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1997 Rainbow Family National Gathering

U.S. Forest Service Final Report


RAINBOW FAMILY NATIONAL GATHERING INCIDENT

LOGISTICS

SUPPLY:

1. Prior to the event, the Supply Unit Leader should have a Forest Service Credit Card and Third Party Draft authority.

Since staffing roles for Ordering and Expanded Dispatch are significantly different than regular fire incidents, purchasing can be expedited, particularly when ordering personnel have time off from the incident.

2. For this type of an incident, in addition to the Supply Unit Leader, there should be an Ordering Manager that has Support Dispatcher skills. The ordering manager will contact or procure resources directly or as appropriate through agency guidelines, ie; Northwest Coordination Center.

In addition, a local driver with vehicle, assigned to the incident is critical. This position can -transport supplies, pick up and deliver passengers to the airport, assist in setting up facilities, etc. An additional benefit would be for this person to have a Forest Service credit card for purchasing needed supplies.

3. Some supplies and equipment are purchased that could be used over again each year. It would be beneficial and cost effective to support a small cache trailer that could be equipped with equipment that would be staged. The location would be in the area or region where the next event is planned. When the exact location is identified, the trailer could be transported to the site within 24 hours.

4. Pre-existing agreements in the local area should be utilized whenever possible. Use of local available resources such as Overhead, vehicles, trailers, office equipment, etc. needs to be used whenever possible. Borrow local equipment and supplies when practical. All of these recommendations will produce a cost savings for the Incident.

5. Motels, Meals and Incidental Expenses, can be treated as a normal Per Diem situation. Employees can use their own Government American Express or personal credit cards to pay for services and be reimbursed as with regular travel.

This reduces the number of resource orders needed to support the incident. The Ordering Manager or Facilities Unit Leader can act as the Motel Reservation Manager.

This worked well in our case and spread the money to many different restaurants and motels rather than just a few. The overhead team members also preferred this method over subsistence

FACILITIES:

1. For this particular type of incident, the Crook County Middle School (ICP) completely met our needs. The location was close to the main highway and gave easy access and egress. The cost to lease the school was only $100/day which provided unlimited space including the showers.

Security was provided by Forest Protection Officers at night.

Space Utilization:
1 Room - Incident Commander, Deputy Incident Commander, and Safety Officer.
1 Room - Incident Information Officer and Media Interviews.
1 Room - Logistics (Logistics Chief, Supply Unit, Ground Support, and Facilities), and Finance Section.
1 Room - Plans Section and Operations for Resources Section
1 Room - Communications Unit and Dispatch Center
*1 Room - Operations for Law Enforcement
*1 Room - Criminal Investigator
*1 Room - Evidence Lockup
1 Room - Shift Briefing Room
1 Room - Team Meetings
Library - For Public Meetings
1 Room - Supply Cache
2 Rooms - Sleeping Area Men/Women in case motel rooms are not available.
Showers - Men and Women in case motel rooms are not available.

* - Doors locks were specially keyed with access only to Law Enforcement.

2. The Incident Command Post (ICP) was located approximately 40 miles from the Incident. A staging area was placed at the Ochoco Ranger Station, 10 miles from the incident.

The staging area consisted of three separate areas on the District Compound: (1) meeting location for law enforcement and team personnel (2) an information center for visitors to the area and the incident (3) and a Medical Triage Center.

Facilities for the Staging Area included the following:
1 - 15'X27' Tent Shelter for Forest Protection Officers and Law Enforcement Officers meetings.
1 - 27' Office Trailer w/ telephone for Law Enforcement Investigation purposes.
1 - 16' Octagon Tent Shelter w/telephone for Information Center.
1 - 15'X27' Tent Shelter for Medical Triage.
6 - Portable Toilets, (4 for info tent and triage tent, 2 for Law Enforcement Area)

3. Keeping track of motel rooms for over 50 people was a special challenge. Since many of the motel rooms were already reserved for guests, it was not possible to place most of our team members in the same motel for the length of the duration. This created a logistical problem for Facilities. For this incident, the Ordering Manager coordinated all the motel rooms for incident personnel. We used a wall chart for this task. All employees could check in weekly or daily to find out which motel they were staying at.

