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Hired Equipment

At times when the equipment needed to control an emergency incident exceeds the resources of CAL FIRE, the Department hires the equipment and services of the private sector to supplement its own resources. In so doing, CAL FIRE attempts to obtain those resources that exactly meet the resource needs of the Incident Commander, at a price that is fair to the contractor and which represents a prudent expenditure of state funds.

This information includes excerpts from the policies, procedures, and payment rates used by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). They also explain the terms and conditions for entering into pre-hire agreements with CAL FIRE. These terms and conditions reflect the business needs of CAL FIRE, and as such, these are the business rules of CAL FIRE. These policies, procedures, and rates are not laws or regulations, although in some cases they reflect the requirements of applicable laws and regulations.

The intent of publishing and distributing this information is to permit all prospective contractors to know the terms and conditions for entering into a pre-hire agreement with CAL FIRE.

Contractors who object to the terms and conditions contained herein should not enter into pre-hire agreements with CAL FIRE.

No contractor is guaranteed any amount of business as a result of entering into a pre-hire agreement with CAL FIRE. Hiring opportunities for water tender and bulldozer contractors will be rotated among all contractors with current agreements. However, if the next contractor in the hiring rotation does not have the resources that CAL FIRE needs available, CAL FIRE will then contact the next contractor in the rotation, and the next, and so on until the needed resources are located.

CAL FIRE, not the contractors, will determine what equipment it needs to hire in order to accomplish its incident objectives.

Helpful Links

Local Links

Personal Protective Equipment Vendor

    Empire Safety & Supply -  916-781-3003

        Cascade Fire Equipment  

           P.O. BOX 4248MEDFORD, OREGON 97501

           (800) 654-7049 • (541) 779-0394 •  Fax (541) 779-8847

        Example Invoice

        Wildfire - Sacramento
        950 Riverside Parkway, Suite 50
        West Sacramento, CA 95605
        (800) 426-5207      
        Example invoice

FC-100R Radio Frequency Use Agreement  Click Here

To contact our Hired Equipment Coordinator Click Here

All questions and comments regarding the San Luis Obispo Hired Equipment are to directed to:
Chief James Tully
Hired Equipment Administrator
635 N Santa Rosa
San Luis Obispo, Ca. 93405
(805) 903-3418
Captain Nick Stitzel
Hired Equipment

635 N Santa Rosa
San Luis Obispo, Ca. 93405

(805) 458-1737
State Links

CAL FIRE - Hired Equipment Page

NEW   Hired Equipment Dispatch Policy Change Memo Letter-July 2013.pdf

Emergency Equipment Rental Agreement - Hired Equipment (836K PDF)California Interagency Emergency Hire of Equipment Rental Rates (1.5 MB PDF)Equipment Owner or Broker Declaration (68K PDF)Preface to CAL FIRE Hired Equipment Policies, Procedures, and Payment Rates (8K PDF)Hiring and Utilization Guides (154K PDF)


LATE SIGN-UP 7761.2.2.5 (No. 45 December 2009)

Vendors shall be signed up under an Emergency Equipment Rental Agreement (EERA) and will be added to the Emergency Resource Directory (ERD) during the open enrollment period November 1 to March 31. Vendors must submit all required documentation to their Unit’s Hired Equipment Coordinator prior to the end of the enrollment period, March 31.

If a vendor wishes to have an amendment made to their current EERA, CAL FIRE will make a reasonable attempt to assist the vendor, but there are no guarantees that any amendment will be accepted outside of the open enrollment period outlined above.

This policy does not restrict CAL FIRE from making Incident Only hires. These hires will be restricted to one specific incident and the vendor will not be added to an ERD until the open enrollment period has arrived and they have supplied all required  documentation


The intent of the Department is to maximize the utilization of Certified Small Business and Disabled Veteran resources as defined in this policy to meet the goals as stated herein. Command Centers shall attempt to hire Certified Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran (DVBE) resources (not including the immediate need or planned need water tender or dozer, rotational list resources) prior to hiring non SB or DVBE resources. Command Centers will document in the resource ordering system of record the reason why they did not hire SB or DVBE support resources.

For fireline bulldozer or water tender services, The hiring system will utilize rotational hiring lists that include all contractors with whom CAL FIRE has agreements. Utilization of equipment from these groups will also be based on incident need - whether the need is ”Immediate” (ASAP) or ”Planned” (needed at a predetermined future time). All equipment must be hired in accordance with the Rates Procedures Handbook (3900), Section 3934 (California Interagency Emergency Hired Equipment Rates).

This system of hiring will be used by CAL FIRE personnel any time CAL FIRE orders resources for itself or for cooperating agencies. Other agencies ordering resources on behalf of CAL FIRE will use their own hired equipment business processes. The selection of the most appropriate resource to assign to (fill) a request must be based on time frame as well as specific mission requirements and equipment capabilities. It is the responsibility of the incident commander (IC) to determine the appropriate resource and the time it is needed at the incident and to communicate that information to the Incident Ordering Point.

DEFINITIONS: TIME FRAMES 7761.2.1.2                     (No. 41 May 2008)

Immediate Need is defined as those times when, due to the threat to life and/or property, there is a need for a resource(s) to be available without delay. The minimal acceptable response criteria are detailed in Section 7761.2.6.3.

