Bobbie on Fire

Bobbie Scopa started her career as a seasonal firefighter in 1974. After graduating from Arizona State University, she went on to work in fire and natural resource management. Eventually she left the wildand agencies to work full time for a structure fire department. She finished her Masters in Forestry at NC State then went back to the US Forest Service and BLM eventually becoming the Assistant Regional Fire Director in Region 6. Bobbie has spent many years working as a type 1 and 2 Operations Section Chief. You can listen to Bobbie tell audio stories from her long career at She has also recently completed her memoir titled “Both Sides Of The Fire Line”. It will be available through Chicago Review Press late summer of 2022.

The Art of Keeping Calm in Fire Ground Communications–Even When You’re Not

Keeping calm under stress is an asset in lot of facets of the fire service. When I was a fairly new Captain at a structural fire department, I had to endure a lot of harassment and disrespect by some of the more senior firefighters and officers. I was smart and capable and tested well on the promotional exams. But I didn’t fit in. Not fitting in led to my having a chip on my shoulder and might have exacerbated my problems with “the guys”. But, I had a mentor. The Battalion Chief was excellent. He was older than most of us and had a career’s worth of experience and wisdom. He never showed me any special treatment but offered me some pearls of wisdom that I’ve kept close to my heart ever since.

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Wildland Firefighter Training: Were The Good Old Days That Good?

Wildland firefighter training has come a long way, which is a good thing to remember when you get an attack of old-timer-itis. Three years ago, I retired from the fire service after a 44 plus year career. Since then I’ve been involved with a small Fire District, so I stay connected to the business and the firefighters. As I got further along in my career, I heard my contemporaries romanticizing and reminiscing about the “good ‘ol days”. If I’m not careful I too can slip in to old firefighter mode and complain about how things are now compared to how it was when I started in my career.

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