Only you can prevent forest fires and by working with the US Forest Service (USFS), you can help stop them as well. To do so, you need to know how to do business with the USFS and learn the basics of VIPR.
VIPR stands for Virtual Incident PRocurment.
In this quick and easy guide, we’re going to cover:
- The function and purpose of VIPR
- How to start doing buisness with the USFS
- Where to find USFS solicitations
- The easiest way to get started in federal contracting
Function and Purpose of VIPR
VIPR is a web application used by the US Forest Service to solicit, manage, and award preseason I-BPAs.
What’s an I-BPA?
It stands for Incident Blanket Purchase Agreement.
BPAs are used by the federal government to purchase anticipated or reoccurring products or services through simplified acquisition methods.
Every year, the threat of forest fires looms across the United States. In anticipation for such events, the USFS issues I-BPAs to make sure they are prepared with the equipment and services they need to fight them.
VIPR preseason I-BPAs are available for the following equipment and services:
- Aircraft rescue firefighting apparatus
- All-terrain vehicles
- Bus and crew carriers
- Chainsaw repair
- Clerical support units
- Coach busses
- Communications units
- Faller and faller modules
- Ferrer bunchers
- Fuel tenders
- Geospatial information systems (GIS) units
- Grey water trucks
- Handwashing units
- Helicopter operation support units
- Mechanics with service trucks (heavy equipment Type 1 and 2)
- Mobile laundry
- Mobile sleeper
- Portable toilets
- Portable water trucks
- Pumper CATs
- Refrigerated trailers
- Rental passenger vehicles
- Rental trucks
- Road graders
- Soft tracks
- Strip mulchers
- Tents and canopies
- Tractor plows
- Vehicles and drivers
- Water tenders (support or tactical)
- Weed washing units
Please note that generic resources are not listed on the National Soclitation Plan for I-BPAs.
Doing Business with the USFS
So you’ve looked at the list and see that you can offer the USFS something that they need.
Now, let’s get into how to start doing buisness with the U.S Forest Service. Basically, you will need to follow the six following steps.
- Obtain and email address
- Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number
- Obtain an IRS Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
- Register in the System for Award Managment (SAM)
- Register for a USDA eAuthentification account
- Register at FedBizOpps
Although it may sound simple enough, handling a lot of the paperwork needed to get started in federal contracting can be a hassle. There is a way you can get this process taken care of quickly and easily, but we’ll get into that at the end.
Finding Opportunities with the USFS
So you’ve gotten through the red tape, followed procedures, and everything in compliance toward working with Uncle Sam.
So where would you find the actual contracting opportunities?
First, you’re going to want to work internally to figure out your total range of operations. If the USFS were in need of your products or services, would you be able to deliver?
Then, you’re going to want to figure out your geographic capabilities in relation to designated USFS regions. They are outlined on the map below.
Now that you know your region, you’re now ready to find VIPR solicitations.
You can either use the VIPR application itself to find opportunities. The guide for submitting a quote through VIPR can be found right here.
Then, there’s the more traditional way of finding VIPR I-BPA solicitations with FedBizOpps. Use this link to find open VIPR solicitations on FBO.
Getting Started in Federal Contracting
This brief guide just skims the surface of federal contracting and working with the U.S. Forest Service. If you’re looking to get started and thrive in the federal sector, then it’s best to call in the experts.
Since 2010, US Federal Contractor Registration has helped thousands of businesses get their start in federal contracting. From major corporations to small business and even government agencies themselves, we’ve earned our title as the world’s most trusted third-party government registration firm.
That’s because, with our services, we make getting past the red tape surrounding the federal sector easier than ever before. Plus, we provide our clients with the tools and resources needed to actually win federal contracts.
And if you’re still on the fence, just check out this article from Sky-Hi News about USFCR client B&G Forestry, LLC winning a blanket purchase agreement for disaster relief in USFS Region 8.
Our services deliver results.