Southern California Interagency Support Cache






            To:                   Southern California Cache Customers

            From:               David A. Estes, Fire Cache Manager   

            Date:                1 April 2004

            Subject:            Transferring Supplies Between Incidents Or Agencies


General Policy


  1. The term “transfer” used herein refers to possession, not ownership.  Ownership of property is retained by the original supplier or by the incidents agency if directly purchased.
  2. Transfer of supplies will be permitted only under the following conditions:
    1. The logistics support system breaks down (verification by the SoCal Supply Management Officer and the PSW Coordinator is required). or
    2. The material is needed to support initial attack action or response to imminent threats to life or property, or
    3. The collaborating agency administrators, or their representatives, mutually agree the movement is critically necessary for success of suppression activities.
  3. Under no condition will a transfer be executed if it positions the Sending Unit at risk of failure to meet its mission.
  4. All supplies determined to be surplus to the needs of the incident will be returned to the supplier or supplying administrative unit.
  5. No incident will use the transfer process as a brokerage tool for supplies (e.g. one incident soliciting and offering to supply another).  That role is expressly defined as belonging to the Cache.
  6. Because of complicated accounting steps, transfers should not occur between incidents served by different Interagency Caches.


Specific Guidelines For Transfer of Cache Supplies/Property


  1. The Agency Administrators of the jurisdictional units, known herein as “Sending Unit” or “Receiving Unit”, must approve the transfer.
  2. The managing officer of the servicing Cache must receive a copy of the transfer approval letter, with signatures of the approving Agency Administrators.
  3. Receiving Unit (or its agent) will allocate the appropriate block of request numbers (“S” number).


  1. A Cache Demob Specialist, if available, will be assigned to facilitate the document transfer of the equipment/supplies.  Sending Unit should order the specialist as soon as the decision for transfer is made and approved.  Receiving Units Supply Unit Leader will verify receipt of transferred property.
  2. Transfer will be documented using a specially formatted Transfer Resource Order (see attached) with the following standard parameters.
    1. Incident Order Number, Job or Management Code, Incident Name and other pertinent header information for both Sending Unit and Receiving Unit incidents.
    2. Resource Number (“S” number) assigned by the Receiving Unit or its agent.
    3. NFES Number (if a NFES Cache item).
    4. Accurate description.
    5. Correct unit of issue.
    6. Quantity.
    7. Property numbers (or serial numbers) when applicable.
  3. A copy of the transfer resource order will be immediately forwarded to the Receiving Unit.
  4. Receiving Unit will validate the receipt of supplies against the transfer resource order received from the Sending Unit.  All discrepancies will be reconciled and documented immediately.  It is recommended that the Receiving Units agent validate the receipt as the shipment is being loaded to shorten the time frame.
  5. A copy of the validated transfer resource order will be forwarded to the servicing Cache no later than 48 hours following transfer.  The Cache will use the validated order as input to its accounting system to record the transfer.
  6. All transfer resource orders from the Sending Unit must be received and processed by the Cache prior to any returns from the Receiving Unit.
  7. The Sending Unit will remain fully accountable for all costs of the transferred material until all documentation is received and processed by the servicing Cache.  Once the documentation is processed and all queries are satisfied, cost responsibility will be shifted to the Receiving Unit.
  8. Used Cache supplies/equipment will never be transferred, but returned to the servicing Cache.  This ensures financial integrity with correct, accurate accounting for repair, refurbishment or replacement costs.  Furthermore, this assures supplies/equipment are maintained in compliance to NFES quality and safety standards.
  9. Replacement orders associated with the Sending Unit must be processed prior to any transfers.  Once supplies have been transferred, replacements must be handled as prescribed in Chapters 23.3.4 and 23.3.5 of the National Interagency Mobilization Guide.
  10. Incident closeout or transition will include a full inventory of all supply items and full documentation packet of all transfers to and from the incident.  An Outstanding Items Report can be provided to show the current obligation of the customer to the Cache.


Statements of Principle


The Southern California Interagency Support Cache serves to assure a consistent, dependable, equitable, accounting flow of high quality goods and services to all emergency response teams.  It is not in the business of controlling availability of materials.


The Southern California Interagency Support Cache recognizes that expediency in moving supplies and equipment to incidents is a critical success factor.  However, expediency must be balanced with efficiency, cost effectiveness, accountability and excellence.  We need to keep the perspective of the narrowly focused needs between two incidents and the broader needs of the interagency, regional, national and international events.


The critical element of this policy is documentation.  With complete, accurate and verifiable documentation, all parties involved will be in compliance with Congressional mandates for full accountability and with ICS protocols for resource ordering.


The superior issue is accountability:  The incident, project or agency originally issued materials from the Cache remains accountable until those are returned to the cache.


A subsidiary issue is quality assurance:  The Cache is not responsible for the assurance that supplies meet specifications unless they are issued directly from the Cache.


It is vital to understand that the owner of record for property issued by the Cache is the Cache itself.  All issues and transfers are temporal in nature.  The property must be returned to the Cache upon termination of need, or otherwise accounted for.


Any questions concerning these guidelines and processes can be directed to Mr. David A. Estes, Supply Management Officer (Cache Manager), at (909) 930-3206.






Supply Management Officer     

Fire & Aviation Management, R5