Docstoc

NWS Fire Weather Training

Document Sample
NWS Fire Weather Training Powered By Docstoc
					 Critical Skills Needed Within The
   NWS Fire Weather Program

                   Eli Jacks
Chief, Fire and Public Weather Services Branch
       NOAA’s National Weather Service
              23 September 2009
                 Outline
NOAA’s fire weather services
Critical fire weather forecaster skills
Current skill gaps and shortages
Current efforts at addressing gaps
Recommendations
   NOAA’s Fire Weather Services

First “Fire Weather Forecast” 1914
First Incident Meteorologist 1916
Routine and on-site services
Partners:
- US Forest Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- National Park Service
- Nat. Assoc. of State Foresters
- FEMA, DOD, US Coast Guard
- International Partners (Australia)
Importance of Fire Weather
                NOAA’s Site-Specific
                Fire Weather Services

• NOAA’s “Spot forecasts”
  support:

 - Wild Fire Suppression
 - Prescribed fire ops.


• We average 17,000 “Spot
Forecasts” annually


• 19,000 forecasts in 2008
               NOAA’s National
            Fire Weather Services




              No Fire Weather Forecast Issued




• National Fire Weather Watch/Red Flag Warning Program.
• Fire Weather Planning Forecasts.
• Over 30,000 Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather
  Watches issued annually.
   NOAA’s On-Site
Fire Weather Services
           Incident Meteorologists:
           NOAA’s on-site fire weather
           forecasters!
               Extensive training in microscale
                and mesoscale meteorology
               Forecasts used to plan NIFC
                Incident Team and resource
                placement
               Essential part of an Interagency
                fire management team
               Dependent on mobile
                technology and meso/micro-
                scale research improvements.
Range of IMET Services
                   Mt. Rushmore
                   Fireworks
                                                 Democratic/Republican
                                                 National Conventions


                       Columbia Shuttle
                       Recovery

                                                       Texas/Oklahoma
                                                       Started in December…
                                                       IMETs there for 9 months!



                                                 Katrina Response
                                                 IMETs present for 3 months




                                  Large Fire Support
                                  Cave Creek Fire
                                  Edge Fire
   Selendang Ayu                  Day Fire
   Oil Spill…
   Dutch Harbor
Critical Skills Needed For Fire
            Weather
Develop and Maintain Customer Awareness/Partnerships
   Requires coordination for policy, training, tactical planning

Assess the Fire Environment
   Know how to apply weather at all scales to fire environment
   Apply knowledge of fuels & topography to fire environment

Warning Decision Making
   Possess situational awareness based on knowledge of
    meteorology, policy, user requirements

Provide Fire Weather Products and Services
   Understand product policy and partner needs to issue timely
    and useful fire weather forecasts, watches and warnings
   Skill Gaps and Shortages
Extend IMET knowledge of partnering agencies
requirements to entire NWS forecast workforce
- A sensitivity to land management operations is
  key to excellent service

A clear and comprehensive fire weather curriculum
for the study of the fire environment, fire weather
and fire behavior, tailored for meteorologists
- Existing distance learning training is incomplete
  and not well organized
    Skill Gaps and Shortages
Leadership and situational awareness
- Within the office and at the fire scene

Expertise in delivering briefings to partners in terms
they can understand and meet their specific needs
-   Social science reveals that different users have
    different needs and focus

Culture change needed to foster a forecaster
mindset as being the “front-line service provider”
 - Impart a bias towards “decision support”
  Current Fire Weather Training
Fire Weather Forecaster
  Minimum Journey-level forecaster (4 years experience)
  75+ hours coursework
    Introductory Fire Weather (all scales)
    Introductory Fire Behavior


IMETs (additional)
  175+ hours coursework
    Intermediate Fire Weather (all scales)
    Intermediate Fire Behavior (S-390, S-491)
    Safety
    Incident Command System (FEMA)
    HAZMAT (USCG, NOAA OAR and FEMA)


  “Internship” on fires – 2 weeks minimum
  Yearly refresher/recertification workshop
   Training Gap Mitigation Effort:
  COMET Curriculum Development
COMET = Cooperative Program for Operational
Meteorology, Education and Training

A “Fire Weather Training Working Group” met in
Boulder to outline a fire weather training curriculum
- Consisted of IMETs, Fire Weather Forecasters,
   COMET staff, NWS Training

Identification of specific, sequential training needs in
2009-10 will lead to clear course development
requirements development in FY 11
          Recommendations
0 - 2 years:
  Continue to support Fire Weather/COMET curriculum

    development project and begin development

2 – 5 years:
  Utilizing fire weather operations funding, continue

   prioritized development of curriculum elements

5 years and beyond:
  Create an “All Hazards University”: Integrate across

   multiple fire and non-fire agencies to leverage limited
   training budgets into a comprehensive curriculum for
   gov’t meteorologists and emergency responders
                Summary
Fire Weather well on its way to rounding out
critical skills and filling gaps/shortages. High
quality distance learning is under development.

Critical gaps are fulfilling an “all hazards” role
and changing the corporate culture from one of
“come and get it” to “how can I serve you?”

The key to future training and development of
meteorologists is to integrate and cross-train.
Our missions overlap, so should our training.
Questions?

				
DOCUMENT INFO