It is highly recommended that motel rooms be booked with motels as soon as possible. This will occur as soon as the team knows what Forest the Rainbows will be using.

The following is an example of the information on the chart:
Name 07/01 07/02 07/03 07/05 07/06 07/07 07/08 07/09 07/10
Chuck Smith CC CC CC RR RR RR RR RR No Need
Ken Johnson CC CC RR RR No Need No Need RR RR RR
Dave Jones No Need BW BW BW BW BW BW No Need No Need
Motels: CC - City Center, Prineville
RR - Rustlers Roost,, Prineville
BW - Best Western, Prineville

3. Security: - For this incident, the Security associated with our facilities was the responsibility of Logistics. We used Forest Protection Officers for this security.

Security needs were at the ICP and the Ochoco Ranger Station (ORS) Staging Area. Besides the Ochoco Ranger Station and Compound, there are 12 residences and 3 bunkhouses. Security was requested at the station due to the significant risk posed by traffic to and from the incident.

Shifts for the FPO's were as follows:

ICP - Day Shift - None
Night Shift - 2 FPO's - 7:00 pm to 7:00 am

ORS - Day Shift - 2 FPO's - 6:00 am to 7:00 pm
Night Shift - 2 FPO's - 6:00 pm to 7:00 am

Shifts at the Ochoco Ranger Station overlapped and included 1/2 hour travel time to and from the station.

There were no major security problems involved with this incident

COMMUNICATIONS

The following list of equipment was placed in service to support the Rainbow Family Gathering Incident Command Post (ICP). Due to this complexity, it is imperative that the team include a skilled radio technician.

18 Telephone lines
2 Fax machines
3 N.I.F.C. Command repeaters
14 Data General Terminals
1 Data General Printer
2 Multi line dispatch consoles
3 Laptop personnel computers with printers

The telephone system totaled 18 telephone lines as follows:
- Two of them were used for fax machines.
- A single line was used to provide Data General connectivity.
- A single line was used to connect into the internet and IBM system.
- Six lines were connected to a PABX system to establish 16 extension phones placed throughout the school.
- Two lines were dedicated to the dispatchers for NCIC inquires.
- Two lines were used by the Public Affairs Office.
- The remaining four lines were assigned to the cooperators (i.e. Oregon State Police).

A total of 14 Data General terminals, 1 DG printer and 3 laptops where used at ICP. The laptops where used to connect into the Internet, prepare the required ICS forms and fax needed documents.

The radio and dispatch systems consisted of three repeaters. Two command repeaters were linked together for LEO operations. One was located near the Gathering and the other in town. A third command repeater was assigned to Logistics and located near the Gathering.

In the dispatch center, two multi-line consoles where set up to communicate and monitor our LEO's and cooperators. We had radio access to the Crook County Sheriff's Office, the Oregon State Police project channel and the Big Summit

Ranger District frequency. Six dispatchers where assigned and we operated 24 hours a day for the duration of the gathering. Dispatcher's responsibilities not only included working the consoles, but also included directing incoming telephone calls to the appropriate person at ICP or taking messages when needed.

The dispatch office used the following procedure: Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer's (LEO's) who required information on a suspecious vehicle or person, would contact ICP and provide a license plate number or the person's name. Once given the information, the dispatchers would contact the County 911 center and relay that information so it could be input into the LEDS system. In most cases we would receive a response immediately. At other times, depending on how busy the County was, they would either call us back or fax the information to ICP. Once received by dispatch, the LEO in the field was contacted and provided a status on the vehicle or individual. The dispatchers kept a written log of all radio calls, plus entered them into a computer aided dispatch reporting system (CAD) when possible. When radio traffic became intense they would only keep the hand written log and make entrys on the CAD system during lulls in traffic.

