7.1†††† Site Co-ordination Definition
††††††††† Site co-ordination is essentially the management of the emergency site or sites in such a manner that all parties are involved (Unified Command) in the decision-making process required to mitigate the effects of a disaster.
††††††††† Emergency Site Management is the establishment of a framework through which the effects of a disaster are mitigated and a return to normality is achieved.† Emergency Managers are those involved at any level with the overall response to an incident.
††††††††† The Municipal Emergency Site Manager is the individual appointed to co-ordinate the operation at the site or sites of the emergency.† The Municipal Emergency Site Managerís purposes are to co-ordinate and oversee the response to an emergency.† The initial Municipal Emergency Site Manager is the Police Road Sergeant or Supervisor until relieved by the Emergency Operations Centre.
††††††††† The Mobile Command Post (Community Co-ordination Centre) is the facility in which the Site Co-ordinator and Incident Commanders utilize to execute their responsibilities.
7.5†††† Incident Commanders Definition
††††††††† Commanders are the persons in charge of the various agencies.† The Incident Commander for the Police Service would usually be the Senior Constable or Sergeant. The incident commander for the Fire Service would usually be the Fire Platoon Chief.† It is the Incident Commander's responsibility to manage the response of his or her on-site personnel.
††††††††† The Municipal Emergency Site Manger is also the eyes and ears for the Primary Control Group (see Section 9) housed in the Emergency Operations Centre.
7.7†††† Primary Control Group (see Section 9 for additional information)
††††††††† Acknowledging that the role of the Primary Control Group is that of long term contingency planning, policy making and most importantly support to the Emergency Site Team, it is essential that factual timely information be passed between the two groups.
††††††††† Theoretically, the only information that comes from the site/sites to the Primary Control Group will be communicated by the Municipal Emergency Site Manager.
††††††††† The Municipal Emergency Site Manager and the Primary Control Group must at all times be working in concert towards a common goal.† The Site Co-ordinator has by far the most significant role in the overall Emergency Response.† Crucial principles must be adapted by all persons involved in the response.
7.8†††† Purpose of Emergency Response
††††††††† The first few hours of a disaster are the most critical.† The crisis aspect of any emergency demands a clear understanding and acceptance of the purpose of emergency response by all those involved.† A clear prior understanding of the aim is considered the most important overriding principle in disaster management.
††††††††† The aim of the emergency site operation is derived from the overall aim of the municipal plan (see Section 1.)† Emergency Site Co-ordinators, Commanders or Managers must be capable of setting priorities, assigning tasks and select tactics to contain the problem.† Limitations may be imposed upon the Municipal Emergency Site Manager such as the time available, resources, evacuation routes, and the like.† However, he/she should be given the widest scope possible to use his/her initiative with the minimum restrictions.
††††††††† Finally, the aim and its limitations together constitute essential elements of the problem that emergency operations must resolve.† Before any emergency can be tackled, the leaders of the response must all agree on what the problem is and how best to attack it in order to save lives and property.† The inability to agree on this point could mean the failure of emergency operations.
7.10†† Available Resources
††††††††† A thorough knowledge of available resources, both human and material, is essential for effective emergency management.† This includes a sound understanding of the organization and the abilities and weaknesses of the various participating emergency services and agencies.
††††††††† Knowledge of the locations and quantities of resources dispatched to the site is the key to resource management.† This information gives emergency managers a clear appreciation of what they have on site, its accessibility and operability.
7.11†† Personnel Management
††††††††† The most important resource committed to any emergency is the human one.† Management of this resource must not be overlooked.† Responders will work under stressful situations and their morale must be maintained.† This will depend in part, on their own ability to perform duties or assigned tasks.† It is therefore imperative to cater to their needs and to equip them properly to perform their mission.† This calls for adequate supplies of fuels, foodstuffs, transport and equipment.
7.12†† Vital Information
††††††††† No action plan can be made until certain vital information is available:† layout, weather, approaches to site, population distribution, type of chemical involved and the like.† Even negative information about the problem may be useful.
