I. Operations Section

Introduction

The Operations Section can include the following positions:

  • Operations Coordinator.
  • Medical Officer.
  • USAR Task Force Leader.
  • Technical/Scientific Operations Specialists.


Specific responsibilities for each position are listed below.


Next: 1. Operations Coordinator
TOC: Disaster Assistance Response Team

1. Operations Coordinator

The Operations Coordinator manages tactical operations, such as search and rescue, medical/health, technical support, and aerial operations. The Operations Coordinator reports directly to the Team Leader. Specific responsibilities of the Operations Coordinator are as follows:

a. Predeparture

  • Contact the Team Leader and receive a general briefing. In addition to the General Checklist for All DART Members in section E, discuss:
    • In-country operational support needs to be commu-nicated to USAID/Embassy.
    • Operational response activities by the affected country.
    • Operational response activities pending by other assisting countries and the UN/PVOs/NGOs/IOs.
    • Type of onsite operational coordination occurring among the affected country, assisting countries, and UN/PVOs/NGOs/IOs.
    • Technical or scientific specialists required for the mission.
    • Safety/security situation as it might affect operational activities.
  • Ensure that adequate communication equipment is ordered to support anticipated team operations.

b. In-Country

(1) Immediate Actions

  • Assess the affected country’s and other response organizations’ abilities to carry out relief operations. Make a determination on the best use of assigned operational resources.
  • If the plan requires an immediate tactical response, assist in selecting a worksite, setting up equipment, and beginning the operation.
  • With the Communications Officer, determine commu-nications needs, develop a communications plan, and submit it to the Planning Coordinator.
  • Develop a staff work schedule, considering the need for 24-hour operation.
  • Provide operational input to the Safety/Security Plan.
  • With the Press Officer, establish onsite media management procedures.
  • If the operational plan does not require an immediate tactical response, offer technical assistance to existing tactical operations.


(2) Ongoing Actions

  • Contribute regularly to the team planning process by recommending operational tactics to meet team objectives.
  • Update the Team Leader, planning function, and appropriate staff on the current situation, including potential or impending life-threatening safety and/or security situations for team members or victims.
  • Coordinate with the logistics function to ensure that operational requirements are being met.
  • Keep operations staff briefed on the changing situation.
  • Conduct frequent debriefings with key staff to review problems and work accomplishments.
  • Coordinate continuously with the affected country’s response organization, other assisting country response teams, and any onsite coordination organizations, such as an onsite operations coordination center (OSOCC). Complement ongoing activities.

c. Demobilization

See section E, General Checklist for ALL DART Members, in this chapter.


Prev: Introduction
Next: 2. Medical Officer
TOC: Disaster Assistance Response Team

2. Medical Officer

The Medical Officer manages medical care operations. This position will be filled on the DART when DART operations include assisting disaster victims directly with medical care. The Medical Officer reports directly to the Operations Coordinator. Specific responsibilities of the Medical Officer are as follows.

a. Predeparture

  • Contact the OFDA/W Health Officers and obtain information on the following:
    • Medical capabilities in the affected country and at the disaster site.
    • UN/PVOs/NGOs/IOs working in the affected country and the types of programs currently being conducted.
    • Types of USG-sponsored medical personnel and material assets available for disaster response and methods of obtaining them.
    • Any medical responses being planned or carried out by other assisting countries or organizations.
  • Ensure that any specialized equipment is properly prepared for shipment.
  • Contact medical personnel, brief them, and ensure their preparedness.


b. In-Country


(1) Immediate Actions

  • Perform an immediate initial evaluation of the health and medical situation. Discuss needs with local health officials, USAID/Embassy, other assisting country response teams, and UN/PVOs/NGOs/IOs.
  • Assess the affected country’s and other response organizations’ abilities to manage the situation. Make a determination of the need to activate a medical unit immediately.
  • Determine the local medical capabilities and contacts.
  • Identify potential societal or gender issues affecting patient care.
  • If the plan requires immediate patient care, assist in selecting the worksite, setting up equipment, and beginning operation (if such resources are a part of the DART).
  • Develop the staff work schedule.
  • Establish medical priorities. Validate the triage process.
  • Provide leadership and technical guidance and resolve any coordination and personnel problems in the unit.
  • Provide backup support and consultation to the Safety/Security Officer, including monitoring DART members for signs of critical-incident stress syndrome.
  • If the operational plan does not require immediate patient care, offer technical assistance to the existing medical operations.


(2) Ongoing Actions

  • Ensure that proper medical and health practices and standards are observed, including gender concerns.
  • Coordinate continuously with the search and rescue medical team manager, local Ministry of Health, USAID/Embassy, other assisting country response teams, and UN/PVOs/NGOs/IOs.
  • Coordinate with the Safety/Security Officer on a medical evacuation plan and health and safety issues for DART members.


c. Demobilization


See section E, General Checklist for ALL DART Members, in this chapter.


