There was discussion about coordination with local fire districts, specific command and control structure, and getting the appropriate equipment. Mr. Achzinger indicated that there is a statewide master agreement and annual operating plan at the state level that addresses how coordination will occur between local fire districts and the federal government, as well as local operating agreement plans. Meetings occur throughout the winter before fire season to prepare for coordinated efforts during fire season. Fire centers also coordinate with each other when reporting a fire. There is a pre-planned response for dispatch resources, including local governments.
Typically, the first person on scene is the commander in charge of the fire. If a fire is multi-jurisdiction a unified command may be created, including two to three people. These details should be worked out in the annual operating plan, pre fire season.
Interoperability between communication devices (phones) and channel communication is a challenge. There is a statewide annual communication plan, however, there are issues with communications in most states. Federal agencies are licensed to use band radios, which are different than local communication devices. In Colorado, 800 or 600 megahertz radios are used by locals so they have both types of radios. In using different technology, patching radio frequencies is often done.