Status of “Evolving Incident Management”

Rocky Mtn Area Team C
The Rocky Mountain Geographic Area Team “C” Type 2 Incident Management Team at their annual meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 2013. (click to see a larger version.)

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group has been working on efforts to address sustainability issues with wildland fire management succession planning for incident management teams. In other words, to ensure that the wildland fire agencies continue to have an adequate number and the right mix of incident management teams and the personnel to staff them. The NWCG chartered the Incident Management Organization Succession Planning Team (IMOSPT) and the Evolving Incident Management (EIM) project team to develop implementation plans.

Evans Kuo, the Project Lead for Evolving Incident Management, provided an update on the group’s progress, dated May 27, 2015: (I wish I had a dollar for every acronym below.)


…As you know, last fall we made the presentation to the NWCG Executive Board (under whom the EIM Task Team is tasked).  A copy of what we presented can be located at:  NWCG accepted our report and forwarded it onto the Fire Management Board (FMB) along with their endorsement.  Over the course of last fall the FMB reviewed our findings, developed a strategy to move forward, and presented it to the Fire Executive Council (FEC).  A key element of the FMB strategy is to divide up the tasks / recommendations identified by the EIM Task Team and re-assign these tasks to different entities that have the purview to make the decisions, i.e. NMAC for IMT mobilization and IMT utilization processes, CGAC for IMT governance practices, FMB for overarching principles that individual agencies have purview over, NWCG for development of streamlined development pathways, etc.   One of the problems we ran into in EIM Phase 3 was NWCG’s role in the new governance structure, which changed quite a bit since 2010 when IMOSP/EIM was first conceived.  Hopefully the FMB strategy will help clean up the governance issues and allow us to move forward in a more succinct way.

Last winter FEC discussed our revised recommendations and the FMB plan of action and they briefed the Federal Fire Policy Council (FFPC).  At their April 2015 meeting FFPC agreed to the FMB/FEC recommendation and strategy to move forward.  We’re expecting to see the final FFPC decision memo soon, but I did get a copy of the draft decision.  In short, the FFPC decision supports all the revised recommendations the EIM Task Team developed:

  1. Maintain distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 IMTs and establish national templates to increase the speed to certification.

  2. Maintain GACG autonomy to assign IMTs within their geographic area, though NMAC will continue to exercise their authority to maintain a “national perspective” relative to IMT assignments and regular exercising all IMTs.

  3. Defer to the GACG to determine number of IMTs hosted by each GA, with some sideboards that NMAC and CGAC will put into place.

  4. Work within individual bureaus and agencies to analyze and reduce (if possible) barriers and disincentives to IMT participation.  Will also be evaluating the possibility of establishing national and geographic area participation goals for each agency/bureau/partner agency. “


Related articles on Wildfire Today:

New model for Incident Management Teams February 6, 2012
NWCG reconfigures Incident Management Teams September 24, 2013

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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.

One thought on “Status of “Evolving Incident Management””

  1. Is it just me or does anybody else have any clue what these mean or relate to each other?:
    NWCG Executive Board
    Fire Management Board (FMB)
    Fire Executive Council (FEC)
    Federal Fire Policy Council (FFPC)

    Bill, is there any one out there who can post a wiring diagram for those of us lummoxes who do not sit in the “Jack Wilson building tower of knowledge”


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