Crew Boss, CRWB

Position Category: 
Incident Positions
Position Code: 
Functional Area: 
AD Class: 


  • Serves as a supervisory wildland firefighter on a handcrew during initial attack fire suppression activities, locates fireline, directs and participates in fireline construction, backfiring and burnout operations, engine and pump operations, tree falling and holding/patrol/mop up operations. Uses a variety of specialized tools, equipment and techniques to actively suppress fires. May participate in prescribed fire operations. May be required to be a fully qualified chain saw operator.
  • Gathers and considers information on weather data, topography, fuel types, and fire behavior in responding to wildland fire incidents. When positioning and deploying personnel and equipment, recommends best approaches and practices to use in protection of the values at risk.
  • Makes initial evaluation of fire situations, determines rate of spread, potential hazards to property and other improvements, suppression method to use, hose lays, deployment of crew, point of initial attack, type of tools to use and application of water.
  • Responsible for operation and maintenance of specialized equipment used to respond to wildland and prescribed fire situations. Accomplishes emergency repairs as necessary to permit continued use of equipment. In those instances when the apparatus cannot be used effectively in suppressing the fire, the incumbent takes appropriate control action in attacking the fire.
  • Operates a variety of motor vehicles to transport equipment, supplies, crew members, etc.
  • Performs basic first aid.
  • Provides technical and administrative supervision to handcrew or prescribed fire crew, typically comprised of 20 persons. The incumbent spends at least 25% of the time on supervisory duties. Plans work to be accomplished by subordinates, sets and adjust short term priorities, and prepare schedules for completion of work. Assigns work to subordinates based on priorities, selective consideration of the difficulty and requirements of assignments, and the capabilities of the incumbents. Develops performance standards and evaluates work performance of subordinates. Gives advice, counsel or instruction to incumbents on both work and administrative matters.
  • Hears and resolves minor complaints from incumbents. Effects minor disciplinary measures such as warnings and recommends other action in more serious cases. Identifies and provides for training needs. Finds ways to improve production or increase the quality of work directed.
  • Obtains travel and personnel paperwork.
  • Check-ins at incident.
  • Attends operational briefings.
  • Receives briefing from supervisor.
  • Briefs subordinates on tactical assignment, fuels, topography, weather, safety zones and escape routes throughout the operational period.
  • Applies skill and knowledge of fireline tactics and equipment to the assignment.
  • Keeps supervisor informed of progress, changes in conditions, fire behavior and special events.
  • Completes fireline construction assignment.
  • Patrols fireline for spot fires and slopovers.
  • Briefs relief forces.
  • Ensures health and welfare of crewmembers.
  • Arranges for logistical support when needed.
  • Completes personnel evaluations.
  • Completes ICS-214 form.
  • Confirms demobilization instructions with supervisor and brief subordinates.

Position Knowledge and/or Requirements

  • Must have knowledge of supervisory policies, procedures and methods in order to manage a diverse workforce.
  • Knowledge of strategies, tactics, and suppression methods used in containment and control of wildfires and wildland fires in order to relay assignments to crew members, accurately evaluate rapidly changing fire circumstances, determine when/if additional forces may be needed, or determine when circumstances warrant withdrawal of crew to a safe location.
  • Knowledge of fire behavior including causes of wildland fire, influence of temperature, humidity, wind, topography, slope and fuel moisture conditions, and fuels in order to know where to attack the fire, build fire line, where to be positioned to manage a wildland fire, and to identify hazards.
  • Knowledge of accepted fire safety practices and procedures to prevent injury and loss of life.
  • Knowledge of agency and interagency qualification, position task book requirements and procedures adopted by the NWCG.
  • Knowledge of the organization and the function of cooperative interagency fire organizations such as federal, state and local governments to facilitate wildland fire operations in a multi-jurisdictional setting.

Physical Demands

  • Duties involve rigorous fieldwork requiring above average physical performance, endurance and superior conditioning. Work requires prolonged standing, walking over uneven ground, and recurring bending, reaching, lifting and carrying of items weighing over 50 pounds and shared lifting and carrying of heavier items, and similar strenuous activities requiring at least average agility and dexterity.
  • Duties include demands for strenuous activities in emergencies under adverse environmental conditions and over extended periods of time. Operation of some specialized fire equipment can place extended physical stress on incumbent during fire activities.

Work Environment

  • The work is primarily performed in forest and range environments in steep terrain where surfaces may be extremely uneven, rocky, covered with vegetation, and in smoky conditions, etc. Temperatures vary from above 100 degrees F to below freezing. Risks include smoke inhalation, fire entrapment, snake or insect bites and stings, exposure to excessive machinery noise, and falling and rolling material. Personnel must adjust and cope with exposure to weather elements, dust and smoke, poor sleeping and eating conditions and unpredictable sets of circumstances. Incumbent may be required to live in backcountry camps for extended periods of time. The hazardous nature of the work requires that personal protective equipment be worn (boots, hardhat, gloves, flame resistant clothing, etc.) Work may require travel by light fixed wing or rotor wing aircraft.

Position Knowledge and/or Requirements

  • S-230, Crew Boss
  • S-290, Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior
  • Qualified as an FFT1
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: