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The FAMR Guide to Virtual Incident Procurement (VIPR)

The U.S. Forest Service needs the help of federal contractors when it comes to maintaining and improving the condition of various wilderness areas across the United States. For businesses that provide fire management goods and services, the Virtual Incident Procurement (VIPR) vendor application can be a lucrative resource to secure federal contract opportunities. 


In this guide, we’ll break down what VIPR is and how to secure federal contract work within the VIPR vendor application. 

What is VIPR?

VIPR is a web-based, electronic bidding and award system currently used by the Forest Service for wildland firefighting solicitations. Within the portal, the service is primarily used for Blanket Purchase Agreements (I-BPAs), Dispatch Priority Lists (DPLs), and file management. 

What Are Blanket Purchase Agreements (I-BPAs)?

Blanket Purchase agreements are used by the federal government to purchase anticipated or recurring products or services through simplified acquisition. For example, annually, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Service can naturally anticipate there will be forest fires. And using historical data, the agency can predict what costs will be incurred fighting the fires. The I-BPAs afford the agency an efficient means to acquire the necessary goods and services to adequately fight the upcoming fires at a moment’s notice. 


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

  • Chippers

  • Clerical support units

  • Coach busses

  • Communications units

  • Copiers

  • Dozers

  • Engines

  • Excavators

  • Faller and faller modules

  • Ferrer bunchers

  • Fuel tenders

  • Geospatial information systems (GIS) units

  • Grey water trucks

  • Handwashing units

  • Helicopter operation support units

  • Masticators

  • 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

  • Skidders

  • Skidgines

  • Soft tracks

  • Strip mulchers

  • Tents and canopies

  • Tractor plows

  • Transport

  • Vehicles and drivers

  • Water tenders (support or tactical)

  • Weed washing units

The current procurement process was established within 2006 and is as follows: 


  1. Preseason I-BPAs are awarded based on competitive best value processes. Best value simply means that the equipment or service offers the agency the greatest advantage in relation to price. 

  2. The dispatch priority is determined by weighing advantages for each piece of equipment (as defined by FAR) in relation to the quoted price.  The equipment offering the overall best value is dispatched first.

What Are Dispatch Priority Lists (DPLs)?

Each regionally-designated host dispatch center will have an established priority dispatch list showing the resources located within their Host Dispatch Zone or Geographic Area.  Contractor resources will be dispatched based on this priority ranking other than emergency response firefighting. 


To determine the appropriate Host Dispatch Center to use, do the following:


  1. Use the map at the USDA FS website and click on the Region/Geographic Area that corresponds to the solicitation and is in the Geographic Area where you wish to submit an offer.

  2. From the list, select a Host Dispatch Center.


Once you have the appropriate dispatch center determined, you can view the associated priority list within this region, and vet relevant opportunities for your business. 

Working with the U.S. Forest Service through VIPR

After determining which priority list is relevant to your business, it’s time to see what you can offer the USFS. The following is what you’ll need to do to submit for a VIPR contract.

VIPR Vendor Application Registration 

  1. Obtain an email address

  2. Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (Previously DUNS) number 

  3. Register in the System for Award Management (SAM)

  4. Register in the VIPR Vendor Application by doing the following:

    1. Enter UEI

    2. Ensure company information is correct within the VIPR vendor application. Note: If you are already in the VIPR system, some of your company info may be filled in. You will need to complete the required fields.

    3. Update contact information.

    4. Update address information.

    5. Update status details: Complete the required Labor Surplus Area field and any other fields you wish to complete.

    6. Click Save and Continue. 

Submit for VIPR Contracts

Once you’ve properly registered within the VIPR vendor application, it’s time to seek out relevant procurement opportunities for your business. To offer the U.S. Forest Service your equipment or services, do the following:


  • Become familiar with the VIPR Home page

On the VIPR home page, you’ll find “Connected As” which displays the vendor company that is logged in (your firm), navigation bar, message board, and links that allow you to perform actions to display relevant pages, as well as alerts and other helpful information.


  • Use the Quote Submittal wizard 

Once you click on the open solicitations button within the navigation bar, the submit a quote wizard will walk you through the process of submitting a quote. To start the wizard, click on the submit a quote button under a relevant solicitation to your business. 

Monitor VIPR Opportunities and Stay Prepared for Next Fire Season with FAMR 

Don’t let all of these scary acronyms like VIPR, I-BPA, and DPL discourage you from providing your business with excellent federal contracting opportunities. FAMR is here every step of the way to make the process of securing federal contracts a breeze. 


If quoting assistance is needed, you can contact the professionals at FAMR, as we are here to guide you through this process. Ready to boost your viability in the federal contracting space? FAMR can be a reliable partner in your corner to optimize your chances of winning contracts. Not only that, but we can assist you in getting certified to qualify for millions of dollars worth of set-aside-only contracts

Get in touch with us today!

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