Helibase Manager

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Helibase Manager, HEBM

NOTE: This Incident Position Description (IPD) is under development. Learn more about IPDs and other NWCG improvement efforts on our Systems Improvement Page. Please contribute to this effort by providing feedback via the Comment button on this page.

The Helibase Manager has primary responsibility for managing all activities at the assigned helibase. Within the ICS system, the Helibase Manager is supervised by the Air Support Group Supervisor. On projects, the Helibase Manager may report to an Air Support Group Supervisor or Air Operations Branch Director if these positions are assigned. Otherwise, the Helibase Manager usually reports to the Project Aviation Manager.

Helibase Managers will minimally meet qualification currency requirements of the Helibase Manager position on incidents as outlined in the NIMS: Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide, PMS 310-1. The Helibase Management Complexity Analysis is intended to assist a HEBM/ASGS/AOBD/Aviation Manager in determining if a helibase should be considered a HIGH complexity operation. This risk analysis tool will help to quantify the complexity of a helibase operation to support a decision to request an additional HEBM / HEBM (T) or limit aviation flights until mitigations can be made to conditions that threaten to exceed oversight capacity of a helibase operation.

This complexity analysis should be completed by the helibase/aviation manager and routed through their incident / administrator supervisor.
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Helibase Manager Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Conducts briefings using the Daily Helicopter Operations Briefing/Debriefing Checklist, HBM-00.
  2. Reviews the Helibase Manager’s Reminders List, HJA-2.
  3. Obtain briefing from supervisor; obtain Incident Action or Project Aviation Safety Plan, Air Operations Summary, ICS 220, if available; plan helicopter missions accordingly; enter missions to the Helibase Mission Request Log.
  4. Obtain a flight hazard map of the area of operations from supervisor or from the local unit. Incorporate hazards into the Helibase Facilities, Hazard, and Flight Route Map and the Incident or Project Map.
  5. Check the status of any Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) that has been planned or implemented by the local unit under FAR 91.137 . Request and implement restrictions if necessary. Ensure air traffic control procedures are followed and that requirements for arriving and departing helicopters and procedures for deconfliction of airspace are in effect.
  6. Participate in helibase and helispot site selection, or, if already established, evaluate appropriateness of site(s); take necessary action in coordination with supervisor, including any relocation or adjustment; establish helibase facilities and layout.
  7. Establish a helibase display board and a communications/operations area.
  8. Participate in incident or project aviation planning activities; coordinate frequently with supervisor concerning priorities and conflicts.
  9. Ensure that missions are accomplished effectively and according to tactical and logistical priorities.
  10. Submit personnel, aircraft, equipment, and supply needs to supervisor; establish an internal tracking system to track status and delivery of ordered resources. Provide for signing and security of helibase.
  11. Manage special operations such as aerial ignition, retardant, seeding, spraying, mixing, and loading operations.
  12. Ensure load calculations, manifesting, and loading/unloading of personnel and cargo are performed correctly.
  13. Provide for helicopter fueling and maintenance services and areas.
  14. Ensure dust abatement measures are provided and used; if chemical means are used, ensure environmental concerns are addressed.
  15. Establish crash rescue procedures and manage appropriate services for the helibase and helispots.
  16. Establish flight following procedures using the Helibase Flight Following Log.
  17. Manage resources (personnel, equipment, supplies and aircraft) assigned to the helibase, to include:​
    • ​Ensuring the safety and welfare of personnel, both agency and contract, assigned to the helibase.
  18. Assigns trained and qualified personnel using the Helicopter Crew Information Sheet or other sources of information; ensuring each individual understands his/her responsibility and authority. Individual knowledge and skill levels vary; every effort should be made to assign the most capable person based on the complexity and nature of the assignment.
    • Keeping an up-to-date record using, as needed, the Helibase Aircraft Information Summary.
    • Ensuring required personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn according to requirements.
    • Meeting timekeeping, eating, sleeping, and transportation needs.
    • Conducting briefings for helibase/helispot personnel and Pilots using the Daily Helicopter Operations Briefing/Debriefing Checklist, HBM-00.
  19. Monitoring and managing operations using the Helibase Manager’s Reminders List, HJA-2.
  20. Maintain agency records and reports of helibase activities, including Helicopter, HBM-7 and Helibase, HBM-11 Daily Use Cost Summaries.
  21. Ensure assigned helicopter managers maintain agency records and reports of helicopter activities by ensuring that Helicopter Managers of assigned aircraft complete required helicopter management forms identified in Appendix A.
  22. Conduct a debriefing at the end of each day’s operation to obtain feedback on day’s operations; takes timely corrective action concerning problems identified.
  23. Assign Helispot and Dipsite Managers and establish specific duties and responsibilities.
  24. Complete performance evaluations of personnel.


