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Basic Plan - Concept of Operations

Concept of Operations

The Concept of Operations section provides an overview of the emergency management structure and procedures for responding to an emergency situation. More detailed information can be found in the appendices after the Basic Plan. Appendix F provides more detailed information about the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and other emergency response facilities; Appendix B details the Binghamton University Incident Command System (ICS); and Appendix C includes ICS position checklists.

The Concept of Operations provide the following information for the CEMP:

  1. CEMP Activation
  2. Levels of Emergency
  3. Emergency Management Structure
  4. Incident Command System
  5. Emergency Operations Center
  6. Unified Command
  7. Transfer of Command
  8. Incident Action Plan
  9. Incident Documentation
  10. Deactivation Process
  11. Campus Recovery
  12. Campus Community: Roles & Responsibilities

The role of University departments involved in emergency response will generally parallel normal day-to-day functions, however, employees may be assigned to work in areas and perform duties outside their regular job assignments. Day-to-day functions that do not contribute directly to an emergency may be suspended for the duration of an emergency. Efforts that would typically be required for normal daily functions will be redirected to accomplish emergency tasks following the ICS system.

This plan is designed to be flexible to be used in any emergency response situation regardless of the size, type, or complexity. The procedures outlined in this plan are based on a worst case scenario. Part or all of the components of the plan can be activated as needed to respond to the emergency at hand.

Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) Activation

This plan is activated whenever emergency conditions exist in which immediate action is required to:

Levels of Emergency

There are five 'Types' (levels) of emergency, Type 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. The lower the 'Type' of emergency the larger the scale of the event and the more resources and coordination are required to manage the event. Any given 'Type' may be bypassed if necessary to allow a response to proceed directly to a higher level. As emergencies progress to a more complex 'Types', the stated activities of previous 'Types' will continue to be enacted.

The 'Type' of emergency will be determined by the Incident Commander.  

TYPE 5 EMERGENCY - Non-Emergency / Administrative

Definition

An unplanned event that is not likely to adversely impact or threaten life, health or property. Control of the incident is within the capabilities of University employees and the duration of the event is limited.

Examples

Action

The onsite lead unit/dept. handles the situation following the lead unit's Standard Operating Procedures. The lead unit responding to an incident is the Incident Commander (IC).

TYPE 4 EMERGENCY - Monitoring / Standby

Definition

If the situation escalates to include an unplanned event that may adversely impact or threaten life, health or property within a single area and control of the incident is beyond the capability of University employees, outside agency assistance will be necessary.

Examples

Action

TYPE 3 EMERGENCY - Alert

Definition

If the situation impacts or threatens life, health or property on a large scale at one or more locations within the university, control of the incident may require specialists in addition to University and outside agency personnel. Long-term implications may result.

Examples

Action

The Department Head contacts University Police for the determination of whether to activate the Incident Management Team (IMT) and the Policy Group. • The Director of Emergency Management designates the appropriate IC.

TYPE 1 - 2 EMERGENCY - Emergency

Definition

The situation adversely impacts or threatens life, health or property at the University on a large scale and control of the incident will require multiple agencies and multiple university departments working together. Long-term implications are likely.

Examples

Action


In addition, the following figures highlight both general and event specific monitoring and response procedures for the Binghamton University in the event of an emergency.

Emergency Management Structure

Emergency response activities at the Binghamton University are directed under the authority delegated to the Incident Management Team (IMT). The IMT's Incident Commander will report directly to the Vice President for Administration. See Appendix B for full description of position roles and responsibilities.

Binghamton University Emergency Policy Group

The Policy Group provides direction in making strategic policy decisions for any incident that impacts the University's ability to perform its critical business functions. The Policy Group is chaired by the President of Binghamton University. (See Appendix B: Incident Command System Structure for the list of Policy Group members).  

University President Succession of Authority

To maintain emergency management functions and an orderly continuation of leadership in an emergency situation, the following succession of authority applies if the University President is unavailable:

  1. Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
  2. Vice President for Administration
  3. Vice President for Research
  4. Vice President for Student Affairs
  5. Vice President for External Affairs

Binghamton University Incident Command System

The CEMP follows the structure of the Incident Command System (ICS) for managing a response. There are three functional areas in the ICS structure: (1) Incident Commander (IC), (2) Command Staff, and (3) General Staff. The Incident Commander supervises the Command Staff and General Staff and is responsible for emergency response activities and efforts. (See Figure 2.4 for Binghamton University Incident Command System diagram)

In most Type 1, 2 and 3 emergencies, the Incident Commander, Command Staff, and Section Chiefs in the General Staff will report to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).  

Incident Commander

The Incident Commander (IC) manages all emergency activities, including development, implementation, and review of strategic decisions, as well as post event assessment.

