National Wildfire Coordinating Group

RT-130, Wildland Fire Safety Training Annual Refresher (WFSTAR)

Introduction to the Three Tier Dispatch System

RT-130 Decorative banner. Group of photos depicting wildland firefighters performing various duties.

Learn about how fire resources are dispatched through the three tier dispatch system.
Category: Communications
Core Component(s): Fire and Aviation Operational Safety
Estimated Delivery Time: 30 minutes; Video Length: 11:22



Familiarize wildland firefighters with the basics of the three-tier dispatch system and how resources are mobilized to incidents.

Facilitator Preparation

  • Review the video and module tools.
  • Consider additional activities and discussion questions pertinent to the location and agency.

Facilitating the Discussion

  • Show the video.
  • Facilitate a small or large group discussion using the activity and discussion questions.

Discussion Questions

  1. How do the three tiers differ?
  2. What are your local unit processes for ordering resources through your dispatch center?
  3. What are three factors that could influence resource prioritization?
  4. What are some examples of stress that can impact dispatchers? How can you help alleviate some of that stress?
  5. Can you think of a time when you were on an incident and an order was difficult to fill? Why do you think that may have happened?


Video Information

This video is also available as a download. (Size 150 MB)
Download the .srt file for closed captioning (you may need to right click and Save As). For information on how to add closed captioning to a video, see this how-to page.

Note: For Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, right click the word download and select Save Link As; for Internet Explorer (IE), right click and select Save Target As.


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