Weight limits for Alberta and BC IA crews

ranger71
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Weight limits for Alberta and BC IA crews

Postby ranger71 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:27 pm

If anybody can answer this I will be grateful.

I am currently a crew boss in Ontario working on a fireranger helitack crew, I have worked 3 years of fire and want to branch out and get some experience in other programs in the future. I still plan on staying in Ontario until I get crew leader and IC5 but I want to start planning. The only problem being that I am approx. 6'6" tall and weigh 220lbs boots off, Ontario has no weight limits so I haven't had a problem yet but I've read that all IA crews out west have weight limits around 180-200lbs. I have a bit of body fat so I could cut weight to make those limits just barely and it would really suck, but I want to stay in IA.

My question is how strict are those limits, is it a one time weigh in at hire? do you have to maintain that weight the whole season? Is there any leeway for guys with previous IA experience?

Bertafire
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby Bertafire » Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:27 pm

The weight limits for Alberta helitack (IA) is generally 200 pounds but they are not necessarily strict on that. Rappel is 180 pounds and Unit crew does not have a limit. And the weights are before gear is on. Cant help on the BC side

bcFRST
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby bcFRST » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:32 pm

Good for you for thinking about diversifying your experience! I'd recommend checking out the west while not attached to an Ontario contingent as you may gain some different perspective and at very least round out some skills.

IA in BC is 200lbs dressed. It's pretty firm, in fact if you're flirting with weight (ie, greater than 195lbs) you get the infamous "fat letter"- the warning to watch it. I know a few guys who are bigger (size, not fat) and lived a salad diet and ran in a wetsuit prior to manifest-mondays which was pretty brutal.

200lbs is also the limit to Jump (parattack) and 175 to slide down a rope (rap).

A suggestion, look at getting on a Unit Crew. I know there is a bit of attitude towards the program from Ontario folks, but being a part of a 20p, high functioning handcrew is one of the best experiences you can have. You see a tonne of fire, the dynamic is fun, the work is challenging (and the money is better). I worked IA for 7 years, four as a Crew Leader then went to a UC- best decision of my career. Learned so much, met some of the best people I know and now, as an officer, my time on the UC made me so much stronger tactically and has opened a lot of doors in the organization. Anyways, consider it.

creamcheese
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:33 pm

Postby creamcheese » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:00 pm

[quote=""bcFRST""]Good for you for thinking about diversifying your experience! I'd recommend checking out the west while not attached to an Ontario contingent as you may gain some different perspective and at very least round out some skills.

IA in BC is 200lbs dressed. It's pretty firm, in fact if you're flirting with weight (ie, greater than 195lbs) you get the infamous "fat letter"- the warning to watch it. I know a few guys who are bigger (size, not fat) and lived a salad diet and ran in a wetsuit prior to manifest-mondays which was pretty brutal.

200lbs is also the limit to Jump (parattack) and 175 to slide down a rope (rap).

A suggestion, look at getting on a Unit Crew. I know there is a bit of attitude towards the program from Ontario folks, but being a part of a 20p, high functioning handcrew is one of the best experiences you can have. You see a tonne of fire, the dynamic is fun, the work is challenging (and the money is better). I worked IA for 7 years, four as a Crew Leader then went to a UC- best decision of my career. Learned so much, met some of the best people I know and now, as an officer, my time on the UC made me so much stronger tactically and has opened a lot of doors in the organization. Anyways, consider it.[/quote]

What's up with the attitude towards unit crews?? I did two years on IA and two on UC so far. So many times on UC we've been the first ones responding to a fire and at that point we're pretty much a 20 person IA team... You also get much more experience on a UC. I got wayyyy more fireline chainsaw hours on my first UC deployment than my two years on IA.


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