Companies that have agreements with government agencies to provide support for wildland fire suppression or all-hazard incidents will have a new system to learn before the 2020 fire season. The Resource Ordering and Status System (ROSS), which has been in use since 2003, is being replaced by the Interagency Resource Ordering Capability (IROC).
While ROSS is primarily used by government personnel, it does feature a web interface that permits fire contractors to log in and update their availability on their own (“self-status”). In addition to indicating whether they are available for immediate dispatch or are unable to respond, fire contractors in the Northern Rockies can choose how far they are willing to travel to respond to incidents. The options currently in ROSS include the following:
- Local: Available within the dispatch center area
- GACC: Available within the Northern Rockies Geographic Area
- Nationally: Available nationwide
While we don’t know what the new interface for fire contractors will look like, IROC is supposed to provide the same self-status functionality that ROSS does now, but through a modern, mobile-friendly interface. Since IROC is completely web-based, it is platform‐agnostic, meaning that it is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, etc. This should be welcome news to any fire contractor who has tried to self-status in the field from a smartphone or tablet.
IROC was originally scheduled to go live on January 1, 2020, but that date has been pushed back to March 10-12, 2020. The Montana PTAC has been proactively seeking out training for ourselves and our clients on this new system, but as of December 12, training curriculum for contractors on the self-status functionality had not been completed yet. We have been assured that self-administered online training will be made available and will provide adequate instruction for contractors to feel comfortable using the new system in the coming fire season.
For all the latest developments on IROC, you can go to https://famit.nwcg.gov/applications/IROC. We are hopeful that additional contractor-specific information will be provided at the Northern Rockies Coordinating Group’s preproposal meetings February 11-13.
If all this tech talk sounds like a foreign language to you, don’t be afraid to reach out to your friendly PTAC counselor for help once IROC launches. Don’t get frustrated. Get help.