5.4 Control and the Principals of Control

Control is the overall direction of response activities in an emergency. Authority for control is established in legislation or in an emergency response plan, and carries with it the responsibility for tasking other agencies in accordance with the needs of the situation. Control relates to emergency situations/incidents and operates horizontally across agencies. The principles of control include the following:

  • Depending on the scale of the emergency, a controller may be appointed for each tier of emergency response, i.e. incident, regional and state.
  • For each incident there is one incident controller, regardless of the number of agencies involved.
  • The process for appointing controllers varies according to the type and scale of the emergency, as detailed in the EM Act 2013.
  • A controller appointed to a tier of emergency response exercises the control function at that tier.
  • A controller acts in accordance with any directions from the controller at the higher tier in accordance with the control structure.
  • At their respective tier, controllers are responsible for providing direction to all agencies deployed in an emergency response.
  • During the course of the emergency response the controller may change depending upon the circumstances handover of control must be formal in nature and the details of the transfer recorded.

5.4.1 Incident Controller

The Incident Controller’s responsibilities are to:

  • Carry out the directions of the Regional Controller.
  • Take charge and provide leadership for the resolution of the incident, including directing support agency commanders.
  • Establish a control structure to suit the circumstances.
  • Ensure timely issue of warnings and information to the community.
  • Identify current and emerging risks, or threats, and implement proactive response strategies.
  • Lead multi agency planning and develop and implement an incident action plan (including objectives and strategies to manage the incident).
  • Establish and manage the Incident Management Team, if required.
  • Establish the Emergency Management Team, if required.
  • Oversee the operational functioning of the Incident Control Centre, if operating.
  • Ensure the timely flow of information to the:
    • Regional Controller
    • control and support agencies
    • Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator
    • Municipal Recovery Manager/Regional Recovery Coordinator
    • other stakeholder agencies.
  • Continually assess the performance of the emergency response against the Incident Action Plan.
  • Request appropriate resources for subordinates to achieve tasks, or adapt tasks according to available resources.
  • Initiate Initial Impact Assessment and activate relief arrangements where necessary.
  • Apply the EMC operational standards and incident management procedures.

5.4.2 Incident Emergency Management Team (IEMT)

If two or more agencies respond to an incident, the Incident Controller should form and chair an Incident Emergency Management Team (IEMT).

If the Incident Controller is unable to attend or there are several disparate emergencies within the municipality, the MERC (or representative) should form and chair the IEMT.

The IEMT usually comprises:

  • Controller.
  • Support agency commanders (or their representatives).
  • Health commander (functional commander of supporting health agencies).
  • Recovery manager.
  • Emergency response coordinator (or representative).
  • Other specialist persons as required.
  • Local government.

The IEMT considers the efficacy of potential control strategies. The Incident Controller will task support agency or functional commanders to implement a strategy or to provide resources in support of these strategies. Support agency commanders then implement the allocated strategy through their respective command structures, and report back to the Incident Controller as to the success or otherwise of the strategy.

The Incident Controller includes the strategies and the actions of all agencies in the Incident Action Plan. The effective operation of an IEMT relies heavily upon communication between agencies. The importance of an effective IEMT to the successful management of an emergency cannot be overstated.

5.4.3 Control and Support Agencies

The Control and Support Agencies, and their roles and functions, for the Colac Otway Shire are in accordance with the arrangements within Part 7 of the EMMV. A summary of these are provided at Appendix 10 - Control Agencies for Response and Appendix 11 – Support Agencies for Response

5.3 Emergency Management Commissioner (EMC)

5.5 Coordination