Emergency Management Community
Even though each jurisdiction in the state is required to have an Emergency Management Director, depending on the size, type & location of an incident, local resources may be quickly outstripped. State law provides for jurisdictions within the state to assist others upon request in an emergency. Thus, if we have a disaster, we can rely on our neighbors, and if someone else has a disaster, they can call on us. This is known as mutual aid.
As an extension of mutual aid, the need for certain skillsets to effectively manage or support an incident has led to the creation of several incident management & support teams consisting of groups of emergency management personnel located around the state. These teams pool resources and allow for rapid deployment to incidents anywhere in the state. Director Douglas is a trained Communications Unit Leader (COML), Communications Unit Technician (COMT), and Resource Unit Leader (RESL) within the ICS framework, and he participates in the Southwest Incident Support Team. Director Douglas also serves on the Oklahoma Disaster Task Force Communications Advisory Panel.
We use NIMS & ICS to ensure all the agencies involved in an incident can work together, or interoperate, as seamlessly as possible. Interoperability involves many concepts, such as common operating frameworks, plain-language communications, and standard command structure. The amount of interoperability planning typically involved in preparing for such responses is typically quite large, but is eased through everyone's compliance with NIMS & ICS.