Establishing an Incident Commander

The Incident Commander (IC) will vary depending on the situation at hand. The IC may not always be the highest ranking individual at the University but rather an individual with the specific skills, knowledge base, and training needed to respond to the specific situation.

When an incident occurs the initial Incident Commander will be established from the responding resources on-scene and communicated to all personnel. During a more complex incident, a person with higher qualifications may assume command, or the Policy Group may designate an IC. The on-site Binghamton University IC will provide a situation status briefing to an IC assuming command. Incident command may be carried out by a Unified Command established jointly by units and/or agencies that have direct functional or jurisdictional responsibility for the incident.

The Incident Commander (IC) is responsible for the overall management of the incident and all activities/functions until the IC delegates and assigns them to Command or General Staff. The Incident Commander is responsible for the following tasks:

A Deputy Incident Commander may be designated to:

Details on the roles and responsibilities of the Incident Commander can be found in Appendix B: Incident Command System Structure and Appendix C: ICS Checklists.

Command Staff

Command Staff report directly to the Incident Commander. Positions include the Public Information Officer, Liaison Officer, and Safety Officer. (See Appendix B: Binghamton University Incident Command System for more details on the Command Staff). Current lines of succession are provided for each position.

Public Information Officer (PIO)

The PIO is responsible for relaying incident related information to the public and media and with other agencies. This position is always activated in a Type 1, 2 or 3 emergency and as needed in Type 4 and 5 situations

  1. Senior Director, Communications and Marketing
  2. Senior Director of Media and Public Relations
  3. Assistant Director of Media and Public Relations

Liaison Officers

The Liaison Officers are responsible for coordinating with external partners, such as city, county, state, or federal agencies, and public and private resources groups, as well as internal university groups.

Safety Officer

The Safety Officer monitors, evaluates and recommends procedures for all incident operations for hazards and unsafe conditions, including the health and safety of emergency responder personnel. The Safety Officer is responsible for developing the site safety plan and safety directions in the Incident Action Plan (IAP).

  1. Associate Director, Environmental Health & Safety
  2. Safety Manager, Environmental Health & Safety
  3. Radiation Safety Officer
  4. Hazardous Waste Manager, Environmental Health & Safety
  5. Code Enforcement and/or Fire Systems Safety Specialist

General Staff

The General Staff is comprised of four sections: (1) Operations, (2) Planning, (3) Logistics, and (4) Finance and Administration. Each section is headed by a Section Chief and can be expanded to meet the resources and needs of the response. Section Chiefs report directly to the Incident Commander. (See Appendix B: Binghamton University Incident Command System for more details on General Staff).

Operations Section

The Operations Section is responsible for managing all incident specific operations of an emergency response.

Planning Section

The Planning Section is responsible for collecting, monitoring, evaluating, and disseminating information relating to the response effort. They are responsible for the development, maintenance and distribution of the Incident Action Plan (IAP).

Logistics Section

The Logistics Section is responsible for procuring supplies, personnel, and material support necessary to conduct the emergency response (e.g. personnel call-out, equipment acquisition, lodging, transportation, food, etc.).

Finance & Administration Section

The Finance & Administration Section is responsible for purchasing and cost accountability relating to the response effort. This section documents expenditures, purchase authorizations, damage to property, equipment usage, and vendor contracting, and develops FEMA documentation.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

Emergency situations that require extensive coordination of resources, personnel, and information sharing will be managed in part or in full from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

The Emergency Operations Center is the centralized facility where emergency response and recovery activities are planned, coordinated, and delegated. The EOC will operate on a 24 hour, 7-day basis during extended events with rotating shifts until the emergency is over. The EOC will be supervised by an EOC Coordinator. The EOC Coordinator will be either the Binghamton University Director of Emergency Management or other qualified member of the IMT. The EOC may sometimes serve as the Incident Command Post (ICP) when activated. The Incident Commander determines when the incident no longer needs coordination from the EOC. Normal shift rotation is 12 hours on, 12 hours off. Detailed information about the EOC can be found in Appendix F: Emergency Response Facilities.

EOC Locations

Campus EOC locations are confidential and will only be shared with individuals whom have a need to know.

EOC Activation

The EOC will be activated during any situation that requires the immediate coordination of multiple University departments and auxiliaries.

Any member of the Incident Management Team has the authority to convene the entire IMT. The Policy Group, the Director of Emergency Management and the Chief of Police has the authority to activated/open the EOC. The degree to which the EOC is activated depends on the need for coordination and communication between internal and external interest.

Once the EOC is activated, the EOC Coordinator reports immediately to the EOC. The EOC Coordinator is responsible for preparing the EOC facility for operation and checking staff into the EOC.

