Deck Coordinator

DECK decorative banner: photos depicting DECK position. DECK Position Description: The Deck Coordinator (DECK) reports to the Helibase Manager or Fixed-Wing Base Manager and is responsible for providing coordination at an aircraft landing area for personnel and cargo movement.

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The Deck Coordinator (DECK) reports to the Helibase Manager or Fixed-Wing Base Manager and is responsible for providing coordination at an aircraft landing area for personnel and cargo movement.

Deck Coordinator, DECK

NOTE: This Incident Position Description (IPD) is under development. Learn more about IPDs and other NWCG improvement efforts on our Systems Improvement Page. Please contribute to this effort by providing feedback via the Comment button on this page.

The Deck Coordinator (DECK) is supervised by the Helibase Manager and is responsible for providing coordination at the helibase for personnel and cargo movement. The DECK supervises the Parking Tenders and Loadmasters.

The individual assigned must have a complete knowledge of helibase operations, and especially of helibase layout and setup, passenger and cargo transport, load calculations and manifesting, external load operations, fueling, and helibase air traffic coordination procedures.

Minimum training, qualification and currency requirements of the DECK position on incidents are outlined in the NIMS Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide, PMS 310-1.

During complex helibase operations, the assignment of a fully-qualified Helibase Manager to this position is suggested.

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Deck Coordinator Duties and Responsibilities

See Chapter 15 and Appendix B for specific information on completion of referenced forms.

  1. Obtain briefing from the Helibase Manager; obtain Incident Action or Project Aviation Safety Plan, including Air Operations Summary, ICS-220, and Communications Plan, ICS-205, if available.
  2. Provide input to and assist the Helibase Manager in completing the Helibase Facilities, Hazard and Flight Route Map; review with all personnel involved, including pilots.
  3. Obtain trained and qualified personnel to manage the deck safely and efficiently.
  4. Supervise personnel assigned to the deck, to include:
  5. Ensure the safety and welfare of personnel (both agency and contract) assigned; ensuring all personnel understand their responsibility and authority; monitoring their actions to ensure duties and responsibilities are correctly performed.
  6. Conduct briefings of subordinates.
  7. Ensure personal protective equipment is worn by both personnel assigned to the deck and by personnel being transported.
  8. Meet timekeeping, eating, sleeping, and transportation needs.
  9. Assist the Helibase Manager in completing the Daily Helicopter Operations Briefing/Debriefing Checklist by ensuring that all requirements of the Checklist for the deck are met prior to commencement of operations; review the parts of the Helibase Manager’s Reminders List applicable to the deck.
  10. Establish, number, and mark touchdown pads and emergency landing areas. Ensure separation of landing areas for cargo, personnel, fueling and other specialized operations, e.g., retardant, helitorch, etc.
  11. Ensure the separation of ground vehicle traffic and parking areas from flight operations and overflight by departing or arriving helicopters.
  12. Ensure deck access is restricted to personnel and vehicles by posting of warning signs, flagging, etc.; establish staging areas, ground traffic routes, and cargo and personnel manifesting and weighing areas utilizing flagging or other means.
  13. Ensure crash rescue requirements are understood by deck personnel and that personnel are trained and qualified in the use of extinguishers, crash rescue, and evacuation kits; conduct on-the-job training sessions as necessary.
  14. Ensure hand signals are mutually understood by Parking Tenders and Pilots; conduct on-the-job training sessions as necessary.
  15. Anticipate dust abatement needs and provide or request as necessary.
  16. Ensure helicopter fueling is performed according to requirements and that Parking Tenders provide fire extinguisher protection during refueling.
  17. Coordinate with the Aircraft Base Radio Operator (ABRO) to ensure air traffic coordination.
  18. Coordinate frequently with the Helibase Manager; attend the nightly debriefing and provide feedback on problems encountered; recommend corrective action.
  19. Complete performance evaluations of personnel supervised.


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Structure Protection Specialist (STPS) Crew Representative (CREP) Firefighter (FFT1/2) Single Resource Boss (CRWB, HEQB, ENGB, FELB, FIRB, HMGB) Task Force/Strike Team Leader (TFLD, STCR, STEQ, STEN) Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS) Operations Branch Director (OPBD) Staging Area Manager (STAM) Single Engine Air Tanker Manager (SEMG) Deck Coordinator (DECK) Takeoff and Landing Coordinator (TOLC) Aircraft Base Radio Operator (ABRO) Helicopter Crewmember (HECM) Helibase Manager (HEB1/2) Air Support Group Supervisor (ASGS) Air Tanker/Fixed Wing Coordinator (ATCO) Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO) Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS) Air Operations Branch Director (AOBD) OPERATIONS SECTION CHIEF (OSC1/2) Operations Section Chief (OPS3) Operations Branch Director (OPBD) Structure Protection Specialist (STPS) Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS) Crew Representative (CREP) Task Force Leader (TFLD) Crew Boss, Single Resource (CRWB) Heavy Equipment Boss, Single Resource (HEQB) Engine Boss, Single Resource (ENGB) Felling Boss, Single Resource (FELB) Firing Boss, Single Resource (FIRB) Helicopter Manager, Single Resource (HMGB) Operations Section Chief (OSC2) Staging Area Manager (STAM) Air Operations Branch Director (AOBD) Air Support Group Supervisor (ASGS) Helibase Manager (HEBM) Deck Coordinator (DECK) Aircraft Base Radio Operator (ABRO) Helicopter Crew Member (HECM) Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS) Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO) Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1) Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2) Strike Team Leader Crew (STCR) Strike Team Leader Heavy Equipment (STEQ) Strike Team Leader Engine (STEN) Operations Section Chief (OSC1) Advanced Faller (FAL1) Intermediate Faller (FAL2) Basic Faller (FAL3) Fixed Wing Base Manager (FWBM) Airtanker Base Manager (ATBM) Fixed Wing Parking Tender (FWPT) Mixmaster (MXMS) Retardant Crew Member (RTCM) Single Engine Airtanker Manager (SEMG) Aircraft Time Keeper (ATIM) Ramp Manager (RAMP)

The Forest Service and Department of Interior are enabled by Administratively Determined Pay Plans (AD Pay Plans) to hire persons for temporary duration for the following reasons:

  1. To cope with a sudden and unexpected emergency caused by a fire, or extreme fire potential, flood, storm, or any other all-hazard emergency that threatens damage to federally protected property, has the potential to cause loss of life, serious injury, public health risk, or damage to natural or cultural resources unless brought under immediate control.
  2. To provide emergency assistance to States under formalized agreements.
  3. To meet mission assignments issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Incident Business Committee (IBC) reviews positions annually and establishes pay rate classifications for each position.

For more information on the AD Pay Plans, go to

Position change history for this position will be available shortly.


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