HEQB’s

Looking for input, insight or maybe resolution. What’s the issue with lack of HEQBs. Why does CF not allow FF’s to be a HEQB assigned to a fire but unofficially at the station during coverage assignments. Why can they take the class as a FF but not go out on assignments as one? In every case scenario of the same, the FF promotes to Engineer, then almost rarely gets the opportunity too go out because a fire engine needs a CO. I understand there both most important. I know plenty of great “unofficial “ FF HEQB’s. For the last decade, I could count on one hand how many times a line was properly scouted by a HEQB or a HEQB was being tasked with the proper number for span of control. Hired Equipment sitting everywhere with conflicting directions on what to do or who’s in charge. But… I could lose count how many times a CO has pointed out there pickup window and said make a line here after glancing at there map. There are plenty of hardworking great individuals out there that work outside what there primary mission is everyday to keep the ball rolling. I just don’t understand why we can’t have seasonal FFs honing there skills as a HEQB and lesson the burden on the most available Engine Captain or strike team leader.

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Doesn’t that still fall under the spot where FF1s can’t go out solo without direct supervision. FF2s and above can work independently… such as line assignments… or is that a thing of the past. I remember CDF never sending ff1s anywhere.

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For sure that’s the reason. I supposed just hoping for a change or a solution.

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I haven’t worked for the state for a long while… but that’s always been a topic of conversation. From ff1 state equipment driving…to overhead as fire line emt… etc.

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@SteepNrocky
The current 4039 qualifications for HEQB are I300 and COA. CF & NWCG mirror each other as far as the class HEQB Class. It’s 32hr long and the student has to have I300. CF added the “must have attended COA” component I believe because it’s a “Line Supervision” type position. But progress is being made.
The 'Dozer Swamper" Curriculum has been written and approve by the Training Center at Ione. This class is a direct byproduct of the passing of HFEO Varney. It has taken 3yr but it’s now official.
Personally if I were “KING FOR A DAY” the requirements would be changed to
I300
S290
3yr experience min
And the Swamper class.
The the individual could open a taskbook and start the process. I say “3yr experience” because there are so many folks from other agencies that have the experience and qualifications. Yet when they change uniforms it’s like “POOF” their qualifications are gone.

Thankfully, with the support of a handful of dedicated Chief Officers, HFEO’s & FC’s the CF Swamper Program has taken the next step. SoOps Training has been VERY SUPPORTIVE of the HEQB program to the point of having 2 classes per year, that includes a field day for the students.

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There is a huge need. Saw a division on Dixie near Old Station 2 weeks ago that had 15 dozers and no dozer bosses.

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Try FOUR PAGES of ICS 204’s of heavy equipment in a “Group” with 4 HEQB’s. Not including the transports to haul said heavy equipment. All spread out along the A21 from Westwood Logging Rd to the A13 on the 36 :flushed:

Span of control was approx 15:1 when you included the Equip, Transports, & Water Tenders.

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Had there been a serious injury or God forbid, a fatality there would have been hell to pay for someone to be responsible other than decision makers.
Apparently it is ok, until it isn’t.

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A week ago comment was made that Mineral King is not a lowbed or full size truck and trailer road. It was probably not relayed to the right decision maker. Or maybe it wasn’t emphasized. Regardless, it wasn’t followed. Now there are transports parked at the top. Inside turns with Bogeys rolled off over the edge and dragged back up just by sheer power and luck. 500+ foot cliffs with loaded dozers on trailers hanging off over the side. No communication about traffic control either. One private stuck at the bottom requiring a wrecker to pull them back on the road. We know better, what are you doing.

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Which fire was this steep?

KNP, Mineral King road. Cut bank road built above East Fork Kaweah river

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It use to be that when a CDF person gave instructions to travel on a road, you could trust their word. Now you have folks who lack expertise on what and where water tenders and transports can SAFELY travel.

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I have been out as HEQB twice this year. Each time was name requested. I work for a contract county and not sure if orders are coming in or if they are being UTF. But with out name requests I wouldn’t have been out at all.

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Not sure I really understand the question but I do understand the need.

NWCG states that HEQB Quals for 2020 are;

Most CF FF 1’s (seasonals) don’t have that training or don’t have the experience on incidents

Personally, I’ve had repeat seasonals (3 or 4 seasons) who didn’t want a permanent position (FF II) who I would have total confidence in to be a HEQB. Other’s, not so much. But then I’ve worked with Crew Sups (FC’s) who I didn’t have confidence in their being able to get their engine to the incident.

Another thought, on these recent fires, experienced Seasonals were direly needed on their engines to keep the operations going.

Just my thoughts from the way back time.

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Just hoping to get more HEQBs to incidents. Tons of COs with the requirements, just never see them on incidents

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I don’t think that is entirely true, here is a screen shot but it does say it was updated in 2019 and I couldn’t find anything more recent.

https://www.nwcg.gov/positions/heqb/position-qualification-requirements

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The biggest thing is having fire line experience around equipment not just a year or two of fire experience.

Some engine guys get their HEQB taskbook pencil whipped by their friend and then say things like…

“It’s not that rocky” or “looks doable” or “ya it’s drivable”

And then get pissy when you can’t do what what they tell you to do.

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