As a standard practice the Command Staff and General Staff Section Chiefs will report to the EOC to assume emergency response roles in a Type 1, 2 or 3 emergency (See Appendix B on Incident Command System Structure for more information on ICS).

Unified Command (UC)

A Unified Command is used when more than one agency within the incident jurisdiction are working together to respond to an incident. In many emergency situations the University will work with the Town of Vestal, the City of Binghamton and/or Broome County in a Unified Command.

In a Unified Command situation, the Policy Group, the Director of Emergency Management or the Chief of Police, will determine who will serve as the Joint Incident Commander representing Binghamton University.

The Vestal Fire Department will assume the role of Lead IC for any fire, special rescue, EMS, mass casualty incident, or hazardous materials event that requires their resources to respond to the Vestal Campus. The City of Binghamton Fire Department will assume the role of Lead IC for any fire, special rescue, EMS, mass casualty incident, or hazardous materials event that requires their resources to respond to the University Downtown Center.

New York State University Police will assume Lead IC for any law enforcement event that requires their response on the Vestal campus. The City of Binghamton Police Department will assume Lead IC for any law enforcement event that requires their response to the University Downtown Center.

When multiple agencies respond to the same incident, the senior members of each agency will determine who shall act as the IC or if a Unified Command approach is needed. In some cases a Binghamton University official may be requested to participate as a Joint Incident Commander in the Unified Command.

Binghamton University personnel and resources may be integrated into appropriate ICS positions. At the very least the need for a liaison person from the Binghamton University should be anticipated, and under most circumstances, will be requested.

The outgoing on-site IC will provide a situation status briefing to the incoming IC assuming command.

Transfer of command

Transfer of command is the process of moving incident command responsibilities from one Incident Commander to another. Transfer of command may take place for many reasons, including:

A main feature of ICS is a procedure to transfer command with minimal disruption to the incident. This procedure may be used any time personnel in supervisory positions change. The following three key procedures should be followed whenever possible:

The transfer of command briefing should always take place. The briefing should include the following essential elements of information:

Incident Action Plan

An Incident Action Plan (IAP) is a written or verbal strategy for responding to the incident developed by the Incident Commander and Section Chiefs in the General Staff.

A written IAP is not required for smaller incidents. In those cases the Incident Commander can verbally communicate response strategy to the Incident Command System personnel.

In larger emergency situations a written IAP will be more effective. A written IAP should be considered when:

Developing an Incident Action Plan

In larger emergency situations the Incident Commander and Section Chiefs in the General Staff will meet immediately to develop the Incident Action Plan (IAP). The Planning Section Chief is responsible for the writing, maintaining, and distributing the IAP.

The Operations Chief will delineate the amount and type of resources needed to accomplish the plan. The Planning Section, Logistics Section, and Finance & Administration Section will have to work together to accommodate those needs.

The Planning Section is responsible for writing and maintaining the Incident Action Plan. The IAP will include standard forms and supporting documents that convey the Incident Commander's intent and the Operations Section's direction for the accomplishment of the plan. The Planning Section will communicate with other sections Chiefs any materials and documentation needed to develop the plan. The Incident Commander approves the written IAP.

Copies of the IAP are distributed to the Policy Group and members of the IMT. The IAP should be conveyed to all resources on scene. A briefing prior to each shift should be held to communicate the IAP to everyone involved in the incident.

In a Unified Command Situation the Joint Incident Commanders will work together and with Command and General Staff to develop the IAP.

Implementing the Plan

The Operations Section is in charge of implementing components of the IAP. The Operations Section Chief will meet with supervisors of tactical resources to brief them on the plan and delineate their respective assignments.

The Operations Section has the authority to make appropriate adjustments to the plan as needed to meet the plan objectives in the most efficient manner possible. Changes should be communicated to the Incident Commander and Planning Section Chief and documented in the ICS 214.

A series of forms found in the IAP will assist the IMT in documenting and communicating information related to the incident.

Incident Documentation

It is important that the incident be properly documented throughout the response effort. Forms for documenting information will be provided by the Planning Section with the Incident Action Plan (IAP). Thorough documentation will:

Media Relations

The members of the media will go to the designated media center (Location determined at the time of the incident). The Public Information Officer is responsible for the set-up, use, and breakdown of the Media Center. All press releases must be approved by the Incident Commander.

For information the media can contact the Office of Communications and Marketing or visit the University's website at http://www.binghamton.edu/ or the Binghamton University alert page at http://www2.binghamton.edu/alert/index.html.

Deactivation Process

The Incident Commander decides when the situation is under control and the Incident Management Team (IMT) can be deactivated. Deactivation requires two key functions:

The Planning Section oversees the preparation of demobilization planning and collection of incident documentation.

Demobilization of Response Units

Incident Commander meets with Section Chiefs to develop a demobilization plan for the General Staff Sections. Section Chiefs are responsible for overseeing the demobilization of their respective sections.

