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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.
Deck Coordinator Duties and Responsibilities
See Chapter 15 and Appendix B for specific information on completion of referenced forms.
- 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.
- 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.
- Obtain trained and qualified personnel to manage the deck safely and efficiently.
- Supervise personnel assigned to the deck, to include:
- 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.
- Conduct briefings of subordinates.
- Ensure personal protective equipment is worn by both personnel assigned to the deck and by personnel being transported.
- Meet timekeeping, eating, sleeping, and transportation needs.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ensure the separation of ground vehicle traffic and parking areas from flight operations and overflight by departing or arriving helicopters.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ensure hand signals are mutually understood by Parking Tenders and Pilots; conduct on-the-job training sessions as necessary.
- Anticipate dust abatement needs and provide or request as necessary.
- Ensure helicopter fueling is performed according to requirements and that Parking Tenders provide fire extinguisher protection during refueling.
- Coordinate with the Aircraft Base Radio Operator (ABRO) to ensure air traffic coordination.
- Coordinate frequently with the Helibase Manager; attend the nightly debriefing and provide feedback on problems encountered; recommend corrective action.
- Complete performance evaluations of personnel supervised.