USFA Request for 1000 "2" FF Teams !!!
Does anyone out there have any information in regards to this request put out by the USFA regarding the request for 1000 "2" FF Teams to respond and act as FEMA representatives for a 30 day deployment? Is anyone applying? What information have you been provided by FEMA when you called the phone number they provided on the request.
FEMA now requesting an additional 2,000 from the Volunteer ranks
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE FROM THE UNITED STATES VOLUNTEER FIRE SERVICE IN RESPONSE TO HURRICANE KATRINA
Our Nation is faced with the most catastrophic natural disaster in modern times, and we are calling upon the Nation's fire service to aid the affected citizens and communities. This is the United States Fire Administration's second request to mobilize members of the fire service within Federal guidelines.
The current need is for 1,000 two-person teams to serve as FEMA's community relations representatives in response to Hurricane Katrina. Each department may offer more than one two-person team. These people will be deployed as a team, and we prefer that they know one another prior to deployment.
This request requires volunteer firefighters who are members in good standing in a community based volunteer fire department. The volunteer firefighter will be hired as a FEMA Disaster Assistance Employee with an initial appointment not to exceed 120 days. The rate of pay will be $23.41 per hour regular time and $29.59 overtime. They must be:
* Physically capable of performing manual tasks under severe conditions;
* Able to obtain a favorable suitability determination;
* Experienced in working with minimum supervision;
* Capable of living in austere, severe living conditions with minimal or no creature comforts for a period of at least 30 days;
* Are members in good standing in their department with an established record of recent emergency response and able to perform appropriately in a national response;
* Free of medical condition(s) that would prevent them from working in these conditions for this period of time; and,
* Able to work within the ICS, provide basic first aid, and follow orders.
The work is non-operational community relations focused activities that consist of direct outreach to persons in the affected areas. They will assist victims in understanding how they will go about the process of getting Federal assistance, distributing information, providing minimal first-aid, and taking reports. The work will be outside, exposed to the elements and will require significant walking.
FEMA will notify the Chief of Department, and selected applicants will be notified by their Chief of Department that they have been selected. NO ONE SHOULD DEPLOY WITHOUT NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE FROM FEMA. Selected applicants will report to a central location in the Atlanta, Georgia area for training and further deployment. Travel to the Atlanta, Georgia area will be per government authorization in a manner specified upon acceptance. Acceptance information will also cover lodging and other related expense reimbursement information.
The application process is the exact same process as applying for a National Fire Academy resident course. Applicants will complete FEMA Form 75-5A (short form) general application which can be found at:
In box 12a. "Course Code and Title" the applicant should enter "COMMUNITY RELATIONS DEPLOYMENT"and "L282". In Box #21, please fill in the names of BOTH team members. No other course information is required on the application, but everything else must be completed. Additional personnel information will be required upon acceptance. The application must be fully completed and signed by the Chief of the Department or the Chief's designee. The application should be faxed to 301-447-1234. A scanned completed/signed application can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The department must submit two applications (one team). Single individual applications will not be accepted.
We will notify the first 1000 teams of their acceptance and process any additional applications in the event that they are needed in the future.
Submission of an application DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE TEAM HAS BEEN ACCEPTED. Acceptance is a second, separate process. The Chief of the Department or designee will be notified of the teams' acceptance, and provided deployment information.
If you have any questions or need additional information you can find more information at www.usfa.fema.gov; email email@example.com or call 301-447-7250.
INFORMATION FOR THE CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT
Your signature on the application represents your approval of the activity and deployment of the applicant team, as well as confirmation of the following:
* The suitability of the applicants to perform the duties listed under the severe conditions listed above;
* They have passed a criminal background check and are able to obtain a favorable suitability determination;
* They are members in good standing in the department with an established record of recent emergency response and able to perform appropriately in a national response;
* They are familiar with and have demonstrated ability to work within the Incident Command System;
* They are capable of providing basic first aid and following orders.
The concept is that your team will be able to work independently under tough conditions, being provided only food, water and perhaps rustic shelter.
It is the responsibility of each team member to retain and submit receipts for other mission related expenses.
Submitting an application does not mean that the person is accepted. Acceptance is a separate process. Do not allow anyone from your department to deploy without official follow-up confirmation. That confirmation will provide specific detailed information.
If one member of the team drops out, then the other member of the team will either not deploy or be sent back home.
