The Geographic Information System Specialist (GISS) position was included in the 2006 release of the Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide, PMS 310-1. The 2006 edition of PMS 310-1 is available on the NWCG Publication Management System web page. Information about the GISS position can be found on page 105 of the PMS 310-1 document. A Position Task Book (PTB) for the GISS position is posted on the NWCG Planning Taskbooks webpage.
The GISS position will replace the GIS Technical Specialist (GIST) position. A transition guidance letter has been released from NWCG specifying grandfathering procedures for the GIST to GISS conversion, and is available on the NWCG website. Note, current GIST-qualified personnel will not automatically be awarded the GISS position competency. However, current GIST-qualified personnel may be manually awarded the GISS position competency in IQCS provided that they meet the requirements outlined in the forthcoming transition guidance letter. In general, a current qualified GIST should be awarded the GISS position competency (without completing the PTB) if it can be determined that the individual has successfully performed all of the tasks within the GISS PTB on incidents. The individual should also have completed one GIST assignment on a wildfire or wildland fire use fire between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2005. More specific information is available in the transition guidance letter.
The GIST position title and code will be made inactive in IQCS. The GIST position title and code will no longer be used on incident qualification cards or in the Resource Ordering and Status System (ROSS). IQCS Account Managers should update fire experience records for any responders who had GIST assignments during the past few fire seasons and manually award the GISS position competency where applicable. An IQCS Quick Tip document which explains how to give existing GIST the GISS position competency can be found on the IQCS website. IQCS will keep all responder GIST experience records intact, for historical purposes. GIST experience will be counted toward position currency in the GISS position.