Title – Tactical First-In Team (TFIT)

Download: TFIT Word Document
  1. Purpose / Background
    1.  The purpose of this ROG is to describe the organization of Sarasota County’s interdisciplinary taskforce known as Tactical First-In Teams (TFIT). This taskforce will be the first to enter into an area that has been subjected to the impact of a hurricane or other event causing roadways to become impassible. Their mission is two-fold:
      1. Facilitate the opening of major roadways to allow the movement of emergency relief efforts into and within Sarasota County and its municipalities.
      2. Address emergency conditions that are encountered while performing this mission.  While performing such functions, if a need for law enforcement action or the provision of care for injured, ill or rescue of entrapped persons were to be encountered, assigned personnel would operate in that function as well, based upon their training and employing agency policy.  TFIT may also assist with pre and post hurricane evacuation if that mission is deemed critical at the time.
    2. Routes for each taskforce are depicted in this ROG; however Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or the taskforce team leader may direct deviations to this ROG to clear roadways to critical infrastructure if needed. Examples would be shelters, fire stations, law enforcement agencies or other infrastructure deemed necessary.
    3. It is imperative that the openings of the designated roadways continue should law enforcement or Fire/EMS situation necessitate that part of the team break off to mitigate an existing emergency.
  1. Scope

The Sarasota County’s Tactical First-In Teams (TFIT) is under the direction of the Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center Operations Chief, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, and the Sarasota County Transportation Department. TFIT is a multi-agency task-force designed to clear debris and obstacles from roadways in a declared emergency. Debris and obstacles will be pushed to the rights-of-way only and will not be picked-up. The removal of debris will be accomplished by other agencies during the response/recovery operations. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SSO) has three teams; the City of Sarasota Police Department (SPD) has three teams; the City of Venice Fire Department (VPD) has one team; and the City of Venice Police Department (VPD) has one team.

  1. Prerequisites

TFIT members shall be trained in the Incident Command System (ICS) 100 & 200 levels and have completed the National Incident Management System (NIMS) 700 course as a minimum

  1. Procedures
    1. Areas of Team Responsibility

Each TFIT team has a primary geographical area of responsibility. The secondary responsibility is to assist other teams needing assistance within Sarasota County. The third responsibility is to aid other counties or municipalities as approved through the office of Emergency Management (Mutual-Aid).

Team Staging Route

City PD



RL Taylor Recreation Center West on Myrtle Street to US41, U-turn on US41 to Old Bradenton Road, South on Old Bradenton Road to MLK Way Blvd, East on MLK Way Blvd to Orange Avenue, South on Orange Avenue to Fruitville Road, West on Fruitville Road to US41, North on US41 to University Pkwy, East on University Pkwy to US301, South on US301 back to RL Taylor
Sarasota City PD



RL Taylor Recreation Center East to US301 (Washington), South to Fruitville Road, East on Fruitville Road to I-75, Make a U-Turn on Fruitville Road and head West to Honore Avenue, North on Honore Avenue to 17th Street, West on 17th Street to Beneva, South on Beneva to 12th Street, West on 12th Street to US301 (Washington), North on US301 back to RL Taylor
Sarasota City PD



Sarasota City PD West on Ringling Blvd to Orange Avenue, South on Orange Avenue to Bahia Vista Street, East on Bahia Vista Street to Osprey Avenue, South on Osprey Avenue to Bee Ridge Road, East on Bee Ridge Road to Shade Avenue, North on Shade Avenue to Ringling Blvd, Ringling Blvd to SPD
Sarasota County North (SO Lead)


Poly Tech North on Proctor Road to Fruitville Rd; East on Fruitville Rd to Sarasota Center Blvd; North on Sarasota Center Blvd to BOB (1001 Sarasota Center Blvd); Double-Back to Fruitville road and clear east to Fire Station 10 (Vic Edwards); Double-back to I-75; South on I-75 to SR-681 (Venice Connector); South on SR-681 to US-41; North on US-41 to Stickney Point Rd (SR-72); East on SR-72 (Clark Rd) past I-75 to Myakka Valley Ranches (FD #18)

Note: After route cleared check with EOC for further instruction/missions

Sarasota County SO


Tatum Ridge Elementary West on Palmer Blvd to Cattlemen Rd; South on Cattlemen Rd to Bee Ridge Rd; East on Bee Ridge rd (past I-75) end (Iona and Bee Ridge Ext.); Double-back on Bee Ridge Rd (past I-75) and clear Cattlemen Road (Entry to Doctor’s Hospital); Double-Back and go West on Bee Ridge Rd to US-41; North on US-41 to SMH; South on US-41 to Stickney Pt Rd; West on Stickney Pt to Siesta Key Bridge (if bridge is open continue to next location); North on Midnight Pass Rd to FD #13.

