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The FIRESCOPE program originated in Southern California, organized under the acronym, “
alifornia Organized for Potential
mergencies” in 1972. By legislative action, the FIRESCOPE Board of Directors and the Office of Emergency Services Fire and Rescue Service Advisory Committee were consolidated into a working partnership on September 10, 1986. This consolidation represents all facets of local, rural, and metropolitan fire departments, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and federal fire agencies.
Through this partnership, FIRESCOPE was established as a statewide program under the redefined acronym “FIrefighting RESources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies.” To further support FIRESCOPE’s statewide program, CALFIRMS (CALifornia Fire Information Resource Management Systems) in Northern California joined with FIRESCOPE as the Northern Operations Team. Under provisions set forth by Senate Bill 27, chaptered on October 2, 1989, under Health and Safety Code Section 13070, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) and the State Fire Marshal (SFM) are to jointly establish and administer the FIRESCOPE Program.
The FIRESCOPE program is intended to complete the legislative attempt to unify these various fire agencies together into one voice and direction. The character of this group is comprised of diverse fire agencies derived from the founding legislation. The synergy created by these diverse fire agencies truly provides valuable input to the Director of Cal OES in addressing the future of fire/rescue services in California and assures excellent representation for the continued development of FIRESCOPE products.
The organization/program of the Cal OES Advisory Board and the organization/program of FIRESCOPE are to deal with mutual aid, cooperative agreements, and fire/rescue regional policy issues and to advise the Director of Cal OES in matters of statewide importance.
The FIRESCOPE decision-making process rests within a majority-rule process based on the size of the Board and limited discussion time; minority viewpoints are also forwarded to the Cal OES Director for consideration.
The mission of FIRESCOPE is to provide recommendations and technical assistance to the Office of Emergency Services (OES), to maintain the FIRESCOPE Decision Process, and to continue the operation, development, and maintenance of the FIRESCOPE Incident Command System (ICS) and the Multi-Agency Coordination System (MACS). The mission of the OES Fire and Rescue Services Advisory Committee is to provide professional recommendations and technical assistance to the Director of OES and the OES Fire and Rescue Branch on program elements.
The FIRESCOPE Board of Directors/OES Fire and Rescue Services Advisory Committee vision is to continue national leadership in the development of all-hazard management and multi-agency coordination systems, to enhance and encourage full participation by the California fire service in the statewide Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System, and to provide a common voice for the California fire service relating to these issues.
FIRESCOPE Decision Process
To ensure decisions by the Board of Directors pertaining to FIRESCOPE products support the statewide Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System, FIRESCOPE decision-making is based on a standardized method known as the “Decision Process.” This process of decision-making involves all levels of the FIRESCOPE organization, with interaction between levels administratively supported by FIRESCOPE’s Executive Coordinator. Issues, depending on the type and kind, may enter the decision process at any organizational level. Decision Process issues are categorized as follows:
Developmental - Issues which involve the development of new or modification of existing FIRESCOPE-developed products.
Policy and Procedural - Issues that effect the management and operation of FIRESCOPE and the statewide Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System.
Informational - Issues of general interest that do not normally require action taken by FIRESCOPE.
The general procedures that govern how these three issue categories are addressed within the Decision Process are as follows:
Developmental issues are the responsibility of the Task Force to provide the required staff work to validate issue appropriateness and to develop those products that adequately address issue needs.
Staff work can involve the use of Specialist and Working Groups. When products are developed, they will be forwarded to the Operations Team for review and approval. It will be the responsibility of the Operations Team to determine the level of involvement by the Board of Directors in review of Task Force-developed products.
Policy and Procedural issues being addressed through the Decision Process require that issues be identified as statewide Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System or FIRESCOPE-related issues. For those issues involving mutual aid, the Board of Directors serves as an advisor to the OES Director. As determined by the Board, other organizational levels of FIRESCOPE and/or the statewide Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System may be involved to support this advisory role.
For those issues involving FIRESCOPE, the Board of Directors serves as the final decision-making authority of the Decision Process. The Operations Team and Task Force will provide the required staff work to analyze issue impacts and recommend course of action to be taken.
Informational issues can be addressed at any organizational level. The organizational level receiving the informational issue will have the responsibility of determining whether an issue will need to be provided to other levels as information. The Executive Coordinator will assist in the exchange of information between all organizational levels of FIRESCOPE.
All decisions within the Decision Process for FIRESCOPE products are made by consensus. Decisions pertaining exclusively to the statewide Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System are made by a simple majority vote of the Board of Directors. If an issue should arise in which consensus cannot be achieved, the unresolved issue will be forwarded to the next organizational level for review and resolution with an explanation as to the reason(s) for non-consensus. The Board of Directors will serve as the final authority in addressing issues of non-consensus within the Decision Process.