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Unit 5: Response Organization. Unit Objectives:. Identify: Organizational structures. Key staff positions and relationships. Lesson List. Overview Roles & Responsibilities Response Action Response Organization Planning Additional Resources & Summary. Video: Response Organization.

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unit objectives
Unit Objectives:


Organizational structures.

Key staff positions and relationships.

Lesson List

  • Overview
  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Response Action
  • Response Organization
  • Planning
  • Additional Resources & Summary
video response organization
Video: Response Organization

Click on the image to view the video.

command vs coordination
Command vs. Coordination
  • Command: The act of directing, ordering, or controlling by virtue of explicit statutory, regulatory, or delegated authority.
  • Multiagency coordination is a process that allows all levels of government and all disciplines to work together more efficiently and effectively.
local response command structure
Local Response (Command) Structure



  • Has authority and responsibility for conducting incident operations.
  • Manages tactical operations at the incident scene.

Public Information


Command Staff





General Staff


Section Chief


Section Chief


Section Chief


Section Chief

incident command post
Incident Command Post

The Incident Command Post is:

The location from which the Incident Command directs operations.

Generally located at or in the immediate vicinity of the incident site.

unified command
Unified Command

In a Unified Command, individuals designated by their jurisdictional or organizational authorities work together to:

Determine objectives, strategies, plans, resource allocations, and priorities.

Develops a single Incident Action Plan.

Execute integrated incident operations and maximize the use of assigned resources.

area command
Area Command

Oversees the management of multiple incidents that are each being handled by a separate Incident Command System organization.

Agency Administrator/Executives

Area Commander/Unified Area Command

Unified Command A

Incident CommandB

Unified CommandC

local emergency operations center
Local Emergency Operations Center

An emergency operations center (EOC):

Supports on-scene incident management operations.

Is the physical location at which the coordination of information and resources occurs.

Local Officials and Emergency Operations Center

Incident Command Post

eoc functions
EOC Functions

An EOC should be able to perform the following functions:



Resource dispatching and tracking  

Information collection, analysis, and dissemination

eoc benefits
EOC Benefits

Helps establish a common operating picture.

Simplifies information verification.

Facilitates long-term operations.

Increases continuity.

Provides ready access to all available information.

Aids resource identification and use.

state emergency operations center
State Emergency Operations Center

The State EOC:

Is the central location from which off-scene activities supported by the State are coordinated.

Helps ensure that those who are located at the scene have needed resources.

State Officials and Emergency Operations Center

Local Officials and Emergency Operations Center

Incident Command Post

joint information center
Joint Information Center

A Joint Information Center (JIC):

May be established to coordinate public affairs functions.

Serves as a focal point for coordinated and timely release of incident related information to the public and the media

federal response structures
Federal Response Structures

National Policy Level

Regional Coordination

National Coordination

Field Operations

national response policy
National Response Policy

The following entities provide policy-level guidance on national response issues: 

Homeland Security Council (HSC)

National Security Council (NSC)

Domestic Readiness Group (DRG)

Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG)

national operations center
National Operations Center

DHS Secretary

NOC Components


Intel & Analysis

Planning Element

National Infrastructure Coordination Center (NICC)

National Response Coordination Center

Planning Element

  • Provides national-level planning recommendations to the Secretary.
  • Provides staff support to the Domestic Readiness Group.


  • Multiagency operations 24/7.
  • Monitors national picture.
  • Puts incident in national context.

Intel & Analysis

  • Provides threat information, analysis, and intelligence.
  • Monitors national intel picture.


  • Monitors critical infrastructure and key resources.
  • Supports government and industry partners.
national response coordination center
National Response Coordination Center


NOC Components


Intel & Analysis

Planning Element



  • Monitors potential or developing incidents.
  • Supports the efforts of regional and field components.
  • Initiates mission assignments or reimbursable agreements to activate other Federal departments and agencies.
  • Activates and deploys national-level specialized teams.
additional federal operations centers
Additional Federal Operations Centers

Other Federal operations centers include:

National Military Command Center (NMCC)

National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)

Strategic Information and Operations Center (SIOC)

DHS Operations Centers

regional response coordination centers
Regional Response Coordination Centers

RRCCs coordinate regional response efforts, including:

  • Establishing initial Federal objectives.
  • Providing Federal support to the affected States.
  • Deploying teams to establish the Joint Field Office (JFO) that will assume these functions.
knowledge review
Knowledge Review


Working as a team, review the description of an element of response organization provided by your instructor.

Identify which element is being described. Use your Student Manual to find other important information about this concept. Summarize your findings on chart paper using bullet points.