Note: After route cleared check with EOC for further instruction/missions

Sarasota County SO


Venice YMCA East on Center Rd to Jacaranda Blvd; North on Jacaranda Blvd to Venice Ave: East on Venice Ave to River Rd; North on River Rd to I-75; Double-back on River Rd to clear on Center Rd; West on Center Rd to Jacaranda Blvd; South on Jacaranda Blvd to US41; East on US41 to River Road; River Road to Pine Street; Pine Street to Englewood Hospital and double-back to River Road; West on River Road to 776; North on 776 to Center Rd.

Note: After route cleared check with EOC for further instruction/missions

City of

Venice PD


Venice PD East on East Venice Ave to Jacaranda Blvd; North on Jacaranda Blvd to I-75; North on I-75 to Laurel Rd; East on Laurel Rd to FD #53; Double-back (past I-75) to Pinebrook Rd; South on Pinebrook Rd to Venice Ave; Short detour to clear back to VPD; Return to Venice Ave; West on East Venice Ave to US-41 Bypass; North on US-41 Bypass to FD#23; Double-back to Laurel Rd to I-75; North on I-75 to mile-marker 205 and check with EOC for instructions.
City of

Venice FD


VRMC Venice Hospital – North on US-41 Business to North US-41 Bypass; South on US-41 Bypass to Center Rd; West on Center Rd to US-41 Business; South to clear US-41 Bypass to intersection area; North on US-41 Business to Avenida Del Circa (Village on the Isle NH); South on Avenida Del Circo to Airport Ave; clear Airport as needed to provide access to Venice Airport; Double-back on Avenida Del Circo to US-41 Business; North on US-41 Business back to Venice Hospital.
  1. Team Makeup
    1.  Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office will be the TFIT Branch Director. Law enforcement representatives from each respective jurisdiction will be the designated Task Force Team Leaders. See organizational chart (below).
    2. Each member is to be outfitted by their agency with appropriate personal gear and mission equipment. Each member of the team represents unique technical and professional expertise. Every member of the team is expected to defer to the member whose expertise is foremost in any given situation.
    3. The following assets will be provided by each member agency to compose each task force:
      1. Law Enforcement – Minimum one supervisory and four officers. These officers shall be primarily responsible for providing security support and scene control for team personnel. The law enforcement supervisor will call on technical experts from the resources available on the team to assist them during assessment if needed.
      2. Fire Department – Minimum two firefighters, one of whom shall be a paramedic, if possible. These firefighter/paramedics shall provide initial emergency medical treatment to injured team members or public, and fire suppression.
      3. Public Works – Sufficient number of heavy equipment and personnel to move downed poles, cut downed trees, and push debris aside to rights-of-way. Debris should not be pushed onto private property where possible. Public Works will also provide a minimum of one Preliminary Windshield Damage Assessment team for conducting Assessments of Public Critical Infrastructure and Environmental/Water Utilities Assessments. These personnel shall evaluate any health and/or environmental effects due to overflows from sewer lift stations, or other common hazardous materials Spills.
      4. Fleet Services – Vehicle repair support for county teams will be provided by Sarasota County Fleet or authorized vendor. Municipalities are responsible for their own fleet maintenance.
      5. Sarasota County School Board – One bus, with air conditioning and lift gate with driver. The school bus will be used for team rehabilitation and may be used to transport individuals out of the affected area to a shelter or area of safe refuge at the approval of the team leader.
      6. K-9 Search and Rescue – Stage one team north and one team south to respond at the request of a TFIT leader.
      7. FPL – Minimum two trained and equipped personnel. Personnel will identify, secure and de-energize electrical lines
      8. Verizon – Minimum one trained and equipped person. Individual will identify and secure downed telephone lines.
      9. TECO – Minimum one trained and equipped person. Individual will identify exposed and/or hazardous gas lines.
      10. ACS – Minimum one FCC-licensed operator per team with appropriate communications equipment. Operator will provide communications support between the team, Red Cross, EOC or appropriate agency designated by the team leader.
  2. Incident Command System
    1. The Sarasota County TFIT will operate under the Incident Command System (ICS) as a Unified Command at all times.
    2. The TFIT Branch Director is one of several “field operations” which are required during a natural hazards event. The TFIT Branch Director acts as the overall coordinator for the teams during emergency operations. This person is the focal point for all information and has the authority to make decisions for the Team. The TFIT Branch Director reports to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Operations Chief.
    3. Each TFIT is composed of resources from various jurisdictions and agencies, representing a variety of disciplines. To ensure consistency among teams, a law enforcement supervisor shall serve as TFIT task force leader.