For the most part the dispatchers performed admiralty, considering only two had previous law enforcement dispatching experience. Having to learn a new CAD system while dispatching did create some delays for our LEO's in the field. The CAD system usually required the attention of a single dispatcher during the entire Gathering. The reports generated at the end of each day provided a good indication of what type of incidents were happening in the field, but the daily log of the LEO's could also provide that information. It would be my recommendation to place a digital recording tape on the radio systems. This way you get ICP radio traffic as well as all the other traffic on that frequency for the incident.

A delay in relaying information to our LEO's was noticeable due to our process in calling County 911 Center for LEDS information. In all cases the LEO would have to wait with the individual until we could obtain information from the County. Because we used the County's dispatch system, it created delays and possibility put our LEO's in jeopardy. My recommendation would be to establish our own LEDS terminal or establish connection out of area for faster response. Another option would be to co-locate our dispatch operation with one of our cooperators.

The last, and most important concern that was voiced, is the radio system that was used to provide coverage for the Gathering. The radio repeaters are the same repeaters that we use to communicate on forest fires. They are two watt (low power) repeaters with no interference filtering equipment. When we initally set up the repeaters, it was discovered that neighboring radios were causing interference with our system. To rectify the problem we exchanged the repeaters on mountain tops and cleared up the interference problem. As on previous fires, we also experienced equipment failures that required replacement systems to be sent from NIFC. This caused us to be out of service until replacements arrived, about 24 hours. This is a serious safety problem!

If the Forest Service is to continue to monitor the Rainbow Family Gathering I would like to make the following recommendations for the radio equipment:

1. Given the problems we have with the quality of our NIFC repeaters and the limited coverage, it would improve safety for the LEO's if there were available repeaters that operated at +25 watts. This would increase our coverage area and provide us greater reliability in using a radio system. One of our cooperators operated a repeater just for the Gathering at 100 watts. We had 2 watts!

2. The Forest mountain tops that are suitable for repeater sites are also becoming electronic sites in some cases. Due to this, some type of filtering equipment needs to be included to prevent interference.

3. The most important requirement is to improve the reliability of our NIFC equipment. Almost every year we have to deal with equipment failures. Sometimes this is two or three times per incident. The antiquated equipment needs to be updated!

GROUND SUPPORT

Knowing what the area selected looks like and knowing where the access roads are will help locate a suitable parking ares. The parking area must be where the least amount of resource damage can occur. NO PARKING areas need to be clearly defined and marked. Maps of areas without topographical lines are good. Aerial photos, maps from ICP to Incident with pertinent information such as narrow bridges, cattleguards, hazardous corner, etc. should be well marked. The information must be very specific because most of the people working on the incident will be from outside the ares. Maps of active logging sales and access routes need to be included with start and finish dates.

There was very little parking close to the main gathering area at Indian Prairie. This met that several areas needed to be located which were close enough for folks to walk or to be shuttled to the "Welcome Home" gate. Since the Rainbow Family was expecting between 20,000 to 25,000 people, it was necessary to find areas capable of parking approximately 7,000 to 8,000 vehicles. District resource specialists worked with the overhead team in establishing thirteen parking areas. Though most of these parking lots were utilized, many Rainbow members parked their vehicles in "holes in the brush." A CFR was written which identified that there could be no parking on the road surface for roads 22, 150 and 2630. Many of the Rainbow Family tried extremely hard to prevent the parking on the roads. They wrote windshield pamphlets and spoke personally to anyone that they could see and also at Cooperation Council. However, it was almost an impossible job to clear road 2630 of vehicle near "Welcome Home." The Forest Service went to the main council on 6/27 and explained that vehicles would be towed if not removed from the road surface. The Family asked for several days to spread the word. Most of the vehicle we d, but on 7/1/97 the Forest Service towed eight vehicle e near " "Welcome Home" on road 26 2630. There was as no problems with parking on roads 22 and 150. For as many vehicles as we had the parking was very well organized. Each parking area had people who directed the parking.

