Photo shared by LA City Fire
According to their website; the InterAgency Board for Equipment Standardization (IAB) are a loosely organized voluntary collaborative panel or board comprised mainly of first responders sanctioned by the US Attorney General and founded by the Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation Weapons of Mass Destruction Countermeasures in 1998 to strengthen the nation’s ability to safely respond to large disasters. They have recently released a new paper, “Training Trigger: Wildland Fire Fighting/Urban Interface”. This is the first paper they have released for first responders regarding wildfire response in areas known as the wildland-urban interface.
Photo shared by LA City Fire from the La Tuna Fire
With the growing wildfire threat, (this year’s wildfire suppression costs have already exceeded every previous year’s costs) and large wildfires occurring in areas that have not traditionally seen large wildfires like Gatlinburg, TN, it becomes increasingly important for fire departments that have traditionally focused on structure fires to be trained and equipped to respond for calls of assistance for wildland fires.
This paper refers to NFPA Standards 1051 Wildland Firefighting Personnel, 1142 Wildland Fire Management, 1906 Wildland Fire Apparatus, and 1977 Wildland Firefighting PPE as well as the NFPA report, “Wildland/Urban Interface: Fire Department Wildfire and Readiness Capabilities.” It points to activities that are suggested for fire departments to engage in, to safely operate in wildland fire situations:
- Take advantage of the most current wildland fire training
- Preplan for where your agency can get resources to assist with wildfire response
- Ensure that all responding fire service personnel have met physical fitness standards established by the “pack test”
- Practice operating nontraditional apparatus and equipment such as type 3 engines used in wildfire response
- Have an adequate communications plan (ICS 205)
- Update emergency Operations Procedures (EOP) for wildfire response
- Clearly, define specific missions and operations periods for urban/suburban departments before a wildfire
- Quantify your resources and establish minimum resource depletion levels for wildland firefighting incidents
- Develop before a wildfire, state or region-wide plans for deployment during a wildfire including how resources will be requested, dispatched, compensated, and managed.