Re: 2014 Fire Crew Standing Offers with Wildfire Branch
The Ministry of Forests’ Wildfire Branch will be issuing a Request for Standing Offers (RSO) for Five Pack Fire Crews in April of this year. It’s time to start putting together your training and business plans for having contract fire crews, and to prepare the Standing Offer proposals.
The goal is to have two or more “5-Pack” Fire Crews registered with the Wildfire Branch and available for fire-fighting duties. There are a minimum of two 5-Pack Fire Crews in each Standing Offer.
Time is Limited
The Standing Offer proposal to Wildfire Branch is a detailed document and assembling all of the records and information is time consuming. Now is the time to start on yours if your community or company hopes to have it ready for April.
Completing a Fire Crew Proposal
Here is a brief summary of the RFP requirements:
- Pricing for each 5-pack fire crew
- Customized Safe Work Procedures
- Training records and certificates for all crew members
- Vehicle inspections and approvals
- Equipment list including tools, radios etc.
- WCB Clearance Letter
- Certificate of General Insurance
- Resume of crew leader
- Fax machine that is monitored daily
- Two-way radios
- 24-hour emergency kits
The Standing Offer means your crew is approved to be on-call for fire crew services to the Ministry of Forests. A Proposal must be submitted to the Wildfire Branch by the due date and it must be complete or it will be rejected.
How We Prepare Your Standing Offer
Collecting Crew Information
The proposal includes detailed training and work experience information. It helps for us to do some of this in person and to develop relationships with key people.
We come to your office, if requested, and spend a day scanning resumes and training records to build into the proposal.
This is a good opportunity to get started with the person who will be getting all this information from crew members. It’s also a chance to meet with admin staff and discuss equipment purchases and vehicle upgrades.
The Proposal includes day rate pricing for each 5-person fire crew. We help price your services so that they meet the terms of MOFLNR. It’s critical that crew prices fit within Wildfire Branch’s criteria.
Insurance, WCB and Safe Work Procedures
The corporate entity holding the Standing Offer (Band, development corporation, etc.) must show that it carries sufficient insurance, is in good standing with Worksafe BC, and has a safety plan specific to fire operations.
We work with your insurance agent to ensure your General Liability policy is adequate and help them prepare a certificate to include in the Proposal.
We get a Clearance Letter from WCB for inclusion in the report, or work with your staff to get a Clearance Letter in place if it is not available.
We develop a customized Safe Work Procedure for your 5-Pack Fire Crew that meets the MOFLNR requirements.
Vehicles more than seven years old must be certified and inspected and each one specifically listed on the proposal.
We work with your staff to meet this requirement of the Proposal. This might involve repairs, maintenance and inspections, or looking at leasing options.
Training is a key part of meeting the proposal requirements, any lack of training must be addressed immediately.
We work with your staff to create a list of people and certificates for inclusion in the Proposal and make sure it is complete and properly formatted for acceptance.
We create a list of training that is up to date, missing or needing updating and use this to plan training needs.
We work with Band staff to arrange for funding as well as training through training agencies or private suppliers.
Vehicles and Equipment
Each vehicle put forward in the Proposal must meet safety requirements and its VIN must be recorded in the proposal. The vehicle will be part of the subsequent inspection by MOFLNR.
Equipment must be ready for inspection as well.
We assist you in getting all equipment sourced, purchased and inventoried. We work with a supplier in Williams Lake to get the best pricing on tool sets.
There are also opportunities to bring supplemental equipment to fires and generate additional revenue.
We work with your staff to determine if equipment is available already or whether it’s worth obtaining this equipment.
Your Band staff or Dev. Corp. (or a Band contractor) must be prepared to support the 5-Pack fire crew when it is called out on a fire or put on standby. That means monitoring a fax machine for alerts and having the infrastructure in place for invoicing and time keeping.
We will provide templates and instructions for invoicing so that this takes place in a timely manner and meets the billing cycle of the MOFLNR. Cash flow is a critical aspect to this contract work and it doesn’t pay to get behind in billing.
We will also show you where there are opportunities for additional billing to make your crew more profitable.
Admin Training and Support
We provide the following manuals and templates to help manage your crew:
- Office Manual: how to invoice the MOFNLR and manage cash flow
- Invoice Templates (Excel) to speed up the billing process
- Customized Safe Work Procedure for each 5 Pack crew
- Tip Sheet: how to take advantage of extra billing opportunities for your crew
- Payroll Management: how to make sure timesheets are filled out and submitted so they don’t hold up payment
- How to Maintain Equipment: a manual for the fire crew so you don’t lose the investment in fire tools
- How to Keep a Fire Diary: so the foreman maintains adequate records
If requested, we provide extras like:
- Appropriate Fire-Rated clothing for crew members
- Personal Protective Equipment (hardhats, gloves, boots, etc.)
- 24 Hour Emergency Kit for crew including lockable tote box
- special price on 2 Way Radios
- food kits and emergency supplies
- Ready-to-Go fire-fighting tool kits
The extras are things we have sourced ourselves. The Emergency Kit, for example, can be supplied ready to go with all the necessary supplies. We have an independent radio programmer in Williams Lake for the two way radios.
Please contact us as soon as possible if you think you are interested in submitting a Standing Offer proposal to the Wildfire Branch. We would be happy to discuss helping you build a fire crew business for your community.
Here is a summary of what we do to create a successful Standing Offer:
- Prepare and submit “Proponent Response” Proposal to MOFNLR.
- Show your staff how to price the service to make a profit from the crew
- Perform Training Needs Analysis and facilitate training
- Arrange for fire training services for S-100 group of courses
- Work with your insurance agent to prepare a Certificate of General Insurance
- Show you strategies for extra billing
- Get a WCB Clearance Letter
- Assist in collecting personnel information
- assembling vehicle list and information for the proposal
- help schedule preparation activities in May
If requested, we provide extras like:
- Fire Rated Clothing and PPE
- 24 Hour Emergency kit for crew
- Special price on 2 Way Radios
- Food kits and emergency supplies
- Ready-to-Go tool kits
Our goal is to submit a fully complete proposal to Wildfire Branch for two or more 5 Pack Fire Crews for your community. This is an excellent economic opportunity for Bands and their development corporations.
A 5 Pack Crew generates significant employment and revenue and crews tend to be busy during the fire season when other activities like silviculture are slow or even shut down.
Our objectives are to:
- get your proposal submitted.
- have the proposal be complete and accepted when submitted, and
- ensure your crews are priced and managed to make a profit for the Band.
This is an all-in-one service. Pricing will vary somewhat if you already have key pieces complete (like a 5-Pack Safe Work Procedure). The “extras” mentioned above are not included in this cost, we are simply able to get a good price on these items and can pass that along as a convenience.
The list of requirements for a 5-Pack Fire Crew is long and detailed and the proposal will be rejected if it is missing anything. If you think you’re interested, call and let’s have an initial discussion on whether a 5 Pack Fire Crew will work for your community.
Even more important:
We will tell you if you don’t have enough people and resources to successfully submit a proposal.
Supporting a set of 5 Pack crews is a significant venture and it won’t work without the right people and administrative support. We aren’t interested in billing you for OUR services unless we know that you will be able to turn around and successfully bill for yours!
Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in this service, and thank you for taking the time to read this. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and we will also gladly supply references on request.Craig Kennedy Kennedy Forest & Safety Consultants 250-267-3722 firstname.lastname@example.org bcsafetyconsultants.com