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Incident Command System


Incident Command System This scenario will focus mainly on the securing, treatment, triage, evacuation, and relocation and tracking of the 95 elderly individuals and removing the most critical and environmentally effected individuals by ambulance to a secure, stable, and warm environment followed by the ambulatory individuals can be assisted to the larger transports of busses and vans to be removed to a more stable, secure, and warm environment. “local emergency managers must consider the needs of certain "vulnerable groups" - people within the community who are especially susceptible to hazards (Morrow 1999). The Memory Center is facing extreme weather conditions due to a rainstorm that knocked out the cities power, and the failure of its generator. There are 95 elderly men and women living in the center who are feeling the effects of the temperature dropping. The emergency manager has many decisions to make while ensuring the safety of the Memory Center residents. Each level of the Incident Command System (ICS) must be alerted. Some of their tasks will be covered below to show what their responsibilities are. A brief description of ICS The Incident Command System is a system for controlling all of the necessary components of incident management in a well-organized and efficient way. The primary purpose is to allow resources, such as equipment, personnel, and communications, across multiple agency jurisdictions with one organizational structure. ICS is product of the National Incident Management System, which falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security via the Federal Emergency Management Administration. Despite being federal in origin, it works in any community, from the smallest village to the largest geographic area. It is appropriate for any type of emergency, natural or man-made. Its’ five functional areas- command, operations, planning, finance and administration, and logistics- is appropriate for government, private, and nongovernmental organizations. ICS provides leadership and management for short and long term responses.

Describe the requirements of a leader in this scenario. The individual or command structure of this scenario would require one with the ability to stay calm in tense situations and make informed and decisive decisions and then communicate the directions effectively and consciously to other department heads, political represent ivies, first responders, and the public while utilizing all available resources on hand and at the same time developing contingency plans for the minimal loss of property, assets, and life possible.
How would the emergency manager use ICS? The emergency manager will utilize the ICS through the IC (Incident Commander) to safely and effectively manage and employ resources, and ensure responder safety through a coordinated planning and response effort. The EM will coordinate along with the IC to size up the situation and apply a working plan for the emergency currently needing to be resolved (safely evacuating 95 elderly persons to appropriate facilities), account for available resources, and establish the IC center along with communications, logistics, safety and liaison officers this will enable the flow of information, instructions, and delegate operations and duties to specific departments and accomplish the goal of safe and timely removal of the elderly to a secure and warm environment medically sufficient and all while tracking the movements of the individuals and response/rescue teams and vehicles to and from staging areas to scene areas to recovery areas and then back to staging to prepare to evacuate additional persons/assets in need.

[pic] What leadership qualities would this emergency manager need The individual and the qualities required for the position of Emergency Manager will be one of consult and director in that the IC will be delegating and receiving information to be then applied to the case scenario plan then steps to be followed (assets acquisition , staging, staffing, relief, recovery) will be implemented. “Emergency managers rarely speak from a position of power. Instead they are typically layers down from the seats of power in the jurisdiction” (Huder, 2012, p. 3). The position of EM is one of knowledge, influence, expertise, patients, courage, stubbornness, trustworthiness, and political understanding…a “jack-of-all trades, and master of all” type of personality needed to navigate the potentially dangerous field of public department heads, political officials, demanding public, an interfering and inquisitive media to name a few and all while managing an emergency with responders and individuals depending on the decisions and actions made by the Emergency Management Department.

Emergency manager experience Experience is a difficult asset to acquire, usually the individual has placed years in the pre hospital/fire service, or police and/or security services and from being placed or having the fortune to be at the right place at the right time (wrong place at the wrong time, if you will) of the occurrence of an emergency or disaster result in related or necessary experience. . These emergencies and disasters are not always forth coming or predictable, so when there is a lack of experience in the area of crisis, disaster, or emergency response and experience the area of knowledge and training can make up for the under experience of an emergency or disaster. “The answer to becoming a crisis leader in your community is to become the authority on disasters and how to respond to them. If you are appointed, you must have credentials, but that does not necessarily make you an expert in the eyes of others in your community. You become an expert in the eyes of others by continuing to learn, by striving for more certifications and education. The continued pursuit of additional education and training creates the image of someone truly interested in their subject matter” (Huder, 2012, p. 7). Are there other departments or agencies that should be involved Adult Protective Services, Public Transportation, Medicare and/or Medicaid, other third party payers involved, and other local nursing homes should be notified. All medical, surgical and psychiatric providers for the individual patients would need to be notified. The facility’s administration along with social workers and case managers would need to contact family members or guardians to advise them of the situation and where the individual clients are being transported to. The facility would need to have an emergency recall of all licensed nursing personnel so that medication lists could be verified and report could be given to the receiving facility. For residents with relatives in the local area, those who are medically stable could be transported to family homes. Importance of effective communication and information systems The process of communications in emergency management is the “life blood” of response and recovery of an emergency, disaster, or crisis. The ability to communicate, relay, receive, process, delegate, and transmit information in a timely manner within an emergency can literally mean the difference between life and death, success or failure in these situations and the reliable venue of communication is paramount. How is ICS best used in the scenario? In the incident of Memory Center the Incident Command System (ICS) is best utilized as in the structure of the EM coordinating with the Incident Commander (IC) and sizing up the situation, establishing an IC, assessing assets and resources, establishing staging, triage, recovery, rotation, verification, treatment, transportation areas, conformation of receiving facilities or areas, notification to relatives and legal guardians of individuals transportation destinations, release of information to media as needed and when appropriate. These functions are delegated to different departments of the ICS command template. How effective is communication used in the community The communication will be accomplished with the utilization of hand-held radio communications with 800 MgHz, satellite radios and phones, cell phone communications, (smart and iPhones), computer laptops, tablets, iPads, Internet, and yet there will still be the utilization of paper and pen for some communications between agencies and facilities for the transfer of individual care and treatments performed. In some instances the media can also be a timely relayed of information through television and the radio. The most timely and effective communication venue will be the electronic transfer of information, unfortunately, not all electronic information devices involved will communicate with the same software or power loss will necessitate the use of written communications at this time. The independence and reliability of electronic communications and information relay is becoming universal and user-friendly in many areas of the country allowing for the increased usage of these electronic devices.

