Contributed To
The Observer


Alabama Association of Resource Conservation Development Council (RCD) recently co-sponsored the Central Alabama Wildland Fire Managers Course that helped Veterans gain training to have an opportunity for employment.

The $10,000 grant provided by RCD was administered by AHERO, an organization that delivers education and training to veterans and first responders relating to prescribed burning and land management.

AHERO was supported by Tall Timbers, a research organization with 60 years of experience studying the benefits to the ecosystems received by prescribed fire use.

The veterans attending the workshop training were given instructions on how controlled burns can help to preserve the health of private lands and help plant growth, how to fight wild hog issues because they are destructive and how to give career opportunities to veterans who already are disciplined from the military training which makes them good candidates for land-management employment.

The additional benefit of the Central Alabama Wildland Fire Managers Course for the veterans and first responders includes Alabama certified burn manager certification and network with the United States Forest Service for employment.

RCD’s donation helped to cover the costs of lodging and meals as well as the cost of technical assistance for instructors. The total cost of the project was $20,000 and AHERO is thankful that RCD became a major sponsor of AHERO. RCD representatives were excited to help give veterans another opportunity at life to be able to get a good job and make sure they are well trained to do so.

Attending the event was Sen. Tom Whatley, Representative Ed Oliver, AHERO President and Central Alabama Prescribed Burn Association Coordinator, Tall Timbers Lee Stuckey and Chief of Staff for Speaker McCutcheon,  Mark Tuggle.

Whatley thanked the RCD for its sponsorship and encouraged veterans to take every opportunity available to use the skills they have learned from their military service to transfer into other workforce areas.

Oliver agreed this was a worthwhile project and was glad to see RCD take the initiative to sponsor this project and appreciated the staff of Camp ASSCA for their time and effort to make it successful. Stuckey summed it up best by saying, “without RCD this project would not have happened.”