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MECHANIZED BASICS: Order, Transport and ICS

James Steele and Obie O’Brien

Basic training and plans are crucial for effective emergency response.  This axiom may be universally accepted, yet not well executed when requesting mechanized resources.  Learning from successful deployments is essential to advance our knowledge of available tools and practice with reliable expertise.   We easily focus on damage by the machines we use.  Yet, natural resource protection and improvements best accomplished with machinized options require focus on mechanical design, including machine capabilities and limitations.

The following 3-part series of articles outline basic considerations for ordering and moving heavy equipment to where it is needed; in particular, forestry machines commonly used for sustainable forest management.  Let’s correctly order forestry machines for the planned wildfire incident task.  Figure in logistics, field management and machine transport contingencies.  Consider staging mechanized resources for ready action and positive results.

Two feller bunchers working Cave Gulch Fire, Helena NF.

Part 1. Ordering Heavy Equipment Resources

Prevent Ordering Errors.

Order the right tool for the task.

(next week)__________Part 2.  Transporting Machines

Lowboy transport of feller buncher. Corral Fire 2013, Six Rivers NF

Anticipate alternate road routes. 

Pre-position heavy equipment.

 

 

Part 3.  Chain Of Command _________(two weeks)

Seepay Fire, Flathead Reservation, 2014.
Train in the woods with forestry machines before emergencies.

HEQB, STEQ, TFLD, HETS:  Positions and duties

 

 

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Jim Steele owns Jocko Consulting, Arlee, Montana. He is a consulting forester and wildland firefighter with many qualifications from almost 50 years of service, including Safety Officer and Heavy Equipment Technical Specialist (HETS).

Stephen “Obie” O’Brien owns Forest Operations Engineering, Helena, Montana.  Obie is a consulting logging engineer, Heavy Equipment Technical Specialist (HETS) and trainer.