Ep. 9From Incarcerated Firefighter to Full-Time Hotshot With Mando Perez

Mando Perez spent around six years fighting fire while incarcerated as a young man. Upon his release in 2010, he began the arduous transition into a position with a federal firefighting agency, and now works as a senior firefighter for the El Dorado Hotshots. In this episode, he shares his experiences of working on an inmate fire crew and details how he transitioned to a full-time fire career after his release. He also talks about why he continues to pursue fire as a career, what he loves about the job, and offers some suggestions for people who may be on a path similar to his.

Links and Shownotes

Vice News documentary on the El Dorado Hotshots

To learn more about California Assembly Bill 2147—which allows formerly incarcerated firefighters to have their records expunged in order to gain employment more easily after their release—check out this piece in Politico from September.

Finally, here are a few resources for anyone interested in getting a job as a wildland firefighter, regardless of their background:

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