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What We Do

Our Model

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FFRP visits the 35 California Conservation "Fire" Camps statewide to recruit and engage individuals interested in pursuing a professional career in forestry and wildland firefighting after their release. 
 

Train

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FFRP provides two training options:

1) Career Training Program: 8-12 week paid rigorous wildland firefighter training and credentialing program. Programming is offered in Los Angeles/San Bernardino and Oakland, CA. All participants are provided with holistic case management, legal support, and financial literary training as they deal with the challenges of reentry. 

2) Los Angeles County Training Center: 1-year live-in facility training based in Calabasas, CA. Trainee will spend 6-months receiving wildland firefighter training from FFRP and 6-months with L.A. County Fire receiving structure firefighting training. Additional support & case services are provided by Amity Foundation and ARC

Employ

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Recruit

FFRP connects participants with employment opportunities and prepares them for their careers with the US Forest Service, CAL FIRE, Bureau of Land Management, or other forestry agencies. 

All participants receive comprehensive job application and resume support. 


Our Lived Experience

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FFRP co-founders, Brandon Smith and Royal Ramey, were some of the successful few to make the challenging transition from Fire Camp to professional careers within the US Forest Service and CAL FIRE. It took them both 11+ months to find employment after being released from prison.

 

Smith and Ramey understood that lack of employment opportunities are one of the leading causes for recidivism. They created FFRP to ease this pathway for others who shared their lived experiences. 

FFRP is proud to stay that it maintains a 10% rate of recidivism across the 200+ placed in employment, compared to the California state average of 41.9% and National average of 82%

FFRP co-founders Royal Ramey (left) and Brandon Smith (right).


Our Intersections

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Workforce Development
California's primary forestry agencies are facing growing personnel shortages. In 2023, the Nature Conservancy reported that there will be a gap of nearly 9,400 forestry workers in California by 2028. There is a need for more wildland firefighters in the Western United States.  

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Criminal Justice
California has relied on inmate firefighters to cover any gaps in the professional workforce since World War II. Pre-COVID, incarcerated firefighters made up 1/3 of California's firefighting workforce; post-COVID, this is now closer to 10-15%. People coming home from Fire Camp are an untapped pool of potential and experienced employees for the forestry and fire service.

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Climate Crisis
Since 2020, California has recorded some of its worst wildfire seasons on record. Due to the effects of climate change, wildfires in the Western United States are expected to worsen in their severity and frequency. More wildland firefighters and forestry personnel are needed to better prevent wildfires and suppress them when they start.

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FFRP is solving for forestry sector employment gaps by providing a career pathway for formerly incarcerated and other marginalized people.

Through this unique orientation, FFRP is changing the narrative around who can be a wildland firefighter. While providing opportunities for all as they become the state's first line of defense against California's most infamous climate challenge. 

Our Alumni

“In 2016 I decided to pursue a career in wildland firefighting but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. FFRP has been a big part in this journey, showing me the route I needed to take, always being there to help and motivating me to keep going.”
- David  R

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