Hurricane Katrina: USFA Request to Mobilize Fire Service Members

Washington, D.C. – Our Nation is faced with the most catastrophic natural disaster in modern times, and we are calling upon the Nation’s fire service to aid the affected citizens and communities. This is the United States Fire Administration’s initial request to mobilize members of the fire service within Federal guidelines.

The current need is for 1,000 two-person teams. A department may offer more than one two-person team. These people will be deployed as a team, and we prefer that they know one another prior to deployment.

This initial request is for full-time career firefighters that are employed by municipal government and sponsored by that municipality because of the way that salaries and expenses will be reimbursed. We will include the volunteer fire service in the next phase. They must be:

  • Physically capable of performing manual tasks under severe conditions;
  • Experienced in working with minimum supervision;
  • Capable of living in austere, severe living conditions with minimal or no creature comforts for a period of at least 30 days;
  • Free of medical condition(s) that would prevent them from working in these conditions for this period of time; and
  • Able to work within the ICS, provide basic first aid, and follow orders.

The work is non-operational community relations focused activities that consist of direct outreach to persons in the affected areas. They will assist victims in understanding how they will go about the process of getting Federal assistance, distributing information, providing minimal first-aid, and taking reports. The work will be outside, exposed to the elements and will require significant walking.

FEMA will notify the chief of department, and selected applicants will be notified by their chief of department that they have been selected. No one should deploy without notification of acceptance from FEMA. Selected applicants will report to a central location in the Atlanta, Georgia area for training and further deployment. Travel to the Atlanta, Georgia area will be per government authorization in a manner specified upon acceptance. Acceptance information will also cover lodging and other related expense reimbursement information.

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