1. Effective and timely communications are vital to the success of any response effort. A multi-agency response to a marine firefighting incident requires close inter-agency cooperation and controlled coordination of communications policies, procedures and systems between all involved agencies. In the event of a firefighting response, the ICS will be implemented on-scene. As a result, the command and control elements of the involved fire departments and other agencies will be represented in the ICS staff. However, communications within the involved agencies to command, support, and field elements will continue to function through the existing systems for each agency. Communications for a multi-agency response will work in the following manner:
a. Command and control decisions will usually be made from on-scene by the first arriving fire department Incident Commander. The Fire Department Incident Commander will develop strategies and tactics to best mitigate the incident. The responsible or assisting agencies will be notified by their respective representatives within the ICS organization. Agencies that are represented in the Command Section will receive information and direction from their representative. The command and control elements of the on-scene Incident Commander will then direct the appropriate activities of their command, support and field elements through existing communications policies, procedures and systems.
b. Traditional ICS structure includes a Liaison Officer. Agencies and groups not directly represented in the ICS Command Section will receive information from the Liaison Officer or an agency representative detailed to assist the Liaison Officer. The information disseminated in this manner is non-command and control information, such as situation reports. In return, agencies make their operational concerns known to the ICS Command element through the Liaison Officer.
2. As with any multi-agency response, there will be the need for field elements involved in the response to communicate directly with each other for on-scene coordination and safety. Currently, with few exceptions, most local and state responders have the ability to communicate within their 800 MHz system or utilize either ORION or STARS radio systems. The MIRT has a cache of 30 UHF portable radios that are effective in communicating within the shipboard environment. The Virginia State Radio Cache has the ability to set-up a on-site communications system to support maritime events. The unit can provide several hundred portable radios. The unit has the technology to link several radio systems. I. Embarkation Points
1. The advance identification of potential embarkation points throughout the port is necessary so that in the event of an offshore fire, responding fire departments can quickly stage and transfer personnel and equipment to combat the disaster. These points should be close to potential firefighting anchorages and of sufficient size to allow for the movement of large quantities of equipment.
2. Possible embarkation points include:
NAME CITY Coast Guard Station Little Creek Virginia Beach