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Application Period is Open

Solicitation For:
Incident Support Team (IST) Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GISS) 

This General Memorandum (GM) is issued to announce the National Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Response System (the System) 2024 recruitment process for the newly approved Incident Support Team (IST) Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GISS) position. 

To increase the number of qualified individuals for the IST GISS position, applications for the position will be accepted for those currently on the IST or recruited as new members from the task forces. Successful applicants will be placed either on one of the three standing IST rosters (Red, White, or Blue), or on the IST Alternate List.  The Alternate List is used to fill any openings on an IST roster during both the monthly on call and response rostering processes.

Data-collection is a continuous emergency management function. It is conducted before, during and after the disaster strikes to ensure that decision makers can stay abreast of changing conditions.  Since the formation of the Federal US&R System we have replaced paper-based data collection with geographical information system (GIS).

The IST GISS will report to the IST Situation Unit Leader (SITL) and is responsible for gathering, processing, organizing, and displaying of all geographic incident information as it relates to ESF #9 resources. The IST GISS is also responsible for supporting the preparation of future projections of the incident and any approved intelligence information.

ISTs coordinate, support, and expedite the System’s mission by providing Federal, State, and local officials with functional expertise in the acquisition and utilization of System resources.  This is accomplished through subject matter expertise, incident command assistance, management, and coordination of System resources during a response.  An individual who is rostered on an IST agrees to a significant commitment individually and on behalf of the System, their task force, Sponsoring Agency, and/or Participating Agency.  Rostered IST members are required to be on call four times a year (for a minimum of one month at a time), with the possibility of additional requests during responses that occur outside their on-call month.

With an appointment to an IST position, the individual understands that this assignment takes precedence over other task force and emergency assignments outside normal agency duties, unless an incident occurs in the IST member’s jurisdiction.  By signing the Letter of Support, the individual’s Task Force Representative (TFR) and Sponsoring or Participating Agency Chief agree to allow the IST member to respond to an activation and to follow the reimbursement procedures established in 44 CFR 208.  Additionally, the Sponsoring Agency agrees to fund through its Readiness Cooperative Agreement (as funding permits) its members’ attendance at IST training and annual exercises.  For more information on IST Member requirements and rostering, refer to US&R Program Directive 2012-015 – Incident Support Team Administration.

The following quantity/position is open for solicitation:

  • Geographic Information Systems Specialist (GISS)

Who May Apply: System members and rostered and alternate IST members who meet the position description requirements may apply for a different position and must submit a complete application.  Incomplete/improper applications will not be considered.  In accordance with PD 2012-015 IST Administration, System members interested in applying for the IST positions will submit the following information as part of their online application packet:

  • An IST Recruitment application package to include:

    • An IST Member Application:

      • With supporting documentation verifying qualifications and US&R General Requirements as listed within this GM’s attachments;

      • Signed by the applicant’s Program Manager and/or TFR.

    • A Letter of Support signed by the member’s TFR, Sponsoring Agency Chief, and Participating Agency Chief (if applicable).  In the case of an Affiliated member, a Letter of Support is also required from their employer (unless self-employed).

Each applicant must submit a separate completed application package for each position applied for no later than 1700 EDT, June 14, 2024, using the following online process:

  • Download the following required forms from the menu located at:;

  • Attachment A – IST Application

  • Attachment C – Annex A – App B – Letter of Support

  • Complete these forms in their entirety including all required signatures;

  • Complete and attach a signed App B – Letter of Support;

  • Scan all documents and name them with the applicant’s name, task force and position applied for (example: KBevan-UTTF1-GISS);

  • Click the IST Recruitment Application Submission Link, complete the basic member information, and attach the completed application package to the submission form prior to submitting; and

  • Keep all documents and the confirmation email for their records.

When the application has been received, both the applicant and their TFR will receive a confirmation email at the email address provided in the submission form.

Selection and appointment will be based on validation that the applicant met the requirements of the position as outlined in the current IST Position Description (attached) and the prescribed scoring criteria applied to the candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities as verified in their application package.  In addition, follow up interviews with SACs, TFRs, PMs, and other task force and/or SA members may occur to validate the information provided.

Although the selection committee may recommend an applicant, appointment to the IST is at the sole discretion of the US&R Branch Chief.  Successful applicants will be eligible to attend the next scheduled IST Continuing Education to be conducted virtually.

Any related questions should be directed to: Doug Nakama at; Mike Boyle at; or Michael Davis at

Attachments (via link):

            Attachment C – Annex A - App B – Letter of Support

            Attachment A – IST Application V5-2023

IST GISS Position Description

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