Case Study: 2007 Fire Camp Season

Proteus Food Service is an Emergency Mobile Kitchen contracted by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) U.S. Forest Service to support Fire Fighters and Forestry Administration on a moment’s notice. PFS kitchen crew is extensively trained and SafeServ Certified, with more than 15 years experience.

PFS is required to adhere to the Government’s general requirements for the National Mobile Food Services Contract. These Emergency services include complete management, control, purchase, receipt and storage of food; issue, handling and processing, packaging and preparation of food service; as well as clean up, transport, repair and maintenance. Being fluid and flexible to handle the demands on labor and product at a moments notice, within a short period of time, earns PFS the reputation of “The best Fire Kitchen on contract.”

Red House Complex Fire

At 1:00 am on July 18, 2007, PFS received an emergency fire call from the US Forest Service dispatching them to Red House Complex Fire in Carlin, NV. This camp supported up to 700 Fire Fighters and Forestry Personnel.

The PFS Fire Camp Crew responded within the hour. By 3:00 am, the crew, kitchen, and equipment, arrived on camp in Carlin, NV. Their first job was to prepare 200 (“spike” or box) lunches before 5:30am. The Forest Service would then helicopter in and “drop” the lunches to the Fire Fighters on location.

PFS served 5,462 meals in less than 6 days incorporating breakfast, lunch, spike lunches, and dinner. This fire grew to over 5,000 acres. It was contained, and PFS was demobilized, on July 25, 2007.

At the end of the Red House Complex Fire, the Forest Service evaluated PFS with comments such as:

“Very Good”…”Food – Good quality with diversity. Best ever vegetarian meals. Service was fast and efficient. Kitchen always met time frames. High ranking on personnel with positive attitudes.”

“Some of the best vegetarian dinners I have had”.

Mitchell Fire

On August 12, 2007, PFS received a dispatch call to report to the Mitchell Fire, in Stone, ID. In less than 4 hours, the crew was on site with the dining tent and kitchen set up and ready to cook the first meal.

The fire was 8500 acres, 10 miles north of Holbrook, ID. Strong winds made it difficult for containment as the fires would jump and travel across the tree tops. Lighting stared a new fire (Wood Fire) located 4 miles north of Holbrook and quickly grew to 4000 acres in less than 10 hours. These two fires eventually merged. Meanwhile, the camp was adding 200 personnel to support the Cleveland Fire, which was burning 16,500 acres, about 12 miles northwest of Preston, ID.

The number of Fire Fighters and Forestry Personnel to serve fluctuated dramatically from 200 personnel to 500 at a moment’s notice. The crew was able to meet specified times for meal service with a smile. On August 23, 2007, the Mitchell Fire was 97% contained at 9730 acres, and PFS was demobilized.

At the end of the Mitchell Fire, the Forest Service evaluated Proteus Food Service with comments such as:

“Some of the smoothest spike camp operations I have worked with in a long time.”

“Responsive to need for changes and increases in meal number throughout the incident.”

“Some of the better fire camp food that most have had in a long time”

Proteus Food Service received an award from the Forest Service’s Incident Commander, Mike Whalen. He presented PFS with a “Certificate of Appreciation” for “Outstanding professionalism, dedication, positive attitude, and willingness to get the job done in the supporting the Mitchell Fire.”

Bone Creek Fire

On September 5, 2007, at 3:30pm, PFS received a dispatch call from the Forest Service to report to The Rodeo Grounds North West of Greybull, WY for the Bone Creek Fire. As PFS was dispatched to the fire, it was burning 13,670 acres and was only 25% contained.

Cool and wet weather patterns helped the Fire Fighters in their containment efforts. This camp had fewer personnel than the Mitchell Fire, starting with 150 personnel and fluctuating up to 300 at any given time, sometimes with less than 4 hours notice. On September 12, 2007, the camp was asked to relocate from the Greybull Rodeo Grounds, to the Greybull Airport because the Rodeo was coming to town. On September 16, 2007, the Bone Creek Fire was 75% contained at 13,730 acres and PFS was demobilized.

At the end of the Bone Creek Fire, the Forest Service evaluated Proteus Food Service with comments such as:

“Very good – I enjoyed working with this kitchen.”

“Very accommodating – good with employees. Very positive.”

“Thanks for a job well done” – Karl Rogue LSCI

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