Lead Wildland Firefighter (Asst. Helicopter Manager - Type 3 Helicopter) (Direct Hire Authority)

National Park Service
Homestead, FL
$57,824 - $75,170 USD yearly

This position is located in Everglades National Park, in the Fire and Aviation Division.

This job is open to

Career transition (CTAP, ICTAP, RPL)
Federal employees who meet the definition of a "surplus" or "displaced" employee.

The public
U.S. Citizens, Nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.

Clarification from the agency

Applications will be accepted from any U.S. Citizen. DIRECT HIRING AUTHORITY will be used to fill this position.


The Lead Wildland Firefighter (Lead) is an experienced leader and member of a wildland fire module or crew, exercising leadership for and executing fire management activities in fire preparedness, fuels management and prevention, and fire suppression, monitoring, and post-fire. Work may also include all hazard and emergency response activities. Fire modules or crews include Hand Crews, Engine Crews, and Helitack Crews. Specific specialty areas of work within fire modules or crews include aviation, fire engine operation, fire management planning, fuels management, helitack, and prevention.

As an experienced leader within a wildland fire module or crew in fuels management, fire suppression, monitoring, and post-fire activities, applies an understanding of firefighter safety, fire behavior, topography of the area, weather, fuels, and training in fire management work to: 1) mentor and instruct lower graded employees on crewmember duties; 2) plan action and direct utilization of fireline resources on less complex fires; and 3) for more complex fires, direct assigned suppression operations and recommend and implement tactical strategy on attacking, controlling, or mopping up fires, building or patrolling firelines, cleaning up burned areas within firelines, suppressing spot fires, felling snags or trees, and cutting brush. Adjusts actions based on changing information and evolving situational awareness. Uses firing devices on a firing operation according to the ignition/firing plan (verbal or written). Coordinates with aircraft for aviation support missions. Coordinates module or crew logistics and places caches of equipment and supplies at strategic points.

Helitack: Plans, coordinates, and directs helicopter operations in support of mission requests. Directs aviation and briefs pilots, contract personnel, and crews on mission requirements. Provides radio communications to dispatch and/or ground firefighter and navigates with use of maps. Directs aviation safety processes in coordination with pilot. Ensures aircraft tracking procedures are in place and followed.


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship required.
  • Appointment subject to background investigation and favorable adjudication.
  • Meet Selective Service Registration Act requirement for males.
  • Selectee will be required to participate in the Direct Deposit Electronics Funds Transfer Program.
  • You will be required to submit to a drug test and receive a negative drug test result prior to appointment. In addition, this position is subject to random testing for illegal drug use.
  • You will be required to operate a government (or private) motor vehicle as part of your official duties; a valid driver's license is required.
  • Work may require travel by fixed-wing or rotorwing aircraft.
  • You will be required to wear a uniform and comply with the National Park Service uniform standards. A uniform allowance will be provided.
  • You may be required to work on-call, evenings, weekends, holidays, overtime and shift work.
  • If you are a new employee or supervisor in the Federal government, you will be required to complete a one-year probationary period.
  • Subject to frequent extended travel up to 14 nights per month particularly during fire season, and you must obtain a government charge card for travel.
  • You may be required to complete training and obtain/maintain a government charge card with travel and/or purchase authority.
  • Prior to appointment, you must be determined physically fit by an authorized government physician to perform strenuous and physically demanding duties; and also pass a medical examination (which includes vision, hearing, cardiovascular, and mobility of extremities) given by an authorized government physician. You will also be required to periodic medical examinations throughout employment.
  • The Work Capacity Test (WCT-Pack Test) as a method for assessing an employee's fitness levels for fire qualifications in the positions covered by this recruitment notice. Arduous fitness (WCT-Pack Test) will consist of completing a three-mile hike, within 45 minutes, while carrying a 45 pound pack. NOTE: Arduous Work Capacity Test


All qualifications must be met by the closing date of this announcement06/28/2024 unless otherwise stated in this vacancy announcement.

Credit will be given for all appropriate qualifying experience. To receive credit for experience, your resume MUST clearly indicate the nature of the duties and responsibilities for each position, starting and ending dates of employment (month/year), and the resume must reflect full and/or part-time or total number of hours worked (i.e., work 40+ hours a week, rather than indicating full-time). If part-time, the hours must be annotated to be able to pro-rate the amount qualified specialized experience.

This position has been identified as one of the key fire management positions under the Interagency Fire Program management (IFPM) Standard. This position has been categorized as Engine Module Supervisor (EMLS). For more information on IFPM, click here.

