Service Firefighters Assist in Flood Response
Firefighters from the Service’s Mountain-Prairie and Midwest Regions are providing much needed support to the agencies and communities being affected by rising flood waters in North Dakota. Service fire personnel and law enforcement officers are trained in emergency response scenarios such as floods, hurricanes, and other national disasters. With specialized training in communications, safety, and organization these employees are providing a portion of the response effort supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other rescue agencies. Service employees are interfacing with local sheriff departments to rescue people primarily using airboats in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Service employees involved in the flood response are relying on a standardized system for organization used by firefighters on the fireline to help ensure safety and efficiency during management of large incidents. Many fire personnel are qualified to work in specific roles within this Incident Command System such as Incident Commander or Planning Section Chief.
Firefighters from the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana have formed a taskforce to address impact of the flooding at refuges and waterfowl production areas the Service has scattered across the state. They have been called upon to do any number of tasks including taking preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of flood damage to Service facilities.
Flood response efforts are predicted to last for many weeks and the Service anticipates a need for clean up and restoration activities after the waters subside.
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