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Incident Command System

Technical Specialists

Planning
*Certain incidents or events may require the use of Technical Specialists who have specialized knowledge and expertise. Technical Specialists may function within the Planning Section, or be assigned wherever their services are required.

The following sections provide information on this position:



Weather Observer - General
The Weather Observer - is responsible for collecting current incident weather information and providing the information to an assigned meteorologist, Fire Behavior Specialists or Situation Unit Leader (SUL).


Weather Observer - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Weather Observer are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Determine:
    • Nature and location of work assignments

    • Weather data collection methods to be used.

    • Priorities for collection.

    • Specific types of information required.

    • Frequency of reports.

    • Method of reporting.

    • Source of equipment.
  • Obtain weather data collection equipment.

  • Obtain appropriate transportation to collection site(s).

  • Record and report weather observations at assigned locations on schedule.

  • Turn in equipment at completion of assignment.

  • Demobilize according to Incident Demobilization Plan.

  • Support special requirements for development of incident maps.

  • Maintain Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*).


Environmental Specialist - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Environmental Specialist are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Participate in the development of the Incident Action Plan (IAP) and review the general control objectives, including alternative strategies.

  • Collect and validate environmental information within the incident area by reviewing pre-attack land use and management plans.

  • Determine environmental restrictions within the incident area.

  • Develop suggested priorities for preservation of the environment.

  • Provide environmental analysis information, as requested.

  • Collect and transmit required records and logs to the Documentation Unit at the end of each operational period.

  • Maintain Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*).


Training Specialist - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Training Specialist are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Inform the Planning Section Chief (PSC) of planned use of trainees.

  • Review trainee assignments and modify if appropriate.

  • Coordinate the assignments of trainees to incident positions with the Resources Unit.

  • Brief trainees and trainers on training assignments and objectives.

  • Coordinate use of unassigned trainees.

  • Make follow-up contacts on-the-job to provide assistance and advice for trainees to meet training objectives, as appropriate, and with approval of Unit Leaders.

  • Ensure trainees receive performance evaluation.

  • Monitor operational procedures and evaluate training needs.

  • Respond to requests for information concerning training activities.

  • Give the Training Specialist the records and logs the to Documentation Unit at the end of
    each operational period.

  • Maintain Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*).


Chaplain Emergency Response Technical (CERT) Specialist - General
The Chaplain Emergency Response Technical (CERT) Specialist - The CERT Specialist is responsible for identifying and securing the services of sufficient Chaplains necessary to carry out pastoral care duties to provide for the spiritual and emotional needs of all personnel involved in a major disaster. The CERT Specialist is responsible for making an immediate assessment of how many Chaplains are required to provide adequate pastoral care and make the necessary notifications to ensure their immediate response and presence. The CERT Specialist is the Point Of Contact (POC) for all requests from operational units for Chaplains and their services and is responsible for the appropriate assignments and duties of all Chaplains involved in the operations. The CERT Specialist reports directly to the Incident Commander (IC).


Chaplain Emergency Response Technical (CERT) Specialist - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Chaplain Emergency Response Technical (CERT) Specialist are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Establish and maintain Chaplains Emergency Response Center with at least one dedicated phone line within the Multi-Agency Command Center.

  • Ensure proper listing with the Command Center of all Chaplains and their necessary contact phone numbers while they are stationed in the area.

  • Maintain at least two other Chaplains allowing for the visitation to units and other necessary functions during operations.

  • Ensure an adequate number of Chaplains present at all times to allow for rest, exercise, and proper turnover after not more than 10 days on-site.

  • Determine the spiritual and emotional climate of personnel involved in recovery operations and assess the need and level of possible Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) intervention, in conjunction with the CISM Specialist.

  • Attend all staff briefings and planning meetings as required.

  • Communicate on a daily basis with the lead Chaplain.

  • Establish communication and working relationship with all other agencies involved, especially the Red Cross, National Transportation Safety Broad (NTSB) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) support personnel.

  • Maintain liaison with other service personnel to determine appropriate time for turnover of pastoral responsibilities.

