I am currently a wildland firefighter and am looking to go to ATP in Ogden UT after this fire season. My question is after I finish the student portion and am working for ATP would it be feasible if I took 1-2 two week blocks off to go fight fires still. This would be the only “vacation time” I would take all year. Doing this would allow me to keep all the certs I’ve spent the last couple years getting current and having done the math from looking at the pay scale listed on this site I would make an extra 5k a year even with the unpaid time from ATP. So there is a huge appeal for that and in limited doses fire is super fun. One last note I am fully willing to give up fire completely after this season, I just want to keep all my options open.
ATP’s Admin would have to approve (and has the final word on) the leave but I’m pretty certain taking 2 weeks off after you’re done training and before you start instructing would be fine. The idea is not to let too much time lapse.
If you postpone your start date as an instructor and fight fires before you start, I don’t see that being an issue. If you are already instructing and then wanted to request 2 weeks off, that’s up to Flight Ops to decide. They ultimately have the final word. All I can say is I you can try, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.