risk and help to get everyone working together. To complete these tasks I spend a lot of time driving around the state, which means I'm gone from my family a lot. I know how important it is to help other people so it makes it a little easier to be gone so much.
What inspired you to be a fire fighter?
My mom was a nurse and my dad a police officer while I was growing up and I thought it was always pretty cool the things they got to do. I got my first wildland fire job because of my mom's contacts and I really liked what I did and was able to see what a difference can be made by a group of highly dedicated individuals.
What did you have to do to become a fire fighter?
I had to go through a lot of training in a classroom and practice with my team. I have also had to keep myself in good physical shape, because being a wildland firefighter is physically demanding as we hike a lot and work long days outside. I also decided I wanted a college degree so I got several degrees, one in particular in fire ecology which has helped me with my current job.
What do you have to know a lot about for your job?
Communication is one of the most important parts of my job. I have to be able to write really well, talk to people in a way that shares important information and listen to the ideas and concerns of all kinds of people.
Another thing that's really important to know as a wildland firefighter is that when someone of more experience says to do something, you should do it because it will help to keep you safe.
What is the hardest thing about becoming a fire fighter, and being a fire fighter?
The hardest part of the job now is being away from my family, especially when I'm on assignments because sometimes they can be more than two weeks.
When I first started, the hardest part was the long hours and sometimes the very little sleep I got when fighting a wildfire. I seemed to always be tired, which made me a bit hard to be around because I wasn't always as nice as I'm supposed to be.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the people I get to work with! They are so passionate and determined to make a difference for the residents of Idaho.
I also really enjoy being able to see and visit so many different places not only in Idaho but throughout the western United States.
What else do you want to be when you grow up? (This can be something crazy that may never come true, but that's fun to dream about...)
I've always dreamed about being a farmer. Have lots of land to work, plant and harvest. I also think it would be pretty cool to have and operate tractors and other farm machinery. It would also mean I could finally own chickens because I would have the space and time to care for them. Also, because I owned the land it would mean more time to hunt deer and birds as I don't get out as much as I would like.
A big thank you to Tyre for teaching about his job that keeps us all safe.
If you think Tyre's job sounds fascinating, take a look at these websites about fighting fires.
At your library:
THE WELL-READ MOOSE,
BARNES AND NOBLE
BOOKS A MILLION
When a kingdom falls short in fairy tale rankings, the Queen orders all her subjects to attend her new school for knights and princesses. But when the boys refuse to slay dragons and the girls protest their glass slippers, the Queen has to rethink her idea of happily ever after.