Situational Assessment

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SUBJECT: DEVELOPING A SITUATIONAL ASSESSMENT When an incident occurs, it is vital that first responders develop a common operating picture (COP). This requires a thorough assessment of the situation. To properly assess the situation, leaders must obtain the proper information, which includes: Size of the Incident, Scope of the Incident, Nature of the Incident, and Complexity of the Incident. Each one of these key factors is a puzzle piece. They each show a part of the picture. If one is missing it is very difficult to understand the whole picture. However, in an emergency, things can become convoluted and confusing, which can lead to hasty decisions without proper information. Often this happens because lives are at stake, and responders want…show more content…
There are many ways to determine the size of an incident. Small scale incidents can usually be determined by the observations of first responders and witnesses. However, the scale of a large incident can be more difficult to determine. When possible aerial and satellite imagery is the fastest way to determine the boundaries of large incidents. This can be obtained from aerial vehicles, manned and unmanned, equipped with the proper photographic and sensory tools, or satellites that are situated over the incident area. Also, depending upon the type of incident that occurs, geological remote sensory data, both current and historical, may be available from a number of resources, such as local universities, geological societies, national and local weather services. When dealing with Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear or Explosive (CBRNE) events the Plume and Blast Radius must be measured in order to determine HOT, WARM, and COLD zones, or quarantine zones. This will require specially trained personnel with the proper equipment to reduce the possibility becoming exposed to hazardous materials or spreading contamination outside the incident boundaries. Also these methods may also be utilized in discovering the nature of the incident, if the no witness are available, or the situation is too hazardous for responders to visually observe the impacted area. When…show more content…
This factor incorporates and is made up of the factors. It also includes all of the cascading effects that will derive from the incident. The complexity of the incident is determined from the careful analysis of the entire situation as it unfolds and the aftermath of the situation once it moves into the recovery phase. There are five levels of complexity for incidents. These levels range from Type 1 (most severe) through Type 5 (least severe). When determining the severity of an incident many factors come into play. However, to put it simple the severity is gauged by the personnel and resources that need to be activated in order to properly respond and recover from the incident (Command and general staff personnel, just first responders, or somewhere in between), the amount of time that the incident will take to respond and recover, if the incident will require the use of an established IAP, if the incident is beyond the capabilities of the local authorities, if the use of Branches are needed (satellite commands), and who will be needed to command the incident (agency administrator, first response commander, or someone in between). This will be one of the main focuses for the incident commander and the command staff. In more severe incidents the command should hold update briefings, usually in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening, to discuss daily events, update

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