5.9 Municipal Emergency Response Arrangements

Municipal emergency response is coordinated from the Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (MECC) and is supported by Emergency Relief Centres (ERC), with relevant Colac Otway Shire Council personnel and support agency representatives in attendance. The primary role of these facilities is to provide a coordinated approach to the provision of resources and emergency relief and recovery activities during an emergency event.

5.9.1 Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (MECC)

Provision of the MECC functions may in the first instance be conducted remotely. In the event of an emergency the MERC may request activation of the MECC.

The primary role of the MECC is to coordinate the provision of human and material resources within the Municipality during emergencies. It will also maintain an overall view of the operational activities within this Plan’s area of responsibility, for recording, planning and debrief purposes. The MECC may also become operational during support operations to a neighbouring Municipality.

Administrative staff for the MECC will be drawn from Municipal employees, and in the event that the scale of an emergency requires the MECC to be open for a protracted period of time, staff from other municipalities will be utilised via the Municipal Association Victoria’s ( MAV ) Inter Council Resource Sharing Protocols and MOUs with neighbouring municipalities. The MECC can only be activated at the request of the MERC in consultation with the MERO and /or MRM.

A MECC Operations Plan has been developed. The plan provides detailed instructions in relation to the establishment and operation of the MECC, including MECC schematic, MECC structure chart and SOPs. Hard copies are held by the MEM, MERO, MRM and Deputy MRM and a locked electronic version is contained within Councils TRIM system. The TRIM reference number can be found in Appendix 1 – MEMP Sub Plans, Related Procedures and Operating Guidelines.

Colac Otway Shire’s primary MECC is located at the Colac Otway Performing Arts and Culture Centre:

Meeting Rooms 1 and 2

Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre

Corner of Gellibrand and Rae Streets

Colac VIC 3250

5.9.2 Agency attendance and staffing at the MECC

It is the responsibility of the MERC in conjunction with the Control Agency to determine which agencies are to attend the MECC. Once determined, the MERC/District Emergency Response Coordinator shall notify these agencies and request that Emergency Management Liaison Officers attend the MECC.

It is the responsibility of Colac Otway Shire Council’s MERO to ensure that the MECC is setup and adequately staffed with administrative support. The MECC (Facility) Manager or their nominee shall coordinate administrative support for the MECC.

5.9.3 Emergency Management Liaison Officer (EMLO) responsibilities

The primary role of an agency EMLO is to provide communication between the MECC and their own agency/organisation. Once an EMLO has been notified by the MERC that their attendance is required at the MECC, it is recommended that the EMLO:

  • Attend the MECC as soon as possible.
  • Notify their own organisation that their attendance has been requested.
  • Have the necessary seniority/delegated authority and ability to make commitments on behalf of their agency/organisation.
  • Relay tasks allocated to their organisation from the MECC and/or relay requests from their organisation/Operations Centre into the MECC.
  • Have a sound understanding of the principles of emergency management.
  • Have a sound understanding of the organisation/agency they are representing in the MECC.
  • Come to the MECC adequately prepared.
  • Be able to provide advice to the MECC on resources.
  • Maintain regular contact with their own organisation.
  • Preferably, be familiar with the operation of a MECC and the systems/procedures used within the MECC.

5.8 Other Emergency Response Coordination Roles

5.10 Scale of Emergency Coordination