Selective Factors:
The applicant must have possessed all the following National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) incident management qualifications and training requirements to be considered eligible for this position:

  1. ICT4 - Incident Commander Type 4 Currency Required
  2. HMGB - Helicopter Manager Currency Required
  3. S-215, S-219, S-260, S-270 Currency Required

This position is covered by the special retirement provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8336 (c) and 5 U.S.C. 8412 (d) as a Primary/Rigorous Firefighter. Applicants must be 18 years of age, but not have reached their 37th birthday by the closing date of this announcement. These positions are covered by the special enhanced annuity retirement provisions for Federal Firefighters and Law Enforcement officers and have a mandatory retirement age of 57. Two exceptions are allowed: 1) an applicant has prior Federal service in documented special retirement covered position(s) sufficient to count toward 20 years of covered service on or before the mandatory retirement age of 57; or 2) an applicant is a qualified veterans' preference eligible, in which case the MEA is waived and their corresponding retirement age may be higher than 57 after completing 20 years of service. Applicants must submit proof of their previous and/or current status in the Fire Fighter or Law Enforcement special enhanced annuity retirement system.


(OPM Operating Manual, Qualification Standards for Technical and Medical Support Positions and Individual Occupational Requirements for GS-0462: Forestry Technician Series).

Specialized Experience: GS-08

One year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the Federal service. Examples of qualifying specialized for this position is experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to successfully perform the duties of this position. Examples of specialized experience include: Helitack: Plans, coordinates, and directs helicopter operations in support of mission requests. Directs aviation and briefs pilots, contract personnel, and crews on mission requirements. Provides radio communications to dispatch and/or ground firefighter and navigates with use of maps. Directs aviation safety processes in coordination with pilot. Ensures aircraft tracking procedures are in place and followed. You must include hours per week worked.


2 years of graduate level education or a Master's Degree directly related to the position.


Combination of education and experience that is directly related to the work of this position as stated above.

If you are using education to qualify you must submit a legible copy of your transcripts (A copy of your official transcripts will be required before entrance on duty, if selected).

Volunteer Experience:
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.


When submitting college transcripts, you must submit a legible copy of transcripts from an accredited institution with your name, school name, credit hours, course level, major(s), and grade-point average or class ranking. Transcripts do not need to be official, but if you are selected for this position and you used your education to qualify, you must provide official transcripts before you begin work.

If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet qualification requirements, you must show that your education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university.

Additional information

This notice is being issued to recruit personnel to occupations for which a critical hiring need has been identified. To assist in filling these positions, OPM has granted the Department of the Interior "Direct Hire Authority".

A selectee receiving a first appointment to the Federal Government (Civil Service) is entitled only to the lowest step of the grade for which selected the display of a salary range on this vacancy shall not be construed as granting an entitlement to a higher rate of pay.

A Recruitment Incentive May Be Authorized for a newly selected employee when appointed to a permanent, temporary, or term position. A Federal employee who is transferring to the National Park Service from another component, bureau or Federal agency and who does not meet the conditions under 5 CFR Β§575.102 is not eligible for a recruitment incentive.

A Relocation Incentive May Be Authorized
for a Federal employee when the employee must move, as directed by the National Park Service (NPS) either through a management directed reassignment or selection for employment, to a different location at least 50 miles away from the one where his/her position of record held at time of selection is currently located, due to a need of the NPS. A relocation incentive is not the same as a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) move and, as such, may be granted in conjunction with one another.

This announcement may be used to fill additional positions if identical vacancies occur within 90 days of the issue date of the referral certificate.

Physical Demands:
Arduous exertion for protracted periods of time such as, but not limited to, extensive running, walking, climbing, kneeling, stooping, pulling hoses, jumping and twisting, prolonged standing, walking over uneven ground, and recurring bending, reaching, lifting and carrying items weighing over 50 pounds and shared lifting and carrying of heavier items, and similar activities requiring at least average agility and dexterity.

Working Conditions: Forest, range, and desert environments in steep terrain where surfaces may be extremely uneven, rocky, covered with thick tangled vegetation, smoky conditions, etc. Temperatures commonly exceed 100 degrees F and may fall below freezing. Risks include smoke inhalation, fire entrapment, snake or insect bites and stings, exposure to excessive machinery noise, and falling and rolling material. Employee must adjust and cope with exposure to weather elements,, dust and smoke, poor bivouac and eating situations under an unpredictable set of circumstances. Firefighters may be required to live in backcountry camps for extended periods of time. The hazardous nature of the work requires that personal protective equipment (PPE) be worn (e.g.: boots, hard hat, gloves, flame resistant clothing). Work may require travel by fixed-wing or rotor-wing aircraft.

The National Park Service has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework only during an emergency or natural disaster.


A career with the U.S. government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
Opens in a new windowLearn more about federal benefits.

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Applicants will be evaluated based on how well they meet the qualification requirements.

Upon receipt of the completed application package, a review of the application will be made to ensure basic qualification requirements are met.

This vacancy will be filled through DOI's Direct Hire Authority. Veterans Preference and traditional rating and ranking of applicants do not apply to positions filled under this Authority. All qualified applicants, as determined by the SHRO, will be referred for consideration. While managers and supervisors are not required to conduct interviews, it is highly recommended that they do so in order to assess the competencies of each applicant.