††††††††† Vital information needs to be shared between Emergency Site Co-ordinators, Emergency Commanders, Emergency Responders and Emergency Operations Centres (E.O.C.)† (See Annex A. at end of Section 7 for Diagram).
7.13†† Reconnaissance Efforts
††††††††† Emergency managers must first acquire the information they need, then collate and evaluate it to minimize confusion, exaggeration and rumours and finally pass it to those most directly affected.
††††††††† Reconnaissance efforts must be co-ordinated to obtain the detailed information needed to implement the emergency plan.† These efforts will obviously be limited by the time and resources available.† Reconnaissance and the gathering of information is an ongoing process throughout the operation.† The timely passage of situation reports is the best way to pass information to various headquarters and command posts.
7.14†† Maintain Good Communication
††††††††† Potential Communications Problems:† Communication can make the difference between a failed operation and a successful one.† The problems associated with communication relate to message content, means of dispatch and the interpretation of the message by the recipient.
††††††††† If responding and supporting agencies arrive on site with incompatible communications equipment, emergency managers must be to call upon additional measures.
††††††††† Learn to recognize the two different communication problems.
††††††††† Internal Problems:† Generally systems used to relay communications within an agency are geared to handle a specific amount of information.† In an emergency, staff may increase.† The communications systems may not be adequate to accommodate the overload and the process is slowed down.† Also, channels of communication that are distinct in normal times become blurred when several individuals occupy a new position.† Consequently, the normal channels of communications will not be sufficient to ensure that all relevant information will reach those who need it.† See annex A at the end of Section 7 for a diagram explaining field communications.
††††††††† Problems Between Agencies:† Communication between agencies may fail because the informal basis that normally exists may not suffice.† New contacts, difficult to establish at the best of times, will have to be formed during the emergency.† Communications between agencies will frequently not proceed smoothly under such circumstances.
††††††††† Planning is always concerned with future events.† During an emergency the lack of (or evidence of) foresight will greatly influence the outcome.† Forecasting future events will provide managers with information upon which good and sound decisions can be based.† Forecasts must be as accurate as possible and based upon the best available information.† Resource demands will often compete with other needs.† Such demands must be substantiated.† Foresight estimates resource requirements, anticipates timing and action, foresees problems and adjusts the action plan accordingly.
††††††††† Emergency managers must anticipate the next stage in an operation, to overcome the inevitable time lag in the delivery of emergency support material to the site.
††††††††† Remember that the higher the level of decision-making, the earlier the planning for resources must begin.† If the Emergency Site is planning his or her action one hour ahead, the Primary Control Group should anticipate such action at least two to three hours ahead.
7.16†† Line of Authority
††††††††† Emergency managers must have constant access to the evolving action plan and the administrative plan must evolve in concert with the site action plan it supports.
††††††††† A recognized line of authority must be established early at the emergency site.† The Municipal Emergency Site Managerís authority must be clear at the outset and it should be plainly stated in the municipal emergency plan.† All responding agencies and their members must understand the Municipal Emergency Site Managerís position.† The limits of authority and control of all responders must be clearly stated.† Actions of an individual operating without authority must not jeopardize the overall emergency operation.
††††††††† Laws and policies, at all levels, control and set limits on the actions and scope of emergency managers.† It is essential that legal authority, municipal by-laws and emergency plans be promulgated to establish the parameters within which the Municipal Emergency Site Manager may operate.
7.17†† Legal Authority
††††††††† Other legal authority already exists within services such as police, fire, and public works.† Emergency Managers should be aware of the additional authority of these services to act.
††††††††† Emergency managers may have to deal with four problem areas:
††††††††† i.††††††† There is a strong tendency, especially at higher levels, for officials to work too long.† This has two results:† first, overtired personnel become inefficient; secondly, when they are eventually replaced, their replacements will lack information because crucial unrecorded data will have accumulated in the heads of a few individuals.
