Incident Management Teams activated for hurricane Irene (Updated)

Jim Giachino

UPDATE  at 9:06 a.m., August 28, 2011:

In case you are interested in how FEMA is reacting operationally to the response and recovery from Hurricane Irene, here is an excerpt from the FEMA Blog, written this morning:

What We Are Doing

Our immediate focus and priority, as we move from into the response and initial recovery phase, is to do everything we can to support first responders and emergency managers at the frontlines with efforts to keep residents and communities safe. Here’s a brief update on what we’re doing:

  • We’ve proactively positioned a total of 18 Incident Management Assistance Teams along the coast to coordinate with state, tribal and local officials to identify needs and shortfalls affecting potential disaster response and recovery.
  • Six national urban search and rescue teams, comprised of more than 500 personnel, are activated and ready to deploy if needed.
  • Community relations teams are being staged to support states along the East Coast. These teams, if needed, help inform disaster survivors about available services and resources.
  • Mobile Emergency Response System assets have been strategically located along the entire east coast to support emergency response communications needs.


August 27, 2011:

Jim Giachino
Jim Giachino, IC

At least two Incident Management Teams have been activated in response to hurricane Irene. Jim Giachino’s Type 1 team from California will establish and manage a mobilization center at East Farmingdale, New York. Mr. Giachino is affiliated with the Chester Fire Protection District in California and is formerly the Forest Supervisor of the Mendocino National Forest.

A type 3 team will be assigned in the Boston area along with four saw crews. A type 2 crew will be assigned in the New York region.

The National Park Service pre-positioned three of their five all-hazard IMTeams. The Coast Guard staged six of their Disaster Assistance Response Teams, river-rescue units equipped with shallow-draft, flat-bottomed boats, in areas that were expected to be hit by flood waters.

FEMA has activated their Regional Response Coordination Centers in Boston (Region 1), Philadelphia (Region 3), and New York (Region 2) and pre-positioned 18 of their Incident Management Assistance Teams along the east coast. Six national urban search and rescue teams have been placed on alert in the event that search and rescue support is needed.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

8 thoughts on “Incident Management Teams activated for hurricane Irene (Updated)”

  1. I took a IMT class with a couple of the NYC team members and they asked huge numbers of questions and spent a lot of time listening to several of us who had worked on IMTs for several years. They were very intrested in logistics of long term incidents and had good words about the “Forestry” teams who responded to support 9/11.

  2. The FDNY has one Type 1 team. They started out as a Type 3 team and built up their capability over a number of years until they became a Type 1 IMT. Within the FDNY it is a volunteer assignment.

    The team deployed to the New Orleans area along with additonal FDNY apparatus. They had many interesting experiences in New Orleans and many task books were completed. They set up at a small college and literally had no support. A Resource Request for a caterer was declined (they has 300 people to feed daily). An FDNY truck was driving over 200 miles one way everyday to buy food.

  3. Bill,

    Hmmm, hadn’t thought about military aircraft. The weather is deteriorating here pretty quickly, but conditions on Long Island currently better than here in western Jersey. Just checked the aviation weather, and the conditions for the JFK area will be bad for aviation shortly. I am hoping that if the type 1 from CA was planning on arriving today that they have already landed, or will soon.

  4. Bill,

    Correct me if I am wrong, I believe that you are talking about IMT from the National Interagency Coordination Center, usually used to fight wildfires. If so, it will take some time for these teams to arrive, that they will probably be arriving after Irene has passed as I believe that all the airports in the NY/NJ metro area are shut down until Irene passes.

    I have heard that the FDNY has type 1 teams, and I too would not expect them to be deployed until later. But I am not exactly in the know on FDNY procedures.

    1. Tyler-

      I don’t know when the Type 1 IMTeam departed from California. It could have been yesterday or today. My guess is that they flew on a private chartered aircraft, but if it was a military aircraft, they would be landing at a military base not subject to the same closures as the standard airports.

  5. Hey Bill,

    Thank-you for posting this. And many thanks to both of the type one crews coming to help us out. Grew up in Boston and now live in northwest Jersey


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