National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Water Handling Specialist, WHSP

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


  • Attends operational briefings.
  • Receives briefings from supervisor.
  • Identifies capability of engine and assigned personnel.
  • Develops plan to protect structures.
  • Coordinates and communicates with adjacent forces.
  • Locates and maps water sources.
  • Identifies and corrects performance deficiencies.
  • Confirms demobilization instructions with supervisor and brief subordinates.

Position Knowledge and/or Requirements

  • Requires practical knowledge of standard procedures and rules supplemented by skill gained through extensive job experience and training.
  • Completion of S-230, Crew Boss.
  • Completion of S-290, Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior.
  • Must be qualified as Advanced Firefighter/Squad Boss.

Supervisory Controls

The supervisor makes assignments by defining the assignment scope, objectives, and priorities.

The incumbent is responsible for planning, organizing, and carrying out recurring work without detailed instructions.  The incumbent functions independently in directing crews and additional resources as qualified.

Completed work is usually evaluated for appropriateness, technical soundness and conformity to policy and requirements.  Methods used by the incumbent are not usually reviewed in detail.


Procedures for accomplishing the work are established; specific guidelines are available. 

The incumbent may determine which of several established alternatives to use.  Situations to which the existing guidelines cannot be applied or significant deviations from the guidelines are referred to the supervisor.


Work involves accomplishing a wide variety of processes, tasks, and procedures.

Decisions depend upon several issues regarding the mission(s).  The appropriate course of action may be selected from many alternatives.

Scope and Effect

The work involves execution of rules, regulations and procedures and typically comprises a complete segment of an assignment or project.

The work product affects the reliability of further processes.

Personal Contacts

Contacts are with incident personnel, agency personnel at various levels of the agency, and others.  Contacts are in a moderately structured setting.

Purpose of Contacts

The purpose of contacts is to plan, coordinate, advise on the work, and to resolve operational problems.

Physical Demands

The work involves considerable and strenuous physical exertion.

Work Environment

The work involves high risk.


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