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Individual Highlight

Decision Modeling Framework Improves Process for Awarding Firefighting Helicopter Contracts

Wildland firefighting helicopter. Cibola National ForestSnapshot : Aviation managers desired ways to add more rigor, reliability and transparency to the process. NRS researcher Stephanie Snyder was part of a team that created a suite of optimization decision models and a database system. These tools greatly enhanced the efficiency and credibility of the award process and allowed for explicit consideration of trade-offs between quality and cost of contract assignments.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Snyder, Stephanie 
Research Location : nationwide
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2010
Highlight ID : 214

Summary

The US Forest Service contracts helicopter services used in its wildfire suppression activities. In the past, the contracting process has relied on ad-hoc spreadsheet ranking methods. Aviation managers desired ways to add more rigor, reliability and transparency to the process. NRS researcher Stephanie Snyder was part of a team that created a suite of optimization decision models and a database system. These tools greatly enhanced the efficiency and credibility of the award process and allowed for explicit consideration of trade-offs between quality and cost of contract assignments. The models were used to award firefighting helicopter contracts in 2008 and in 2010.

Research Topics

Priority Areas

  • Wildland Fire and Fuels
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