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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 599D
Category: Maintenance Trades & Labor


Supervises an avalanche control and observation crew operating on a major mountain pass. Develops and disseminates instructions and information to crew. Organizes, conducts and facilitates crew meetings.

Typical Work

Plans, enacts and reviews an operational program to manage avalanche hazards affecting Washington State Highways;

Acts as liaison to Department of Transportation management and federal, state and local agencies regarding policies, procedures and operations; conducts training and/or presents information regarding avalanche phenomena, control and effects;

Organizes and supervises weather data collection and avalanche control missions;

Prepares crew schedules providing for necessary ongoing hazard management; prioritizes and assigns work outside of normal shifts, schedules materials and equipment as needed;

Assigns projects and responsibilities to crew; monitors performance, productivity, and work habits;

Coordinates data transmission with federal, state and local agencies and mountain passes;

Coordinates and develops plans for control operations;

Supervises construction of snow study plots;

Monitors storm activity and plots avalanche trends;

Supervises the installation and maintenance of all equipment used by an avalanche forecast and control crew.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: principles of weather instrumentation and data gathering; general cause and effect of weather variables and their impact on avalanching; use, handling, firing and storage of ordnance weapons and explosives; cold weather safety and survival techniques; highway maintenance operations; radio equipment operation; techniques of supervision.

Ability to: work effectively under difficult physical and environmental conditions; coordinate activities with other supervisors; ski or travel in difficult terrain with loaded back pack; interpret weather data and maintain records; handle ordnance weapons and explosives with safety and discretion; operate snow vehicles and heavy equipment.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

Four years assigned full-time avalanche control technician work, or a combination of experience and education (Bachelor's degree with major study in a physical science). Must have satisfactorily completed the U.S. Forest Service National Avalanche School or compatible advanced level professional avalanche education/course and U.S. Army Gunnery School courses. Must be able to ski and climb advanced terrain in heavy snow and adverse weather, making parallel turns while carrying a loaded back pack weighing not less than 25 pounds; able to work at heights and when suspended by ropes.

A Washington State Explosives Users License with certification for Avalanche Control.

A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class B with hazmat endorsement, without air brake restriction.

Class Specification History

New class, replaces 69020 Avalanche Control Supervisor, effective January 1, 2006.
Revise class. General revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.
Revised title (formerly Avalanche Forecast and Control Specialist 4), definition, typical work, knowledge and abilities, legal requirements and desirable qualifications; adopted June 13, 2019; effective July 1, 2019.