USA — Operators who wish to assist the Forest Service with wildland fire suppression will now use a new method in providing their services and equipment for fire-fighting efforts.
The Forest Service is bringing Virtual Incident Procurement, an electronic method of soliciting services. Interested vendors in the White Mountain area are encouraged to register online to compete for Forest Service awards to assist in fire-fighting in the 2011 fire season.
Pam Baltimore, public affairs officer for the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, said those vendors will need to sign up through the Forest Services business incidents Web site, www.fs.fed.us/business/incident/vipr.php. She said it can lead to a good working relationship between the Forest Service and the community, as the Forest Service offers a business opportunity and vendors lend their assistance in fighting fires.
It would be a service not only to the community, but the Forest Service and to any fire suppression in the community.
The most common types of equipment used during fire season range from support and tactical water tenders and engines to potable and gray water trucks. Other equipment includes portable toilets, hand-washing stations, mobile laundry units, communication trailers, computers and printers, geographic information systems, pickup trucks, vans, buses and more with drivers and aircraft rescue and fire-fighting apparatus.
For the 2011 fire season, the Forest Service is including new categories in the Virtual Incident Procurement process. Those categories include dozers, excavators, tractor plows, transports, mechanics with service trucks, tents, clerical office units, fuel tenders, helicopter support trailers and weed-washing equipment.
Most categories of equipment phased into the Virtual Incident Procurement system operate under a five-year competitive plan. For vendors to compete for these awards of agreement with the Forest Service, they must have use of a computer with Internet capabilities, a valid e-mail address and registration in several databases. Vendor requirements and online copies of solicitations with contract requirements can be found at the above Web site. Current solicitation notices are also published at the Federal Business Opportunities Web site at www.fbo.gov.