University of Vermont

Office of Emergency Management

UVM Emergency Management Plan

Concept of Operations

Phases of an Emergency

All major incidents have four distinct phases that require special management skills. UVM follows the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in accordance with Presidential Homeland Security Directive 5.

1. Crisis Phase

The crisis phase is characterized by confusion, panic,and gridlock. The goal of the first arriving University official in the crisis phase is to:

  • Limit the acceleration and growth of the incident
  • Ensure the safety of the first responders and the community
  • Stabilize the scene

The first arriving University employee with ICS training at an emergency will assume Incident Command (initially could be from the hood of a vehicle), until relieved by a supervisor or appropriate first response personnel.  Priority tasks include:

  • Establish communications and control
  • Identify any “danger zone”
  • Establish an inner perimeter to secure the “danger zone”
  • Establish an outer perimeter to control access to the entire scene
  • Establish a command post
  • Establish a staging area
  • Request needed resources
2. Scene Management Phase

Emergencies present particular challenges for the University, since there is often a need for multi-agency coordination, not just among UVM departments, but with local, state, and federal resources as well. The goal of scene management is to gain control. If warranted during this phase, the Emergency Operations Group may be activated and establish an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to provide additional resources to manage the event (see below).

3. Executive Management Phase

A transition to the executive management phase occurs when the size, scope, and seriousness of the event is beyond the abilities of the scene command personnel to effectively manage. Level 3, 4 and 5 emergencies are most likely to require this phase. This phase will necessitate the establishment of an Emergency Operations Center and activation of both the Emergency Operations Group and the Policy Group (or a representative of that group sitting in at the EOC to provide executive direction).

4. Termination Phase

Once the incident has been resolved and order restored, this phase ensures scene integrity. During this phase, a plan is developed for a smooth transition to normal operations by coordinating with other relevant university, federal, state, county, and local organizations. All personnel involved in the incident should be directed to prepare an after-action report and a complete review of the incident initiated under the direction of the incident commander. Counseling support should be available to any staff involved in the incident.

Last modified January 24 2014 04:28 PM