CONTRACTING FOR FIRE
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  CONTRACTING FOR FIRE >> FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 
Can I sign-up in more than one zone?
An owner signs up all equipment in one zone.

What if I miss the sign-up dates?
Spring sign-ups happen before equipment is needed and when dispatchers are not as busy with dispatching. We urge you to contact your local Dispatch Center for inspection dates and deadlines early in the year. Some, not all, Dispatch Centers maintain a list of resource names/companies to call upon in the event all the signed up equipment has been exhausted.

Can I sign up to only fight fires for a specific agency?
No, the agreement is an Interagency agreement. However, by signing up, there is no obligation for you to respond.

Why can't I just sign up at the fire?
This is a complex process and in an emergency situation there may not be adequate personnel on site to handle the administrative paperwork or to complete inspections. Sign up procedures are in place. Please do not arrive at an active fire site. It may add to the already unsafe situation.

What are my work hours?
Some general guidelines are provided here. Note that the answer may be even more specific with different situations and should be discussed with the agency procurement officer.

Driving Operations:
No driver will drive more than ten hours (behind the wheel) within any duty day. Multiple drivers in a single vehicle may drive up to the duty day limit as long as no one person exceeds the ten hour limitation.

A driver will only drive if he/she had at least eight consecutive hours off duty before beginning a shift. Exceptions apply only to immediate and critical needs for suppression objectives or for firefighter and public safety.
Work-Rest Guidelines:
The Work-rest Guidelines have not changed. The 2:1 work to rest ratio is still valid and will be followed. The guidelines state that for every two hours worked, one hour of rest will be provided to incident personnel. In addition, two days of rest and recuperation (R&R) are equired after 14 working days.

However, flexibility to exceed the guidelines is allowed when warranted under specific circumstances. Narrow exemptions will be granted by agreement of the incident management personnel and the responsible agency administrator.

Work-Rest Guidelines apply to all federal wildland firefighting agencies, state personnel and cooperators.


Why do I have to sign up every year?
For the contractor, your needs, location and equipment may change. For the government, rates and requirements may change from year to year.

Do I need to sign up with the State and other Agencies?
No. All signed up equipment may be utilized by by the State and other Agencies.

How quickly will I get paid after I work on a fire?
Typically, you can expect payment within 30 days.

Does the government take out income taxes before paying me?
It is the contractors' responsibility to take out taxes for employees.


Do I have to be part of an organization, association, or union before I can get an assignment?
No, anyone who completes the sign up process, inspection process and safety training is eligible.


What if I signed up in the spring and then I buy a new piece of equipment I want on agreement?
New equipment may be added to a resource list that some Dispatch Centers maintain in the event that the already signed up equipment has been exhausted.


How will I be notified of an assignment?
You will receive a call from Dispatch.

How will I know fires are burning?
Check out the information at: http://www.nifc.gov/news/sitreprt.pdf, but be aware that updating these websites is not the first priority of Dispatch Centers.

Can a fire shelter be rebagged?
Yes, under certain circumstances. Please see the criteria document and link to Forest Service approved company to re-bag fire shelters.
 

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