New Zealand Land SAR Standards
Section 2 (pages 6 to 10) of the 2nd edition of the New Zealand Land SAR Field Guide (Roger Curl, 2006. ISBN 0-473-04914-7 ) refers to CIMS and the Incident Management Team (IMT). Where there are discrepencies between the information contained in the Field Guide and the NZLSAR Incident Management Guidelines , then you should rely on the information contained in the Guidelines. CIMS is also described in a book entitled ‘The New Zealand Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS), Teamwork in Emergency Management’ (The New Zealand Fire Service Commission, 1998, ISBN 0-908920-32-6). CIMS for NZLSAR is outlined in the following documents.
Incident Management Team personnel must be CIMS compliant and be able to function effectively within the CIMS environment.
What is CIMS?
CIMS is a management protocol. It is a set of management rules that is common to all emergency service providers. This means that when different emergency services need to work together on an incident, they already share a standardised management structure, a standardised set of management principles, and a standardised system of information management. Basic principles in CIMS include:
- Common terminology – applies to organisational functions, facilities, and resources.
- Modular organisation – develops from the top down. Thus any given incident is always controlled or commanded by an Incident Controller (IC). In a small operation, the IC can assume all roles. For larger operations, other functional areas under CIMS can be activated as circumstances dictate. CIMS can therefore be scaled to suit incidents of any size.
- Integrated communications – a common communications plan, standard operating procedures, clear text.
- Consolidated Incident Action Plans – describes the response goals, operation objectives, and support activities for a given operational period. The goals and objectives should be measurable.
- Designated incident facilities – every incident requires one control point. More facilities can be provided for more complex events.
How Does CIMS Work?
CIMS works because it imposes standardised management rules across organisations. This means that separate organisations using CIMS will still have similar lines of reporting, and will use similar terminology for roles, functions, and facilities. This homogenisation allows for the effective integration and coordination of any multi-agency response to an emergency.
History and Context
During the 1990′s, the New Zealand Fire Service Commission pushed for the development of an inter-agency incident management system for emergency service providers. This proposal developed into CIMS, which is based on international incident management systems developed in the USA and Australia. The US Incident Command System (ICS) evolved during the 1970′s in response to large fires in California. Likewise, during the 1980′s the Australian Association of Fire Authorities developed the Australian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS). New Zealand agencies involved in the development of CIMS included the National Rural Fire Authority, Police, St Johns Ambulance, DOC, and the Ministry of Emergency Management and Civil Defence.
An Intro to CIMS Definitions and Acronyms
- CIMS = Co-ordinated Incident Management System
- FTL = Field Team Leader
- IAP = Incident Action Plan
- A statement of the objectives, strategies and critical functions to be taken at an incident.
- IC = Incident Controller
- All incidents must have an Incident Controller appointed. The IC is determined by the Controlling Authority, Agency Protocols and/or Agreements. The Incident Controller’s responsibility is the overall management of the incident.
- ICP = Incident Control Point
- The location where the Incident Controller and, where established, members of the Incident Management Team provide overall direction of response activities in an emergency situation.
- IMT = Incident Management Team
- The group of incident management personnel carrying out the functions of Incident Controller, Operations Manager, Planning/Intelligence Manager and Logistics Manager.
- IO = Information Officer
- IT = Information technology
- LO = Liaison Officer
- LOGS = Logistics
- LOGM = Logistics Manager
- The Logistics Manager (LOGM) is responsible for providing and obtaining facilities, services, and material in support of the incident.
- OPS = Operations
- OPSM = Operations Manager
- The Operations Manager activates and supervises operational organizational elements as needed or in accordance with the IAP and then directs its execution.
- PI = Planning/Intelligence
- PIM = Planning/Intelligence Manager
- The Planning Intel Section Manager (PIM) is responsible for the collection, evaluation and use of information about the SAROP and future contingencies.
- SO = Safety Officer
- The Safety Officer (SO) is responsible for monitoring and managing hazardous, and unsafe situations including fatigue and stress.
- USAR = Urban Search and Rescue