Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

Individual membership to NWCG committees and subgroups is based upon several factors, including qualifications, experience, location, and position. If you are interested in representing your agency on a committee or subgroup, contact the committee or subgroup chair or your agency representative on the NWCG Executive Board.

For more information on committee membership and agency representation, see Committee Roles and Membership Information.

Publications Questions

You can find everything you need to place an order on our website under NFES CatalogsNWCG NFES Catalog - Part 2: Publications, PMS 449-2, is the catalog and order form for all publications. All orders are made and placed through the Great Basin Cache. If you have any questions, please contact their supply desk at (208) 387-5104 or blm_fa_gbk@blm.gov.

All orders are made and placed through the Great Basin Cache. If you have any questions, please contact their supply desk at (208) 387-5104 or blm_fa_gbk@blm.gov. They are the best source to answer your questions.

Position Task Book (PTB) Questions

NWCG does not have a standard. It is up to your home unit/agency to determine.

If the experience occurred three or more years ago, no; it does not meet currency requirements. Otherwise, check with your home unit/agency for direction.

These two positions perform distinctly different roles.

The employing unit/agency certifying official is the only person authorized to certify an employee’s qualification, not a final evaluator (whether the evaluator is employed by the same unit/agency or not). A Fire Management Officer who is the designated certifying official for a unit/agency may also coincidentally be the final evaluator but, in that case, would be serving a distinctly different role.

No, you must meet all position qualification requirements, and your home unit/agency certifying official must grant you qualification in the position.

The employing home unit/agency makes that determination through established agency certification procedures; simply completing the PTB may or may not meet agency requirements. Check with your agency Certifying Official for clarification.

This determination can only be made by the employing unit/agency.

You should note at the time of evaluation your disagreement on the Incident Experience Record and advise your home unit/agency. The Certifying Official cannot change the evaluation since it was based on observed performance, but you could contact the evaluator for further information and resolution.

This varies greatly depending on the extent of the experience, length of the incident, and other factors.

No. If more records/experiences are necessary, duplicate blank ones or download additional evaluations from the NWCG Position Task Book Catalog, and attach them to the relevant PTB.

Any home unit/agency has the latitude to increase minimum requirements for its own personnel. However, those agencies would still be bound to accept personnel from other agencies who meet minimum requirements.

No. Some formal training courses will remain mandatory.

No. Tasks designated as W must be performed on wildfires for that individual to meet qualification requirements of the position.

It depends. For positions designated as wildland fire (WF)—see front cover of PTB—an NWCG PTB will need to be completed. If there is no WF designation, there is no need to have a new PTB issued.

It depends. You will need to work with the Incident Training Specialist and your home unit/agency to gain approval for issuing a new PTB. The home unit/agency will need to initiate the PTB, which can be sent via email/fax.

Training Questions

Students successfully completing an NWCG course sponsored by an NWCG member agency will receive an NWCG Training Course Completion Certificate, PMS 921-1 (for a list of member agencies, see the NWCG Home Page).  

The NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1, provides direction on the issuance of the NWCG Training Course Completion Certificate.

Session Offerings

Nationally advertised course sessions can be found on the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP). Log on as a guest to search for session offerings of this course and to view other public content. To search for a specific course, use the FIND LEARNING menu at the top of the page, then select UPCOMING COURSES. To view Geographic Area training schedules, select the specific GEOGRAPHIC AREA information using the drop-down menu at the top of the page. Contact your local Training Officer for more information about local course sessions.

Unfortunately, there is no master database for course certificates. Reach out to the agency or location where you took the course to see if they kept a copy and/or record. If you have held a red card, you can get a copy of your Incident Qualifications and Certification System (IQCS) or Incident Qualification System (IQS) master record, which shows course completions. Contact the agency or location that issued your red card to get that information.

To print a certificate for an online course, please see the answer to How do I print my NWCG NFA Online course completion certificate?, under Online Training Questions.

