BOISE, Idaho, (August 16, 2016) – The Boise County Emergency Management Service program has been active on the Pioneer Fire, helping to address ongoing needs for structural protection, law enforcement, health and other emergency services for public safety and support to communities that are at risk resulting from the Pioneer Wildland Fire.
Boise County Emergency Services, in addition to helping with essential services to support firefighting efforts, were recently provided an opportunity to increase their knowledge and build additional skills for emergency personnel and cooperators to prepare and better address future all-risk events.
The Emergency Services unit is tasked with planning for and responding to large-scale disasters (all-risk incidents). They are the focal point between the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security and Boise County. Emergency Management interacts with and supports all first responders in the county including law enforcement, ten fire departments, six EMS units and federal land managers.
To gain experience and training, Boise County Emergency Management Planning Committee members were able to observe a night burning operation at the Pioneer Fire; attend incident planning and situation management meetings; and observe medical unit activities-all key elements of the incident management leadership. Afterward, five members of the committee (Jessica and Dan Gasiorowski, Joyce Brewer, Dawn Justice and Mitch Tain) volunteered for more in-depth training. These five shadowed leaders of the Southern Area National Incident Management Team, a Type 1 team (highest complexity incident management) and were able to learn first-hand from team leaders aspects of fire planning, situation leadership, finance and accounting and fire information.
Boise County Emergency Manager, John Roberts stated, “It is an amazing opportunity to be able to observe and learn from a National Type 1 Incident Management Team on assignment. These Management Teams are the elite of emergency responders and our volunteer managers learned a lot. This experience will make us better at managing our local emergencies. I’d like to offer a big ‘Thank You’ to the Southern Area National Incident Management Team for the chance to learn at their sides and to Chief Shindelar for making it happen.”
Bob Shindelar, Boise National Forest Fire Management Officer stated, “Boise County Emergency Services is well-versed in the operations aspect of emergencies; this fire afforded the opportunity to work together to increase the skills and knowledge of county resources under the incident command system.” He went on to explain that this experience helps continue the mutual efforts to work toward increasing local skills for all-incident management teams in the County.
Over the past three years, the Boise National Forest and Boise County Emergency Services cooperators have held joint emergency simulation exercises each spring. These exercises have been highly successful to build relationships and afford opportunities to practice and learn command and communication skills under the incident management system. The continuation of training and support at the Pioneer Fire provided real-life incidents that grow the program goals.
Lee Ann Loupe