MUTUAL ASSISTANCE DISTINGUISHED
MUTUAL AID, LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE AND
MUTUAL ASSISTANCE DISTINGUISHED
Handbook sections 8a and 8b (EMC373 and 374) covered Government Mutual Aid and said that there is a difference between government agency Mutual Aid (MA), Local Government Assistance (LGA), and Mutual Assistance as used by some Amateur Radio groups. Greater detail of these three will be covered in a separate bulletin group with examples.
MUTUAL AID OPERATIONS CHECK LIST
Upon notification of mobilization, and establishing contact with the incident EMCOMM unit emergency communications resource manager obtain the following information. Each location/site must be considered individually and as a whole. The answer to all of these questions will not be available initially. Inform all responding mutual aid organizations of the following as well.
INCIDENT INFORMATION AND WORKING WITH THE MEDIA
The important thing to remember about the following is to check with the agency information officer before using it or even doing any final training as some agencies have very definite public info policies and REQUIRE all media contact to be made through agency professionals trained in media relations.
EXERCISE OR INCIDENT OPERATION
MOBILIZATION AND INITIAL FOLLOW-UP PROCEDURES
In the event that the EMCOMM unit leader is called on to help organize mutual aid assistance or emergency communications, the following procedures should be followed as closely as possible. Some of these may vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the specific incident. Also, a specific procedure may be custom to a particular unit, such as one that may have an "Active Duty Officer" designee for each week (or similar.)
MUTUAL AID OPERATIONS - PART 2
This Mutual Aid information is generic and non specific, as it can vary state to state. For example, California legislation has created systems that must be used under the force of state law so it will not be covered here.
MUTUAL AID OPERATIONS
Mutual aid can be both relatively simple and extremely complex at the same time. Mutual aid as a matter of neighbor helping neighbor seems obvious. For decades Fire and Law Disciplines have used "Mutual Aid" as the way they handle the situation when additional resources are needed in response to a fire or law support situation.
A Resource Management Plan is required in order to provide the unit with a means to provide its sponsoring agency with the resources (personnel and equipment) to handle the emergency communications for any type of exercise or incident.
TRAINING, THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS
Training is the most important part of an Emergency Communications Organization. Without it the organization will not be able to meet its responsibilities, nor meet the usual expectations of the sponsoring agency. Untrained is unprepared.
The responsibilities outlined in the two prior bulletins (EMC368 and EMC369) are just that - RESPONSIBILITIES - not tasks to do personally, but through delegation to qualified unit personnel. So, let's look at that in a brief example of staff appointments.
ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES
For illustration, a State, Region or Local Area ACS or RACES Officer might have these specific responsibilities:
The Bulletins are addressed to the Emergency Management Agency (with sub-addresses to others) with the intent that the Radio Officer, ACS Coordinator or other unit participant will deliver them to the agency coordinator, and discuss their topics.