  • Maintain a Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*)


Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Specialist - General
The Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Specialist - The CISM Specialist is responsible for identifying and securing the immediate response and services of sufficient CISM team members necessary to carry out CISM duties to provide for the psychological and emotional needs of all personnel involved in a major incident. The CISM Specialist is the Point Of Contact (POC) for all requests from operational units for CISM services and is responsible for the appropriate assignments and duties of all CISM team members involved in the evolution. Due to the importance of the mental well-being of all response personnel and the highly specialized nature of the program, the CISM  Specialist would be assigned to the command level of the organization and would report directly to the Incident Command (IC) or Unified Command (UC).


Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Specialist - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Specialist are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Ensure there is at least one dedicated phone for CISM within the Incident Command Post (ICP).

  • Determine the psychological and emotional state of the personnel involved in recovery operations and assess the need and level of CISM interventions.

  • Ensure all operational and support units involved in the response have timely access to CISM team interventions.

  • Ensure proper listing with the Command Center of all CISM team members and their necessary contact phone numbers while stationed in the area.

  • Coordinate CISM team access aboard all ships at sea, if necessary, and for visitation of all ships while in port in a timely manner.

  • Establish and maintain working relationship with the Chaplain response team to cross reference needs of responders and their families.

  • Provide for CISM team access to personnel's family members (spouses, children, and significant others) to assess the need and level of CISM interventions.

  •  Attend all staff briefings and planning meetings as required.

  • Ensure adequate number of CISM team members present at all times to allow for rest, exercise and proper rotation of CISM personnel after not more than 10 days on-site.

  • Ensure CISM team members are adequately debriefed following their involvement with CISM
    response.

  • Maintain an accurate daily log of all activities, including dates, times, and places where CISM
    activities occurred. Use the Maintain Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*).

  • Establish communication and working relationships with all other responding agencies providing mental health assistance, especially the Red Cross, Salvation Army, NTSB, and FBI support personnel.

  • Maintain liaison with the other local response agencies to effectively refer appropriate non-incident response related personnel for health assistance.


Family Assistance Coordinator  - General
The Family Assistance Coordinator - provides services to the victims' family members; coordinates activities, lodging, food, spiritual and emotional needs, and transportation to special events (press conferences, memorial services to the scene of the incident when authorized, etc.); and, addresses any special needs that arise during the incident that may assist the victims' family members.


Family Assistance Coordinator - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Family Assistance Coordinator are:

NOTE: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) provides this assistance for aircraft disasters.
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Coordinate with local and state authorities, to include the medical examiner, local law enforcement, emergency management, hospitals, and other emergency support personnel.

  • Conduct daily coordination meetings with the local and Federal government representatives to review daily activities, resolve problem areas, and synchronize future family support operations and activities.

  • Coordinate and provide briefings to families at the site and those who decide not to be at the site.

  • Ensure adequate number of Family Assistance Team members present at all times to allow for rest, exercise and proper rotation.

  • Establish and maintain working relationship with the Chaplain Emergency Response Technical (CERT) Specialist and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Specialist teams to cross-reference needs of the victims' families.

  • Attend all staff briefings and planning meetings as required.

  • Request necessary equipment and supplies through Logistics Section Chief (LSC).

  • Ensure adequate lodging and/or sleeping arrangements.

  • Ensure that security needs for the victims' family members are addressed.

  • Ensure that language needs of victims' family members are met. An AT&T language line or CG Auxiliary are some potential sources for translation services, if needed.

  • Ensure that all communications are centrally coordinated. 

  • Ensure that all transportation scheduling is centrally coordinated.

  • The following agencies provide similar assistance during emergencies and may be of assistance: 

    • American Red Cross (ARC)

    • Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

    • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

    • NTSB
  • Maintain Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*).


Human Resources Specialist - General
The Human Resources Specialist - is responsible for providing direct human resources services to the response organization, including ensuring compliance with all labor-related laws and regulations. If it is necessary to form a Human Resources Unit, it is sometimes placed in the Finance/Administration Section.


Human Resources Specialist - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Human Resources Specialist are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Provide a Point Of Contact (POC) for incident personnel to discuss human resource issues. 

  • Participate in daily briefings and planning meetings to provide appropriate human resource information.

