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Is anyone out there interested in a job flying aerial fire suppression?
Before you answer, think about this.
There are only about 250 civilian fire-carded pilots in the United States.
Pilots flying air attack (spotter), airtanker, or recon flights are NOT able to purchase life insurance because their occupation is considered too hazardous.
Since 1960, 159 pilots have been killed fighting fires and their families have been financially devastated in addition to the personal loss.
Let's say a contract air attack pilot crashes on scene and a Volunteer Firefighter on the ground is killed in the crash. The Forest Service officer (also killed) riding in the air attack plane is covered by Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) as is the Volunteer Firefighter, their families will recieve about a quarter of a million in benefits, and that's a good thing! Now we look at the family of the contract pilot--they get a nice letter of condolences--and THAT'S ALL!
Congresswoman Barbara Cuban of Wyoming is sponsering a bill (HR977) to include contract aerial firefighters in PSOB.
Do you think the men and women who fly these firefighting aircraft should be considered real firefighters?
I think this oversight is an outrage and I'd like to hear what you think should or could be done!
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