2005 NIMT Rainbow Family of Living Light National Gathering
The Administrative Section includes both Finance and Logistics. This section is responsible for providing administrative support and service to the National Incident Management Team (NIMT) and personnel ordered for the NIMT. Specific areas include: budget preparation and expenditure monitoring; lodging; transportation; supplies; timekeeping; and arranging facilities for personnel.
The team’s strategy was to minimize costs by utilizing existing systems such as computers, equipment, hold-over vehicles, operating from public buildings and using local employees as incident personnel.
The incident is funded at the Washington Office level. The funds provided for this operation are intended to support the costs of the NIMT and their ordered personnel. This year’s NIMT budget began at $730,000. In May the team received authorization to spend up to an additional $300,000 for additional LEOs requested for this year’s gathering. The additional funding was to cover travel, salary and lodging/per diem for the added personnel. All LE&I employees are paid for overtime only. The current funding level does not allow the team to cover the true costs of all personnel assigned to the NIMT. The NIMT provided $25,000 to the Monongahela NF to offset the support costs they incurred to assist the NIMT during the gathering.
The Incident Commander (IC) and Administrative Officer (AO) began drafting the 2005 budget in February 2005. Safety and operational supplies were ordered in advance of the team’s mobilization and sent to the location of the NIMT’s cache trailer. Team members arrived on site with adequate supplies for their functional areas enabling them to begin operations immediately.
All personnel were dispatched through established dispatch procedures. An initial incident number was established with the GWJeff NF in Roanoke, VA (Region 8) to pre-stage the team. Upon site selection, the incident was transferred to the Monongahela NF in West Virginia (Region 9). All personnel were name requested through the ROSS system. Initial mobilization of the team and officers occurred between June 6 and June 8 with personnel arriving in Roanoke, VA. On June 9, incident personnel relocated to West Virginia.
All incident personnel were lodged at the Inn at Snowshoe in Snowshoe, WV. The hotel agreed to honor the established government lodging rate of $60 and were able to house all personnel throughout the duration of the incident.
The NIMT rented two rooms within the hotel to serve as the Incident Command Post. Initially the location was approximately one hour away from the gathering location. The selected permit site was within a 30 min drive from the ICP.
The Forest Service Cranberry Nature Center was utilized by field going personnel as an expanded command post. This provided personnel with an area for breaks and briefings at shift change.
All Land Use Agreements needed and lodging payments for the NIMT were coordinated by a contracting officer in Region 8.
The incident was declared a non-natural emergency at the National Level and a waiver for the maximum bi-weekly overtime cap was issued. This allowed for flexibility in granting time away from the incident for R&R.
Support for the administrative area was provided throughout the incident this year with personnel from Regions 8 and 9. Personnel provided timekeeping, purchasing, logistics and LEIMARS services.
A total of $42,200 was committed to modifications of existing Cooperative Law Enforcement Agreements (CLE’s). These funds were distributed to the West Virginia State Police and Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Department. The WV State Police provided all dispatching services for law enforcement.
Establish adequate funding levels for the NIMT to cover base and overtime costs for all incident personnel and site forest employees working for the gathering. Current budgeting does not all for the true cost of the incident to be appropriately accounted for fiscally. The actual costs of the incident will be nearly impossible to capture as many items were borrowed at no cost to the team. Many of the salary costs before, during and after the gathering are not charged directly to the incident.
Assistance from both the GW/Jeff and Monongahela forests was excellent. The GW/Jeff provided numerous vehicles for the team’s using, saving funds set aside to rent vehicles. Dispatching personnel from both forests were extremely helpful during both the mobilization and demobilization stages.
Local businesses proved easy to work with and appreciated the opportunity to assist the team with supply and facility needs.