Generally, PTBs can be initiated before attendance and successful completion of required training. However, trainees cannot become fully qualified for the position until required training has been successfully completed. A trainee must be qualified in the prerequisite position(s) before a PTB can be initiated.

Instructor qualifications and requirements are found in the NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1

NWCG intends to make all training and performance support content freely available from the website so it is fully interconnected, easily accessible, and can readily serve as reference material for students and practitioners. This effort is ongoing. While CDs/DVDs/USBs for some courses are no longer sold through the cache, other materials might be. Reference the NWCG Training Catalog for all courses and listings of course materials.

Instructor-Led Courses Available for Download from the NWCG Training Catalog:

Course Coordinators and instructors should download the materials from the catalog. Course Coordinators and instructors intending to use the WFLP to deliver these courses may load materials into the WFLP for their training sessions.

Instructor-Led Courses Available for Order (National Fire Equipment System [NFES]):

Course Coordinators and instructors must still order materials for many courses. Use the NWCG NFES Catalog – Part 2: Publications, PMS 449-2, catalog and order form worksheet.

RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR):

See the RT-130, WFSTAR Catalog for information on delivering RT-130, WFSTAR courses.

As the NWCG Training Catalog transitions from print to digital, an additional reference date for course materials has been added. Previously, courses were printed in large quantities and spent significant time on the shelf in the cache. During that time, policy and terms changed, errors were discovered, and feedback was collected. The revision cycle started when materials were out of date and/or a significant number of errors, policy changes, or feedback were collected. Between the certification date and the start of the revision cycle, updates were collected in list form and posted for instructors to view prior to teaching the course. Once revised, courses were tested, then certified, which generates the certification date.

With the move to digital course materials, the revision cycle is no longer linked to physical materials or the associated revision cycle. NWCG now has the ability, as well as the need, to move much more quickly. NWCG will continue posting a certification date for those courses which have been significantly revised, but a new reference to updated has been added. This term applies to courses which have had elements revised or updated but did not necessitate a full-scale revision or a test course.

RT-130, WFSTAR is a year-round program that provides training for wildland firefighters to maintain currency. RT-130, WFSTAR materials are developed throughout the year and posted on the website when completed. Check the RT-130, WFSTAR Catalog any time for updates.

Local agency units are responsible for scheduling RT-130, WFSTAR training.  Check the Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP) and contact the local Training Officer in your area.  If you work for a contractor, they will provide the training.

Online Training Questions

1. Confirm the installed Adobe Reader is the current version for the browser you are using.

2. To print the online course completion certificate, log into your NFA Online account. From your Home Page select VIEW ALL in the Completed Work pod.

3. Hover mouse over the title of the course, wait for pop-up, and select PRINT CERTIFICATE.

Displaying screenshot of completed work screen.

To review course content after the course has automatically moved into the Completed Work pod, select MY LEARNING HOME and then select VIEW ALL.

screenshot of Completed work with View All button.

Find the course you wish to review content, hover over the course name, wait for pop-up, then select the REVIEW CONTENT option.

screenshot showing review content option

If the course has automatically tracked in the NFA Online Learning Management System, student logs into their NFA Online account. From the Home Page, select VIEW ALL in the Completed Work pod.

screenshot showing completed work and view all option.

Find the course you wish to review content or print a module certificate for, hover over the course name, then select the REVIEW CONTENT option.

screenshot showing review content option.

To print an S-130 or S-190 module completion certificate, from the Course Content screen select a completed module and double click to launch the module. When the module topic page is open, select and click the CHALLENGE REVIEW topic, then select the PRINT CERTIFICATE option in the lower left of the screen.

No, RT-130 is an instructor-led course. The required number of hours is determined by each agency. Please refer to the NWCG Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide, PMS 310-1, for positions that require RT-130, WFSTAR. See Where can I find RT-130, WFSTAR sessions to attend?, under Training Questions.

Virtual Training Delivery Questions

For additional information, visit the Training Delivery Committee homepage.

