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A Disciplined Approach to Emergency Management

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1 A Disciplined Approach to Emergency Management
INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM A Disciplined Approach to Emergency Management Stafford Reid EnviroEmerg Consulting Duncan, British Columbia CANADA EnviroEmerg.ca

2 A Disciplined Approach
This presentation focuses on a disciplined approach to emergency management for all threats and for all scales using the application of the Incident Command System (ICS) as an example. There are a variety of emergency management systems that are a disciplinary approach that promotes responder safety and effective response. EnviroEmerg Consulting

3 A Disciplined Approach - the benefits
A disciplined approach to emergency management: Protects responder safety; Gets the critical goods and services to the people that need it; Fosters relationships and respect within the Response Community, and Builds both capability and capacity in emergency preparedness. EnviroEmerg Consulting

4 A Disciplined Approach - the last furlong
In the hierarchy of emergency management, the greatest level of discipline is required among those people actually managing the incident at the “site” and those providing the tactical delivery of critical goods and services to affected stakeholders “in the field”. This distance can be viewed to as the “Last Furlong” in emergency response. Incident Management (Site) Incident and Tactical Response (Field) EnviroEmerg Consulting

5 A Disciplined Approach - the last furlong
In horse racing, the last furlong is the final stretch of the race that is the most challenging to horse and rider. In battle, the last furlong is the dangerous ground soldiers bolt over to overcome the enemy. In emergencies, the last furlong is the final steps to provide critical goods and services to affected people, business and/or environments. “The Last Furlong” emphasizes these are tough, dangerous, demanding places to work and requires a high degree of discipline to focus on the objectives and getting the job done. EnviroEmerg Consulting

6 A Disciplined Approach – emergency hierarchy
POLICY GROUP (Executive) EMERGENCY SUPPORT Emergency Coordination Centre EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT (SITE) Incident Command Post The Last Furlong! FIELD Tactical Operations EnviroEmerg Consulting

7 A Disciplined Approach - integrated response
POLICY GROUP (Executive) EMERGENCY SUPPORT Emergency Coordination Centre The “site” and “field” are where….. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT (SITE) Incident Command Post The Last Furlong Direct supervision of field personnel (e.g. field crews) occurs Development of incident objectives and response strategies occur Integration with other government jurisdictions and the Responsible Party (Spiller) occurs FIELD Tactical Operations EnviroEmerg Consulting

8 A Disciplined Approach - performance based
POLICY GROUP (Executive) EMERGENCY SUPPORT Emergency Coordination Centre As such, the “site” and “field” are the….. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT (SITE) Incident Command Post The Last Furlong The greatest potential for success Highest level of performance accountability Highest level of response organization The greatest potential for failure FIELD Tactical Operations EnviroEmerg Consulting

9 A Disciplined Approach – defining the problem
PROBLEM #1 – Convergence without Incident Management Routine spills, vehicle accidents, house fires generally initiate resource deployment from multiple dispatch centers such as for: Fire Police Ambulance Towing Public Works Which can result in EnviroEmerg Consulting

10 A Disciplined Approach
PROBLEM #1 – Convergence without Incident Management Cont… LITTLE OR NO INTEGRATED FIELD TACTICS. INCIDENT MANAGEMENT IS OFTEN MISSING OR POORLY DEFINED Dispatch Fire Dispatch Ambulance Dispatch Police Dispatch Public Works Support Site Management WHERE IS INCIDENT MANAGEMENT?? FIELD – Tactical Delivery Fire Truck & Fire Fighters, Ambulance and Attendants, Police Car and Police, Hazmat Truck and Hazardous Material Specialists, Tow-truck and operator Field EnviroEmerg Consulting

11 PROBLEM #1 – Convergence without Incident Management Cont…
A Disciplined Approach PROBLEM #1 – Convergence without Incident Management Cont… Where is the …. Incident Commander? Staging Area? Safety Officer? Control Zones? Convergence of resources does not equal integration of response activities nor a disciplined approach to emergency management FIELD SITE EnviroEmerg Consulting

