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  1. #1
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    Question Response teams for Wildfires

    I have always wondered why when the wildland firefighting resources are stretched thin as they seem to be every year. Why is there not national response teams that can be called to action as the USAR teams are? I would think having teams like that would be beneficial.


  2. #2
    Sr. Information Officer NJFFSA16's Avatar
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    Excellent question. We have something like that in place. The current protocol, as you may know, requires all resources to be ordered through NIFC. Command overhead, such as Type 1 and Type 2 incident command teams, are usually the first to respond to large wildfires. Additional handcrews, air tankers, engine strike teams, supervisory personnel, communications support, etc., are then requested through NIFC. Then, NIFC musters those resources from geographic coordination centers, who then assemble those resources from their geographic areas. It all takes time.

    If I understand your question correctly, you're talking about having pre-determined strike teams consisting of large and small engines, handcrews and supervisory personnel on rotating standby...similar to USAR units, but on a larger scale. That seems like a good idea. Making one notification, and then having immediate response of "GO teams", could provide the faster delivery of needed initial assistance. Then, NIFC could get moving on providing other resources to bolster the actions of the "GO teams."

    Funding is most likely the major obstacle. There aren't enough funds in place to support the present system. As it stands now, the system works....but the lag time for getting crews on scene can be up to 36-48 hours. That can be critical in situations like the present one in California.

    One thing is certain. The present system becomes taxed relatively quickly. Some tweaking of the structure is in order. That means going through bureaucratic channels...which translates to an extended period of discussions and debates.

    I'm interested in hearing opinions. Can the system be improved? Can "GO teams" be established? What are the obstacles?

    NJ
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  3. #3
    Forum Member Engine101's Avatar
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    Strike Team formations are already determined it changes though depending on the avaliablity of those units

  4. #4
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    There may be strike teams. But obviously they are not enough. The type of teams I am referring to are the USAR type teams that could be called up from around the country. Every year it is the same thing...major fires all over and not enough firefighters. Create teams from departments across the country that could be called into action. Not an expert on this by any means, just an observer sitting back with no way to help brother firefighters that need it

  5. #5
    Forum Member Engine101's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dbff108
    There may be strike teams. But obviously they are not enough. The type of teams I am referring to are the USAR type teams that could be called up from around the country. Every year it is the same thing...major fires all over and not enough firefighters. Create teams from departments across the country that could be called into action. Not an expert on this by any means, just an observer sitting back with no way to help brother firefighters that need it

    From what I have been told California Task Force 3 from the Mnelo Prk area has been deployed and was either sent to the Grand Prix Fire or the Simi Fire

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