The Chief of Department will be notified of the teams' acceptance and provided the deployment information.
INFORMATION FOR THE TEAM BEING DEPLOYED
Do not self-deploy. If you are accepted, you will be given specific further directions from your Chief of Department.
Each team should bring a basic medical jump kit (bandages, BP set) to provide minimal first aid.
You will be provided government ID in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
You will be deployed with another member of your organization as a team and will be working with that person for the duration.
Following are items which you must bring with you:
* sleeping bag;
* personal hygiene necessities:
* insect repellent;
* sun screen;
* rain gear;
* flashlight and batteries.
We cannot guarantee that you will have a vehicle or a means to transport or store gear.
FEMA will provide you with FEMA shirts. Remember that you may have to carry with you everything that you bring for the entire time.
Finally, please ensure that members of your family can function without your presence for at least 30 days.
Background to the FEMA request
This is an email sent by Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue Chief Michael Neuhard:
From: Neuhard, Mike
Sent: Fri 9/2/2005 9:29 AM
Cc: Griffin, Anthony H.; Stalzer, Rob
You may have heard about the FEMA's soliciting firefighters to work as Disaster Employees (1,000 teams of 2 firefighters). These people will not be performing firefighter duties. They will become temporary FEMA Community Relations personnel, doing a job FEMA does in every disaster.
Historically, FEMA hires Community Relations disaster employees at every disaster. This time, due to the constraints of doing background investigations, FEMA made the decision to hire firefighters that already have gone through a criminal background investigation. As mentioned, the firefighters would be hired as federal employees and deployed to assist with the FEMA recovery efforts.
While the request is honorable, we need to be mindful of the Department's current resource and personnel commitments in support of the USAR deployment and the distinct possibility that may be asked to support additional Countywide relief efforts.
In addition, we are seeking and receiving addition details concerning how the personnel would be deployed, how they would be supported in the field, and how they would be compensated. We also, have safety, health, supervision, and support concerns.
For this reason the Department cannot at this time support FEMA request for firefighters to work as Disaster Relief Employees.
In the weeks ahead, if FEMA's needs firefighters to act as relief workers and the extent of the Department's and County's relief efforts are known, we may reconsider this request.
Your patience and consideration of this information is appreciated.
Fairfax and Miami-Dade are the original international search-and-rescue teams who work as State Department (Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance) contract employees when on international missions and FEMA contractors on domestic missions. There are about a dozen Fairfax and Miami-Dade folks who are contract employees on every single USAR activation.
They have the most experience in dealing with federally-directed disaster response. Some of the original task force members have retired from the fire department and continue to serve as full-time federal employees or contractors.
Like everyone else, they are ready to help when requested. If you listened to the "old school" USAR guys who were in Florida last year, the reorganization of FEMA placed a couple of layers of bureucracy between the USAR teams and the feds. Many of the federal employees overseeing disaster response are not very experienced in emergency operations - a Miami-Dade sector chief described the difficulty in sending the 12 hour situation reports (expected as an email or fax) when he was three hours from the nearest source of any type of phone service.
This note from Local 2068's bulletin board provides a perspective:
I do not post to this very often but here is my .02 worth. We sent "only" a 34 person team because that is what FEMA told us to do, it had nothing to do with what we as a dept. were capable of. Chief Neuhard did the right thing when FEMA asked a couple of days later what/if any could all of the teams add to the already in place responses, he stated whatever you need. Which translates into rostering up a complete type I deployment in addition to the already in place type III. This is unprecedented in USAR, no other team, to my knowledge, has the resources to field this large of a deployment......kudos to the Chief.
I too would like for all of us still here to be afforded the opportunity to help out, how about the union stepping up and quickly organizing a fund raiser of sorts......or better yet Mr. Lewis, how about all the money we collect this weekend going down to the gulf coast, in turn we will raise more money than ever for MDA later in the fall...? I am sure there are enough of us that we could beat the streets for a week for MDA if you sent everything you make this weekend down south......just a thought.....
always proud of my sisters and brothers who serve in the "Republic of Fairfax"
(and, despite EJ's assertion, very mindful of the USAR teams in Los Angeles, FDNY, Phoenix, Miami-Dade and others that have the same resources and desire to help.)
Michael J. Ward
Instructor - EHS 173 Special Operations
The George Washington University