COVID 19 Mitigations

Depending on health and safety guidelines in your respective Geographic Area, state, and/or county, some courses may be cancelled due to COVID-19.

Depending on your respective Geographic Area and in line with CDC, state, and local government guidelines, some classes may take place in person with COVID-19 mitigations in place. NWCG, Geographic Area Training Specialists, and instructors have been working on enhancing courses for virtual instructor-led delivery to meet the needs of students.

Depending on your respective Geographic Area and in line with CDC, state, and local government guidelines, COVID-19 mitigations may be required for in-person delivery. Mitigations may include social distancing, utilization of masks, and smaller class sizes. Consult your local Training Officer, Course Coordinator, or training facility for information specific to the location of your training.

The following courses have been identified as essential for in-person deliveries due to their unique learning environments:

Virtual Delivery of Training

Classes required for qualifications and positions have been identified as critical. NWCG staff and committees and the Geographic Area Training Specialists (GATRs) have been working to enhance courses for virtual instructor-led delivery.

See Courses in NWCG Certified Course Library on the Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP) for courses intended for virtual instructor-led training.

Courses are prioritized for virtual delivery based on the following criteria:

  • Training required for qualification in an NWCG position.
  • Training required for an IFPM/FS-FPM Position Description (PD) (e.g., M-581, S-491).
  • Training required for an IFPM/FS-FPM qualification for PD (e.g., S-300 and S-390 for ICT3).

Training required only by a specific agency must be coordinated with the appropriate National Training Officer for alternative options.

There are a multitude of ways to deliver courses virtually. In some instances, courses have been identified as more suitable for self-directed learning (asynchronous) than virtual instructor-led training (synchronous), which may incorporate webinars, virtual instructor-led live presentations, etc.

Asynchronous: Training where the students and/or instructors are not interacting with each other in real time. Typically, the students are accessing learning resources at a time of their choosing.

Synchronous: Training where the students and instructors interact with each other at the same time.

See Virtual Delivery of NWCG Training Courses for more information.

No, curriculum and content will be consistent with existing NWCG course standards.

NWCG, GATRs, and subject matter experts are working together to transfer and enhance existing NWCG course content for virtual delivery within the WFLP. While NWCG curriculum cannot be modified, it can be enhanced by geographic and local training programs to meet the needs of students.

Virtual and in-person class sizes must still meet the NWCG standard for student-to-instructor ratio along with other pre-existing guidelines; however, COVID-19 mitigations may require smaller class sizes.

Enrollment

The length of the nomination period is at the discretion of the Geographic Area Training Programs. Coordinate with your local Training Officers or Geographic Area Training Representative.

Course attendance is at the discretion of your local Training Officer and GATR.

The nomination process for virtual courses is the same as in-person courses. For information specific to the nomination process in your Geographic Area, contact your local Training Officer or Geographic Area Training Representative.

Wildland Fire learning Portal (WFLP)

The WFLP is an enterprise learning management system (LMS) that enables the wildland fire community to better meet their education and training needs. The WFLP uses a single software platform to manage, deliver, and evaluate training or learning activities.

National Wildland Fire Training Centers, Geographic Area Training Centers, state interagency partners, and local units are all actively using the WFLP for the management and delivery of education and training. COVID-19 mitigations led to a significant increase in those using the WFLP to develop, manage or deliver training.

Create a profile for the WFLP by going to the top right corner of the homepage, selecting sign-in, and following the instructions to set up a new profile.

Click on top menu item Find Learning and then click on Courses. This will bring up a search box where you can enter a phrase to describe what you are looking for.

Workshops have been created to support instructors and staff delivering training using the WFLP. For more information and self-enrollment in the workshops, visit the Editing Trainer and Course Creator page.

Rental Vehicles – Incident Assignment Questions

For additional information, visit the Incident Business Committee homepage.

