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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

GIFF to Hold Field Exercises on June 4th


On Saturday, June 4, members of the Gateway Interagency Fire Front (GIFF) will conduct their annual interagency fire training exercise in Pocatello.  Approximately 60 participants are expected, representing seven local, federal, and tribal firefighting agencies.  The exercise will begin with a briefing at 10 a.m. at the Incident Command Post, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) facility on 5th Avenue.


Following the briefing, participants will rotate through two stations.  One, located at Blackrock Canyon, will be a wildland fire tactics station where firefighters will practice hose lays and mobile attack.  The other, located at the end of Barton Road in the East Bench, will be a structure triage training.  The purpose of structural triage is to determine how capable a building is of surviving a wildfire without intervention by firefighters as well as identifying what steps could be taken to improve the home’s defensible space. 
It is important to note that there will be increased traffic in these areas as fire trucks and other emergency vehicles shuttle between the three locations.  Residents may see signs directing those involved in the exercise.  Additionally, local fire departments will make contact with homeowners in the immediate areas where firefighters will be training. 

Any emergency, fire or medical, which would require the response on the personnel and equipment engaged in the training will take precedence, even if that means the training is cancelled altogether.



The exercise will conclude at 2 p.m. back at the ITD facility with an After Action Review by those involved.  After Action Reviews allow the organizers to better facilitate future trainings based on the feedback of all members.


GIFF was formed in the late 1980s as a means of facilitating a coordinated response to wildland fires in and around Pocatello.  Current members include Pocatello, Pocatello Valley Volunteer, Chubbuck, Fort Hall, and Inkom Fire Departments, along with the Idaho Falls District Bureau of Land Management, and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.  The group holds monthly coordination meetings in addition to conducting training exercises at least annually.