  1. General
    1. The primary function of the TFIT is to re-enter an area impacted by a hurricane, high wind, or other serious event as soon as conditions permit, ahead of all others to make an initial estimate of:
      • Location of victims needing evacuation or medical care
      • Report preliminary damage assessment to EOC
      • Location of damages
      • What resources are needed and in what priority
    2. A concurrent primary mission is to provide the minimal amount of emergency road clearance that is needed to permit the entry of early arriving emergency vehicles into the affected areas. Debris will be pushed to the edge of pavement or onto rights-of-way and not onto private property where possible. Debris pickup will be done during response or recovery efforts and not by TFIT. Teams will exercise caution when pushing debris aside so as to not to block street signs, fire hydrants, mailboxes or damage property. It is expected that the TFIT operations will take no more than 72-hours. After that, it is presumed that relief efforts from mutual-aid will arrive to assist with efforts and members will be returned to their respective agencies.
    3. Each Team will be capable of transiting areas impassable to street-type vehicles; rendering emergency life support; neutralizing downed power lines; clearing debris from roadways; extinguishing fires; and maintaining security within the area of the Team’s operation.
    4. The routes to be checked automatically by each of the TFIT are depicted in the routes and maps developed for each of the TFIT areas and are included in this ROG (maps are produced separately for each team). The Teams are to follow these preset instructions automatically as there may be no communications possible between the teams and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The priorities and missions will be defined in briefings for TFIT when they are activated or pre-positioned. These missions may be altered by the Emergency Management.
  2. Pre-storm
    1. When a storm is forecast and expected to make landfall in Sarasota County, all TFIT personnel are requested to keep tuned to local weather reports for possible mobilization and deployment. Timing for mobilization will be in accordance with expected time of landfall and wind velocity. Unless circumstances dictate, all Teams should be dispatched to their pre-designated staging area at least12 hours prior to the estimated arrival of 39 mph winds (Tropical Storm Winds). Team members must arrive at the staging site 12 hours prior to 39 mph winds (Tropical Storm Winds) as movement becomes almost impossible at that point. ACTION ITEM: DEVELOP TIMELINE TO PREPARE TEAMS, EQUIPMENT, TOOLS, ETC. TO ARRIVE AT THEIR STAGING AREA BEFORE THE 12-HOUR POINT
    2. When the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) determines the probability that Sarasota County will be directly impacted and the Teams should be deployed, the EOC Operations Chief shall notify the TFIT Branch Director. TFIT Branch Director shall be responsible for alerting the law enforcement TFIT team members; the Transportation representative will contact all other TFIT team members. All TFIT members shall be responsible to notify their specific agency/organization. Notification may be used by Sarasota County’s REVERSE 911; each teams CALL TREE, 800 MHz or other means.
    3. It will be the responsibility of all Team members to report to their pre-designated staging areas with their assigned equipment. All personnel will be responsible for their own bedding, food, and water (enough to last approximately 3 days; 1 gallon/person/day for drinking). Each Team Leader will notify the TFIT Branch Director when their Team is securely in place. An ICS-211, Check-In Form shall be completed by each Team Leader. Each team member will complete the ICS-214 Unit Log and the FEMA Daily Log with their name and agency represented and will also use the activity portion of the Log to record all actions taken by that individual. If multiple are assigned to one vehicle, one unit log can be completed for that vehicle; however, each team member shall complete the FEMA Daily Log for each operational period.
  3. Trans-storm
    1. The TFIT will remain in place until they see that the storm has lifted enough for them to move out, maintaining contact with the TFIT Branch Director by radio or other communication methods, for as long as possible. Teams must not mistake the passage of a storm eye for the passage of the storm itself. Once winds have locally reached 40 mph or less, TFIT members will be prompted to begin their missions.
  4. Post-storm
