In addition to fires it has also been active in floods, earthquakes and other disasters such as Hurricane Andrew, Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption and the Northridge Quake. For the latter the State Office of Emergency Services ordered virtually everything from the Boise radio warehouse - hundreds of portables, repeaters, control stations, fixed links, battery packs and antennas.
When the State has exhausted its cache of kits and transportable resources it may place a request for Federal assistance. Because of the size of California, two NIFC-type warehouses [in CA] duplicate some of the equipment stored further away in Boise. Requests are placed with the nearest Federal zone for delivery to the requesting agency. If Zone cannot fulfill the request it is forwarded to NIFC in Boise. The only costs associated with the use of the Federal equipment is shipping, any lost equipment, batteries, and the daily cost of a technician if required. To make the latter unnecessary, several people in California have been certified through NIFC training.
The center teaches a highly regarded two-week training course in Boise on the Incident Command System, Communications Unit Organization and staffing, theory and equipment, accountability, incident planning and demobilization. It includes both tabletop incident practice and hands-on field work with actual equipment. Completing the training enables one to be a fully qualified Communications Unit Leader.
Suggested by an article in the "APCO BULLETIN" by Brent Finster, Communications Director for Aspen-Pitkin County Communications Center, Aspen, Colorado.