††††††††† ii.†††††† Questions almost inevitably arise about which agencies have the authority to assume unusual disaster-related tasks, such as mass burials of the dead or large-scale search and rescue operations.† This issue should normally be resolved by assigning specified responsibilities in the municipal emergency plan† (see Sections 9, 10, 11).
††††††††† iii.††††† Problems sometimes arise between established agencies and outside groups over traditional tasks.† For example, area security is traditionally a police function.† There can be problems if provincial or federal police or the military also attempt to provide security.
††††††††† iv.††††† Disasters frequently cut across the jurisdictional boundaries of local organizations, creating potential for conflicts.† In normal times, unclear or overlapping responsibilities can often be ignored.† During disaster these conflicts will sharpen.
††††††††† Unresolved jurisdictional issues often surface at the height of an emergency.† Areas of potential conflict should be identified and resolved during the planning process.
††††††††† At the outset of an emergency operation, personnel and material are usually in short supply.† Establishing priorities for the use of resources is absolutely essential, particularly when response agencies are arriving on site with minimal resources.
††††††††† The imaginative use of available resources will save time and effort.† If priorities are well delineated, co-ordinated efforts will be easier to achieve.
††††††††† At the site, the Municipal Emergency Site Manager must be able to alter priorities quickly to meet the changing situation and unexpected developments.† This entails, above all, flexibility in making decisions.
7.18†† Conserve Resources
††††††††† Conserve resources.† A good action plan also calls for the use of only those resources needed to accomplish the task.† Operations will never go according to plan.† Emergency managers must maintain some reserves to react to unexpected events.† Alternative sources of supply, a reasonable reserve of personnel and transport, and material placed to be readily available, will allow the emergency manager to maximize the use of limited resources.
††††††††† Promote co-operation and co-ordination.† All responding agencies must achieve the maximum combined effort.† Goodwill and the desire to co-operate are essential at all levels, owing to the increased inter-dependence of all organizations and agencies.
††††††††† All responding agencies agree, in principle at least, to co-ordination in times of disaster.† However, the means of achieving "co-ordination" is neither self-explanatory nor a matter of consensus.† At one extreme, co-ordination is viewed as informing other groups of what their own group will be doing.† At the other extreme, co-ordination is seen as the centralization of decision-making into a particular agency or a few key officials.
†† †††††† It is not surprising that problems arise, even when a pre-disaster agreement forms part of the emergency plan.† Again, the newness of many emergency tasks (handling many dead, for example) can create strain in relationships between agencies that have worked together before.† The greater the number of agencies or groups that respond to an emergency, the greater the co-ordination problem.
††††††††† The problems may be compounded by the fact that some agencies may come from outside the area, may have a different structure and a mode of operation not understood by the Municipal Emergency Site Manager.† Conversely, outside agencies may not understand the local structures and methods of operation.
††††††††† To overcome this barrier, a pre-agreed emergency site management technique is required.† This will greatly assist agencies to work together and to share resources to their mutual advantage.† An adequate Emergency Site Management structure will enhance the sharing of emergency resources, and also provide a means of obtaining help quickly within the municipality.
††††††††† The Municipal Emergency Site Manager should make effective use of the special skills and capabilities of various emergency response agencies and resources.† A flood may require co-ordination of law enforcement services to police the area, search forces to locate the survivors and victims, fire services for heavy rescue and fire suppression, air and ground ambulances for evacuation of injured and a variety of support services such as the Operations Department, Community Services and Sarnia Transit.
7.20†† Logistics of Emergency Site
††††††††† Emergency response personnel require meals, fuel, special equipment, transport and other stores.† Stock of these materials may be available or they may have to be acquired from other sources.† Equipment must be maintained on site or removed from the site to be repaired.† The sick and injured must be treated and evacuated to hospitals.
††††††††† The emergency response forces must be rotated, reinforced and rested.† The Emergency Site Management team must identify, quantify and communicate these logistic needs to the Emergency Operations Centre.† On the other hand, the Emergency Operations Centre must anticipate and provide for those needs.
††††††††† All action in support of the operation must be properly documented for legal claims and post-emergency reporting.† The psychological needs of the human resources on site must also be provided for.
