(July 27, 2023) The House Science Committee today unanimously approved an amendment to the pending Fire Weather Development Act that would eliminate the premium pay cap for NWS Incident Meteorologists while dispatched to wildfires, and which will provide IMETs with the same true time and one-half overtime pay received by Interior and Agriculture Department employees while fighting wildland fires.
The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC) at NWSEO’s request. The Ranking Member of the House Science Committee, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) praised the critically important work performed by NWS IMETS during the Committee’s consideration of the amendment.
The Fire Weather Development Act also includes a provision that would require the NWS to conduct an assessment of workforce and training challenges for IMETs and to develop “a roadmap for overcoming such challenges.” The assessment must include the expected number of IMETs that will be needed over the next five years. Final Committee approval of the bill is expected tomorrow.