Prev: 1. Operations Coordinator
Next: 3. Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Leader
TOC: Disaster Assistance Response Team

3. Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Leader

The USAR Task Force Leader manages search and rescue operations and reports directly to the Operations Coordinator. Additional information on USAR operational response activities is located in FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Response System Field Operations Guide or its Operations Manual. Specific responsibilities of the USAR Task Force Leader are as follows.

a. Predeparture

  • Contact the Operations Coordinator and receive a general briefing. In addition to the General Checklist for All DART Members in section E, discuss:
    • Type and quantity of communication equipment for USAR operations.
    • Construction techniques used in the affected country.
    • Roster of other international response resources.
  • Contact USAR personnel, brief them, and ensure their operational readiness.
  • Coordinate the equipment cache for transport. Specify its weight, cube, and number of pieces, and arrange for special handling requirements.
  • Coordinate departure requirements as outlined by the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) International Search and Rescue Response Guidelines (www.reliefweb.int/undac/documents/ insarag/guidelines/ topics.html).


b. In-Country


(1) Immediate Actions

  • Coordinate arrival requirements as outlined by the INSARAG International Search and Rescue Response Guidelines.
  • If the plan requires immediate USAR response, assist in selecting the worksite, setting up equipment, organizing other international USAR teams, and beginning operation.
  • Develop a staff work schedule for the task force, considering the need for 24-hour operation.
  • With the Press Officer and Operations Coordinator, establish an onsite media management protocol, and brief the unit leaders.
  • If the operational plan does not require an immediate tactical response, offer technical assistance to existing USAR operations.


(2) Ongoing Actions

  • Coordinate closely with the Technical/Scientific Operations Specialists.
  • Ensure that proper safety practices and standards are observed. Immediately shut down any life-threatening USAR activity.
  • Coordinate operational requirements as outlined by the INSARAG International Search and Rescue Response Guidelines.


c. Demobilization

  • Coordinate demobilization requirements as outlined by the INSARAG International Search and Rescue Response Guidelines.
  • See the General Checklist for All DART Members in section E of this chapter.

Prev: 2. Medical Officer
Next: 4. Technical/Scientific Operations Specialists
TOC: Disaster Assistance Response Team

4. Technical/Scientific Operations Specialists

Technical/Scientific Operations Specialists provide DART with technical and scientific expertise pertaining to the disaster. Specialists assigned to the team may be from several different fields, including shelter/housing, volcanology, geology, structural engineering, fire suppression, or hazmat. These specialists should not be confused with specialists specifically assigned to the DART planning function to provide assessments in technical and scientific areas (see Planning Section, section J, part 5, in this chapter).

When assigned to the operations function, Technical/Scientific Operations Specialists are expected to perform operational activities, such as working with the affected country and other organizations in teaching the proper use of USG-supplied relief commodities, taking measurements and samples, monitoring geologic activities, or providing technical advice in fire suppression and hazmat handling. These specialists report directly to the Operations Coordinator. Specific responsibilities of Technical/ Scientific Operations Specialists are as follows.

a. Predeparture

  • Contact the Operations Coordinator and receive a general briefing. In addition to the General Checklist for All DART Members in section E, discuss:
    • In-country support needs.
    • Current technical resources and relief commodities requested of the USG by the affected country (obtain a list).
    • Affected country’s technical/scientific capabilities to use resources and commodities.
    • Status of OFDA stockpile items and stockpile usage procedures.
    • Availability of in-country support services.
    • Contact list for technical/scientific government officials and organizations in the affected country.
  • Coordinate the acquisition and shipping of equipment.
  • Consider the need for specialized equipment or
    adapters for the affected country.
  • Specify the weight, cubes, and number of pieces, and arrange for special customs clearance requirements.


b. In-Country


(1) Immediate Actions

  • Establish contacts with USAID/Embassy and local counterpart experts. Share information on the disaster and predicted technological occurrences.
  • Assess the affected country’s and other response organizations’ abilities to use technical/scientific resources and commodities provided by the USG, and where resources and commodities would be best used.
  • If emergency shelter is required, work with the logistics function to:
    • Perform a thorough damage and needs assessment of the shelter situation.
    • Move plastic sheeting, if needed, as close as possible to the area of victims’ needs.
    • Establish a location for distribution, such as a large gym or soccer field. Ensure security, and prevent distribution to inappropriate recipients.
    • Establish a system of tracking and accounting with local officials or UN/PVOs/NGOs/IOs.
    • Conduct training on the best use of plastic sheeting, distribute instructions, and provide assistance.
    • Coordinate closely with local housing authorities and USAID/Embassy specialists on the local shelter situation.


(2) Ongoing Actions

  • Ensure the acquisition and shipping of appropriate technical/scientific equipment and relief supplies, including such items as OFDA plastic sheeting and seismic monitoring devices. Specify the weight, cubes, and number of pieces, and arrange for special handling requirements as needed.
  • Advise the Operations Coordinator of technological or scientific problems.
  • Offer assistance to existing technical and scientific operations.


c. Demobilization


See section E, General Checklist for ALL DART Members, in this chapter.


Prev: 3. Urban Search and Rescue Task Force Leader
TOC: Disaster Assistance Response Team

Last updated: May 18, 2017

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TY - ELEC T1 - I. Operations Section ID - 502074 Y1 - 2017/05/18/ BT - Field Operations Guide UR - https://relief.unboundmedicine.com/relief/view/Field-Operations-Guide/502074/all/I__Operations_Section DB - Relief Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -