About the Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program
Founded by Brandon Smith and Royal Ramey, two people who were formerly incarcerated, the Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program (FFRP) is a non-profit organization that provides career support to formerly incarcerated firefighters and those currently incarcerated in California’s Conservation Camps. The organization aims to increase wildfire personnel from non-traditional and underrepresented communities, providing them with the training, skills, resources, and experiences needed to secure gainful employment.
Impact on frontline communities
FFRP was developed in direct response to the growing need for wildfire-related personnel. California relies heavily on people who are incarcerated to help fight wildfires. As of May 2021, over 1,600 people who are incarcerated are actively fighting wildfires across California. Unfortunately, many of these individuals face challenges finding a job after they are released. Recent legislation signed by Governor Gavin Newsom has made this a little easier, but challenges remain. Read more about the story of FFRP in this article.
FFRP offers people impacted by the criminal justice system the opportunity to have careers in forest management. It also brings underrepresented communities to forest management work, increasing the diversity of perspectives in this important industry.