Whether responding to a technical rescue or a wide area emergency, credentialed response units (those that meet response criteria and are staffed by appropriately trained responders) should display proper identification in order to be recognized by law enforcement and other public safety officials as being legitimate. Having some form of identification viewable from the roadway has been a long time tradition.
An analysis of wildfire incidents where volunteers were operating on the ground while air operations were taking place uncovered several incidents where Air Attack Supervisors had some confusion as to who was operating underneath them and whether the vehicles below were even occupied or abandoned. This confusion involved several types of resources. Our position is that volunteer responders should reduce rather than add to the degree of confusion, providing a distinction between responders attached to an incident, civilians who are just trying to get out, and unoccupied vehicles and trailers.
In addition, roof top identification large enough to be easily read by aircraft can be a safety asset in the event the Air Attack Supervisor or Helco Supervisor observes a response team heading into a dangerous situation. Being able to immediately identify the unit can facilitate getting a timely message to the correct unit to withdraw.