At least eight interagency Incident Management Teams have been deployed to work on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the teams that usually are assigned on wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, but can adapt to manage many different kinds of planned or unplanned incidents, organized under the Incident Command System.
As we reported earlier, three Area Command Teams were given assignments on March 17 to develop protocols and wildfire response plans for maintaining dispatching, initial attack, and extended attack capability. The plan was for the personnel to work remotely, rather than assemble in one location. The teams will be working on plans for the following geographic areas:
- AC Team 1, Tim Sexton: Southern, Great Basin, & Northern Rockies.
- AC Team 2, Joe Stutler: Rocky Mountains, Northwest, & Alaska.
- AC Team 3, Scott Jalbert: Southwest, and both Northern and Southern California.
Two National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) teams have also received assignments:
- Portland NIMO, Bea Day, has been assigned to Forest Service Region 5 (California) COVID-19 Support.
- Phoenix NIMO, Bob Houseman, has been assigned to COVID-19 support at Forest Service headquarters in Washington D.C.
Two IMTs were activated in the Northwest Geographic Area:
- Type 1 NW Team 2, Rob Allen, has been assigned to Washington State Emergency Operations Center, providing complexity analysis, risk assessments and short/long-term planning guidance.
- Type 2 NW Team 13 , Brian Gales, has been assigned to the Spokane Regional Health District, Washington, assisting with strategic planning and building capacity.
There are reports that other teams have been assigned in Oregon from the State Fire Marshal’s office and the Department of Forestry.