Community Mitigation Assistance Team Lead, THSP

Position Category: 
Incident Positions
Position Code: 
Functional Area: 
Coordination & Support
AD Class: 


The National Community Mitigation Assistance Team Lead works collaboratively with and is the primary point of contact with the Incident Commander, the local Forest Service representative, and community mitigation organization to enable effective and appropriate assistance to communities, the local land manager, and the IMT. The Lead manages the team, assures they are within scope, provides for safety, assures incident business management guidelines are followed, provides for reporting up the chain of command and for information sharing between collaborators at all levels, plays a major role in determining the vision and plan of work for the team assignment based on ordering authority input and positions the team for success; maintains a good line of communication with partners; assures all CTRs and other necessary documentation is developed and maintained; addresses any management level issues that may arise; and serves as the primary public voice for the CMATeam. CMAT members, Trainees and Leads are name request ordered as Technical Specialists (THSP).

Major Duties

  • Manage and oversee all CMATeam members and THSPs during duration of assignment.
  • Provide leadership in formation of team mission and vision, provide for team safety, and maintain team cohesion and adherence to scope of the mission.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for the community, IMT, Forest, and media.
  • Provide for professional and timely response to all partners including the community and media.
  • Collaborates effectively with all partners.
  • Provides for CMATeam attendance/representation at IMT daily briefings and maintains close communication with the IMT.
  • Provides for delivery of briefing papers, speeches, news releases, or other products for wide use.
  • Analyzes community conditions related to the wildfire and relates them to experience and lessons learned to determine best wui methods for the community.
  • Uses knowledge, skills, and abilities to address barriers to community mitigation, works collaboratively with team to develop plan of work, and shares information fully with all team members.

Knowledge Required By The Position

  • Team Lead is considered an expert in the field of mitigation and has extensive education, training and job experiences to inform the most professional decisions to guide the progress of the Team.
  • Team Lead has extensive understanding/experience with federal agency procedures and processes, protocol and ethics.
  • Expert level of understanding of the role of the CMATeam and individual assignment scope.
  • Ability and understanding of concepts, practices, principles of leadership, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to handle fluid, often volatile, incident conditions as they impact a community at the highest level of professionalism.
  • Ability to effectively manage a team in a collaborative and professional fashion to meet the results as outlined in the Objectives Agreement, delegation of authority, or other written expectation of intent.
  • Act as liaison between team and partners, land managers, the community, and media.
  • Experience in and ability to foster sustainable collaborative partnerships.
  • Extensive experience in wildland urban interface mitigation/fire adaptation challenges and opportunities including knowledge of a variety of fuel treatment methods, coalition building, learning exchanges, community relations, defensible space, home hardening, home and community-wide assessments, pros and cons of wui codes and ordinances, experience working with volunteer and career fire departments, and have a thorough understanding of the incident command system.
  • Must be computer and Internet proficient, proficient in GIS products, can use and download digital camera images, effectively use cell or SAT phones and King radios (or equivalent).

Supervisory Controls

The CMATeam Lead manages the team independently for the U.S.D.A Forest Service, Washington Office under the Large Fire Support Financial Code. CMAT Lead is responsible to ensure compliance with all Incident Business Management guidelines, initiates adherence to local, state, federal regulations and requirements.

  • The CMATeam Lead manages the team to assist in assessing community mitigation needs and challenges and helps develop a plan of work best suited to the community.
  • The lead reviews progress on an ongoing basis (daily) and provides feedback to the team when necessary. Work is targeted to goals and desired outcomes which are developed by the Lead, team, community, and ordering authority at the onset of the assignment.
  • Progress is monitored throughout the assignment based on conditions.
  • Lead ensures Incident Action Plan (IAP) items are completed on schedule, assigns tasks, develops next-steps, and adapts Plan to new and emerging conditions.
  • Lead reviews and certifies time records, responds to conflicts, and provides corrective actions.
  • Lead is responsible for the safety and accountability of CMATeam members at all times.


  • CMAT Lead follows 2018 Interagency Business Management Guidelines for all operations
  • CMAT Lead works under CMATeam Protocols, Procedures and Job Hazard Analysis.
  • CMAT Lead is responsible for updating, adding and amending CMATeam protocols as new developments are identified.

Complexity/Score and Effect

Team assignments will be complex, challenging, and fluid as they will be predicated on the wildfire incident. The Lead must analyze community conditions, challenges, and barriers before developing a plan of work, which, often, will fluctuate depending on wildfire behavior and community conditions. The work will involve rapidly changing situations, which will require analyzing, and problem solving under challenging conditions. Team Lead has the authority and experience to adjust IAP and tactics using critical and analytical thinking and decision making during the unfolding incident. Assignments require significant flexibility and adaptive management skills to achieve assignment objectives.

Personal Contacts/Purpose of Contacts

The Lead will have contact with others on the team, with the USDA FS Ranger District, Forest, or Region, with members of the IMT, with federal and state land managers, with the public and political representatives such as local mitigation coalition members and leaders, city council, city planners, county boards, fire department and auxiliary personnel and leadership, public and private land managers, and others. These contacts are necessary to share information with community decision makers and those in a position of authority to help implement mitigation actions on the larger landscape in order to plan work and influence people or groups locally to take mitigation action. The extent to which those contacts are necessary will be fully dependent on the scope of each assignment.

Physical Demands/Work Environment

The work requires moderate physical exertion such as walking to view and assess mitigation challenges, walking between meetings, standing during presentations, etc. The work will be performed in residential and rural areas of the community for site visits, in meeting rooms and community forums, and in the office.

  • No fitness rating is required.
  • No work will be performed in potentially dangerous situations.

Position Needs

  • Successful Completion of one (1) assignment as CMAT Team Member.
  • Approval from USDA Forest Service WO representative to act as CMATLead in the capacity described above.
  • Lead will act as a trainer for Best Mitigation Practices Training at least one (1) time before being consider qualified for CMAT Lead position.

** USFS CMAT Program Manager is currently developing NWCG position description and additional qualification requirements for this position.

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