††††††††† Depending on the magnitude and duration of the response operation, a small staff is needed to assist the Municipal Emergency Site Manager in carrying out both operational and administrative planning on the site.† The administrative plan must cater to these various needs and provide a co-ordinated approach.
††††††††† The specific logistic functions the emergency Municipal Emergency Site Manager must address are:
††††††††† i.††††††† Psychology and/or Chaplain Services
††††††††††††††††††† To the injured
††††††††††††††††††† To the rescue workers
††††††††††††††††††† To evacuees
††††††††† ii.†††††† Financial Records
††††††††††††††††††† Accounting for public funds
††††††††††††††††††† Overtime record
††††††††††††††††††† Emergency funds
††††††††† iii.††††† Reinforcements/Human Resources
††††††††††††††††††† Shift rotation
††††††††††††††††††† Rest and recuperation
††††††††††††††††††† New equipment and operators
††††††††††††††††††† Personnel registration
††††††††† iv.††††† Record/Documentation
††††††††††††††††††† Status of personnel
††††††††††††††††††† Status of equipment
††††††††††††††††††† Requisition forms/preformed
††††††††††††††††††† Logging of special events
††††††††††††††††††† Frequency of status report
††††††††††††††††††† Listing of resources
††††††††† v.†††††† Material Supply
††††††††††††††††††† Fuel, oil
††††††††††††††††††† Meals:† hot, cold
††††††††††††††††††† Spare parts
††††††††††††††††††† Special stores
††††††††† vi.††††† Transport
††††††††††††††††††† Water truck
††††††††††††††††††† Engineer, dump trucks
††††††††††††††††††† Recovery vehicles
††††††††††††††††††† Heavy wheeled transport
††††††††† vii.†††† Repair and Recovery
††††††††††††††††††† Repair on sites
††††††††††††††††††† Recovery sites
††††††††† viii.††† Water Supply
††††††††††††††††††† For personal usage
††††††††††††††††††† For fire fighting apparatus, etc.
††††††††† ix.††††† Legal
††††††††††††††††††† Record keeping for claims against the municipality
††††††††††††††††††† Legal advice
††††††††† x.†††††† Public Information† (see Section 8, Media Policy)
††††††††††††††††††† Media control
††††††††††††††††††† Control of dissemination of public information
††††††††††††††††††† Administrating, conducting and assisting all media
††††††††††††††††††† Photo/video records of emergency
††††††††††††††††††† Press release
††††††††† xi.††††† Morgues
††††††††††††††††††† Body bags
††††††††††††††††††† Record keeping
††††††††††††††††††† Hospitalsí roles
††††††††† xii.†††† Jurisdiction:† Municipal/County/Province/Federal
††††††††††††††††††† Relationship between levels of governments
††††††††††††††††††† Legal authority
††††††††††††††††††† Re-establishing control
††††††††††††††††††† Re-establishing public utilities
††††††††††††††††††† Handling of evacuees
7.21†† Compliance and Ownership
††††††††† Ownership in the previous principle must be taken by all agencies involved in the response.† Compliance with these principles will lend itself well to the specifics of the Emergency Site Managers Co-ordinators and Incident Commander Responsibilities.
††††††††† Emergency Site Co-ordination, irrespective of type, must be conducted so that resources arrive in the stricken area.† The process can be divided into the following stages:
††††††††† -†††††††† Deployment and site layout
††††††††† -†††††††† Emergency control
††††††††† -†††††††† Restoration
††††††††† Deployment and site layout stage unfolds rapidly through a series of concurrent activities.† It begins with an information and alert phase, followed by a control phase by the first responders, then by an additional response.† At this point response by the three key agencies (police, fire and ambulance) must be co-ordinated for effective emergency site management.† The Police Field Supervisor, Road Sergeant or Senior Fire Official will immediately assume the role of Municipal Emergency Site Manager at this stage.† This can be assumed jointly also.
