Do we get billed if we use the ISU, IST or Rehab bus?
Currently the operational budget for the Special Operations Office, supports the staff and all the equipment that is used for responses. Therefore there is no bill sent to any community that utilizes the services. The ONLY time there is a cost recovery effort made is in the instance of a Hazardous Materials Incident and the cost are recoverable in that manner.

Who can call for an immediate response of any of the vehicles?
The local incident commander or his/her designee can request the ISU, IST or the Rehab Bus. Requests are made through the Communication Section at MEMA, (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) in Framingham. Once the request is received the Fire Marshal, Deputy Marshal or the coordinator is contacted for authorization to activate a team.

How long does it take to get the vehicle(s) on scene?
Once the team is activated a designated driver responds to the Fire Academy in Stow and picks up the vehicle requested and responds. All drivers live within a short distance from the Academy.

What comes with the vehicles?
For an immediate response of the vehicle, along with the driver a group of operators from one of the three response teams, an operational chief, and at least one technical support person will be paged as well. Each of the vehicles is already equipped with the materials needed to support the incident. If additional resources are needed then they will be located and transported to the incident without delay.

Other than an immediate response when else do they get used?
All of the vehicles are available to support the Commonwealth on an as needed basis. The Incident Support Unit and the Incident Support Trailer have been requested to work with local emergency commanders at events with a high attendance. The vehicle is brought to a predestinated location with a support staff to work with the coordination of all types of State, Federal and local people all working under a unified command structure for the event.

Can we request more than one resource to respond to an incident?
Our goal is to support the needs of the local incident commander during the time of need. If more than one resource is requested than we will strive to meet the needs. The first vehicle requested rolls out the door with the on call driver and the other vehicle(s) will respond as soon as a driver is contacted. Additional operators will be paged as the incident warrants.

How long will the vehicles and staff stay?
The incident itself will determine how long and how many resources will be kept at an incident scene. The Fire Marshal working with the local incident commander will determine the down sizing of staff and materials.

How can I become part of the Special Operations Team?
If you are interested in becoming part of the team of responders you first must submit a cover letter and resume to the special Operations Office at the Department of Fire Services, P.O. Box 1025, Stow, Mass. 01775. Once an opening is made interviews will be conducted from the resumes that are on file.

Who are the Operations People?
The back bones of the operations is the dedicated group of Operations people that are part time employees by the Department of Fire Services. Theses people are firefighters, Dispatchers, and other emergency response personnel from all over the Commonwealth. There are three response teams, West, North and South that make up the operations group. In addition to this a dedicated group of drivers and technical support staff are available to support the incident. All team members receive initial training and quarterly training to keep up their skills.


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