Identify trends of communication and technology in emergency management. Emergency Management is benefitting from a surge in technological and communications improvements. No longer limited to desk top computers networked in an office, EM personnel are using social media, text messaging, threaded conversations via cell, smartphone or tablet, real time data gathered from responders, and predictive data from EM software. The trend is that, with GIS, this data is getting more and more specific, often predicting the exact location of victims needing assistance. “Social media should be your tool of choice during an emergency; coupled with a consistent media strategy, you will be able reach the citizens in your community,” (Huder, 2012, p. 172). Local EM responders in a given community may have communications equipment that allows secure transfer of information from one jurisdiction to another. The three applications showing the most promise are Simulation Deck, IntelliStreets, and iDAWG, (Pittman, 2012). Simulation Deck allows participants to interact with simulated social media that mimics the stress of a live situation without unduly alerting citizens of a non-existent emergency. By using mock versions of TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, newspaper, ICS, blogs, and an online newspaper, EM communications personnel can feel the intensity of the situation and its’ effects on flow of information, (Pittman, 2012). IntelliStreets uses existing or new streetlamps equipped with sensors, two way communication, LED screens, and live camera feed from that location (Pittman, 2012). It can warn of dangers, mark an egress route, function as a police call box, and identify hazards or dangerous people. A city would determine its’ most likely emergencies and purchase the applications best suited for the area and budget. iDawg allows a network to be established between ICS, responders, and volunteers via a private intranet that utilizes wireless capabilities already in the area (Pittman, 2012).One of the primary concerns in after action reports has been flaws in communication between ICS and responders from all agencies.
Current technological that can advance communication The use of social media would speed up communication between organizations tremendously, if precautions are taken to uphold HIPPA guidelines. A system of community information that includes work recall list, as well as bed availability at various health care facilities and a list of hotel room availabilities. Use of flash drive copies of patient medical records, identification, and a photo could assist receiving facilities in being sure all patient information has been received, and that it is for the correct person.
The ICS allows key personnel to work together in an organized way to save lives by combing all of their resources. The emergency manager developed a plan to ensure safety, communications and medical treatment for each resident of the center. Having an emergency manager with experience will make the situation easier to manage for all parties involved, because they understand who and when to ask for help. The help can come from other agencies, or other ICS members who are the subject matter expertise in the particular situation. By having an emergency manager with experience he or she will review if other departments like the fire or police department should be involved. Communications as mentioned are critical for all aspects of the operation. Emergency managers need to ensure they have more than one means of communications established. Since so many department are working together you have tons of information that must be stored. Having off site information systems will allow personnel to retrieve vital information about the town or center that can speed of the response or recovery times. Being an emergency manager does not mean you are the expert in all first responder’s fields. It does mean that you are trained to access the emergency and acquire help from the correct departments.

Castle NG. Nursing Home Evacuation Plans. American Journal of Public Health. 2008; 98(7):1235-1240. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2006.107532.
Huder, Roger C.. Disaster Operations and Decision Making, 5th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. VitalBook file.
Huder, R.C., (2012). Retrieved from Huder, EMC310 - Principles of Emergency Management website.
Incident Command System Chart. Retrieved from
Morrow, Betty Hearn. 1999. Identifying and Mapping Community Vulnerability. Disasters 23(1): 1-18.
Pittman, E. (2012). 3 Emerging technologies that will impact emergency management. Retrieved from Management-Certification.html…...

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