My expectations before arriving to the Umatilla Vet Crew at the North Fork John Day Ranger District was that it was going to be a great way to meet new friends, gain experience, and get a foot in the door with the Forest Service. My current impressions are that the people and scenery are great. Also, this is a physically demanding job so be sure to get fit before arrival and practice the pack test beforehand.
I had a few reasons for moving to Oregon and joining the Mt. Adams Institute’s GreenCorps program. The major deciding factor was that my daughter lives near the location. Next was that I was going stir crazy being in the city, not really sure why, but the quality of life for me has improved immensely. Finally, I’ve wanted to be a firefighter since I was a kid and wasn’t exactly sure how to do it.
The usual activities during an average day are PT in the morning, followed by going into the forest and working on prescribed thinning in the afternoon. It’s been a few weeks but everybody has gotten qualified in First Aid CPR/ and chainsaw certification.
There are no problems with anyone in the crew from what I have seen and everyone works together very well. There are always people willing to help with anything or tell you who can help. I hope that the rest of the term continues to go well and that I continue to get more proficient physically and mentally. There are people here from all over the states trying to better themselves and if you’re not doing anything or need a break from the city life it’s a great way to spend a summer productively.