Sunday, August 02, 2015

When Stoopid (tm) and Bureaucracy collide.

If you haven't noticed yet, I post a lot of rants here. It's cathartic for me, and let me get things off my chest that I really can't say on Social Media, or other locations that are tied to my real name. This is going to be one of those rants.

Currently there are thousands of fires for over 100,000 acres burning across the State of California. Equipment gets moved back and forth in order to staff incidents. Sometimes it gets moved from SoCal to NorCal orvice versa, depending on where the fires are burning. Incident Commanders, Operations Chiefs, Planning Chiefs, and Logistics Chiefs all work together to order the right equipment and personnel to be at the right place at the right time. Sometimes they will order equipment before they even get there, because they know the area and the issues they will encounter.

Earlier this week, 10 engines from SoCal were ordered for an incident. They got halfway there, and got turned around because they were the wrong type. They got almost home, and got turned around again to go to a different incident. They made it to that one.

An incoming team to an incident ordered a piece of equipment that they knew that they'd need. It's a very specialized, technical piece of equipment that comes with highly competent and qualified staffing.
Screwup #1: It wasn't in the ordering system.
Screwup #2: It really was in the system, but the ordering point didn't know how to order it.
Screwup #3: Instead of that specialized piece of equipment, because the ordering point didn't understand what was requested, they ordered a piece of equipment that was totally unsuited for the purpose.
Screwup #4: When the previous screwups were realized, they ordered the correct equipment, but by then, the ordering system was overloaded.
Screwup #5: When the system finally got straightened out, the home agency of that piece of equipment was denied, so it didn't go out.

Result: The Team that ordered the piece of equipment doesn't have what they need, and it's making their jobs exponentially more difficult.

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