Solved by verified expert:Write a brief essay using the following format: Answer the directions in no more than 1,500 words.The assignment should be submitted using Microsoft Word with default margins, using 12-point Times New Roman black font, be double-spaced, and be in essay format. You are required to use the class text to answer the questions below. Assume that you are tasked with setting up an Emergency Operations Center (EOC).USE the information from pages 151-155 in the class text. 1. OUTLINE the functional roles of the Emergency Manager, Deputy Emergency Manager, Command Staff, Public Information Officer, Safety Officer, Liaison Officer, and Operations Coordination Chief. 2. OUTLINE the functional roles of the Planning Coordination Chief, Investigation and Intelligence Coordination Chief, Resource Coordination Chief, and the Finance and Administration Control Chief. 3. COMPOSE a brief description for the Mission and Skill Set for each position. * Include at least three academic or professional sources to support your work.
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Emergency Operations Center
The purpose of this chapter is to present a commonsense approach to adding or strengthening
this level of response in your organization. When you complete the chapter you will be able to:
Create an organizational chart that represents the initial response, command, and
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) levels of the “concept of operations” for your
Explain the main purpose and function of the EOC.
Describe the conditions under which an EOC would be activated.
List the functional staff and section titles utilized in an EOC.
Give a brief description of the role of each of the functional titles and sections.
Describe how the EOC communicates with other levels of the organization during a
Active Shooter Scenario
Only 45 minutes have passed since the Director of Human Resources first heard the shots
coming from a conference area of his department. After “getting out” and briefing responding
officers, he has now arrived at the predesignated Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the
Administration Building. Even as he was briefing the Emergency Manager, new information was
coming from the scene, and it didn’t sound good. The security director had joined the unified
command and has been forwarding information from the scene to the EOC. Numerous people
have been shot including the shooter, who committed suicide as officers closed in to make an
After debriefing and assessing the mental state of the HR Director, the Emergency Manager
assigned him to the Investigation and Intelligence Coordination Section. His knowledge of the
scene, the employees in the building, and the procedures followed during events like a
termination hearing made him a perfect fit for this section.
About 60 minutes into the situation, it was confirmed that several of the victims were dead,
and others were wounded and had been transported to an area hospital. The shooter who had
committed suicide as a police response team approached was in fact the Facilities employee who
was being terminated. Identifications were being made that showed that numerous employees of
the department as well as several applicants who were waiting for interviews were among the
dead and hospitalized.
At this point, the Emergency Manager determined that the HR Director would be relieved
from the EOC and escorted to the area hospital, where he was joined by a crisis counselor from
his organization. Together they met with family members in an attempt to comfort and attend to
In later posttraumatic stress counseling sessions, the HR Director actually indicated that
working with the trained professional during that time helped him with his grief and feelings of
helplessness. He was involved and felt useful. Naturally, he was second-guessing his initial
actions and overall responsibility as Director of the department. Over time he came to grips with
the fact that he had taken and provided training in this area and that applying it had saved lives.
He had no control over the intent of the shooter.
Subsequent to this event, his and other supervisors have been trained in “threat assessment,”
and an HR assessment team has been formed to evaluate situations that come to their attention
from the field.
In his role in the EOC and after as an Agency Representative from the organization to the
hospital, the HR Director was able to:
Provide a firsthand briefing to the Emergency Manager.
Give the Investigation and Intelligence Coordination Section a wealth of information on
procedures and personnel, and access to the HR database.
Calm and assure families of victims that the organization was concerned and involved in
their recovery and grief.
Recognize the need for counseling and provide it for others; and just as importantly,
accept it for himself.
Introduction to the Emergency Operations Center
We have examined how individuals at any level of the organization can be called upon to
function as first-first responders and how first responders can utilize the Seven Critical
TasksTM in the crisis phase of an incident. We also know that once stabilization occurs, we
continue to build our decision-making team utilizing the Incident Command System (ICS) to
establish a command post at or near the scene. The command post is responsible for resolving
the incident and is made up of command-, supervisory-, and operational-level personnel. These
are the folks whose day-to-day tasks include putting out fires, restoring public order, repairing IT
failures, and so forth, depending upon their discipline. These groups make up the first two phases
of response: the initial response and scene management.
The third level of response is at the administrative level in the form of an Emergency
Operations Center (EOC). When the size, scope, and seriousness of an incident is beyond the
ability of a field command post to address, an EOC may be activated. The EOC function may
simply be a logistical support function for the command post or may address business continuity
for the organization or community impacted by the incident. The EOC is comprised of a separate
group of higher-level administrators who will respond when the business, service, or educational
process of your organization or community is disrupted by a critical incident of any nature. It is
the purpose of this group to maintain the mission of the organization and its good name in the
face of an incident involving its employees, customers, and/or facilities. The EOC will play a
coordination or support role in an event, not a command role. This is the group that will manage
“business continuity” and/or implement the existing “continuity of operations” (COOP) plans to
keep key processes of the organization functioning during a crisis. One of the challenges during a
critical event is to keep the focus of the EOC members off what is happening in the inner
perimeter and onto supporting the command operation with needs outside the outer perimeter.