12 A Disciplined Approach
PROBLEM #2 – Delivering Incident Management at a Support-level Emergency Centre Large, complex events such as a flood, train derailment, earthquake can result in each responding agency - and for spills the Responsible Party – managing the incident from their respective Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) located at their headquarters and/or regional office. EnviroEmerg Consulting

13 A Disciplined Approach
PROBLEM #2 – Delivering Incident Management at a Support-level Emergency Coordination Centre Cont… Local Government Emergency Operations [Coordination] Centre Regional Government Emergency Operations [Coordination] Centre Federal Government Emergency Operations [Coordination] Centre Responsible Party (Spiller) Emergency Operations [Coordination] Centre Support Limited liaison between centers Site Management WHERE IS INCIDENT MANAGEMENT?? FIELD OPERATIONS Responding people and equipment providing goods and services to affected stakeholders and the environment Field Tactical personnel responding without strategic direction EnviroEmerg Consulting

14 A Disciplined Approach - whether large or small events
Local Government Regional Government Federal Government First Nations Responsible Party (Spiller) Policy Group Emergency Operations [Coordination] Centre Support Site Management THIS IS WHERE INCIDENT MANAGEMENT OCCURS INCIDENT COMMAND POST The Last Furlong FIELD OPERATIONS Responding people and equipment providing goods and services to affected stakeholders and the environment EnviroEmerg Consulting

15 A Disciplined Approach – environmental emergencies
Managing emergencies has two fundamental challenges: to make the environment or community whole again by striving for a net environmental and social benefit, and to make the affected community whole again by recognizing and respecting local values. These challenges have be achieved by people you have may never have met before, with limited resources, and under political/corporate pressure EnviroEmerg Consulting

16 A Disciplined Approach – key elements for success
Discipline and going the last furlong requires responders: To establish an Incident Commander. To work together as a single Incident Management Team. To apply an incident organization and protocols that are fully understood. EnviroEmerg Consulting

17 A Disciplined Approach – incident command post
Three fundamental features delineate an Incident Command Post: The first line of communication and supervision to field personnel; Where tactical (operational) planning and decisions are undertaken; and Where command is established among multiple participating agencies and Responsible Party (spiller). It is important to title and use a facility according to what it does - not its location or pre-designations. Incident Command Post Icon EnviroEmerg Consulting

18 A Disciplined Approach – incident command post
Some common issues in ensuring a disciplined approach to emergency management are: Understanding that the “First Responder” is often the “Incident Commander”; Designating an ICP such as with a green flashing light, green marker cones, green signage, green vest of the Incident Commander, or combinations thereof. Realizing that the first ICP may not be appropriately located or too small, and Understanding that the ICP and the people therein manage the incident, not the consequences. A “roving” Incident Commander is not a disciplined approach to emergency management. EnviroEmerg Consulting

19 A Disciplined Approach
An Incident Command Post can be: A Spot on the Ground A Vehicle A Command Post Trailer A Building Incident Management can be: A single Incident Commander Several Incident Commanders A team of responders Regardless of the size and complexity of the incident, there must always be incident management at the site to guide field operations - hence an Incident Commander is always need. THE APPLICATION OF A DISCIPLINE APPROACH ESSENTIALLY BEGINS WITH THE INCIDENT COMMANDER EnviroEmerg Consulting

20 A Disciplined Approach
SITE SUPPORT FROM EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTERS Resources: People & Equipment Incident Command Post Incident Management Team Incident Management System Field Situation Information INCIDENT ACTION PLAN Tactical Direction FIELD–Tactical Operations SITE–Incident Management EnviroEmerg Consulting

21 A Disciplined Approach – using the incident command system
The definition of the Incident Command System - commonly referred to as the ICS: The ICS is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazard incident management organization deployed at the site of an incident to directly supervise field operations. It is a flexible, scalable response organization providing a common framework within which people can work together effectively. These people may be drawn from multiple agencies, companies, departments that do not necessarily routinely work together - or even met before EnviroEmerg Consulting

22 A Disciplined Approach - the ICS is a tool for response
ICS affects all aspects of emergency management The Incident Command System (ICS) is a tool for the command, control and coordination of resources during an activity or incident. It consists of procedures for organizing personnel, facilities, equipment, and communications. EnviroEmerg Consulting