  • Post human resource information, as appropriate.

  • Receive and address reports of inappropriate behavior, acts, or conditions through appropriate lines of authority.

  • Maintain Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*).


Salvage & Engineering Technical (SET) Specialist - General
The Salvage & Engineering Technical (SET) Specialist - is responsible for providing technical assistance on vessel salvage and engineering issues, including: assessment and analysis of intact and damage stability, hull stress & strength, grounding & freeing forces; prediction of oil/hazardous substance outflow; and expertise on passenger vessel construction, fire protection, and safety. The SET Specialist will normally work with the Operations Section and Salvage and Source Control Group, but can be assigned to the Planning Section to assist in writing plans as well. For Coast Guard operations, the SET Specialist will normally be provided by the U.S. Cost Guard  Marine Safety Center, which also provides a Salvage and Engineering Response Team (SERT).


Salvage & Engineering Technical (SET) Specialist - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Salvage & Engineering Technical (SET) Specialist are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Obtain and review a copy of the Incident Action Plan (IAP) for the current operational period.

  • Determine resource needs.

  •  Report to the OPS/Salvage Division/Group Supervisor or Planning Section Chief/Technical Unit Leader, as may be assigned.

  • Gather, compile, and maintain data/information that will lead to accurate modeling, analyses, and predictions.

  • Assist in the development of the Salvage Plan.

  • Monitor implementation of the Salvage Plan and report immediately any conditions that may cause danger and/or safety hazards to personnel or the environment.

  • Provide a briefing/status report on analyses to proper personnel. 

  • Advise the Unified Command (UC) on technical issues as requested.

  • Maintain a Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*)


Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialist - General
The Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialist - is responsible for gathering and compiling updated spill information and providing various map products to the incident. The GIS team will work with the Situation Unit and the Information Management Officer to ensure accurate and rapid dissemination of oil spill information to the Incident Command System (ICS).


Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialist - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Geographic Information System (GIS) Specialist are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Determine resource needs.

  • Participate in planning meetings as required.

  • Gather and compile data from the different incident sections.

  • Provide maps for various components of the incident.

  • Provide status reports to appropriate requesters.

  • Maintain Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*).


Public Health Technical Specialists - Specific Responsibilities
The Public Health Technical Specialists - may be needed to provide public health/worker health and safety technical knowledge and expertise in events involving oil, hazardous substance/materials, radiation, or health and medical issues. Public Health Technical Specialists from the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can provide technological assistance in the following areas: 
  •  Human health threat assessment

  • Environmental health threat assessment

  • Exposure prevention

  • Worker health and safety

  • Toxicology and health physics

  • Epidemiological

  • Public health communications


Legal Specialist - Specific Responsibilities
The Legal Specialist will act in an advisory capacity. The major responsibilities of the Legal Specialist are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Participate in planning meetings, if requested.

  • Advise on legal issues relating to in-situ burning, use of dispersants, and other alternative response technologies.

  • Advise on legal issues relating to differences between Natural Resource Damage Assessment Restoration (NRADR) and Response activities.

  • Advise on legal issues relating to investigations.

  • Advise on legal issues relating to finance and claims.

  • Advise on legal issues relating to response.

  • Maintain Unit/Activity Log (ICS Form 214, 5 KB PDF*).


Documentation Specialist - General
The Documentation Specialist - will act in an advisory capacity to the Incident/Unified Command IC/UC. This position can be established when the normal incident/event documentation requirements exceed the capability of the Documentation Unit Leader and/or the complexity of the incident/event dictates the need for more experienced oversight of the documentation process.


Documentation Specialist - Specific Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Documentation Specialist are:
  • Review Common Responsibilities.

  • Conduct an overall incident assessment to determine if documentation efforts will be satisfactory to meet incident/event requirements.

  • Advise the Incident Commander on the adequacy of the incident/event documentation efforts and suggest improvements.

  • Advise the Documentation Unit Leader on the development of a single, central, comprehensive incident/event archive. 

  • Coordinate an effective documentation system to support demobilization efforts and ensure all lingering documentation is captured by the system.


Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

*These files are provided for downloading.


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