Alaskan single resource emergency firefighters need to be self sufficient on assignments

Single Resource Self-Sufficiency memorandum

Recent mobilizations to the firefighting effort in the Lower 48 and Canada have brought forth issues regarding “self-sufficiency” for single resources, particularly emergency firefighters (EFF). The expectation of self-sufficiency is that a single resource can navigate their way to, from and often during an entire incident. Self-sufficiency can be defined as providing for one’s own needs without external assistance. This has been a long standing trend on Lower 48 fire assignments. DOF is not expected to provide these on a short term basis outside of our regular state employees. The Division of Forestry needs to adjust to this expectation and individuals, particularly EFF, will need the following:

• Cell phone with Lower 48 coverage,
• Driver’s license ¬– a Class D (rural) off highway license does not meet this requirement,
• Credit card with an available balance of at least $2,500. A debit card or cash will not satisfy this requirement. A personal credit would have to be the requirement for EFF,
• Completed and signed time sheets (OF-288) for all hours claimed on assignment and submitted to home unit administration on return,
• An ability to document and complete travel authorization (TA) upon return,
• Credit card receipts for all assignment related charges.

If a firefighter is not capable of being self-sufficient, it is possible that they can still participate in alternative mobilizations. This would include crew mobilizations, helicopter modules, engine assignments or assignments where they would be paired up with regular agency employees who are self-sufficient.
We are also examining ways to assist through this transition. For example, SLS is setting up car rental agreements to allow for direct billing to a fire. If we have an incident or cooperation agency with prior approval that can guide a resource through the transportation, meals and lodging and related requirements, we can facilitate that order. This process must have prior approval with sending and receiving agency dispatch approvals. This method is often impractical in today’s Lower 48 environment.

This situation does not apply to Alaskan incidents where DOF is often providing all the requirements to and from an incident.

Forestry will also develop a “Single Resource EFF Guide” to assist DOF in oversight regarding single resources.

About Alaska Division of Forestry

Alaska Division of Forestry website: http://forestry.alaska.gov/ Mission: The Alaska Division of Forestry proudly serves Alaskans through forest management and wildland fire protection. The Wildland Fire and Aviation Program provides safe, cost-effective and efficient fire protection services and related fire and aviation management activities to protect human life and values on State, private and municipal lands. The wildland fire program cooperates with other wildland fire agencies on a statewide, interagency basis.

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