23 A Disciplined Approach – incident command system
The Incident Command System is an internationally proven emergency management system that is delivered at the Incident Command Post at the site-level. The ICS: Establishes the organization of an Incident Management Team; Systematically gathers field information, evaluates it, and prepares situation reports; Develops incident action plans and response objectives Tasks and supervises field responders; Fosters integration and cooperation with responding agencies and the Responsible Party. EnviroEmerg Consulting

24 INCIDENT COMMAND SYSTEM Organization at an Incident Command Post
There is always an Incident Commander ICS has a standardized functional names, positions, reporting relationships and missions. Only the staffing and functions needed are invoked based on the demands of the incident. The organization under the Operations Section is developed in accordance to the tactical needs of the incident and responding agencies. EnviroEmerg Consulting

25 A Disciplined Approach - building capacity
Main functional areas in ICS to foster convergence and integration With ICS, combining personnel from multiple agencies and with the Responsible Party – and its contractors/consultants – can occur anywhere within the ICS organization to create an integrated Incident Management Team. This attribute of ICS builds capacity. ** An Environmental Unit is not universally applied to ICS but is becoming more common to foster government/stakeholder integration for establishing response priorities Environmental Unit** EnviroEmerg Consulting

26 A Disciplined Approach – ICS responder tasks & deliverables
Within the ICS system, is very defined process for each responder according to and by function. For each function, a responder is provided: A primary duty; Who he/she is reports to; Who is supervised; List of tasks and responsibilities; Products required and when (deliverables); What meetings to attend and when; Colour designations for vest; Where to be stationed, and more. EnviroEmerg Consulting

27 A Disciplined Approach – unified command
“Unified Command” is a corner stone of the Incident Command System that addresses the question: How do we work together?** ** Contrary to old school thinking of “Whose in Charge?” EnviroEmerg Consulting

28 A Disciplined Approach - Foundation of Unified Command
The foundation of Unified Command is “Respect” Choosing or acceptance of a candidate for unified command is not necessarily based on “who has the most authority” or “the biggest toys.” It is based on who has the mission to protect people, property and the environment AND/OR who as a “governance” accountability to ensure their constituent or corporate interests are being met. EnviroEmerg Consulting

29 A Disciplined Approach
Definition of Unified Command A team effort which allows all agencies with responsibility for the incident to jointly provide management direction to an incident through a common set of incident objectives and strategies established at the command level. This is accomplished without any participating agency and company abrogating their legislated responsibilities or accountabilities EnviroEmerg Consulting

30 A Disciplined Approach
Support from each agencies respective Emergency Operations Center INCIDENT COMMAND POST Responsible Party (Spiller) A B C Incident – fire, flood, spill, etc - affects more than one jurisdiction or involves a Responsible Party (spiller) An Integrated Incident Management Team at site Tactical Direction and Supervision Field Observations and Information Gathering FIELD – Tactical Delivery EnviroEmerg Consulting

31 A Disciplined Approach - unified command protocol
Under unified command, their is recognition that the representative (agency and/or Responsible Party) with majority role is the “spokesperson” for unified command and has the major decision-making weight. Major role is based o: 1) tactical resources available, 2) who is paying for the response, 3) or both. The majority role can change over as the incident evolves. Example: Structural Fire involving hazardous materials, the spokesperson “majority” weight during: fire-fighting phase: local government Fire Chief (has mandate and tactical resources haz-mat mitigation phase: Responsible Party (has responsibility and paying the cost). EnviroEmerg Consulting

32 A Disciplined Approach
Federal Government Responsible Party (Spiller) Local Government Provincial Government First Nations Situation Briefing of Incident Commanders EnviroEmerg Consulting

33 A Disciplined Approach - advantages of unified command
One set of objectives for the entire incident and a collective approach to developing response strategies. Improved information flow and coordination between all jurisdictions and agencies involved in the incident. No agency’s or company’s authority or legal requirements compromised or neglected. Each agency and company is fully aware of the plans, actions, and constraints of all others. The combined efforts of all agencies and private-sector is optimized as they perform their respective assignments under a single Incident Action Plan. Duplicative efforts are reduced or eliminated reducing cost and chances for frustration and conflict. EnviroEmerg Consulting