General Incident Support

There are several contract instruments in place for the rental of vehicles on incidents:

  1. Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) U.S. Government Rental Car Agreement used for temporary duty travel (TDY).
  2. U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) rental programs.
  3. National Emergency Rental Vehicle (NERV) program.
    1. Contract with Enterprise Rent-A-Car managed by the Unites States Forest Service (USFS) and available for use by federal and state entities.
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has two programs for agencies to supplement their vehicle fleet:
  1. Rental Supplemental Vehicle Program (RSVP).
  2. Short-Term Rental (STR) program.

Pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), box vans, and sedans are on the schedule; however, not all vendors offer these vehicle types. Check the pricelist of each vendor.

For agency employees, only ¾-ton and 1-ton pickups with heavy-duty tires will be rented through National Emergency Rental Vehicle (NERV).  Any vehicles outside of those requirements must be rented through the employee’s agency Electronic Travel System (ETS) and paid with a travel card.  For Administratively Determined Employees (ADs), all rental vehicles must fall under the requirements of the Federal Travel Regulations (FTRs). For example, economy vehicles only. If an AD employee needs a pickup truck with heavy-duty tires to meet position requirements, that vehicle can be rented through the NERV program.

Rental Supplemental Vehicle Program (RSVP)

  1. Payment may be made by purchase card.
  2. The cardholder calls the vendors to obtain quotes and selects the vendor.
  3. A fuel card is not provided for RSVP vehicles.

Short-Term Rental (STR)

  1. Vehicles are billed through U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) fleet billing.
  2. A Billing Office Address Code (BOAC) is needed to order vehicles and for billing purposes.
  3. Once the call is made to the program office at 866-886-1232 or an email is sent to: gsa_rental@gsa.gov, or a request is made online through the STR website, they will obtain quotes for the unit. The program office will deliver quotes for the requesting unit to select a vendor. GSA will coordinate the order with the vendor.
  4. A fuel credit card can be obtained for each vehicle and the fuel will be billed through the fleet billing.

National Emergency Rental Vehicle (NERV) Program

  1. Vehicles are requested through the dispatch center.
  2. The resource order must state: Rental Vehicle Authorized.
  3. Payments are made through the NERV program.
  4. Users must complete the Traveler Rental Vehicle Checklist and Payment Cover Sheet, as well as reviewing the NERV Q&A.

Yes, however the rental company must agree in writing at the time of the rental to the vehicle being driven off-road.  Off-road is defined as driving a vehicle off a federal, State, or professionally maintained road system and not just off pavement; many dirt or gravel roads are maintained by a county or other entity.

Both programs are designed to supplement the agency’s fleet for up to 60 days. A return date will need to be given to the vendor at the time the quote is obtained. You will need to inform the company if the original timeline will be exceeded.

Prices are found on the vendor’s pricelist in the terms and conditions on the GSA Advantage website. The prices are ceiling prices, the highest charge for that type of vehicle. The vendor may give lower pricing, depending on the quantity and length of rental.  For vehicles rented through National Emergency Rental Vehicle (NERV), approximate prices can be obtained by contacting the NERV program.

No, the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) contract will charge a Government Administrative Rate Supplement (GARS) rate of $5 per day to cover damage. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) programs will not charge this fee. Other fees, such as airport fees (if rented from an airport facility), will apply on both contracts.  Rates can differ between the contracts.

The cardholder will settle claims for a vehicle that sustains damage if the vehicle was rented through the RSVP program.  For vehicles rented through the STR program, a Contracting Officer will need to be involved.  For National Emergency Rental Vehicle (NERV) vehicles, the renter will follow their agency’s procedures, the claim, and all supporting documents that need to be submitted to the NERV program.

No, only government-issued purchase cards or purchase orders can be used for payment.

Personal credit cards can be used to rent vehicles on the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) agreement if the rental car is authorized in advance and noted on the resource order.  However, if the renter has a government-issued travel card, it is the mandatory payment method required under this agreement.

