Which EOC Configuration Aligns with the On-Scene Incident Organization?

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Question: Which EOC Configuration Aligns with the On-Scene Incident Organization?


1. ICS or ICS-like EOC structure

2. Departmental Structure

3. Incident Support Model (ISM) structure

4. Strategic Joint Command Structure

Answer: ICS or ICS-like EOC Structure


The National Incident Management System (NIMS) guidelines released in October of 2017, FEMA provides suggestions regarding how to incorporate structures based on ICS that can assist Emergency Operations Centers (EOC). EOCs are utilized in various ways across the different levels in government (City Regional, County, or State) and in private sector to facilitate coordination, support, direction, as well as control in times of emergency. It is crucial to remember that EOCs aren’t typically employed for the control and command of incidents, but to aid, coordinate and provide guidance for incidents (particularly due to EOC supervision by elected representatives, such as mayors, governors, city managers, etc. ).

Contrary to what many believe There is no need for EOCs to create and coordinate around ICS. EOCs assist in the management of incidents in an Incident Command Post (on-scene as well as field-level activities) and are able to be arranged by:

  • Primary discipline (e.g. law enforcement, fire as well as emergency medical assistance);
  • Support for emergencies (e.g. communications, transportation engineering, public works or support for resources);
  • Jurisdiction (e.g. city or county, region, etc.) (or,
  • Most likely, with a mix of the two.

ICS-like EOC Structures

Although EOCs aren’t as part of the incident Command Structure, each organization decides how and when an organization will utilize its EOC. Numerous agencies and organizations use ICS within their EOCs because it gives the framework for establishing their own procedures and policies built on a tried-and tested method. Since many of the responders are familiar with ICS and its application, it creates an established language and brings an alignment with the things they have experienced on the ground. This familiarity extends to the tasks and responsibilities assigned to specific roles within the EOC as well as its support, e.g., Public Information Officer. Utilizing the ICS will also help to address any inconsistencies between the EOC and the response. And assist in reducing the amount of effort required to manage two systems.

Although it is possible to utilize an existing ICS format for running an EOC however. Altering ICS allows EOC directors to adjust for minor variations among ICS or an EOC. Modifications, for example, titles that reflect the support aspect of the EOC’s mission. Could help to strengthen the idea of EOCs are not tactical. EOC is not a tactical center but an organization that coordinates and supports. In most cases, EOCs achieve this by revising the sections. And including “support” as well as “coordination” in the titles (see the next section). It is crucial to remember that the EOC duties and roles should be clearly stated in the policies of an organization prior to an incident. To lessen any confusion that may arise between an EOC and the Incident Command Post (ICP) when it is activated. “Which EOC Configuration Aligns with the On-Scene Incident Organization”.

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