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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DECK Incident Position Description

The Deck Coordinator (DECK) serves as a trained member of a helibase organization, assisting the Helibase Manager (HEBM) in the performance and completion of helicopter missions through management of deck operations. The DECK reports to the HEBM and works in the Aviation functional area.
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Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness.
  • Gather critical information pertinent to the assignment.
  • Travel to and check in at assignment.
  • Review Helibase Operations Plan and obtain initial briefing from supervisor.

Build the Team

  • Conduct self in a professional manner.
  • Establish and maintain positive interpersonal and interagency working relationships.
  • Use Incident Command System (ICS) terminology, organization, and command structure.
  • Participate in proficiency checks and drills.
  • Calculate amount and type of additional resources required and obtain through established ordering procedures. Ensures adequate staffing is in place for anticipated or expected activity.
  • Establish and communicate chain of command, reporting procedures, risk management processes, and radio frequency management.

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 more 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 daily operational objectives and performance standards are met.

Perform Deck Coordinator-Specific Duties

  • Perform daily preparedness checks and ensure operational readiness of helibase deck.
  • Brief assigned deck personnel using helibase operations plan, crash rescue plan, local aviation plan, and storm water pollution and prevention plan (SWPPP) when in place. Train assigned personnel in these operations if necessary.
  • Coordinate with HEBM to designate areas for passenger/cargo loading, fueling, maintenance, overnight parking, day(s) off parking, transient aircraft, and vehicle parking, and to ensure adequate space for deck operations.
  • Maintain the safety of deck operations.
  • Coordinate and direct Parking Tenders, Personnel Loadmaster, Cargo Loadmaster, water tenders, etc., and provide daily or more frequent briefings as necessary.
  • Respond to unforeseen circumstances and initiate contingency operational plans pertaining to deck congestion, unexpected maintenance, unanticipated delays, etc.
  • Provide HEBM with resource needs within specified timeframe.
  • Manage the deck.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • Communicate using clear text.
  • Obtain daily or more frequent briefings from supervisor.
  • Ensure assigned radios are functional prior to commencing daily operations.
  • Maintain radio or message links with appropriate incident functions.
  • Follow established processes and chain of command for collecting, producing, and distributing information.
  • Coordinate movement of all aircraft, vehicles, equipment, and personnel on the deck.
  • Ensure Parking Tenders are proficient in the use of aircraft radios and nationally standardized hand signals.
  • Ensure all personnel are trained in aircraft rapid refueling if approved at the helibase.
  • Monitor and ensure the safety of all fueling operations by requiring Parking Tenders and fuelers to adhere to established regulations and procedures.
  • Assign and brief deck personnel as needed to ensure proper clearances.
  • Communicate changing conditions to supervisor.
  • Communicate and coordinate deck equipment, supply, and personnel needs.
  • Ensure clear understanding of expectations and timely communication within and across ICS functional areas and chain of command.
  • Establish communications and exchange necessary information with the following:
    • HEBM
    • Aircraft Base Radio Operators (ABRO)
    • Helicopter Managers (HGBM)
    • Parking Tenders
    • Flight Crews/Pilots
    • Personnel and Cargo Loadmasters
    • Fuelers/Fuel Truck Drivers
    • Fixed Base Operator (FBO) when applicable
    • Other resources associated with deck operations, (i.e., water tenders, porta-john servicers, etc.)
  • Ensure deck personnel receive briefing from pilot prior to cargo operations.
  • Ensure deck personnel brief pilot prior to cargo operations.
  • Participate in functional area briefings and After Action Reviews (AAR).

Manage Risk

  • 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.
  • Participate in safety sessions and critiques.
  • Ensure preflight safety briefings are provided to passengers.
  • Ensure own and others’ safety and welfare in all aspects of job.
  • Report hazards, injuries, incidents, and accidents to supervisor immediately.
  • Ensure the use of required personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Ensure the deck is free of Foreign Object Debris (FOD).
  • Ensure cleanliness of the deck. Report all fuel and retardant spills to the HEBM and ensure they are promptly cleaned by the responsible party according to established environmental and/or hazardous materials procedures.
  • Monitor personnel working on the deck for fatigue, stress, and distraction.
  • Verify base and/or incident emergency and safety procedures.
  • Plan for aircraft and/or medical emergencies. Ensure that assigned resources are prepared to execute the helibase crash rescue plan and/or Medical Plan (ICS 206 WF). Ensure familiarity with medical responders, communication procedures, and transportation plan. Manage the emergency based on procedures stated in the Incident Action Plan (IAP), the Medical Incident Report, helibase crash rescue plan, and/or other relevant guidelines.


  • Complete, authorize, ensure timeliness of, and route as required:


  • Follow demobilization instructions from supervisor.
  • Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures and work/rest standards are followed.


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