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National News

National News

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fire Management Program is responsible for protecting and restoring lands in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and Pacific Islands territories.

Fire Team Advises Biologists on Oil Spill

June, 2010

A team of four national specialists from FWS fire management headquarters was recently deployed to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill incident. As experts in managing large fires and other emergency incidents, the fire managers are providing information and guidance to regional personnel and FWS Ecological Services staff working on the incident as part of the Wildlife Recovery Branch.

“We’d like to help the FWS efforts transition from the current emergency mode to a long-term planning process,” said Chris Wilcox, national FWS fire safety and operations lead. Wilcox has been in Atlanta at the FWS Southeast Region office, assisting with long-term organization and planning efforts. He has also been consulting with the incident’s Air Operations Branch.

National fire training coordinator, Kevin Conn, is also on site with Wilcox. He is assisting with use of the interagency Incident Qualifications and Certification System (IQCS), which tracks specific incident position qualifications for large incidents. The IQCS collects and maintains data necessary for large-scale mobilization of personnel. Seven new types of positions and hundreds more FWS people are being added into the IQCS as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident.

Becky Brooks, the national FWS fire planner and a seasoned fire dispatcher, is in Atlanta advising on use of the Resource Ordering and Status System (ROSS), which tracks availability and allows for ordering and dispatch of personnel. IQCS and ROSS are the only systems facilitating national interagency deployment to emergency incidents.

Amy Kishpaugh, national FWS budget analyst at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, ID, continues to advise on incident timekeeping, payment processes and procedures after her recent assignment in Mobile, AL with primary focus on Administrative Determined (AD) emergency hires.

 “This group has been pretty phenomenal in helping move things forward,” said Brian McManus, Chief, Fire Management Branch. The Branch regularly provides assistance upon request to other FWS programs and regions during large fires and other incidents.

  Becky Brooks Chris Wilcox Kevin Conn Amy Kishpaugh  
  Becky Brooks Chris Wilcox Kevin Conn Amy Kishpaugh  

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Last Updated: 06/22/2010