If an applicant's resume is incomplete or does not support the requirements for minimum qualifications or specialized experience a rating of "ineligible" or "not qualified" will be applied and no consideration for employment will be granted.

If a determination is made that an applicant has inflated qualifications or experience on the resume, the employee will receive no consideration for the position, as per OPM regulations.

Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) OR Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): CTAP/ICTAP provides placement assistance to permanent Federal employees who are surplus, displaced, or involuntarily separated. Applicants claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit a copy of their most recent performance appraisal, proof of eligibility, and most current SF50 noting position, grade level, duty location with their application. To be considered under CTAP/ICTAP, applicants must be qualified (i.e., meet the minimum qualification requirements, including any selective placement factors; education, and experience requirements), and be able to perform the duties of the position upon entry. For Information on CTAP and ICTAP visit: Career Transition (opm.gov)

Required Documents

The following documents are required and must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 06/28/2024:

  1. Resume which includes a list of all significant jobs held and duties performed, dates specified in month and year format, and the resume must reflect full and/or part-time or total number of hours worked (i.e., work 40+ hours a week, rather than indicating full-time). If part-time, the hours must be annotated to be able to pro-rate the amount qualified specialized experience. If military or civilian, please include your rank and/or grade.
  2. Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) - If you are applying under CTAP and ICTAP, you MUST submit proof of eligibility under 5 CFR 330.602(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of your most recent performance rating, and a copy of your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) showing your position, grade level, and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.
  3. Incident Qualification and Certification System (IQCS) Master Record or other equivalent documentation which reflects completion of the required NWCG qualifications for this position.
  4. If a qualified veteran preference eligible as applicable to the Selective Factor Maximum Entry Age (MEA) under the Qualifications Section above: Qualified Veterans Preference Documentation that you meet Exception #2 under MEA:
      1. If you are a Discharged, Non-Disabled Veteran, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 showing character of discharge (Member 4 copy), or other Documentation of Service and Separation under Honorable Conditions, as listed on the SF15. If you don't have your DD-214, you may request it after discharge from the National Archives.
      2. If you are a veteran within 120 days of discharge, you must submit signed documentation from the Armed Forces certifying: 1) your expected release/retirement from active duty, 2) under honorable conditions, 3) your pay grade/rank/rate at time of discharge, 4) dates of active duty service, 5) any campaign or expeditionary medals received, & 6) dated within 120 days of your separation.
      3. If you are a Disabled Veteran, Purple Heart Recipient, or Mother or Spouse of a Disabled or Deceased Veteran, you must submit all additional proof required by the SF15, and if applicable, a completed SF15. You may request a copy of your Department of Veterans Affairs letter from www.ebenefits.va.gov or call 1-800-827-1000 to establish proof of disability.
  5. Other Supporting Documents
  6. Documentation that you meet Selective Factors. IQCS Master List
  7. College transcripts are required if qualifying on education.

Do not submit photographs with your application package.
Documents with photographs may not be seen by hiring officials - you must remove your image from any badges, licenses, etc.

Do not upload Adobe portfolio documents. Adobe portfolio documents are not viewable by our agency's staffing offices.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

How to Apply

To apply for this position: You must complete the occupational questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. To receive consideration, the complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on 06/28/2024. You must provide documentation to support your claim for each eligibility selected. Please review the required documentation listed in the eligibilities language to ensure you submit the appropriate information. Note: You will only be marked eligible for those eligibilities that you selected and provided the appropriate supporting documentation.


  1. Select Apply. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to login or create an account.
  2. Start the Application Process by selecting "Start Application."
  3. Select or add the resume you want to use for this application. Click here on how to build a resume in USAJOBS.
  4. Select documents you want included in this application.
  5. Review package to acknowledge your documents were reviewed.
  6. Select if you want to include your demographic information.
  7. After reading and certifying the application is true and submitted in good faith, select "Continue to Agency Site."
  8. Follow onscreen prompts and instructions to complete your application.
  9. Add the supporting documents by indexing your documents with the dropdown.
    • Upload any missing required documents or optional documents.
  10. Review and Submit Application.
  11. While logged in, you can check the status of your application by selecting "+" next to the job title for this position.
  12. You can review or revise your application at any point during the open period of the announcement.
    • To update an application, you should log into your USAJOBS account and select "+" next to the job title for this position. Select "Update Application" for this job.
    • Note: When you click Update Application, you will be prompted to re-select your documents from USAJOBS. Documents submitted with the first application will no longer be associated with the applicant record. It is important that you select all documents you want to use in the re-application.
Agency contact information

Β Dalirca Matos
Everglades National Park
40001 SR 9336
Homestead, FL 33034

Next steps

Once the Occupational Questionnaire is received you will receive acknowledgement that your submission was successful. If you are among the qualified candidates, your name will be referred to the hiring official, and you may be contacted directly for a possible interview. You will be notified of the status of your Application Package at the time candidates are referred for consideration, and when the selection process is complete.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is set up to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.