The "Red Card" is what qualifies a person to fight wildland fire with a federal agency or on federal land. The red card system is also a family of wildland fire training courses and corresponding certification that can be applied to wildland firefighting on a local fire district. This page provides information regarding the Wyoming Incident Qualification System (IQS), the Red Card, and how to progress up through the system.
Your Wildland Fire “Driver’s License”
The Red Card itself is an illustration of an individual’s current wildland fire qualifications. It is part of the fire qualifications management system used by most state and federal wildland fire management agencies. All firefighters assigned to an incident managed by a federal agency, such as the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs or U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and many state agencies are required to have a Red Card. The Red Card functions similar to a driver’s license, showing the holder of the card has completed all the course work, training and on-the-job performance required to hold a particular position.
How to Get a Red Card in Wyoming
The first step to acquire a Redcard is to 'join' a fire department and/or locate a sponsor, so you may obtain basic training. Possible sources include local fire departments, fire protection districts, or counties. *If you had been previously redcarded by another State or agency, please speak to a local Fire Chief, or County Fire Warden that you'll be joining, so that they can apply for you to get carded in the State.
Once you have located a fire department or agency that will sponsor you, please proceed to step two.
Next, you must earn your "Red Card" or Interagency Incident Qualification Card by completing the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Basic Firefighter course (S-130), the Introduction to Fire Behavior course (S-190), (L-180) Human Factors on the Fireline, and online courses through FEMA such as (IS-100/IS-700) Introduction to ICS and NIMS. In addition to classroom and field training, you also must pass a strenuous physical work-capacity test to prove that you are able to perform physically arduous tasks in the field.
After you had completed the course, your County Fire Warden, Fire Chief or the Training officer will have to submit an "Application for a Red Card" form to WY State Forestry Division. Your Red Card will be mailed to your assigned Fire Department when the application is approved.
Once you have received your Red Card, your sponsoring fire department or agency may list you as an available resource with the fire department or agency. This means you may be dispatched to wildfires as they occur and as the department or agency needs your assistance.