34 A Disciplined Approach - arriving on site
When arriving on site, it is important to delineate your role as either an: Incident Commander, IMT position (Officer, Chief, Director, Leader) Technical Specialist (Shoreline Assessment, Fire Behavour, Meteorologist), Tactical Operations (Supervisor, Worker) Are you: representing, monitoring, advising, authorizing, spending, directing????? EnviroEmerg Consulting

35 A Disciplined Approach - getting bigger …. faster
The Incident Command System facilitates getting bigger faster, but there is a common perception that response management only designed for small geographically confined events. NOT TRUE… Response management can range from a single, confined incident – house fire, vehicle accident, crime scene to a wide-spread, multi-incident event such as a forest fire, flood, or severe storm. EnviroEmerg Consulting

36 A Disciplined Approach - geographically wide-spread events
To effectively address wide-spread, multiple incidents there are two fundamental approaches either: Build a robust organization by invoking “Functional Operations” “Branches, Divisions, Groups or Establish multiple Incident Command Posts. MAKING THE STRATEGIC CHOICE AND BUILDING THE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR COMPLEX INCIDENTS IS WELL-DEFINED IN ICS, BUT POORLY UNDERSTOOD AND RARELY IMPLEMENTED. The biggest challenge for a geographically wide-spread event is for fire, police, ambulance and other local responders to establish an Incident Command Post located out of the chaos. It takes discipline to “step-away” from tactics to ensuring a robust management structure. EnviroEmerg Consulting

37 A Disciplined Approach – summary
Deals with the "emotional" and "trust" aspects first, before getting to content; Recognize the first response from dispatch centers does not equate to managing the entire incident - nevertheless, its takes only a few qualified people to make things happen. Understand the differences between managing the “incident” versus managing the “consequences”. A “lead agency” by mandate or “Responsible Party” does not necessary equate to leadership or capability - but still entitled to respect. EnviroEmerg Consulting

38 A Disciplined Approach – summary
A lead government agency or corporate representation in Command means guiding ALL their respective government/companies integration and performance; The degree of government/industry integration doesn't have to last forever, but the respect, rules of engagement do. How well emergency management from a relationship - not tactical - standpoint will largely influence incident follow-up activities and future events. (Don’t burn bridges). When arriving on site, clearly delineate your role as either an: Incident Commander, IMT position, technical specialist, tactical operations (look like the position). Look out for "committees" - particularly in the Planning - that look at emergency issues in consecutively rather than concurrently. All members within an Incident Management Team must have both representation and accountability to an Incident Commander. Its the only way to get rid of an “AO” EnviroEmerg Consulting

39 A Disciplined Approach – summary
Established site management regardless of the size or complexity of the incident (Invoke an Incident Commander). Converge at the site (Incident Command Post) first - not in the field – to obtain situation briefing, safety orientation, develop incident objectives and response strategies. Foster a pattern, attitude and philosophy of unified command and an integrating Incident Management Team (Share the Responsibility). Recognize that the “spokesperson” for a unified command can change as the incident unfolds. Ensure supporting emergency coordination centers do not become tactical in nature. Establish joint government/industry incident objectives and response strategies at the site based on field observations, stakeholder consultations, and technical specialists. EnviroEmerg Consulting

40 A Disciplined Approach
Write common incident messages for the public and situation reports for policy groups (One message: One evaluation). Strive for efficiency within the incident management organization (Be hard on process, easy on people). For escalating emergencies, grow bigger faster. For complex incidents – geographically wide-spread and/or multiple events – either build the organization under “Operations OR establish more than one Incident Command Post. Don’t relinquish a “command role” just because your “tactical” function is completed, there may still be a need for jurisdictional representation. EnviroEmerg Consulting

41 A Disciplined Approach - thank you
An integrated Incident Management Team: Company (RP) Response Contractors Regional Government Local Government Federal Government Stafford Reid EnviroEmerg Consulting EnviroEmerg Consulting


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