Documentation of Incident

After the incident has been resolved, an After Action Report (AAR) will be compiled to include information about the incident, the response actions taken, and lessons learned.

The AAR is developed by the Director of Emergency Management. Information for the AAR will be gathered from the members of the Binghamton University Incident Management Team (IMT). The AAR will serve as the official record describing the incident and the University's response efforts. The lessons learned will be used to update the CEMP and will be incorporated in future University training exercises.

Additional documentation required for insurance, FEMA, and disaster assistance purposes will be organized by the Finance and Administration Section (See Appendix B: Incident Command System Structure).

Campus Recovery

Some situations may cause the campus to cease some or all University operations. In situations when University operations have been shut down, the first step to recovery is to ensure that the campus is safe and secure. The second step will be to restore campus facilities and grounds. The third step will be for the Policy Group to determine when and how to return to normal campus operations.

The Director of Emergency Management will be responsible for starting the recovery process while emergency response activities are still being implemented. He/she works closely with University personnel and government agencies in the recovery process. The Director of Emergency Management looks at how the University can better prepare and mitigate the effects of future emergencies.

Campus Continuity of Operations

Continuity of Operation Plans (COOP) is an effort within individual departments and agencies to ensure continuity of their essential functions across a wide range of emergencies and events.

COOP Objectives:

Benefits of COOP:

Division / Department Responsibilities

Each division/department at Binghamton University shall be responsible for the development of its individual COOP. Once completed, each COOP will be coordinated with the university's overall plan and will result in a single COOP with multiple division/department annexes.

Assistance with the development of a division / department COOP is available from the university's Director of Emergency Management (777-2275).

Campus Community: Roles and Responsibilities

This section outlines the roles and responsibilities of students, building managers, faculty, staff, and deans and department heads in non-incident events as well as during emergencies.

Currently students, faculty, staff, dean/department heads and building managers attain information on emergency response procedures through the multiple Binghamton University websites:

Students

General Responsibilities

Students are responsible for being aware of their surroundings and familiar with building evacuation routes, exits and the nearest faculty, staff and/or residence director. In the event of an emergency, they are responsible for listening for and following directions provided by emergency responders and/or university staff.

Role in an emergency

Students involved in an emergency should assess a situation quickly and thoroughly, but follow common sense when determining how to respond. If directly involved in an incident, students must contact University Police as soon as possible, show police officers/responders where the incident occurred, and provide any requested information. If evacuation of a building is necessary, students should evacuate the building in an orderly fashion and follow directions from emergency responders, Building Administrators, faculty and staff, and Department Heads.

Building Administrators

General Responsibilities

Building Administrators are responsible for maintaining continuous communication with staff on all building related issues. Building Administrators are responsible for understanding department emergency and building evacuation procedures as well as campus emergency response procedures. Information regarding a Building Administrator's roles and responsibilities can be found on the Binghamton University Building Administrator website at http://www.binghamton.edu/building-administrators/.

Role in an emergency

Building Administrators involved in an emergency should assess a situation quickly and thoroughly, but follow common sense when determining how to respond. The Building Administrator is responsible for following department emergency and building evacuation procedures and will contact the Department Head, University Police, Environmental Health and Safety, or Physical Facilities based on need.

Faculty and Staff

General Responsibilities

University faculty and staff are seen as leaders by students and must be prepared to provide leadership in emergency situations. Faculty and staff should understand department emergency and building evacuation procedures in areas they work and teach. Faculty and staff may be the first to the scene of an incident and are responsible for following standard operating procedures and contacting the appropriate individuals. They should familiarize themselves with the basic concepts for how Binghamton University responds to an emergency situation. Campus emergency procedures can be found on the Binghamton University Emergency Management website, http://www.binghamton.edu/emergency/.

Role in an emergency

Staff and faculty involved in an emergency should assess a situation quickly and thoroughly, but still follow common sense when determining how to respond. Faculty and staff should follow department emergency procedures to report emergencies to University Police. If evacuation of a building is necessary, faculty and staff are expected evacuate immediately.

Deans/Department Heads

General Responsibilities

Deans and Department Heads serve as leaders for university departments and are responsible for providing overall guidance in the event of an emergency. Deans and Department Heads must be familiar with department emergency and building emergency procedures as well as understand the overall emergency response procedures for the Binghamton University campus. . Campus emergency procedures can be found on the Binghamton University Emergency Management website, http://www.binghamton.edu/emergency/.

Role in an Emergency

Deans and Department Heads involved in an emergency should assess a situation quickly and thoroughly, while still following common sense when determining how to respond. Deans and Department Heads must follow department emergency and building evacuation procedures and report emergencies to University Police.

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Last Updated: 4/7/14