††††††††† If time is available, the three first responding agencies study the site to assess the situation and report to their dispatchers when asking for further assistance.† The first responders then attempt to deal with the situation using the resources on hand. †As the response increases, co-ordination becomes essential.
††††††††† On arrival, the Municipal Emergency Site Manager must first determine the magnitude of the situation; locate the perimeters, the primary rescue sites and the centre of the emergency site.† Debriefing the effected industrial representative or first responders should form part of this action.† These people represent the best source of information available at the moment.
††††††††† Carrying out a detailed reconnaissance is another important action.† The result of this reconnaissance should determine specific "Hot Spots", the extent of the damage, and yield an idea of the type of emergency response needed.
7.23†† Initial Response Phase
††††††††† During the initial response phase a number of UN coordinated activities occur.† The presence of the Municipal Emergency Site Manager signifies that the stage of co-ordinated and controlled responses has begun.† Resources must be acquired and controlled.† The improvement and control of access routes and the identification of staging areas must be addressed early to avoid confusion.† Heavy rescue equipment must be marshalled if required.† The process of assembling and deploying all resources on the site ensures a workable and flexible operation.† Site layout will be different for every situation, but the principle or organization remains the same.
††††††††† The Site Command Post at the onslaught of the emergency can be any easily identified vehicle or structure that will facilitate the committee approach to the situation.† A Police Cruiser or the Fire Department's Rescue Truck will serve as an initial Command Post.† During a prolonged emergency the Mobile Command Post can be deployed.† This is achieved when the Municipal Emergency Site Manager recognizes the need for the Command Post.
††††††††† One of the most important considerations is the placement of the Site Command Post.† It must be fairly central so that the site can co-ordinate and control all activities and observe the access routes.† To provide that control, the emergency site must have facilities to communicate easily with the senior officials of the entire key responding agencies as well as outside agencies, groups or organizations whose help may be needed.
††††††††† The Site Command Post has access to telephone lines and radio equipment.† Because of the intensive use of radios, the headquarters should be on high ground where interference is minimal on all the frequencies used; in the event additional command posts are dispatched.
††††††††† All responding agencies should co-locate their respective command posts with the Municipal Emergency Site Managerís Command Post.† Command Posts should be in the "cold" zone.
††††††††† Security of the site is a police responsibility.† In a major emergency, two perimeters should be established.† The inner perimeter includes the immediate emergency area only and may include, in case of a large number of casualties, an emergency medical care centre.† Only essential staff and equipment should be allowed within this perimeter, and residents or workers should be evacuated as soon as possible.† Entry should be strictly controlled with only one or two access points.
††††††††† Beyond this zone, the Sarnia Police will establish an outer perimeter.† The outer perimeter should include the entire area affected by arriving personnel and equipment.† Staging areas for the different response agencies, parking areas for workers and emergency vehicles, a temporary morgue, and an information centre should be established here.
††††††††† All the agencies involved should set up their operating base in the area between the inner and outer perimeters.† Here they will prepare to assist in fighting the emergency.
7.27†† C.V.E.C.O. Passes
††††††††† C.V.E.C.O. passes are pass cards that identify the bearer as a member of a local emergency response team.†
††††††††† Access through the outer perimeter should also be strictly controlled.† C.V.E.C.O. passes will be honoured at the Officer's discretion if the incident involves an industrial incident.† Officers will take up point duty locations as set out in the C.V.E.C.O. Plan.† There should be only one access route, although a second may be maintained to facilitate entry of emergency personnel and equipment.† The outer perimeter must be patrolled and guarded to ensure that unauthorized persons do not penetrate this line.† It is also at this line spectators converging on the site must be controlled.† The line must be far enough from the emergency site that it does not interfere with the response and any unexpected and new dangers such as explosions, collapsing buildings, radioactive materials or gases or vapours that could affect the crowds.