In hiring equipment to fill requests for assistance on emergency incidents, it is CAL FIRE's intent to utilize the closest available resources that meet the needs of the incident, without regard for administrative boundaries. When the hired equipment resources in the unit ERD have been exhausted, the unit ECC will place the request for additional hired equipment with the Region Command Center.

Each contractor will be assigned as many requests as they can fill and will then be rotated to the bottom of the list. Contractors unable to meet response time requirements will be bypassed to access other contractor(s) who can be on scene and available within the required time frame. The minimum acceptable response requirements are detailed in Section 7761.3.

ROTATIONAL DISPATCH OF RESOURCES 7761.2.6.5    (No. 41 May 2008)

Fireline bulldozer and water tender contractor contact and hiring will be done from the appropriate list on a rotational basis. All other resource types will be hired from EERA vendors listed in the Unit ERD. This hiring will not necessarily be done in a rotational manner.

When Fireline bulldozers or Fireline water tenders are needed, all pending requests will be placed with the first-up contractor on the list. If the contractor is NOT able to fill any or all of the request(s), unfilled requests will be placed with the next contractor on the list. If the contractor IS able to fill all request(s), then the next request, or group or requests, will be placed with the next contractor on the list. This sequence will continue until a) all requests have been filled, or b) no contractor on the list is able to fill the request.  

Contractors will be rotated to the bottom of a list for the following reasons:

Unanswered calls: An unanswered call is considered a call. The contractor was given the opportunity to be hired and for whatever reason did not answer or did not return the call within the allotted time frame.

Equipment unavailable: A contractor's equipment is unavailable at the time of request.

Contractor declines: If the contractor declines the opportunity to be hired for any reason.

Contractor accepts: When a contractor accepts a request.

Failure to comply: Violation(s) of any part of Section 7761.2.8.

Contractors may be bypassed but will not be rotated to the bottom of the list:

• When their equipment does not meet the ICS type requirements of the request.

• When the contractor cannot be en route to the incident in less than one hour.

Planned Need is defined as the period beginning after 24 hours have passed since the time of the initial dispatch. This allows a decision window for determining whether or not there is sufficient lead time for utilization of Small Business and Disabled Veteran resources. The maximum allowable response time for each resource will be specified by CAL FIRE. Response time requirements of less than 12 hours are considered “Immediate Need.”

In order to meet these goals, CAL FIRE has decided to make a special effort to hire DVBE and CSB contractors for bulldozer and water tender firefighting assignments that are planned to start from 12 to 24 hours into the future (“Planned Need ”). These hires will be made regardless of whether there is other non-DVBE or non-CSB contractor equipment available closer to the fire. This practice does not restrict CAL FIRE from hiring any locally-available resources to fill Immediate Need requests.

CONTRACTOR CONTACT 7761.2.6.6       (No. 35 March 2008)

1. Contractors must not telephone or otherwise contact CAL FIRE personnel at any CAL FIRE command center, facility, incident, or other location for the purpose of offering their equipment for immediate hire for on-going incidents. This is a time of intense emergency activity when dispatchers are following established procedures, including contacting contractors with EERAs as described in this policy. Unwanted contact slows down and disrupts the dispatching process. This is the main reason for the existence of the pre-use EERA and the rotational hiring lists. CAL FIRE knows which contractors have agreements with CAL FIRE and which ones to call in what order.

2. When bulldozer or water tender contractors are needed, CAL FIRE will attempt to contact the contractors in rotational order by phone. The contractor will be given 10 minutes from the time of the attempted contact to respond and either accept or decline the request. A contractor who does not return a call within the 10-minute time frame will be moved to the bottom of the rotational list.


The use of hired or rented equipment from private individuals or firms for emergencies is negotiated through Emergency Equipment Rental Agreements (EERAs). The EERA is a pre-incident agreement that becomes a binding contract after dispatch. It is for the use of privately-owned equipment during emergency situations. Types of equipment could include dozers, transports, water tenders, engines, shower units, etc.

CAL FIRE does not hire or rent equipment from equipment brokers. CAL FIRE will only enter into Emergency Equipment Rental Agreements (EERA) with individuals, corporations, and legal business partnerships that have legal title to or control of the equipment that will be covered by the agreement, as defined in Vehicle Code section 460. Such legal title or control must be evidenced by bill of sale, incorporation papers, lease agreements, or other legally enforceable documents. Equipment that is not registered in the name of the contractor or owned by the contractor must be controlled and paid for by the contractor under a written agreement. All equipment leases must be signed and dated by both parties, and must include terms commonly found in an equipment lease, such as term of the agreement, list of equipment, equipment rates, labor rates, limitations on use and control of the equipment, and responsibility for maintenance and repair.

The process of obtaining an Emergency Equipment Rental Agreement is facilitated by using the CAL FIRE Emergency Equipment Rental Agreement (CAL FIRE-294), a four-part form which includes CAL FIRE’s “General Clauses” and “General Provisions.” Contractors wanting to be hired by CAL FIRE must complete the EERA process in accordance with CAL FIRE policies.

Equipment Rental Rates

The following Emergency Equipment Rental Agreement (EERA) rates cover the period May 1, 2008 through April 30, 2011. The Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) staff have worked together to develop some standard procedures and rates that will be used by both agencies.