In 2010, the IAFC formally established the Go Teams, which are ready to deploy to any location in the United States to assist local, state, tribal and federal officials with the myriad duties relating to fire resources and job tasks. Examples of these tasks include, but aren’t limited to:
- Assisting with state-level updates
- Working on evacuation announcements
- Serving as deputy chief of operations at local and state-level EOC
- Drafting guidelines for emergency dispatchers to read to callers when emergency services are unable to respond
- Finalizing EMAC requests for needed resources
- Submitting equipment requests to FEMA
- Providing information on reimbursement strategies
- Filling EOC command positions
- Resource management
- Incident action plans (development, implementation)
- Documentation (of any sort)
- Public information updates (develop & deliver)
To request assistance of an IAFC Go Team, call toll-free 1-888-840-6884.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Go Team?
The IAFC Go Team is comprised of highly skilled and equipped chief officers that will work with peers, allied agencies and disaster officials to assist in the coordination and recovery of significant emergencies and/or catastrophic events.
What benefits do the Go Team provide?
The team members will primarily act as a liaison for the requesting agency official and can serve in a variety of support functions, based on the incident needs. The request may originate from a local fire chief, a state official, or a federal official. The only requirement is that the individual making the request, must be in a position of authority as part of an emergency event. The responding team members will then work directly with the individual requesting assistance, or may be assigned to an assisting function as the needs of the response change.
What will be the size of the Response Team?
The size of the Response Team will be request-driven. There are a number of variables that could determine the size of the Go Team’s response. Some incidents can extend over a large geographic area (i.e. Hurricane Katrina). Other incidents may have a variety of challenges (mass casualty, hazardous materials, terrorist attack, mass evacuation, large scale fires, etc). Smaller or less complex incidents may allow a reduced response. The minimum response will normally consist of two (2) team members. This allows for continuity during alternate work periods assists in the ongoing operational period as well as planning for the next work cycle or works collaboratively in different locations (i.e. command post and EOC). During the early phases of an incident or during an escalating incident, consideration should be given to ensure that sufficient team members respond. Consideration should be given to the nature, size, geography, and local requests when deploying members. The individual or agency making the request will be responsible to determine the number of team members needed.
Is there a minimum or maximum numbers of days I can request a Go Team?
It is anticipated that most requests will call for assistance for a 7-10 day period. Team members will have a maximum of 14 days for a single deployment. These numbers can be amended as the situation warrants. If longer than 14 days of assistance is needed, relief team members will be used. Any extension beyond 14 days will be agreed upon by all parties.
Does the Go Team respond in place of an Incident Management Team (IMT)?
It is important to note that the team does not respond in place of an IMT, but will serve as an additional resource for the individual or agency making the request. The federal IMT program includes positions for Command and General Staff, Operations, Plans, Logistics, Finance/Administration, Safety Officer, Public Information Officer, and Liaison. In several states, they have developed state-sponsored IMT teams. In either case, the authority for making the request may not have the need for assistance in each of the designated positions on the team. By using the Go Team process, he/she can request a specific number of individuals to only fill specific assignments. The main advantage from members of the Go Team will be to serve as a liaison with the requesting authority for assisting with identifying resource needs and the state and national process to fill the requests.
As a Go Team Member, what type of technology will be involved and how comfortable should I be using these technologies?
It is essential that team members are self sufficient. When they respond to a significant incident, there may not be resources available to assist members with technology issues. In order for the team to be effective, it will be necessary to institute a number of technology solutions which may include: computers with wireless networks, and various software applications. Team members will be selected in part based on their expertise in using these technologies. In addition, some of these resources could assist the local incident staff. A sat-phone link between the incident and an EOC may by the only reliable efficient method of communication until other systems are restored. It is imperative the team members understand the use and benefits of the various technologies the team provides.
How will the teams be organized?
Team members will operate under the authority and direct control of the IAFC and its Emergency Management Committee.
By paralleling the FEMA model for response (minimum of 2 per FEMA region) and coordination of the Go Team, this allows for a more timely response, as well as people that may better understand the local needs and concerns. Team members may be able to drive directly to the incident in a couple of hours which could be helpful if other transportation methods are compromised. In addition, this model helps foster good working relationships with local, state, and federal partners. If necessary, additional team members can respond from adjoining regions or from any other available region to augment the initial response. The following map shows the existing FEMA Region designations:
Image source: Federal Emergency Management Agency
How do I request assistance from the IAFC for the Go Team?
Requests for assistance may be initiated after the event occurs or initiated prior to an anticipated event for pre-staging of Go Team resources. There is a 24-hour phone service that can be reached at 1-888-840-6884. Telephone requests for assistance shall be directed to the IAFC designated intake number. The request will generate a Request for Assistance (RFA) application, to be completed with the information provided. A clear description of the type of assistance being requested, the number of members needed, and the type of incident will be necessary to ensure the correct resources are allocated and there is no duplication of the mission with other requests.
What is the process after assistance has been requested?
Once the RFA has been completed, it will be immediately processed. The intake process shall verify the FEMA region involved and the number of members necessary to fulfill the requesting individual/agency’s needs. Once the members are contacted, the IAFC staff and team members will determine the appropriate method for member transportation to the incident. Once the travel plans have been identified, staff will provide the travel schedule and arrival information to the requestor.
Who can request assistance from the Go Team?
