Pictured Above: A controlled burn conducted by instructors and students at the New York Wildfire & Incident Management Academy in Calverton in the fall of 2015.

The Central Pine Barrens Commission’s Wildfire Task Force will host the 26th annual New York Wildfire and Incident Management Training Academy from October 19 through October 29 at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Among the courses offered at the Academy will be Wildfire Powersaws and Storm Debris Removal, Basic Firefighting and Wildfire Behavior and Brush Truck Training.

“Studies of wildland fire risk in New York State have found that the Central Pine Barrens region is the most at-risk area for fires with the potential to impact communities,” said Central Pine Barrens Commission Executive Director Judy Jakobsen. “Because of this, the Academy, in coordination with its partners at the Suffolk County Fire Academy and Suffolk County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services, offers courses that directly relate to the risks Long Island volunteer firefighters face.”

The Academy offers Basic Firefighting and Wildland Fire Behavior along with Fire Operations in the Wildland Urban Interface free of charge to Nassau and Suffolk County volunteer firefighters. Basic Firefighting and Wildland Fire Behavior is offered as a five-day classroom session or as a two-day field session. Both are recognized by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, which governs wildland firefighting standards across the country. These classes prepare local firefighters to participate as crew on prescribed fires in the Central Pine Barrens area and to potentially serve as wildland firefighters elsewhere.

Firefighters participating on prescribed burns not only assist with reducing hazardous vegetation buildup in woodlands but will significantly contribute to increased public safety and help improve forest health.

To register, view descriptions of all classes offered or learn more about the Academy, go to www.nywima.com. Class registrations must be received by the close of business on Saturday, Sept. 30.  Registrations received after that date will incur a late registration fee.

“Over the years I have personally taken a number of wildfire safety and incident command courses through the Academy,” said Wildfire Task Force Chairman Ted Kern. “The courses are delivered by instructors with a wealth of knowledge and real life experiences. In addition to the top notch training, I have found the networking and interaction with people from all over the country just as valuable. I have been a firefighter in the Ridge Fire Department for over 40 years and I encourage firefighters and incident managers to take advantage of this opportunity. Regardless of your role or level of experience, you will find courses that you will benefit from.”

E-mail the Academy at nywima@pb.state.ny.us or call directly at 631-218-1195 with any questions.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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