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									resPonse PartnershiPs during
disasters: eMergenCy suPPort
FunCtion 4
Gordon Sachs

        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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