Section 6


6.1     Emergency Operation Centre Definition


          An Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is the physical location where an organization or in our case where the City’s Primary Control Group comes together during an emergency to coordinate emergency response, recovery actions and resources. The Sarnia EOC is not one room but a number of rooms where the coordination of information and resources takes place. For example the Sarnia Police classroom doubles as the media centre for the City of Sarnia while the Boardroom becomes the area where executive briefings would take place away from the Operations Centre.


          The Emergency Operations Centre is a large room equipped with various maps, communications equipment and reference material.  In the event of an emergency, the Emergency Operations Centre would be utilized by the Primary Control Group for the purpose of making those administrative and policy decisions relevant to the emergency response. The EOC is not an incident command post; rather, it is the operations centre where coordination and management decisions are facilitated. Members of the Primary Control Group must recognize that they are assembled to support the actions of the Municipal Emergency Site Manager and the balance of the Emergency Site Unified Command Team.



6.2     When it is Used


          Members of the Primary Control Group will attend the Emergency Operations Centre whenever an evacuation or containment has been initiated or at the direction of the Chairman of the Primary Control Group.



6.3     Location


          The main Emergency Operation Centre is located at the Sarnia Police Headquarters, 555 North Christina Street, Sarnia.



6.4     Alternative Location


          If, for any reason, the Main Emergency Operations Centre is incapacitated or inaccessible, then the alternative site will be located at the Sarnia Fire & Rescue Headquarters at 240 N. East Street. The mobile E.O.C. equipment would be relocated to this site or an alternate municipal building if required. For a Listing of a Third or Fourth E.O.C. location please see Sarnia Emergency Management  Operational Guides )



6.5     Operation Centre's Equipment


          The Operations Centre is a large room equipped with various maps, communications equipment and reference material. The Main Emergency “Operation Centre” has been equipped with the latest equipment to assist in the co-ordinated response to an emergency.  Large aerial photographs of the Sarnia area have been provided.  The early warning devices can all be activated from this location.  A television monitor and video cassette player recorder are provided to observe the response, based on information from on-scene media and to assess the media coverage.  A facsimile machine is at the disposal of the Primary Control Group. The Operations room and the entire EOC have a generator backup as well as UPS backup. The Operations room is permanently set up with security access and with a variety of communications systems. Individual workstations have been provided for each agency. Each Control Group member should be prepared to bring to the operations centre departmental resources that will allow them to function in their role as well as additional staff support if required. A large conference table enables group discussions and decision-making. Executive or City Council briefings would be conducted in the Boardroom to allow the operations room to continue to function.



6.6     Flow of Communications


          The two way flow of information to and from the Emergency Site will be collected, processed and disseminated through a small room located in the rear of the Emergency Operations Centre (called the Emergency Communications Centre) to the respective members of the Primary Control Group or to the site Management Team, as necessary.  Also information flows by cell phone in the field to telephone in E.O.C. The Communications Centre also houses the Civic Emergency Notification system, the ARES and Environment Canada’s CANWARN. The ARES group at the Sarnia EOC provides radio communications to the local Hospitals, The Sarnia Mobile Command Centre, the emergency reception centres, and with the Province of Ontario.



6.7          Incident Command System


The Incident Command System (ICS) provides a management structure and system for conducting emergency operations. This system is applicable at the emergency site and at the EOC, for small-scale daily operational incidents as well as for the major activities. A good ICS provides the flexibility needed to rapidly activate and establish an organizational format around the functions that need to be performed. Members of the Secondary Control Group should be included or asked to attend the Emergency Operations Centre when their assistance is required or when they have issues that need to be dealt with by the Primary Control Group.



6.8          Operating Cycle


Each member of the Primary and Secondary Control Groups is responsible for his / her own department’s Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) during the emergency and is responsible to bring issues to the attention of the Chair. The Chair needs to facilitate this by calling the various control group members to assemble for status briefings and updates to the stakeholders. The Primary Control Group Chair will establish the frequency of meetings and agenda items. Meetings should be kept as brief as possible thus allowing members to carry out their individual responsibilities.  The Chair needs to ensure that an incident Log has been opened, that Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) have been implemented using checklists, that tasks have been assigned according to plan or briefings and that tasks have been performed. The Chair needs to ensure that all event information is tracked and recorded.



Event Information Tracking                                                                


The Chair needs to ensure that all event information is tracked and recorded for future and debriefing uses. The City Clerk or his/her alternate is responsible for the record and log keeping. (Other Staff may be required to provide this service at times). (PLEASE NOTE PRIMARY & SECONDARY CONTROL MEMBERS E.O.C. JOB DESCRIPTIONS CAN BE FOUND IN SECTIONS 9 and 10).