Requests for assistance may come directly from the affected fire department for individual agency assistance or may be received from county or state emergency operations centers to support more than one fire department or a geographic region. If possible, county or state emergency operations centers should be advised of a request for Go Team assistance to allow a smooth entry into the geographic areas involved and expedite the sharing of operational and recovery activities and plans. Additionally, any federal official operating under the National Response Framework as part of a disaster response may also request assistance.
What information will be included in the activation orders?
The intake process will create activation orders for all team members with the following information contained:
- Mission or Tasking number (if applicable)
- Incident type and location
- Contact information for the requesting individual/agency
- Travel plans, estimated time of arrival (ETA)
- Directions and/or maps
- Primary mission objectives and any special instructions or information
What type of documentation will be necessary on the part of the Go Team Members?
The Go Team members shall complete daily logs for each operational period or day of deployment. The logs should document work day hours, work assignments, accomplishments and important events. The logs may also be utilized to document team member expenses related to the deployment. An ICS Form 214 will be used to record details of daily activity in order to provide the basic reference from which to extract information for inclusion in any after-action report. Also an ICS Form 209 will be used for further details. These unit logs shall be promptly returned to the designated IAFC staff at the completion of the deployment.
What type of communication will be expected from Go Team Members?
Go Team members shall keep in daily contact with the designated IAFC staff to share information and make any requests for further assistance. A pre-designated briefing call schedule shall be developed for the deployment. This call schedule may be altered if circumstances warrant. Upon demobilization, Go Team members shall report their safe arrival home and schedule a date for an after-action debriefing.
What is the Code of Conduct for the Go Team?
This Code of Conduct consists of the rules and standards governing the expected demeanor of Go Team members responding on behalf of the IAFC. Each team member is both a representative of the response team, their home agency and the IAFC. Any violation of principles or adverse behavior demonstrated will be looked upon as unprofessional. Such behavior may discredit the good work that the team completes and will reflect poorly on the entire team's performance and the IAFC.
As a basic guide, Go Team members will base all actions and decisions on the ethical, moral and legal consequences of their actions. It is in this manner that positive and beneficial outcomes will prevail in all deployment events. Accordingly, Go Team members will:
- Remain cognizant of cultural issues including race, religion, gender and nationality
- Abide by all local law enforcement practices and emergency directives
- Abide by all regulations regarding the handling of sensitive information
- Follow prescribed direction regarding dress code and personal protective equipment
- Not carry firearms
- Not use or possess non-prescribed or illegal substances
- Will not consume alcoholic beverages while on duty or subject to call
- Only procure equipment through appropriate channels
- Follow the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and any state or federal regulations or restrictions regarding taking and showing any pictures while part of a team activation
- Not remove property from an operational work site
- Not deface any property
- Transit only via approved routes and not enter into restricted areas
- Demonstrate proper consideration for other agency’s capabilities and operating practices
- Not accept gratuities
Additionally, Go Team members will adhere to the following IAFC values:
- Integrity: I will do what is right.
- Professionalism: I will conduct myself at all times in a competent manner which reflects positively on the fire/EMS services.
- Responsiveness: I will accurately process and provide information, resources, solutions, and/or direction in a timely manner.
- Collaboration: I will build relationships both in and outside of the fire/EMS services. I will network and share resources, experiences and knowledge with others.
- Diversity/Inclusiveness: I will provide and ensure opportunities for all. I will embrace differences and purposefully engage others in organizational activities.
- Safety Culture: I will model and promote a safety-driven fire/EMS/ emergency services culture at all times.
What is the Go Team Member selection process?
Initially, the application packets will be evaluated to determine whether or not a candidate meets the minimum qualifications. Secondly, IAFC staff and one or more selected technical advisors will divide the resumes by FEMA regions, and rank them according to the scoring criteria. The final step will assemble a panel of representatives from within the IAFC and allied agencies to participate on a final review panel. The panel will make recommendations to the EMC and the EMC will make the final determination.
How will I travel to and from sites as a Go Team Member?
Each team member will have an account set up through the IAFC travel service for airline travel. Rental vehicles will be available on a case by case basis. If driving is feasible, the team member will be asked to drive. This can be easier depending on the situation, and it could be easier to acquire access in some areas if he/she has a marked vehicle.
As a Go Team Member, how and what will I be reimbursed for?
Go Team members should adhere to IAFC's travel policy to be eligible for reimbursement of allowable expenses (mileage, airfare, lodging, and meals). Cash and personal credit cards should be used. After the event, you will submit an IAFC expense report, complete with original receipts. Go Team members contracted will be compensated at the hourly rate specified for work and travel hours once individual reporting requirements are met and invoice is submitted to IAFC POC.
What are the medical/physical requirements for a Go Team Member?
- Individuals must be healthy enough to function under field conditions, which may include all or some of the following:
Individuals should not require personal medications that need refrigeration
Individuals should not have any physical conditions, impairments, or restrictions that would preclude them from participating in the moving and lifting of patients and/or equipment
- NFPA 1582 (or equivalent as determined by the AHJ) to include medical baseline, fitness status, annual medical exam
- 12 hour shifts, austere conditions (possibly no showers, housing in tents, portable toilets)
- Extreme weather conditions (long exposure to heat and humidity, lack of air conditioning, extreme cold or wet environments)
- Long periods of standing
- Td toxoid or Tdap. receipt of primary series and booster within 10 years
- Documentation of Hepatitis B vaccination series and documentation of a positive titer (antibody to HBsAg) or completion of a “waiver of liability”.