Crew Boss, Single Resource

CRWB decorative banner: Three photos depicting crew boss position, firefighters marching, reviewing map, crew boss on radio and firefighters nearby.  CRWB Position Description:  The Crew Boss leads a hand crew and is responsible for their safety on wildland and prescribed fire incidents. The CRWB supervises assigned crewmembers and reports to a Strike Team/Task Force Leader or other assigned supervisor. The CRWB works in the Operations functional area.

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CRWB Incident Position Description

The Crew Boss (CRWB) leads a hand crew and is responsible for its safety on wildland and prescribed fire incidents. The CRWB supervises assigned crew members and reports to a Strike Team Leader Crew (STCR), Task Force Leader (TFLD), Incident Commander (IC), or other assigned supervisor. The CRWB works in the Operations functional area.​
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Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness.
  • Gather critical information pertinent to the assignment.
  • Prior to mobilization, confirm crew meets English language/crew language requirements.
  • Travel to and check in at assignment.
  • Review Incident Action Plan (IAP) and obtain briefing, objectives, and intent from supervisor.

Build the Team

  • Assemble and validate readiness of crew, equipment, and vehicles.
  • Ensure that IAP or relevant plan lists correct crew status. Report any corrections up chain of command.
  • Brief assigned personnel using IAP and/or NWCG Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461, briefing checklist.
  • 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.

Lead, Supervise, Direct

  • Establish and communicate performance expectations.
  • Ensure incident objectives and leader’s intent (task, purpose, end state) are met.
  • Identify, analyze, and use relevant situational information to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.
  • Base actions on evolving situational awareness and communicate changes to appropriate personnel. 
  • Monitor personnel daily performance and provide feedback. 
  • Model leadership values and principles. Provide positive influence. Emphasize teamwork.

Perform Crew Boss-Specific Duties

  • Effectively lead crew operations:
    • Determine appropriate fireline tactics, including indirect and direct attack strategies.
    • Properly locate fireline and determine appropriate fireline construction methods necessary to stop fire spread. Ensure completion to acceptable standards.
    • Supervise water handling logistics and operations for crew (e.g., portable pumps, hoses, fold-a-tanks).
    • Supervise felling operations, including appropriate snag mitigation.
    • Prepare control lines for burnout operations.
    • Plan, direct, and supervise firing operations.
    • Scout line in critical areas and patrol fireline for spot fires and slop overs. Coordinate and communicate issues with fireline supervisor and adjoining resources.
    • Supervise mop-up and suppression repair efforts on assigned portion of line.
  • Ensure proper refurbishing and resupply of tools, vehicles, food, water, and supplies.
  • Verify driver/operator qualifications and ensure adherence to vehicle safety procedures when transporting personnel, fuel, and equipment.

Perform Fireline Duties

  • 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.
  • Assess work area to meet assigned objectives.
  • Develop and implement tactics based on incident objectives, fire behavior, risk assessment and leader's intent.
  • Organize and deploy crew based on Current objectives and resource capabilities.
  • 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) to supervisor.
  • Through established chain of command, assist the responsible land management agency and/or assigned Resource Advisor (READ), with the protection of natural, cultural, and other resources. Communicate when such resources are discovered and document suppression impacts.
  • Equip crew with appropriate short and long-term logistical needs for assignment and utilize correct procedures to obtain additional supplies.
  • Gather and/or disseminate information using maps, compass, Global Positioning System (GPS), and other tools and applications.
  • Assign personnel to collect, document, and report weather observations.
  • Provide situation update and accomplishments to supervisor and/or relief forces at end of shift.
  • Assign personnel to collect, document, and report weather observations.
  • Provide timely updates of accurate information and recommendations using the chain of command to assist with the planning process.

Perform Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Duties

  • Conduct WUI operations according to guidelines stated in IRPG, incident-specific objectives and guidelines, and agency-specific guidance.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • Communicate effectively using multichannel radios. Prepare and program radios for assignment. Use plain language and ICS terminology. 
  • Follow established processes and chain of command for collecting, producing, and distributing information.
  • Ensure clear understanding of expectations and timely communication within and across Incident Command System (ICS) functional areas and chain of command.
  • Establish communications and exchange necessary briefings/information with the following:
    • Support resources.
    • Adjacent resources.
    • Supervisor.   
  • Conduct and/or participate in After Action Reviews (AAR).

Manage Risk

  • Use Look Up, Down and Around in IRPG to help maintain situational awareness. Adjust actions accordingly.
  • Develop and communicate contingency plans and trigger points.
  • Provide input into the risk management process to ensure safety of operations.
  • 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. 
  • Apply the Risk Management Process as stated in the NWCG Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461:
    • Identify Hazards.
    • Assess Hazards.
    • Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions.
    • Implement Controls.
    • Supervise and Evaluate.
  • Ensure Lookouts, Communications, Escape Routes, and Safety Zones (LCES) is in place. 
  • 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 a medical emergency based on procedures stated in the IAP, the Medical Incident Report, or other relevant guidelines. 


  • Complete all administrative tasks and documentation in an accurate and timely manner.


  • Prepare for and Implement Demobilization.
  • Depart from incident.




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