Hot Shot crews usually consist of 20 firefighters. There is usually a designated superintendent, one or two crew leaders and several squad bosses. The rest of the crew consists of well trained, physically fit men and women who possess the mental toughness to do this type of job.

On a wildland fire the Hot Shot crews are referred to as type 1 crews and are assigned the toughest, most dangerous sections and tasks on the fire. These crews can dig fireline, clear helispots, and put out hotspots better than most less trained firefighting crews. Hot Shot crews have extreme pride in their abilities and a usually friendly rivalry exists between the crews.