Not if the vehicle was being utilized under the terms of the agreement and within the scope of employment.

No, rentals through National Emergency Rental Vehicle (NERV) are paid through the NERV program.

Administratively Determined Employees (ADs) and Rental Vehicles

  1. The vehicle is provided to the AD by the hiring unit or the incident through the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) program and a warranted procurement official.
  2. The vehicle is provided by the ordering unit through a geographic area agreement.
  3. The vehicle is rented by the AD through the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) temporary duty travel agreement using their personal credit card.  The cost of the rental vehicle will be reimbursed to the AD through the government travel voucher process.
  4. The vehicle is reserved by dispatch for the AD through the National Emergency Rental Vehicle (NERV) program.

If the AD employee will not be taking the vehicle off-road, the vehicle can be reserved using the TDY contract through the ETS and paid for with a personal credit card by the AD employee.  If the AD is not self-sufficient, the vehicle can be reserved by dispatch through NERV.

If the AD employee will be taking the vehicle off-road, the vehicle can be reserved by dispatch through NERV.

Under all rental programs, AD employees must follow the Federal Travel Regulations (FTRs) when renting a vehicle.

 

Other Questions

Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to help you with this as the NAP is run by the Interagency Incident Applications Helpdesk.

Mistakes in content, missing information, bad links, etc.

InciWeb is an interagency system that provides information about wildfires, prescribed burns, floods, hurricanes, and other events. An agency and/or Incident Management Team assigned to the incident is responsible for initiating and maintaining information on InciWeb. For questions and/or comments on a specific incident, please contact the Incident Contacts listed on each page of an incident.

Technical problems, suggestions to make program better, java-script errors, etc.

Please contact the Interagency Incident Applications Helpdesk.

Our policy on linking to other websites is listed on our website notices page. We follow the policies for the Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture; both are referenced on this page. If you feel your site meets these criteria, please email the webmaster.

Airtanker Questions

For additional information, visit the Interagency Airtanker Base Subcommittee homepage.

Use the NIFC Large Fire Support code.

If the Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) crew member has not flown a minimum of 30 minutes in a 15-day lookback period, the flight would be a revenue flight. If a relief crew member is coming in who is not proficient (same requirements as the CLIN) but the CLIN is, the flight would be a non-revenue flight.

If possible, have the crew come on prior to the start time and complete the proficiency flight. If they choose to not come in early and the airtanker receives a dispatch prior to the proficiency flight, the airtanker would be unavailable until the proficiency flight is completed. Call the airtanker COR (Contracting Officers Representative) listed on the most current Schedule of Items for additional clarification on proficiency flights.

Yes. Document the starting and ending fuel amounts and notify the COR and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)/Air program.

Notify dispatch, local Geographic Area Coordination Center (GACC), Aircraft Maintenance Inspector (AMI), national aircraft/fixed-wing coordinator, National Airtanker Program Manager and COR. Dispatch and the GACC should be notified immediately and the remainder of the notifications need to happen as soon as practical. A group text or email would suffice. The same notifications need to be made when the airtanker has been returned to contract availability by the AMI.

Whether on 9- or 14-hour availability UA is assessed until either the aircraft is returned to contract availability by the AMI or the end of the 9- or 14-hour availability day whichever comes first. For 14-hour availability, if the aircraft is unavailable for any part of the 14 hours, even if the aircrews are not on site or even if it is well past sunset, UA will be assessed until the airtanker is returned to contract availability by the AMI.

Utilize the DLA rate at the location the airtanker is leaving to go to company headquarters.

State airtankers would be sent to state fires and may load and return without the federal airtankers being included in the rotation. Federal airtankers would be sent first to federal fires and the state airtankers may be added to the rotation. There is no requirement saying that either state or federal airtankers must be included in the rotation of the other agencies’ fires. You may contact your local GACC and request additional Alpha numbers for airtankers to be included in the rotation, but the ordering agency has the authority to deny the request.

 

Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
2021-06-30