If you walk into an EOC, the activities, sounds, and room layout will look strikingly similar to
what you would find in a command post in a large-scale and protracted incident, particularly a
command post that has been moved from the hood of the Incident Commander’s car to an inside
facility between the inner and outer perimeter. However, looks can be deceiving, as there are
dramatic and fundamental differences that need to be understood by everyone involved in
emergency management in your organization. First, the EOC should never be located inside the
outer perimeter. Second, the entire focus of the EOC should be on managing the key business,
educational, and/or service processes of the organization, not the resolution of the incident.
The EOC also supports the command post with major logistical needs that are beyond their
normal reach and with specific requests for assistance outside the outer perimeter. When you
check the sign on the door, “EOC” or “Command Post,” everyone in the system should be able
to distinguish between the two and to describe the critical difference in the focus and activities
that take place in each.
We want to say right up front that this chapter is oriented toward organizations, institutions,
agencies and/or small to midsize municipalities, not large county, state, or majorcity EOC operations. These large municipal agencies typically have dedicated EOC operations
that are staffed full-time and may have millions of dollars invested in technology and
communication systems. In the same way that your product or service is your main focus,
preparing for and managing large emergency events is theirs. The purpose of the guidance
offered here is to assist entities whose primary focus is on activities other than emergency
management. Our undertaking is to assist you in understanding the value that an emergency
operations center can give your organization and offer models of how it can be implemented and
staffed without high-tech dedicated space and full-time personnel. That said, the “support” and
“continuity of business” mission proposed in this section apply to all situations, large and small.
The first question is, who specifically functions at this level of management for your
organization at the EOC? The easiest way to think of staffing this function is to identify those
administrators who are responsible for maintaining the day-to-day business, educational, or
service functions of your organization. Essentially, in a crisis, that is going to be the function we
want them to accomplish in the EOC. The only difference is that they will be together in a
structured environment utilizing the “functional” management principals of ICS. Depending
upon the size of your organization, this group will typically be comprised of the vice presidents,
associate vice presidents, and director-and assistant director-level personnel. These members will
be running the functional sections of the EOC and should assign and train some key
departmental staff to assist in accomplishing tasks. This is a comfortable assignment for these
individuals because they bring the needed institutional knowledge with them. The initial
discomfort of new NIMS-based titles and not operating in “committee mode” can easily be
overcome through training and exercising.
The second question is, why would you want an EOC when most counties, cities, and states
already have one? The reason certainly has nothing to do with competition, power struggles, or
politics with local or state government. The governmental EOCis certainly concerned about
every major organization in their jurisdiction and may even look at you as a “resource” for
supplies, equipment, housing and/or feeding victims of a disaster, depending upon the resources
you might have to offer. What they cannot focus on, however, is your business, educational, or
service process. Only you are equipped with the staffing, knowledge, and experience to assure
that the organization survives into the future.
In our experience, a separate EOC is the level of emergency management that is most
overlooked by most nongovernmental institutions. We have encountered many reasons why
an EOC is not included in the basic “concept of operations” design. Most prevalent is that
the EOC functions and command functions are combined in a sort of stew. In other words, the
administrators come together and get caught up in “what should be done at the scene” and “what
we need to do at the broader level of business continuity” and then back to the scene concerns.
Having their feet in two canoes, key administrators are always off balance in terms of their
planning and execution, and they frequently make decisions regarding the scene that have
already been executed or are contrary to what is being done because because they are so removed
from conditions on the ground.
We are talking about vice presidential and director-level personnel and their assistants, who
will never turn a wrench, arrest a person, fix an IT failure, or decontaminate a building but can
get fascinated with the scene. This is common and understandable because most of us who get to
this level are Type A, know we need to do something, and see the fire, contamination, or
shooting as the problem we should be addressing. It is more exciting to think of what should be
done next at one of these scenes than it is to consider, plan, and execute setting up alternative
space with the appropriate supplies and equipment so that we can conduct the necessary business
or educational process that was driven from the affected building(s). The problem is, the latter is
essential to the long-term survival of the organization, and you already have qualified
operational-level people in place resolving the scene.
Failure to set up and recognize the EOC as separate from scene command is generally
attributable to a lack of understanding of the NIMS structure. Organizations need to mirror what
occurs at local and state governmental level, as it is time tested and compliant with NIMS
standards. Using traditional non-NIMS titles such as “Emergency Response Committee” and
institutional titles will also contribute to confused levels of management responsibilities. As a
requirement for public institutions and a “best business practice” for private ones, we need to
understand NIMS structure, drop our institutional titles at the EOC door, and adopt the common
terminology and structure that our mutual aid partners from the public sector will understand and
use. This is not to say that we drop our institutional knowledge at the door. The EOC is staffed in
a multidisciplinary manner, and when you look around the room and spot an “expert” in the area
you are looking for, you need to tap into that regardless of the function in which that person is
When Would You Activate an EOC?
