Military veterans employed to prevent wildfires - KOTA Territory News

Military veterans employed to prevent wildfires

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Firefighters teamed up with military veterans as part of a new program in Rapid City, Lead, and Meade County.

Both Rapid City and Meade County have hired four veterans, and Lead has hired two veterans to do preventative wildfire work. This includes cleaning out trees and underbrush build-up on private and city-owned property.

Travis Lipp, fire management specialist at the Bureau of Land Management, says this new program has fire departments working with the BLM to give veterans a temporary job after the military and help them find a permanent job for the future. "They're helping communities treat the hazardous fuels," said Lipp. "But our ultimate goal is helping them find full time employment."

Dave Ferrier, a former Marine, says the transition from the military to firefighter was easy. "Doing some physical work and feeling good about yourself at the end of the day," said Ferrier. "So I think it's a great transition from a military standpoint into a structure that's kinda based ff the same thing."

Veterans interested in being trained and employed to prevent wildfires can contact the Rapid City, Lead, or Meade Fire Departments.

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