The Felling Boss leads a felling team and is responsible for their safety on wildland fire incidents. The FELB supervises assigned felling resources and reports to a Strike Team/Task Force Leader or other assigned supervisor. The FELB works in the Operations functional area.
Prepare and Mobilize
- Ensure individual readiness.
- Gather critical information pertinent to the assignment.
- Travel to and check in at assignment.
- Review Incident Action Plan (IAP) and obtain briefing, objectives, and intent from supervisor.
Build the Team
- Identify assigned resources and maintain accountability. Confirm that IAP or relevant plan has all assigned resources listed. Report any corrections up chain of command.
- Assemble and validate readiness of assigned personnel and equipment.
- Establish and communicate chain of command, reporting procedures, risk management processes, and radio frequency management.
- Establish a common operating picture with supervisors and subordinates.
- Participate in operational briefings as directed.
- Obtain and distribute IAPs, other relevant plans, maps, and local area information.
- Brief assigned personnel using IAP and/or IRPG briefing checklist.
Lead, Supervise, Direct
- Model leadership values and principles. Provide positive influence. Emphasize teamwork.
- Establish and communicate objectives, priorities, work assignments, and performance expectations.
- Identify, analyze, and use relevant situational information to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.
- Adjust actions based on changing information and evolving situation awareness. Develop and implement contingency plans. Communicate changing conditions to assigned resources and supervisor.
- Ensure IAP objectives and performance standards are met.
- Monitor performance and provide immediate and regular feedback to assigned personnel.
Perform Felling Boss-Specific Duties
- Ensure equipment readiness:
- Ensure felling saw, tools and supplies are inspected using appropriate documentation prior to being used and released. Notify supervisor of any contractual issues.
- Ensure compliance with contract and agreement specifications, as well as additional agency-specific requirements.
- Effectively lead Felling Operations:
- Ensure saw operators are using proper personal protective equipment (PPE) specific to saw use.
- Coordinate felling and bucking progress with other resources in area, ensuring felling operation never endangers nearby personnel.
- Adjust felling crew organization to meet changing considerations within guideline constraints from supervisor.
- Evaluate, and take action to correct or avoid, any felling and bucking problems relating to personnel, equipment maintenance, fire activity, and environmental hazards.
- Use personnel as road guards on active travel routes within the cutting site to secure felling area. Establish additional traffic control measures, such as signs or barriers, to control traffic as needed.
- Shutdown Felling Operations within 2-½ tree lengths of utility lines unless utility companies have certified that lines are de-energized.
- Utilize other alternatives to power saw felling when needed due to hazard tree complexity (e.g., heavy equipment, fireline explosives, burnout).
- Ensure proper use, servicing and maintenance of felling equipment.
- Assess experience level of assigned personnel prior to fireline assignment. Discuss performance capabilities and limitations prior to assignment.
- Establish accountability and contact procedures for assigned resources during incident travel and when off-duty.
- Manage contract resources according to contract requirements and agency guidelines.
Perform Fireline Duties
- Recon area of responsibility and assess feasibility of assigned objectives. Consult with supervisor on resource needs and suggest adjustments as necessary.
- Develop and implement tactics based on incident objectives, fire behavior, risk assessment and leader's intent.
- Organize and deploy assigned resources based on established objectives and resource capabilities.
- Coordinate travel to and from fireline (e.g., travel routes, communication procedures, accountability). Ensure adherence to vehicle safety procedures. Identify ingress and egress routes. Consider bridge and road limits, equipment weight and length, and weather effects.
- Request, direct, and provide feedback to aerial resources through established chain of command.
- Provide status updates on conditions affecting operations, hazardous conditions, unresolved conflicts, air operations, etc. to supervisor.
- Report special occurrences (e.g., structure/improved property loss or damage, accidents, sickness, road closures) to supervisor.
- Through established chain of command, assist the responsible land management agency and/or assigned Resource Advisor, with the protection of natural, cultural and other resources. Communicate when such resources are discovered and document suppression impacts.
- Establish accurate logistical needs for assigned resources and use established ordering procedures.
- Use maps, compass, Global Positioning System (GPS) and other tools and applications to gather information and navigate on incident.
- Provide situation update and accomplishments to supervisor and/or relief forces at end of shift.
- Contribute to the planning process by providing accurate information and recommendations through established chain of command.
Perform Wildland Urban Interface Duties
- Conduct WUI operations according to guidelines stated in IRPG, incident-specific objectives and guidelines, and agency-specific guidance.
Communicate and Coordinate
- Follow established processes and chain of command for collecting, producing, and distributing information.
- Ensure clear understanding of expectations and timely communication within and across ICS functional areas and chain of command.
- Establish communications and exchange necessary briefings/information with the following:
- Support resources
- Adjacent resources
- Communicate effectively using multichannel radios. Prepare and program radios for assignment. Use plain language and ICS terminology.
- Conduct and/or participate in After Action Reviews (AAR).
- Apply the Risk Management Process as stated in the IRPG:
- Identify Hazards
- Assess Hazards
- Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions
- Implement Controls
- Supervise and Evaluate
- Ensure Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones (LCES) are established and known to all firefighters before they are needed. Refer to guidelines stated in IRPG.
- Use Look Up, Down and Around in IRPG to help maintain situational awareness. Adjust actions accordingly. Develop and communicate contingency plans and trigger points.
- Utilize Safety Officers to assist with risk management process and provide input into safety of operations.
- Plan for medical emergencies. Ensure that assigned resources are prepared to execute the Medical Plan (ICS 206 WF). Ensure familiarity with medical responders, communication procedures, and transportation plan. Manage the medical emergency based on procedures stated in the IAP, the IRPG Medical Incident Report, or other relevant guidelines.
- Monitor for signs and symptoms of fatigue, illness, or injury. Mitigate appropriately.
- Account for location, health, safety, and welfare of assigned personnel.
- Submit accident/incident reports with pertinent forms (SAFECOM, SAFENET, agency specific forms) through established chain of command.
- Complete, authorize, ensure timeliness of, and route as required:
- Crew Time Report (SF-261) (Watch how to video)
- Emergency Equipment Shift Ticket (OF-297)
- Vehicle/Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist (OF-296)
- Incident Performance Evaluation (ICS 225 WF)
- Contractor Performance Evaluation
- General Message (ICS 213)
- Activity Log (ICS 214)
- Agency-specific forms
- Brief assigned resources on demobilization procedures and responsibilities. Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures and work/rest driving standards are followed.
- Return equipment and supplies to appropriate unit.
- Complete demobilization checkout process before being released from the incident.
- Upon demobilization, report status to home unit including reassignment or ETA to home unit.