Ok, you want to get your Pyro 3 license, what's your next step? The process can seem a bit daunting, but it is really straightforward. Here is your step by step guide to obtaining a Pyro 3 license.
0) Send email to calpyro at lunar.org and let the LUNAR pyro coordinator know you are interested in obtaining your Cal Pyro license. This step is not required, but is strongly recommended. LUNAR is actively promoting participation in the Cal Pyro license program for HPR fliers. The LUNAR pyro coordinator can provide advice and assistance throughout the process.
1) Contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal and request an application package for Pyrotechnic Operator, Rocket 3rd Class to begin your application. You can call (916) 445-8373 or send email to yevonne.costa at fire.ca.gov to request your package. NOTE: All application forms and study materials (including the LiveScan fingerprint form) are available from the State Fire Marshall website, http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/strucfireengineer/strucfireengineer_fireworks.php, or the LUNAR website, http://www.lunar.org. You no longer need to request the application package from the OSFM in order to obtain the LiveScan form.
2) While you are waiting for your application package to arrive, write up a short (less than one page) rocket resume containing your high power rocketry experience. Emphasis should be on safety, knowledge of regulations, and launch staff participation. NOTE: volunteer launch duty at LUNAR launches is an excellent way to gain experience.
3) After a few days, you will receive an application package containing an application form, five reference forms, a LiveScan fingerprint form, and instructions. You are applying for "Rocket 3rd Class". Here is the table from the application, see the check mark on the far right.
| Special Effects 1st Class||$250.00|| Basic Commercial||$125.00|| Rocket 1st Class||$50.00|
| Special Effects 2nd Class||$200.00|| Theatrical Trainee||$100.00|| Rocket 2nd Class||$50.00|
| Special Effects 3rd Class||$100.00|| Theatrical||$200.00|| Rocket 3rd Class||$50.00|
| Restricted Commercial||$50.00|| Performer||$125.00|||
Plus a $37 fingerprint processing fee.
Use your rocket resume to fill in the "Training/Experience" section of the application. Again, you should emphasize safety, knowledge of regulations, and launch staff participation, as well as listing any current NAR/Tripoli high power certifications.
4) Find a LiveScan fingerprint facility from the list, http://caag.state.ca.us/fingerprints/publications/contact.htm, take the form and get fingerprinted. The LiveScan facility will typically charge $18-$20 to transmit your fingerprints. NOTE: you may want to have the OSFM phone number with you ((916) 445-8373) in case there is any problem with the LiveScan account number provided by the OSFM. It is a handwritten entry.
5) Now comes the hard part. Fortunately, it isn't so hard any more and there is help if you want it. You will need to obtain reference letters from five current Cal Pyro License holders who have held their license for more than a year. They will be attesting to your HPR knowledge, skills, integrity, and moral and ethical character.
Many LUNAR HPR fliers have obtained their license; you can ask around at launches and introduce yourself. You can contact the LUNAR pyro coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org), who can help introduce you to some of the Cal Pyro licensees in the club. You should be prepared to describe your HPR skills (your rocket resume will help here) and get to know them well enough to ask for a reference letter. If you have attended LUNAR launches, you are probably more well-known, and you may know more Cal Pyros, than you think.
NOTE: Not to belabor the point, but volunteering for launch staff duty at LUNAR launches is an excellent way to get to know your fellow LUNARTICS and demonstrate your skills and safety dedication!
6) Send the application, references letters, and a check for $87, payable to "CDF/State Fire Marshal", to the OSFM. After your check has cleared and the OSFM has completed a background check (usually 2-4 weeks), you will receive the test instructions and study materials (ie., a hard copy of the Fireworks Handbook). You have 30 days from the day the materials are sent to you to schedule and take the written exam at the SFM offices in Sacramento or Monrovia.
7) Study the Fireworks Handbook. You should look over the study guide on the LUNAR website to help you identify the more relevant sections of the handbook. You need not wait for the study package to arrive, the Fireworks Handbook is available in pdf format on the OSFM and LUNAR websites.
8) Travel to Sacramento (or Monrovia) to the OSFM offices on your appointed day, take the exam, and pass. There is a nice pancake house about a block from the Sacramento offices where you can grab a cup of coffee and some last minute review if you arrive early.
9) You will be given the opportunity to discuss any questions you missed after the test is corrected. You will be issued a temporary license after you pass the test. You should receive your permanent license in the mail shortly. If they are not terribly busy, you may receive your permanent license on the spot.
10) Travel home, send email to general at lunar.org, announce your new status and await congratulations. Copy calpyro at lunar.org so that the pyro coordinator can note your status and advise the membership chairman to issue you a new LUNAR membership card with the Pyro "club" insignia on it.