7.28†† Access and Egress Routes ††††††††††††††††††† ††
††††††††† Police officers must ensure that all equipment and personnel from the responding agencies are provided with unobstructed access and directed to the proper locations.† It follows that these officers have to be briefed on the location of command posts, staging and parking areas.† As well, the security officer at the access point should notify the emergency site management headquarters of the arrival of personnel and equipment.† The security personnel also have to direct media representatives to the media centre (see Section 8, Media Policy) and authorized visitors to the areas that they are allowed to visit.† A special pass, the C.V.E.C.O. pass system is implemented to facilitate access control through the outside perimeter.
7.29†† Staging Area
††††††††† In addition to traffic control at access points, traffic control within the perimeter area is essential.† If possible, a traffic plan calling separate in and out routes should be established.† Ideally, the IN route should pass by emergency site headquarters.† This allows the headquarters to confirm what personnel and equipment are available and to make sure that they are directed to the proper location.† IN and OUT routes should be communicated to all point duty personnel.
††††††††† Staging areas are established to hold resources to move on short notice.† They should be established by the Municipal Emergency Site Manager.† A staging area can be wherever mobile equipment can be situated with temporarily sanitation and fuelling services.† The Municipal Emergency Site Manager with the help of the police should assign a manager for each staging area under the supervision of a staging area co-ordinator.† These individuals can be drawn from volunteer organizations (see Section 11).
††††††††† When equipment not immediately required enters the outer perimeter, it should be directed to a pre-designated parking area.† To ensure that the vehicles are parked properly and do not obstruct the movement of other vehicles so to move there if necessary.† Ignition keys should never be removed if a driver leaves a vehicle; this will facilitate movement by others.† Specific parking areas should be assigned to all responding agencies.
††††††††† The proper management of this area will contribute to minimizing casualties.† The area must be situated where the IN and OUT routes are being evacuated, will be high.† The area should be large enough to accommodate the different sub-areas required for types of casualties - a separate area to place the dead, loading areas for casualties and first aid post.
††††††††† Traffic to this area will have to be controlled.† Ambulances (or other means of transportation) will report to their parking area and be called to a staging area as required so that no traffic jam occurs.† This also facilitates the dispatch of casualties to the proper hospitals.† It is important that this area be far enough from the disaster site that the casualties and the medics will not be endangered by smoke and other factors associated with the disaster, e.g. the exhaust fumes of waiting ambulance and other vehicles.
7.30†† Media Information Centres
††††††††† To help assist media personnel, it is important to set up a media information centre and to notify media people that the only place at the site where information will be issued is from that point.† This will help to prevent them from wandering around the site.† The appointment of a liaison officer is essential.† The police service, however, often assumes this responsibility.
††††††††† If the emergency involves a number of fatalities, it may be necessary to preserve the site and the property of these people to facilitate the activities of the authorities trying to determine the identity and cause of death and to ensure that the deceased's property is disposed of appropriately.† A morgue should be set up on site, or nearby and areas must be set aside where belongings can be identified and kept safely until they can be released.† The establishment of a property office by the police is essential and is part of the morgue function.
††††††††† Logistics areas must also be located inside the outer perimeter for the issuance and receipt of equipment and for maintenance and recharging of various equipment.† Areas where personnel can be decontaminated if necessary and where the crews will be able to rest and eat are also needed.† Personnel reporting on and off duty should report through this area.
††††††††† Depending upon the size of the emergency, more than one such area may be necessary where each major responding agency can take care of its own needs.† As well, the emergency site manager may want to regroup some specific logistics functions to provide more efficient support for the whole team.† An example of this could be the regrouping of all facilities to recharge air pack cylinders or the establishment of one decontamination area, as opposed to one for each service.
††††††††† Individual agencies will be responsible for selecting and training the Incident Commanders.† These individuals will be responsible for the creation of pertinent forms, procedures, checklists, etc. that could be required in the event of an emergency.
7.33†† Initial Relief
††††††††† All polices, procedures, forms, checklists, etc. will coincide with the policies and procedures set out in this Emergency Plan.
7.34†† Assurance of Continuity
††††††††† Relief of the Initial Municipal Emergency Site Manager (the Police Supervisor) will be selected by the Primary Control Group.