Wildland Fire Safety & Health Reporting Network

SAFENET Event Information
Create Agency Corrective Action

20170727-0002        [Corrective Actions]
Event Start Date:
07/22/2017 0600
Event Stop Date:
Incident Name:
Sunrise And Burdette Fires
Fire Number:
Local Unit:
9 Mile RD
Incident Type:
Incident Activity:
Support, Readiness/Preparedness
Stage of Incident:
Extended Attack
Position Title:
Management Level:
Resources Involved:
Medical unit, IC, Medical support personnel  
Contributing Factors
Contributing Factors:
Equipment, Environmental, Human Factors
Human Factors:
Decision Making, Risk Assessment, Performance, Situational Awareness  
Other Factors:
Describe in detail what happened including the concern or potential issue, the environment (weather, terrain, fire behavior, etc), and the resulting health issue.
The Sunrise and Burdette Fires burning on the Lolo Nationals Forest are being managed together under the supervision of a Type 2 Incident Management Team. The Burdette Fire is an isolated fire with limited access, burning on steep slopes with poor egress. The Sunrise Fire is directly adjacent to the I-90 corridor with road access but with drive times in excess of forty minutes to distant divisions. Neither one of these fires were staffed with paramedic qualified EMS support personnel. No ambulance was assigned to the fire in any location. Alaskan advanced EMTs were ordered for the fire but due to lack of medical reciprocity across state lines are unable to preform up to their full potential. This creates additional liability issues, as the Alaskan providers are placed in precarious situation of having to choose between utilizing their full skill set to potentially render the highest medical care possible or meeting the letter of the law and having a poor patient outcome.
The medical unit leader was approached and reported that there were no paramedics available in the state of Montana and that the Incident Medical Specialist had been trying to fill orders. This directly contradicts information received from the Montana State EMS office which reported that there paramedics available for assignment. There seems to be a break down in communication between the IMS program and the State of Montana EMS Division.
An out of region Division was assigned on July, 25th to the Burdette Fire but reported his unwillingness to commit resources to the fire until some form of medical support was established. He was subsequently removed from the incident and another division was assigned. Two days later a medical incident within an incident was declared and a patient was flown from the fire. No medical provider was assigned to the fire and crew resources were utilized to care for the individual. Patient outcome is unknown at this time.
Firefighter safety was identified in the IAP as the number one priority and addressed in every morning briefing, but this glaring lack of medical support directly contradicts this priority. This represents a failure by the IMT to properly plan and care for firefighters working in known difficult circumstances.
Immediate Action Taken
Reporting Individual : please describe actions you took to correct or mitigate the unsafe/unhealthful event.
I spoke with the IC and medical unit leader about the issue but no change was noted from our conversation.

Corrective Actions


Return to Top