Select a spokesperson. Be prepared to present in 10 minutes.

initial federal response assets
Initial Federal Response Assets

Examples of initial Federal response assets include:

Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs)

Hurricane Liaison Team (HLT)

Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Task Forces

Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS)

catastrophic incidents
Catastrophic Incidents
  • For catastrophic incidents, State and Federal agencies:
    • May proactively deploy and mobilize assets.
    • Do not need to wait for a formal request for assistance.
joint field office
Joint Field Office

The Joint Field Office (JFO):

Is the primary Federal incident management field structure.

Provides a central location for the coordination of response and recovery efforts.

joint field office jfo
Joint Field Office (JFO)

Multiagency Coordination

Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO)

State Coordinating Officer (SCO)

Senior Federal Officials (SFOs)

JFO UnifiedCoordination Group

Chief of Staff

External Affairs

Safety Officer

Defense CoordinatingElement

Operations Section

Planning Section

Logistics Section

Finance/Admin Section

principal federal official
Principal Federal Official

Secretary of Homeland Security:

  • Is the principal Federal official responsible for coordination of all domestic incidents.
  • May designate a Principal Federal Official (PFO) to act as a field representative.

When appointed, the PFO:

  • Serves as a member of the Unified Coordination Group.
  • Provides a primary point of contact and situational awareness locally for the Secretary.
  • Does not direct or replace the incident command structure established at the incident.

Joint Field Office



State Officials and Emergency Operations Center

Private-Sector and Nongovernmental Organizations

Unified Coordination Group

Joint Operations Center

Local Officials and Emergency Operations Center

Principal Federal Official

Federal Coordinating Officer

State Coordinating Officer

Joint Task Force

DOD Representative (Normally Defense Coordinating Officer)

Senior Law Enforcement Official

Other SeniorOfficials

Incident Command Post Unified Command

External Affairs, Liaisons, and Others

Chief of Staff

Defense Coordinating Element

Safety Officer





Emergency Support Functions

jfo coordination staff
JFO Coordination Staff

Unified Coordination Group

External Affairs,Liaisons,and Others

Chief of Staff

Defense Coordinating Element

Safety Officer

jfo sections
JFO Sections

Operations Section

Planning Section

Logistics Section

Finance/Admin Section

  • Coordinates logistics support including:
    • Resource ordering
    • Facilities
    • Transportation
    • IT systems

Monitors and tracks all Federal costs

Ensures compliance with laws, acts, and regulations

Provides operational support to on-scene incident management efforts

  • Provides current information to:
    • Ensure situational awareness
    • Identify implications
    • Determine priorities

Emergency Support Functions

knowledge review31
Knowledge Review


Working as a team, review the questions assigned by your instructor.

Use your Student Manuals to find the answers, being sure you can explain your rationale. Write your answers on chart paper.

Select a spokesperson. Be prepared to present in 10 minutes.

video emergency support functions
Video: Emergency Support Functions

Click on the image to view the video.

esf functional areas
ESF Functional Areas

ESF #1 - Transportation

ESF #2 - Communications

ESF #3 - Public Works and Engineering

ESF #4 - Firefighting

ESF #5 - Emergency Management

ESF #6 - Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Services

ESF #7 - Logistics Management and Resource Support

ESF #8 - Public Health and Medical Services

ESF #9 - Search and Rescue

ESF #10 - Oil and Hazardous Materials Response

ESF #11 - Agriculture and Natural Resources

ESF #12 - Energy

ESF #13 - Public Safety and Security

ESF #14 - Long-Term Community Recovery

ESF #15 - External Affairs

esf annexes
ESF Annexes

The ESF Annexes describe the scope, policies, and concept of operations of each ESF. In addition, these annexes identify:

An ESF coordinator

A primary agency

Support agencies

esf activation
ESF Activation
  • Not every incident requires the activation of ESFs.
  • ESFs may be selectively activated for:
    • Stafford Act Emergency and Major Disaster Declarations.
    • Non-Stafford Act incidents as specified in HSPD-5.

ESF deployment must be coordinated even if under agency’s own authority!

federal assets at an incident scene
Federal Assets at an Incident Scene

Federal assets:

May be assigned by the JFO to assist at the incident scene.

Are integrated into the unified command structure.


Joint Field Office


Coordination & Communications

agencies respond under own authorities
Agencies Respond Under Own Authorities

Some types of assistance:

  • Are performed by Federal departments or agencies under their own authorities.
  • Do not require Presidential approval.

Are you now able to identify:

Organizational structures?

Key staff positions and relationships?

Lesson List

  • Overview
  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Response Action
  • Response Organization
  • Planning
  • Additional Resources & Summary