Fireline Magazine - Winter 2023-2024

The National Wildfire Suppression Association (NWSA) recently formed a new National Incident Base Camp Chapter, and the new co-chairs are Expeditors Fire Support General Manager, Curtis Heyne, and Don Pollard, CEO at GFP Enterprises. Members of this new chapter are ensuring that the men and women on the line will always have a place to call their home away from home.

GFP Enterprise’s roots are in fire. The wide breadth of GFP’s service offerings, combined with its highly experienced and qualified workers, provide a one-stop solution for both the public and private sector. GFP also owns Oregon-based Stewart’s Firefighter Food Catering, Inc. and has several contracts for feeding firefighters with the Forest Service. In addition, the company offers a variety of other resources, including more than 200 yurts that can be provided via emergency equipment rental agreement (EERA) or blanket purchase agreement (BPA) contracts.

GFP’s experience in all-hazard assignments is extensive and diverse, and the company has worked on emergency response projects with a high degree of logistical complexity, including multiple full-service base camps for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state governments in response to a variety of incidents and natural disasters.

“We have evolved over time into an industry leader nationwide for base camps for a multitude of states, counties, and private customers, and we have responded to all but one major hurricane to hit the United States since 2004,” says Pollard. “We have a long resume of all-hazard projects that include base camps for first responders, displaced citizens and migrants, evacuation shelter management, provision of sanitation or comfort stations, managing critical warehouse or staging areas, and provision of housing and other services for events such as Coachella.”

GFP has significant international experience as well and has deployed its services to some of the most remote corners in the world – places where complex logistics and supply chain requirements are mission critical and time sensitive. Pollard believes that doing this can only be achieved through good training and a culture that is laser-focused on safety.

He says, “Our philosophy is that it is everyone’s responsibility to be safe, and we create policies and procedures that provide for safety and accountability. Creating a culture based on a safety-first mentality is paramount in our training, mentorship focus, and goals. As such, we take more time than most to advance someone to the position of Crew Boss or Lead Kitchen Manager position.”

GFP has been a long-time supporter of NWSA and deeply values its membership with the association. Pollard himself was an NWSA Board Member for a decade and has worked as a co-chair for the NWSA Cost Committee. He is currently active with the tent vendors where GFP has helped form the NWSA sub-Chapter, the National Incident Base Camp Vendors.

He says, “My experience working with Debbie Miley and members of the Board for NWSA has been that they are some of the most genuine, down to earth people I know, and I am fortunate to have formed many lifelong friendships.”