The material in this course reflects these principles and practices as they apply to ESS. Using the twelve principles set out in the JIBC’s ICS Level 100 (2015), the following indicates the application of ICS principles at the ESS site level.
1. Five Primary Management Functions
The ESS response structure is organized into the five primary management functions of Management, Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance, as shown in the following figure.
The following figure lists the functions and standardized colours that are assigned to each of these functions for quick identification, as well as their descriptions.
2. Establishing and Transferring of Command
The first, trained or most qualified responder from the ESS team who arrives on site establishes initial command until they are relieved or command is transferred. The reception centre (RC) or group lodging (GL) should have a list of pre-identified individuals available to fill the role of RC or GL Manager. Please see ESS Sites in the following pages for a description of RCs and GLs.
3. Single and Unified Command
An ESS response is generally a single command as it is generally run by one agency, the local authority.
4. Management by Objectives
Management by objectives is a systematic and organized approach that focuses on achieving goals and objectives for the best possible results from available resources.
The management team establishes objectives and tactical direction to manage and coordinate activities at the site, reception centre (RC) or group lodging (GL).
5. Incident Action Planning
The incident action plan (IAP) is an oral or written plan that communicates the overall incident objectives for a specific period of time known as an operational period.
An operational period is the length of time set by Management to achieve a given set of objectives. The operational period may vary in length and will be determined largely by the needs of the emergency situation, which can change over time. In a smaller incident, it is not unusual to have two or four hour long operational periods. It is common to have twelve-hour operational periods for many larger incidents, however they should be no longer than 24 hours.
6. Comprehensive Resource Management
Resources are defined as equipment, supplies, personnel, teams, or facilities available for assignment in support of the response. Comprehensive resource management includes consistent processes for categorizing, ordering, dispatching, tracking, recovering, and demobilizing resources.
7. Unity and Chain of Command
8. Manageable Span of Control
Span of control is the number of personnel that one supervisor manages, usually expressed in a ratio of supervisor to subordinates. In ICS, the optimum manageable span of control falls within a ration of 1:3 to 1:7; meaning one supervisor for every three to seven subordinates. Teams and team leaders can be established to expand capacity while maintaining span of control. The following figure shows an optimum span of control, which is 1:5.
9. Modular Organization
The organizational structure is flexible and can expand or contract according to the needs of the ESS response. Resources can be activated when needed or demobilized when no longer required.
The following organization chart shows a partially expanded RC response to illustrate sections, branches, and units. Only those functional branches or units that are required to meet current objectives need to be activated. In addition, branches or units within a section may be arranged in a number of ways. The functions of any non-activated element will be the responsibility of the next highest element in the organization. Each activated branch or unit must have a person in charge. However, one person may take charge of more than one functional branch or unit.
10. Personnel Accountability
ESS management is responsible for ensuring all ESS responders, whether on or off-site, are tracked and monitored for safety and accountability purposes.
11. Common Terminology
All response agencies use a pre-designated set of terms and names/titles for all major organizational functions and facilities to ensure consistency and operational efficiency. For example the EOC refers to all those in charge of sections as section chiefs, the same position titles which are also used at the RC.
12. Communication and Information Management
All communications networks used on-site are part of an integrated system that uses a common communications plan, standard operating procedures, frequencies, and terminology.