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resPonse PartnershiPs during disasters: eMergenCy suPPort FunCtion 4 Gordon Sachs W ildland fire agencies respond to more types of emergen- The purpose of ESF4 is to provide Federal support cies than only wildland fire. They also respond to hurricanes, for the detection and suppression of wildland, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, ter- rural, and urban fires resulting from, or occurring rorist attacks—any type of natural coincidentally with, an incident requiring a or manmade disaster or emergency coordinated Federal response for assistance. could result in a request for Federal wildland fire resources. Thus, the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, may be called on to There are six Departments or agen- these resources are mobilized to support response to and manage- cies identified as Support Agencies support Federal or State entities ment of situations that involve to ESF4 to provide technical sup- with situations that do not involve multiple agencies. port, assistance, and expertise in wildland fire. specific areas related to firefight- A structure exists to guide such ing operations. In addition to the Forest Service Washington Office, multiagency interactions. When U.S. Department of the Interior Fire and Aviation Management, an event results in a Presidential and the U.S. Fire Administration, Disaster and Emergency Operations declaration of emergency or major these support agencies are the Branch, is the day-to-day link to disaster, the response is coordi- National Weather Service, U.S. FEMA and provides the national nated under the National Response Environmental Protection Agency, ESF4 coordinator. Each Forest Framework. Under the National the U.S. Department of Defense, Service region and area has a des- Response Framework, the Forest and the U.S. Department of State. ignated ESF4 coordinator to work Service serves as the Coordinator Their roles related to ESF4 are with their FEMA region(s). As sup- and Primary Agency for Emergency identified in the ESF4 Annex of the port agencies, U.S. Department of Support Function 4 (ESF4). During National Response Framework. the Interior bureaus and the U.S. all types of disasters and major Fire Administration have ESF4 emergencies, ESF4 is the primary Emergency Support coordinators to maintain a close link between the wildland fire com- Function 4 working relationship with the munity and the U.S. Department national ESF4 coordinator. The purpose of ESF4 is to provide of Homeland Security, Federal Federal support for the detection Emergency Management Agency During a disaster or emergency, and suppression of wildland, rural, ESF4 may be staffed at all levels of (FEMA). The Forest Service coor- and urban fires resulting from, or dinates and staffs ESF4 with the FEMA operations (figs. 1 and 2): occurring coincidentally with, an • The National Response support of the U.S. Department incident requiring a coordinated of the Interior and the U.S. Fire Coordination Center (NRCC) Federal response and assistance. at FEMA headquarters in Administration and serves as the Under the
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