Division/Group Supervisor*

DIVS decorative banner: Four photos depicting division/group supervisor position, divs writing notes, looking up with two other firefighters looking on, with back turned talking on phone, divs reviewing maps. DIVS Position Description: The Division/Group Supervisor implements the assigned portion of the Incident Action Plan (IAP) and is responsible for all operations conducted in the division/group, on wildland fire incidents. The Division/Group Supervisor reports to an Operation Sections Chief or other assigned supervisor.

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DIVS Incident Position Description

The Division/Group Supervisor implements an assigned portion of the Incident Action Plan (IAP) and is responsible for all operations conducted in the division/group, on wildland fire incidents. The DIVS supervises assigned resources and reports to an Operation Sections Chief (OSC) or other assigned supervisor. The DIVS works in the Operations 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 IAP and obtain briefing, objectives, and intent from supervisor
  • Obtain briefing from previous shift DIVS as necessary.

Build the Team

  • Identify assigned resources and maintain accountability. Confirm that IAP or relevant plan has all assigned resources listed. Report any missing resources up chain of command.
  • Assemble assigned personnel and equipment.
  • Verify that hand crew leadership [Crew Boss (CRWB), Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1)] meet English language/crew language comprehension requirement. 
  • Establish and communicate for the division: 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, local area information.
  • Brief assigned personnel using IAP and/or NWCG Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG), PMS 461, 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 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 IAP objectives and performance standards are met.
  • Monitor performance and provide immediate and regular feedback to assigned personnel.

Perform Division Supervisor-Specific Duties

  • Attend agency briefings and debriefings as directed.
  • Ensure host unit direction and policies are applied.
  • Ensure contracted resources have been ordered through the appropriate process and inspected prior to being used and released using the Vehicle/Heavy Equipment Inspection Checklist (OF-296) or other applicable document.  Manage contract resources according to contract requirements and agency guidelines. Notify supervisor of any contractual issues.
  • Establish accountability and contact procedures for assigned resources during incident travel and when off-duty.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate span of control.
  • Ensure assigned resources have all necessary equipment and supplies to meet tactical objectives. Establish long-term, multiple-shift logistical needs. Plan ahead and think strategically.
  • Identify and anticipate operational needs and request additional resources and/or replacements as needed.
  • Ensure work assignments are completed and special instructions are followed. Monitor work progress and evaluate incident situation.
  • Obtain regular updates from subordinates and/or adjacent resources.
  • Communicate fire weather watches/warnings, Spot Weather forecasts, and fire weather forecasts to subordinates.
  • Monitor and address air quality impacts to personnel and the public.  Consider potential for smoke impacts to roads, communities, and incident facilities.
  • Plan, direct, and supervise division firing operations. Obtain Firing Boss (FIRB) as complexity warrants. Communicate all firing operations planning and activities with supervisor and adjacent divisions.    

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 a strategic plan 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. Match appropriate resource to assignment.
  • 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.
  • Establish air support protocols and communications. Coordinate and prioritize activities with aviation operations.
  • 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.
  • Use maps, compass, Global Positioning System (GPS) and other tools and applications to gather information and navigate on incident.
  • Assign personnel to collect, document, and report weather observations.
  • Provide situation update and accomplishments to supervisor and/or relief forces at end of shift or at completion of assignment.

Perform Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) Duties

  • Conduct WUI operations according to guidelines stated in IRPG, incident-specific objectives and guidelines, and agency-specific guidance.
  • Coordinate WUI operations with local law enforcement, local fire departments, and other agencies authorized to implement public evacuation, perform structural protection, and control traffic.
  • Develop and implement a structure protection plan during WUI operations.
  • Recommend a Structure Protection Specialist (STPS) or add a Structure Protection Group to Operations/Branch Director when complexity warrants.

Planning Duties

  • Calculate amount and type of additional resources required; obtain through established ordering procedures.
  • Provide Operations/Branch Director with resource needs within specified timeframe. Notify Operations/Branch Director when resources are moved or shared between divisions/groups.
  • Provide division-specific information to appropriate planning section personnel. Include input into Assignment List (ICS 204 WF).

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 Incident Command System (ICS) functional areas and chain of command.
  • Establish communications and exchange necessary briefings/information with the following:
    • Other ICS functional areas.
    • Adjacent DIVS.
    • Host unit representatives.
    • READ.
  • Communicate effectively using multichannel radios. Prepare and program radios for assignment. Ensure effective radio communications when assigned resources are using multiple frequencies during incident operations. Use plain language and ICS terminology.  
  • Conduct and/or participate in 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.
  • 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 the 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 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. 



  • Plan for demobilization. Brief assigned resources on demobilization procedures and responsibilities. Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures are followed.
  • Ensure equipment and supplies are returned to appropriate unit. 
  • Anticipate demobilization, identify excess resources, coordinate with operations to prepare demobilization schedule, and communicate with supervisor.
  • During transfer of command:
    • Ensure continuity of operations.
    • Exchange critical safety information.
    • Communicate transfer of authority through established chain of command.


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