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BULLETodd jobs archive
Odd Jobs Archive Photo
© John Burcham
Wildland Firefighter
Jackie Wren
Grand Canyon

Like many high-school students, Jackie Wren needed a job. And the summer before
her junior year, she found one with the National Park Service, thinning trees with a local fire-engine crew. “At the time, I had no idea I wanted to be a firefighter,” she says. “The way the opportunity fell into my lap was definitely a dream come true, and the summer of 2004 changed my entire perspective and pathway.” Two years later, Wren joined the Grand Canyon Engine Crew, a wildland fire team. Then, in 2009, she shifted gears and transitioned to the Grand Canyon’s Helitack Crew. Besides fighting fires (in June 2013, Wren and her crew fought the Halfway Fire, which burned 250 acres outside the Grand Canyon), she also specializes in emergency medical and search-and-rescue operations. “You can get anything and every-thing in the Grand Canyon,” she says. “It’s relentless.” From April through October, Wren works nearly nonstop — one day, she’s evacuating a hiker from the Canyon; the next, she’s searching for a lost backpacker. And she wouldn’t have it any other way: “I love jumping into new situations and not knowing where I’m going to end up at the end of the day.” — Kathy Ritchie

For more information about Grand Canyon National Park, visit www.nps.gov/grca.

>> Back to Odd Jobs Archive


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