National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Supply Unit Leader

SPUL decorative banner: photos depicting SPUL position. SPUL Position Description: The Supply Unit Leader (SPUL) is responsible for ordering personnel, equipment, and supplies; receiving and storing all supplies for the incident; maintaining an inventory of supplies; and servicing nonexpendable supplies and equipment.

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SPUL Incident Position Description

The Supply Unit Leader (SPUL) is primarily responsible for ordering personnel, equipment, and supplies for wildland fire incidents. The SPUL is responsible for overseeing and supervising the ordering and receiving process and determining the right size inventory for the incident. The SPUL may supervise a Receiving and Distribution Manager (RCDM), an Ordering Manager (ORDM), or Camp Crews assisting in the Supply Area. The SPUL reports to the Logistics Section Chief (LSC) or the Support Branch Director (SUBD) and works in the Logistics functional area.
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Leadership Level 3, Leader of People (Develop Intent)

  • For additional information review Level 3 description, expected behaviors and knowledge, suggested development goals, and self-study opportunities.

Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness.
  • Gather critical information pertinent to the assignment.
  • Travel to and check in at assignment.
  • Check in with incident supervisor and/or dispatch when arriving at the incident.
  • Review Incident Action Plan (IAP) and obtain briefing, objectives, and intent from supervisor.
  • Obtain briefing from previous shift/assignment SPUL as necessary.
  • Attend the Agency Administrator or Incident Management Team (IMT) in-brief.

Build the Team

  • Assemble and validate readiness of assigned personnel and equipment.
  • 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.
  • Brief assigned personnel.
  • Identify assigned resources and maintain accountability.

Supervise and Direct Work Assignments

  • Establish and communicate objectives, priorities, work assignments, and performance expectations.
  • Identify, analyze, and use relevant situational information to make 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 incident objectives and performance standards are met.
  • Monitor performance and provide immediate and regular feedback to assigned personnel.

Perform Supply Unit Leader-Specific Duties

  • Develop plans with the Ordering Unit to provide Operations and the Resource Unit with mobilization updates as required or needed daily.
  • Secure the Supply Unit footprint, develop the layout, and sign the Unit area appropriately.
  • Develop a kit that meets the needs of the Supply Unit (forms, tools, initial set up, etc.)
  • Establish Unit expectations and define any needs/meetings.
  • Review Supply Unit layout and communicate with Ground Support Unit Leader (GSUL), Security, and the Facilities Unit Leader (FACL) on access of deliveries, parking, and room to expand.
  • Review expectations for the RCDM on deliveries and with the ORDM on ordering process.
  • Maintain communication with Expanded Dispatch, Incident Business Advisor (IBA), Buying Team, and cache.
  • Obtain feedback from incident to ensure schedule of incoming supplies is appropriate.
  • Ensure requested time frames are met and deadlines are firm.
  • Develop delivery times for cache trailers to ensure supply needs are met.
  • Attend operational planning meetings as needed to coordinate incoming resource needs.
  • Ensure all inappropriate actions involving contractor personnel are reported to the Contracting Officer or Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) using appropriate procedures.
  • Develop ordering statement or copy of General Message (ICS 213) for IAP.

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:
    • Support resources
    • Adjacent resources
    • Supervisor
    • Other ICS functional areas
  • Communicate effectively using multichannel radios or phones. Prepare and program radios for assignment for Supply Unit Resources. Use plain language and ICS terminology.
  • Conduct and/or participate in After Action Reviews (AAR).
  • Prepare unit narrative and submit to LSC if applicable.
  • Prepare information for briefings and meetings.

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
    • Consult with Safety and Security as necessary
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of fatigue, illness, or injury. Mitigate appropriately.
  • Identify potential conflicts and resolve within the same operational period, if possible.
  • Ensure appropriate health and safety measures are adhered to in the Supply Unit.
  • Store and record all hazardous material in appropriate manner according to label.


  • Complete, authorize, ensure timeliness of, and route as required:
  • Maintain records of supplies ordered and received and file daily.


  • Anticipate demobilization, identify excess resources, coordinate with operations/planning sections to prepare demobilization schedule, and communicate with supervisor.
  • Plan for demobilization. Brief assigned resources on demobilization procedures and responsibilities. Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures and work/rest driving standards are followed.
  • Develop Supply Unit transition plan to include in the Logistics Transition Plan.
  • Communicate with Cache on truck schedule to return supplies and organize the packing of the trailer with shipping bill.
  • Communicate with LSC on labor needs to break down Supply Unit.
  • Return equipment and supplies to appropriate unit.
  • Complete demobilization checkout process before being released from the incident.
  • Upon demobilization, report status to home unit including reassignment or estimated time of arrival (ETA) to home unit.
  • 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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