The size, scope, and seriousness of an incident are the best determinants in making the decision
to activate the EOC. When an incident is of a size, or grows to a size, that it will disrupt the dayto-day operations or good name of the organization and/or surrounding community, then you
need to consider activating the EOC.
A health crisis that is starting to affect staffing levels, a facility failure that will take a key
building off line, a mass-casualty incident, an IT failure that brings down key systems, an activeshooter or hostage event, weather-related events that disrupt the community—these are but a few
examples that would precipitate the need for an EOC.
There are other cases where an incident may not have an active scene at your location but will
still rise to the level of disrupting the operations or having the potential to damage the reputation
and good name of the organization.
You could have a group of executives or students taken hostage, or worse, in a foreign
country. In this case, there is not a scene to initially respond to and manage, but the implications
for the organization are clearly going to be disruptive. You will have the media spotlight on you
and have to work with federal authorities as they investigate any links to terrorism. You will
have key functions of the organization missing key leadership personnel. You will have to deal
with the emotional damage of the hostages, your other employees, and the families of the
hostages. Legal issues, medical coverage, insurance, and possibly supporting a response team
who will travel to the country are just a few of the possibilities that lie ahead.
Work stoppages, even absent violence on a picket line, can present challenges that will
require the EOC to be activated. Staffing, providing services, safety issues, contingency
planning, legal issues, and media inquiries will require continuous attention.
Product liability, class action lawsuits, internal corruption cases, fraud, and other threats to the
mission, values, and good name of the institution can be best managed at this level.
Another key issue in determining when you would set up your EOC is timing. Rarely will you
activate all three or four (later we will discuss the role of the Executive Policy Group) levels of
management simultaneously. We know that we will initiate the 7 Critical Tasks at the moment of
discovery of an incident and move to scene management once we have achieved stabilization. So
these phases come very rapidly.
The executive phase of an incident response will typically lag a bit. As soon as possible,
usually around the time of stabilization, when further casualties and property damage have been
averted, notifications go to the CEO or designee. Life/safety is always the first priority, and first
responders are always understaffed and under pressure in the first few minutes of an incident.
While this can cause delays in notifications beyond the expectations of the executive staff,
life/safety has to be the first concern at the scene. As we will discuss in detail in the next chapter,
the CEO may activate the full Executive Policy Group (typically 3–6 persons) or designate a
person for policy issues almost immediately upon notification. This will aid the Incident
Commander at the scene with policy issues that arise. However, the EOC still may not be
activated. In fact, the EOC will probably be activated in less than 10 percent of incidents that you
will deal with, as the overwhelming majority of incidents will be resolved at the scene without
major disruption to the key processes of the organization.
It is natural that gathering information and making damage assessments will take some time.
Once the information has been gathered and evaluated, the Emergency Manager and the
Executive Policy Group can make a decision on the impact the incident will have on critical dayto-day operations. If it appears the impact will be, or is, significant, then a decision to activate
will be made. It would not be unusual for an hour or more to pass before activation, as
circumstances continually change on the ground. Information from the scene seemed to indicate
“the building would be back on line soon.” Then chemical contamination was discovered, and it
appears this key facility will be “down for up to multiple days.” A structural defect was
discovered, and it could be months before it can be mitigated. Again, size, scope, and seriousness
remain the drivers of this decision.
On the other hand, it could be apparent from the outset that the EOC will be needed. A light
plane crashes on your organization’s property, causing damage and claiming lives; a loud
explosion is heard, and parts of a building blow out; or a straight-line wind storm or tornado
strikes. In these types of incidents, the enormity and impact of the incident is felt and recognized
by all levels of management. What you hope for is that the planning, training, and exercising you
have conducted were recent and powerful enough to guide the actions of each group of
responders and managers. Delays, confusion, and inappropriate responses can be fatal at this
What does “activating the EOC” mean? Is it always the same, and if not, why not? These are
all questions we hear frequently and that you need to consider as you plan your response. What
are the activation “triggers”?
The Incident Commander (IC) may, in the initial notification to the Emergency Manager
and/or CEO, recommend the activation of the EOC. This would be a case where
conditions on the ground and the experience of the IC make it apparent that the incident
is going to disrupt critical functions of the organization.
The more traditional trigger would be: The Emergency Manager and the CEO confer, and
based upon information from the scene, and hopefully, predetermined thresholds, make
the call to activate.
Very often when we talk about setting up an EOC, or even a command post for that matter,
there is a tendency to think about a full-blown implementation with 20 to 30 people involved and
all the sections fully staffed. Because of this “all or nothing” approach, we often wait too long
because we do not want to overreact, “cry wolf,” and impact large numbers of people
unnecessarily. This type of thinking can cause a delay and negatively impact the work of this
group. So what can you do to avoid either a delay or the potential inconvenience, and what are
the activation “models”?
One of the first considerations should be to direct the Technical Support Unit to prepare the
predesignated facility for activation. This would include setting up the electronic equipment
(computers, projection, video, etc.), positioning the tables (we will give you a design later in this
chapter), put table tents with section titles on the tables, and set out guides, checklists, ICS
forms, and position titles. This will save time and confusion if partial or full activation is
If an immediate call-up is not nee …
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