TO: DNRC Forestry Division Staff
Montana State Fire Chiefs Association
Montana County Firewardens Association
NRCC & Montana Interagency Dispatch Centers
FROM: John Monzie, Acting Chief, Montana DNRC Fire Protection Bureau
SUBJECT: Authorization for Backfill Cost Reimbursement in LGFF Option 3 and Law Enforcement Cooperative Agreements fire mobilizations for the 2021 Fire Season.
See: NRCG Mobilization of Local Government Fire Forces
Introduction / Background:
When a Montana LGFF Option 3 or Law Enforcement agency mobilizes a resource to a wildland fire incident, that often leaves an un-filled shift at their home unit. To meet minimum staffing requirements, the LGFF/Law Enforcement agency is often obligated to bring in another individual to cover that shift, and most likely at an overtime rate. By only allowing reimbursement of the mobilized resources, the LGFF/Law Enforcement agency is taking a financial loss and losing any incentive to contribute to the interagency fire response system.
Given critical resource shortages across the NRGA, the purpose of this memo is to allow DNRC Hiring Offices and other NRCG member agencies to authorize backfill staffing expenses for Option 3 Local Government Fire Forces and Law Enforcement (including Project STAR) mobilizations, during the 2021 Fire Season. This authorization will be only for the backfill of those resources required to meet minimum staffing and service levels at their respective home unit (front line firefighters, deputies etc.) Documentation supporting backfill personnel expenses will be required and will include sending agency daily work records detailing regular and overtime hours worked and rates from the current Option 3 – LGFF Cooperative Agreement Personnel Billing Rate Form. Administration costs remain ineligible for reimbursement.
- Montana LGFF/Law Enforcement are ordered through standard mobilization protocols via their respective interagency wildland dispatch centers. A current LGFF Cooperative Agreement Personnel Billing Rate Form is still required prior to mobilization.
- Requesting agencies should ensure resource orders should include documentation that backfill is authorized. If not, the LGFF/Law Enforcement agency shall make a request for backfill authorization to the appropriate requesting agency. Approval of backfill authorization shall be documented in IROC and on the resource order by center prior to mobilization.
- Upon completion of assignment, LGFF/Law Enforcement agencies will submit complete payment packages per normal protocols found in 2021 NR Supplement to Chapter 50 in the SIIBM to their DNRC Hiring Office. Supporting documentation for both incident and backfill personnel will be required and should be clearly delineated on the LGFF invoice to the DNRC. Backfill personnel documentation will include sending agency daily work records or work logs detailing regular and overtime hours worked. Incident personnel expense documentation will include combined shift tickets and per diem expenses as per normal protocol.
CC: Sue Clark, DNRC Forestry Division, Deputy Division Administrator
Joanne Marceau, DNRC Forestry Division Fire Finance & Incident Busin