GSA quitting the fire equipment business

GSA Fire catalog

For decades many federal, state, and local agencies have purchased most of their wildland firefighting equipment and supplies from the U.S. Government’s General Services Administration (GSA). Starting next month, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) will be assuming their role of stocking and distributing more than 250 items including:

  • Water handling equipment and supplies;
  • Fire line tools;
  • Fire shelters;
  • Protective clothing;
  • Canteens;
  • Field packs;
  • Sleeping bags;
  • Batteries;
  • Chainsaw chaps;
  • First aid kits;
  • Goggles and safety glasses; and
  • Gloves

The following memo was distributed on March 18, 2014 by Stephen A. Gage, the U.S. Forest Service’s Assistant Director for Operations in Boise.


“The General Services Administration (GSA) currently furnishes specialized wildland firefighting equipment and supplies to federal and cooperating agencies through formal agreements with the USDA Forest Service and the USDI Bureau of Land Management.  GSA is currently in the process of transferring their wildland fire program to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).  Effective May 1,2014 the DLA is assuming program management responsibilities for the specialized wildland firefighting equipment previously provided by GSA.

In an attempt to minimize confusion created by this transition the following information is provided:

  • The last day for shipments from GSA is April 30, 2014.  Starting May 1st customer orders for wildland fire program items will be routed to DLA for fulfillment.
  • DLA requires pre-payment (by credit card) for orders by state and local agencies, prior to shipment.  DLA also requires a “PKI token” – a security measure required to access the DoD EMALL ordering system. The PKI token requires an annual fee. This will be required by federal, state and local agencies.  See attached letter from DLA for additional details.
  • This change does not affect items purchased through GSA Advantage or other (non-specialized fire equipment) services you might receive from GSA.

You are encouraged to place orders with GSA, prior to the transition to DLA, in order to minimize disruption to your fire program.  GSA has indicated that orders received by April 15, 2014 will be shipped by April 30, 2014.

As more details emerge, updates will be posted at”

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. Google+

9 thoughts on “GSA quitting the fire equipment business”

    1. I don’t know what did. They are also doing away with the Woodland Fire Equipment catalog. Now, unless you are registered with the site, it looks like you cannot even go in to get pricing. This makes it tough when you are getting pricing for grant applications.

    2. GSA realignment – no longer cost effective to pre-purchase items under the Forest Service FSS and warehouse them for shipment.

      The Department of Defense DLA already has a well established procurement, warehouse, and shipment process for specialized equipment under Federal Supply Schedules (FSS).

  1. Having dealt with ordering from GSA for many years, I have to say that it is typical federal government that takes a system which has worked so well for many years and totally screw it up. Near as I can tell, you cant even get in to look it over until you get a token (for a yearly subscription fee) from a company and then get registered for the site. I have been to their site ( which I keep getting a message to not continue because their security certificate is no good), and cannot find information about how the site works. It would be nice if there was more notice about this change and at least some tutorial about the site before giving us 3 weeks notice that this was taking place.

    1. The third bullet is confusing. It makes it sound like using GSAAdvantge can still be used for ordering those items. That is not the case. Anything with a NSN has to be ordered through DOD. This is what I am being told from GSA.

  2. More conspiracies are beginning to build…….

    Could it be easier to run it through DLA because so many orders for supplies for Army and military units getting called up to support Wildland operations????

    Could it be GSA might be tired of the losses and ever increasing costs of keeping track and storing those items? Why, hell, you got masters of supply coming from OEF / OIF that know how to move major materiel

    Sure GSA did a great job as far as the LMA’s were concerned….after nearly half a century ….. It was getting tooooooo easy and the LMA’s were QUITE comfortable with the easy button.

    But maybe with the advent of the USFS depending on those center wing boxes (CWB’s) being done at the costs of the folks that know the C130 program, in and out, why not shift items that need to be moved CONUS and OCONUS, through an organization that knows movement of supplies as well as ANY GSA operation……..why not have the green and civilian suited Government Fedex run with this and sure……

    Mess it up and mix it for the folks who have been comfortable and comforted for soooooooo many years get a liiiitle dose of new realities of putting the civilian and military back to work after the operations of the last 12 years……..

    How ’bout some conspiracy theories out there????

    1. Even more simply stated…. if it was previously previously purchased (advance procurement), stocked, and warehoused in a GSA facility… it is now being warehoused, billed, and shipped by DLA.

  3. It is pretty simple… the items that are FSS (Federal Supply Schedule) that were previously available in the GSA Wildland Fire Catalog will now be administered by DLA.

    Other items currently available under GSA specific contracts through GSAadvantage will remain available for purchase.

  4. To clear up some confusion;
    Items available from the GSA Wildland Fire Program will be removed from the GSA Advantage and Global Supply websites effective May 1st with the transfer of the National Stock Numbers to DLA.
    The GSA Wildland Fire Equipment catalog will continue to be posted at through 2014.
    DLA will honor the GSA prices shown in the April 1st price update (posted at above website).
    Future information regarding the transition (including FAQs) will be posted as more details become available.

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