NWCG Guidance for Use of Firenet.gov
Official government entities are mandated to use government websites and platforms for communications, including email correspondence. The implementation of FireNet is due in part as a solution to NWCG’s identification of the following capability as a high priority for development by the Wildland Fire Information and Technology (WFIT) program:
Intergovernmental collaborative workspace to message, schedule, share, review, develop, and store materials among federal, tribal, state, local, and territorial stakeholders in support of all areas of national wildland fire management.
The fire season of 2018 was the first opportunity for many to use this new tool. In May 2018, the National Multi-Agency Coordination Group issued a memo encouraging FireNet use on incidents. Users’ feedback on the capabilities and capacity that FireNet offers has been enthusiastically positive.
Due to limited availability, FireNet accounts are being prioritized for dispatch centers and IMT support. As more user accounts become available, FireNet could eventually support the collaborative needs of the intergovernmental wildland fire service, including NWCG.
FireNet provides the full suite of applications with which users of Google products are familiar behind the security protection of a government site. Team Drives assist in maintaining shared information because, unlike an individual drive, they are owned by FireNet. If an individual changes roles or email accounts, the Team Drive continues to exist and content is preserved, whereas an individual Drive would be altered and perhaps removed. Role-based and collaborative accounts are another way of managing communications by allowing multiple people to access a single email account, typically one that is generic to a group or incident.
NWCG groups are expected to use their homepages on the NWCG site for all external-facing, public content related to their mission. This includes meetings notes, publications, performance support materials, and other finished products. For file sharing and internal collaboration efforts, NWCG groups should migrate content to the interagency-accessible, collaborative workspace provided through FireNet as accounts become available.
FireNet is not meant to be a training platform. NWCG is in the process of establishing the Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP), a Learning Management System (LMS), which will support online and instructor-led training needs, including delivery mechanisms and pre- and post-course testing. WFLP will be available for training development in spring 2019; guidance is in development. Training content currently housed in other programs, such as FRAMES and FireNet, should be migrated to the NWCG LMS by fall 2020.
For technical guidance on getting started, managing accounts, and using the tools offered through FireNet, WFIT has provided an instructional video accessible from: https://sites.google.com/a/firenet.gov/firenet/home.