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Structure Protection Specialist (STPS) Crew Representative (CREP) Firefighter (FFT1/2) Single Resource Boss (CRWB, HEQB, ENGB, FELB, FIRB, HMGB) Task Force/Strike Team Leader (TFLD, STCR, STEQ, STEN) Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS) Operations Branch Director (OPBD) Staging Area Manager (STAM) Single Engine Air Tanker Manager (SEMG) Deck Coordinator (DECK) Takeoff and Landing Coordinator (TOLC) Aircraft Base Radio Operator (ABRO) Helicopter Crewmember (HECM) Helibase Manager (HEB1/2) Air Support Group Supervisor (ASGS) Air Tanker/Fixed Wing Coordinator (ATCO) Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO) Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS) Air Operations Branch Director (AOBD) OPERATIONS SECTION CHIEF (OSC1/2) Operations Section Chief (OPS3) Operations Branch Director (OPBD) Structure Protection Specialist (STPS) Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS) Crew Representative (CREP) Task Force Leader (TFLD) Crew Boss, Single Resource (CRWB) Heavy Equipment Boss, Single Resource (HEQB) Engine Boss, Single Resource (ENGB) Felling Boss, Single Resource (FELB) Firing Boss, Single Resource (FIRB) Helicopter Manager, Single Resource (HMGB) Operations Section Chief (OSC2) Staging Area Manager (STAM) Air Operations Branch Director (AOBD) Air Support Group Supervisor (ASGS) Helibase Manager (HEBM) Deck Coordinator (DECK) Aircraft Base Radio Operator (ABRO) Helicopter Crew Member (HECM) Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS) Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO) Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1) Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2) Strike Team Leader Crew (STCR) Strike Team Leader Heavy Equipment (STEQ) Strike Team Leader Engine (STEN) Operations Section Chief (OSC1) Advanced Faller (FAL1) Intermediate Faller (FAL2) Basic Faller (FAL3) Fixed Wing Base Manager (FWBM) Airtanker Base Manager (ATBM) Fixed Wing Parking Tender (FWPT) Mixmaster (MXMS) Retardant Crew Member (RTCM) Single Engine Airtanker Manager (SEMG) Aircraft Time Keeper (ATIM) Ramp Manager (RAMP)

The Forest Service and Department of Interior are enabled by Administratively Determined Pay Plans (AD Pay Plans) to hire persons for temporary duration for the following reasons:

  1. To cope with a sudden and unexpected emergency caused by a fire, or extreme fire potential, flood, storm, or any other all-hazard emergency that threatens damage to federally protected property, has the potential to cause loss of life, serious injury, public health risk, or damage to natural or cultural resources unless brought under immediate control.
  2. To provide emergency assistance to States under formalized agreements.
  3. To meet mission assignments issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Incident Business Committee (IBC) reviews positions annually and establishes pay rate classifications for each position.

For more information on the AD Pay Plans, go to https://www.nwcg.gov/committees/incident-business-committee

Position change history for this position will be available shortly.


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