Most communities have emergency response plans for specific types of incidents, but very few of these plans are properly maintained, and many community officials have not been trained to use them. Conditions and personnel change without associated modifications to the emergency plan. The result is that these plans end up on a shelf and are not used when an emergency occurs. Instead, when a serious incident happens, most officials try to manage with a hands-on approach, generally reacting to issues rather than following a predetermined management system. This is where REDI™ for Municipal Incident Management comes in.
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REDI™ for Municipal Incident Management provides an easy-to-use format that combines Internet technology with a dynamic approach to incident management. The system applies the Incident Command System (ICS) concept that is widely used by emergency service agencies throughout the nation, which allows multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary coordination and cooperation. When a crisis event occurs, there is no time to request bids for needed services. By establishing procedures and making contracts with relief agencies, suppliers and vendors, resources will be in place and ready to be activated when a crisis occurs. This will permit you to continue to provide both mandatory and emergency services to your community while managing in a pro-active rather than a reactive mode.
When changes are necessary, information throughout the entire system is automatically updated. This allows current information to be easily communicated to groups or departments, thereby effectively managing personnel resources and controlling communications throughout the community. Municipal employees will know what is expected of them in an emergency and will be ready to take action, saving time and lives.
There really is no equal to the Municipal Incident Management System. When properly developed, it provides absolute control over all aspects of an emergency situation, regardless of size or complexity. It addresses identification of hazards, mitigation of identified risks, pre-planning of response procedures, response to an actual incident, provision of materials and supplies during an incident, information and support to community residents, gathering of financial impact information related to the incident, recovery planning, and contingency planning until conditions are back to normal. Once created, all that remains is maintenance of the system, periodic training for participants, and periodic exercises to assure system expectations are met.
As a critical incident escalates and de-escalates, the interrelationship between these levels of response and the participants' roles at each level is critical. A system-wide understanding of how the Executive Policy Group relates to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and how the EOC relates to the Field Command, will directly relate to the success of the operation. When these levels are not well understood and carried out, the result is often confusion, duplication of effort and a breakdown in communications.
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