When the original thirteen areas for parking were designated, there were also additional areas that were designated as "no parking" due to various resource concerns. The Rainbow Family respected these areas ad helped flag these areas as "no parking." We did not have a problem in this regard. (See traffic control map that depicts parking areas and no parking areas.)

Any road or parking closures, as well as nudity, are to be covered by a CFR which will be signed by the Forest Supervisor. The closures need to be large enough to take in the area of concern. Once the CFR's are in place and the Rainbows know the limits of the restrictions, it is very difficult to get then to change. The drivers may not come back to their vehicles for a couple of weeks.

There is as need for 6 extra vehicles including 2 small utility vehicle with are extra with one being set up to pull 1 this as a Job that we gave to our Forest Protection Officers.

To get an approximation of how many people are at the Gathering, traffic counters can be used. This could take the place or supplement the counting of vehicles, which is hard to do. The counter needs to be located close enough to the Gathering to prevent the counting of normal traffic, but far enough away so that the counter is not counting shuttle trips from the parking lots. We had a counter that was about 5 miles from the parking areas. We used 3 people per vehicle as an average to calculate the number of folks.

All entrance and exit roads need to be well marked with SLOW, CAUTION, CONGESTION, 20 MPH signs (closer to the incident), STOP signs at critical locations and SLOW--CHILDREN PLAYING and NO PARKING on road surface.

Dust created by vehicle traffic can become a major safety item. The team needs to have a plan in place if dust becomes a safety issue. This may be road watering or some other means to keep the dust to an acceptable level. A cost analysis should be done in figuring which type of dust abatement should be used. If safety is not an issue, the dust control may be the Rainbow's responsibility. We were lucky to have some rain several time in our event. Also, we had a timber purchaser that was hauling logs over the same portion of road that was the main access to the Gathering. The purchaser was required to water the road under his maintenance contract.

A policy needs to be developed by the team if any abandoned vehicles need to be removed. This procedure may include the local County law enforcement policy on towing of abandon cars. The process must contain a clause to try and locate the rightful owner and give him/her a chance to remove the vehicle from the forest. After all avenues have been pursued, the hosting forest may impose any and all methods, that are within the laws of the federal and state governments, to clear the forest of unwanted and abandoned vehicles. The Gathering may have 5,000 to 8,000 vehicles at the peak.

FINANCE SECTION SYNOPSIS:

The following information should be given to members of the incident command team prior to arrival at the incident:

- Prior to being dispatched to the incident, home unit should issue a travel authorization utilizing purpose code 8 (other special events). This will cover travel to and from the incident for the individual. This is for all non Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) personnel.

- LEO's should bring brin appropriate outerwear (i.e. light windbreaker uniform - jacket, etc.) to cover their firearms. The team will then not have to try to purchase or borrow the jackets. The lack of apparent firearms is beneficial.

- Inform employees who are exempt under FLSA, that travel outside normal duty hours (6:00 am - 6:00 pm Monday through Friday) is not compensable unless the employee is a LEO. Under WO amendment 6109.11-92-1 12.31b, effective 8/13/92, LEO's are compensated for travel to or from an assignment where mobile surveillance or patrols occur.

- Inform employees that R & R is not authorized since it is not a fire emergency. If an employee wants to take any time off while assigned to the incident, they will not be paid unless they use annual leave; comp. time; or credit hours.

The following authorization should be prepared prior to arrival at the incident:

- Prepare Overtime Request and Authorization (FS-6100-30) with list of individuals scheduled to be on the incident. When the individuals check in they can complete the Grade/Step column; whether they are exempt or non-exempt.

- Host Forest should prepare a letter authorizing incident personnels home unit to charge to the host Forest's management code. This document is necessary if the funds allocated for the incident are transferred or will be transferred to the host Forest.

