Incident Management Team Policy
The purpose of this policy is to establish the management structure, responsibilities and procedures necessary for Lewis & Clark College to respond to a significant incident occurring on, or impacting, the campus. We recognize the value and necessity of planning for all phases of emergency incidents including, but not limited to, preparedness, mitigation, response, continuity, and recovery. As part of a comprehensive approach to emergency management, this policy focuses on incident response efforts.
This policy takes into account the following assumptions:
- An emergency incident may occur at any time, day or night, weekend or holiday, with little or no warning.
- The exact unfolding of an incident is not entirely predictable. Operational plans and procedures serve as guides and may require in-the-moment modification in order to meet the demands of an incident.
- Events that do not affect the College directly but that affect portions of the city or region may still require the involvement of the College.
- Establishing and maintaining communication among College departments as well as with external partners is one of the highest priorities in any incident.
- Even though a policy such as this can never address every possible event, it defines a process for resolving most incidents.
College divisions, departments and offices regularly respond to routine emergency incidents as part of their normal operations by using pre-established standard operating procedures (SOPs), both written and practiced. However, when incidents increase in magnitude or complexity and surpass the scope of those SOPs, additional resources and coordination may be required to support emergency response and recovery efforts. This policy applies when SOPs developed by College departments and units are insufficient to handle an incident and enterprise-wide incident coordination for response, continuity and recovery operations is determined to be necessary.
When an incident exceeds the ability of College departments and units to handle the incident using SOPs, as determined by the Agency Administrator (AA)(defined below), the AA is to activate the Incident Management Team. When appropriate, emergency response activities at Lewis & Clark College follow the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) as established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In an ICS structure, there are several essential groups and roles, including the Policy Group, Agency Administrator, Incident Management Team, and Incident Commander.
A. Executive Council / Policy Group
The President of the College convenes the Executive Council regularly to address College business. During an incident, the Executive Council serves as the Policy Group, responding to questions or issues identified by the Incident Management Team that require policy level decision-making.
B. Agency Administrator (AA)
The Vice President for Business and Finance serves as the Agency Administrator and is authorized to make emergency response decisions on behalf of the Executive Council. The AA has the following responsibilities:
- Authorizes activation (either partial or full) of the Incident Management Team (IMT);
- Designates the Incident Commander (IC);
- Serves as the communication link between the Executive Council and the IMT;
- Makes decisions and works in concert with the Director of Emergency Management on modifications to normal College operations (e.g., canceling or delaying work hours, classes, events, etc.);
- Consults with the Director of Emergency Management to monitor overall campus safety.
In an anticipated absence or unavailability, the AA can delegate responsibility to another individual deemed capable of fulfilling the role. Unless otherwise delegated, in the absence or unavailability of the Vice President of Business and Finance, the Vice President of Student Life will assume the duties of the AA. In the absence or unavailability of the Vice President of Student Life, the Chief of Staff will assume the duties of the AA.
C. Director of Emergency Management
The Director of Emergency Management is the College official with day-to-day responsibility for all aspects of emergency preparedness and response. The Director shall develop procedures for the operation of the IMT, assure training necessary for an effective response to emergencies, manage the administrative and logistical needs of the IMT, and be responsible for necessary documentation of incident response. In appropriate situations, the Director might also serve as an Incident Commander (IC)(defined below).
D. Incident Management Team (IMT)
The role of the IMT is to provide support to the incident field operations through communication, coordination, and resource management functions. The IMT does not respond to the scene but is responsible for managing and directing response activities. The AA appoints the members of the IMT and is responsible for assuring that it includes the necessary cross-section of institutional officials. The IMT is to meet regularly and is to be provided training necessary for it to perform its duties in the event of an emergency.
E. Incident Commander (IC)
The Incident Commander (IC) has the authority for development, implementation, and review of strategic decisions to facilitate College emergency response efforts and serves as the coordinator of the IMT with regard to a particular incident. The IC is responsible for the overall management of the incident and all activities and functions until the IC delegates and assigns them to members of the IMT. The IC will communicate closely with the AA, if not the same person.
The IC will vary depending on the incident. The IC should be an individual with the specific skills, knowledge base, and training needed to manage the specific situation. It is always at the discretion of the Agency Administrator to identify an IC, or co-ICs, for an incident.
The IC has the following responsibilities:
- Provides overall leadership for incident response;
- Assessment of incident situation;
- Establishment of incident objectives;
- Creation or approval of incident documentation;
- Establishment of an appropriate organizational structure and delegation of authority or functions to others;
- Authorizes release of information to campus community and news media;
- Requests for additional resources;
- If not the same person, keeps AA informed.
IC responsibilities may be transferred in the course of incident response. This may be necessary for many reasons, such as changed circumstances or the prolonged nature of incident response. A transfer of command should occur with minimal disruption to incident response, with a complete face-to-face briefing, and be adequately communicated to all personnel with a need to know.
II. Activation of the Incident Management Team
A core principle of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) is that an incident should be managed at the lowest level possible, with only the amount of resources necessary to successfully respond to the incident. The AA is authorized to activate the IMT based on the AA’s situational assessment or at the request of other IMT members. Notification of activation may be sent via email, text, or phone call to IMT members. The AA can call for a full or partial activation of the IMT. Full activation includes all IMT members. Partial activation includes only those IMT members who will take part in incident response activities. IMT activation and response may also include engaging other subject matter experts who are not regular members of the IMT.
IMT activations take precedence over non-emergency response work activities and may interrupt normal day-to-day work and commitments of IMT members or others engaged in response activities.
It is the responsibility of the College to respond to an emergency in a safe, effective and timely manner. College personnel and equipment will be utilized to accomplish the following priorities:
- Priority A: Protection of life and safety, including first responders;
- Priority B: Maintenance of life and safety and assessment of damages;
- Priority C: Restoration of general campus o
III. Documentation and Deactivation
Upon activation of the IMT, actions and decisions related to response effort should be documented throughout the duration of the response. Such documentation is to include tracking of all key decisions, actions and assignments, and will assist with preparation of an After Action Report (AAR) compiled once the incident has concluded. The Director of Emergency Management is responsible for incident documentation, including development of an Incident Action Plan, and for providing a mechanism to ensure that members of the IMT have access to such documentation.
The Incident Commander decides when the situation is under control and the IMT can be deactivated. The Director of Emergency Management oversees demobilization planning and coordination, collection of incident documentation, and development of an AAR.