No Need to Worry, Mom: A Corpsmember Explains how his Corps's Training Procedures Prepared him to do Tough Jobs Safely


"Mothers Needn't Worry"

From Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa

By: Nicholas Cox

“Forest fires!? That’s really dangerous, Nick. You do know you need to be specially trained to do that?”

“That’s what I’ve been told.”

“Well, you need special equipment, too, ya know.”

“You sure do.”

“You just better be safe, Nick.”

“Tell you what, Mom, I’ll have them give you a call so you can make sure everything checks out.”

Over dinner this past Sunday, I had the chance to share with my parents a bit about what I’ve been up to since starting as a crew member on the St. Paul field crew. The preceding was the exchange I had with my mother upon reaching the topic of wildland fire. My mother has always been very concerned with my well-being. This was extremely helpful as a child; I was never the kid who forgot their snowsuit in elementary school, never one of the poor saps sentenced to indoor recess with no parole while everyone else was building snow kingdoms and bombarding girls with snowballs.

The Conservation Corps is also very concerned with my well-being. Less “Put on a jacket, it’s cold out,” and more “Don’t cut your leg off with that chainsaw.” The Corps takes safety and preparedness extremely seriously. Upon joining the Corps, each member is issued a full suite of personal protective equipment (PPE) that we will use through the rest of the year including task-specific hardhats, ear protection, multiple pairs of safety glasses, Kevlar-lined boots, chainsaw chaps, and gloves. Even better, the gloves and boots fit, the chaps are new, and prescription safety glasses are an option. Read more.