- Reimbursable agreements should be prepared in advance between the Forest Service (whether it is the host Forest, Regional Office or National Office) and all federal agencies providing personnel for the incident (i.e. National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, etc). If this is not done in advance many hours will/may be spent trying to accomplish these agreements.

- Request an exemption for exceeding the bi-weekly earnings maximum of a GS 15/10 from the Department of Agriculture through the Washington Office. This request should include all Departments for which personnel may be assigned to the incident (Interior, etc.). It can be a lengthy process to obtain the exemption and personnel on the incident should not have to be concerned that they will not be paid for the work they will be performing.

- Prepare shift schedule documentation (can be in letter form) for individuals on the incident. Preparation of the schedule will prevent problems

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if the incident schedule is different than their normal schedule at their home unit. Some individuals on their home unit do work other than maxiflex or Monday through Friday schedules.

- Provide the designated Finance Section Chief with the current Cost to Government (CG) percentages (%'s) for more accurate costs of estimated salaries on the incident. Region 6 currently advises using .30 as CG for base salary and .0145 for overtime. For the 4th of July holiday costs, the base 8 hours is at the .30 CG, and any time worked during the first 8 hours is at the .0145 CG rate. If the individual works more than 8 hours on the holiday, all additional hours are at the overtime rate .0145.

- Provide the Finance Section Chief with an explanation of Authorized Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO). When calculating incident costs for LEO's do not utilize AUO time.

This time is only utilized later to determine the hourly pay in the future for that particular LEO.

The following instructions should be given to all check in at the incident:

- All individuals will show lunch/dinner breaks, since this incident is not considered a wildfire.

- All individuals will turn in their time daily, so that posting will not become backlogged.

- If the individuals on the incident provide the Finance Section Chief their home FAX number, their timesheet will be FAXed home for the end of the pay period.

The following recommendations should be considered:

- Cooperative (coop) agreements with the local sheriff's departments, State Police, etc. should be in place prior to the arrival of the incident command team. If a coop agreement for campground patrols is currently being utilized it should be amended to cover the use of the sheriff's department, and/or State Police for the incident. The agreement should not allow the cooperators representatives to charge lodging, meals, etc. to the Forest Service. It is a real nightmare to sort out the bills to be paid coop dollars and those which are overhead and LEO funds. The motel/restaurant vendors assume all charges associated with the incident. They are not the responsibility of the Forest Service. The agreement/s should be written that the cooperator will be reimbursed up to a specific dollar amount for lodging and meals of cooperators representatives. The last host Forest should provide a copy of the coop agreement/s which were utilized as a guide for the issuance of the current agreement/s.

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- We utilize crew time reports (SF 261) and Emergency Firefighter Time Reports (OF 288) as a convenient means for posting time. Indicated on the EFTR is a statement that time posted was not for a fire emergency.

Recommendations when projecting Law Enforcement costs for the incident.

- When the region and forest has been decided for the incident, check with the travel clerk in that area about per diem rates as these vary from area to area.

- When projecting days needed on the incident, include travel days to and from the incident in the projected dollars. Some travel to the incident takes 2 days. When leaving the incident, another 2 days travel home should be projected. These extra days will probably include overnite stays in motels which should be included in the cost.

- In projecting overtime dollars and hours to be worked on overtime, use the maximum overtime dollars for each person. Also project more hours than 8 for overtime worked on days off as probably most LEO folks will have at least 12 hours or more. It's always better to estimate higher than lower.

- Travel costs (airlines, POV, GOV) should be estimated high. Airline costs are very expensive from East coast to West coast or visa versa and will normally run $800-$1200 round trip. If the incident is on the West coast, and LEO's are from that area a $500-$800 projection might be sufficient. When estimating, use the higher end in the projected dollars spent.

- When projecting costs for LEO's the estimate should include the cost to government. Night differential should also be figured in the cost if plans are to have a night shift.

- Projected mileage for GOV should be estimated high as the LEO's will use these vehicles every day while on the incident. The incident will also pay for mileage coming to the incident and return to the home units. This could involve a lot of miles if traveling cross country.


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