    1. Each TFIT is organized as a Task Force and is a cohesive unit made up of specialized skills that gives the team exceptional capability for self-directed accomplishment of the common mission. Each team is therefore prepared to devise and execute a team plan suited to the situation encountered and to adjust that plan as circumstances warrant. Team activities will include the following in mission accomplishment:
    2. Upon storm passage, as determined by either direct observation, or as advised by the TFIT Branch Director or other authority, the team will:
      1. Start and maintain efforts to establish radio contact with the TFIT Branch Director until successful. An ACS radio operator should travel with the team leader when available. Use of radio talkgroups and frequencies shall be assigned by the EOC Operations Chief, in consultation with Public Safety Communications. Assignments shall be outlined on the ICS-205. Deviations from assigned talkgroups or frequencies are prohibited.
      2. Check personnel, vehicles, and equipment for injuries and damage.
      3. Finalize a plan to execute the mission, load equipment, and start on designated route. Bypass major obstacles as necessary to avoid major delays. Make notes of damage sites using the following methods:
        1. Photographs if possible
        2. Reporting damages to infrastructure using street blocks and Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates if possible. Be as specific of affected area as possible.
        3. Compile a list of areas where further response and recovery efforts will be needed.
      4. Render basic medical aid to injured persons encountered upon the predetermined route. Report to the EOC the locations of persons needing further medical aid.
      5. Take corrective action to prevent lawlessness, looting or rioting. Report to the EOC the need for additional law enforcement assistance.
      6. Identify locations of entrapped persons due to building collapse, rising water or other physical barriers. Take appropriate actions to rescue or preserve life when possible. Report to the EOC the need for additional assistance of Fire/EMS or Urban Search and Rescue Teams (USAR).
      7. To assist the Teams in their navigation, each Team is assigned a GPS device. In that a storm might eliminate all visible landmarks and references, the GPS will assist in identifying the Team’s location. If a Team is dispatched by the EOC, a location and latitude/longitude, in decimal degrees, will be given for the Team to geo-locate. In reverse, when a Team contacts the EOC, the same information will be given by the Team.NOTE: The assigned GPS devices will be issued to the Team Leaders and it will be their responsibility to remain proficient in their use. Also, prior to and after hurricane season each year (in April and November), all GPS computers will be turned into the Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Coordinator, who will have them inventoried with the EOC and field test them for accuracy. A log of the inventory and testing will be kept in the Master Plan book at the Sheriff’s Office. DO WE DO THIS INVENTORY?
      8. Due to safety concerns, TFIT members will:
        1. Travel in pairs at a minimum.
        2. Civilian (non-law enforcement personnel) will be accompanied by a minimum of one law enforcement officer whenever safely possible.
        3. Not work after dark (unless directed to do so by the EOC)
        4. Report hazardous conditions to the TFIT Branch Director when noted.
    3. When the mission is completed, assemble and account for all personnel and equipment, return to the initial assembly area (or elsewhere as directed by the EOC Operations Chief) and prepare to brief and/or escort EOC, Rapid in Assessment Teams (RIAT) and incoming response and recovery personnel.
      1. Team notes, mapping, photographs, and debriefing of team members will be required. These notes, maps, photographs, etc., shall be given to the TFIT Branch Director at the completion of the team’s mission.
      2. Team equipment and team members may be needed for missions elsewhere. Team members are not to be released to other tasks until they are debriefed. The Team Leader or other team member will debrief all team members and collect team reports for presentation.
      3. Team members shall obtain status regarding their families and home through their Team Leader.
  5. Media Relations

No one except the TFIT Task Force Leader will talk to the media, unless authorized by the Incident Commander. When approached by a member of the media refer them to your team leader. If there is a question that is not answerable by the TFIT leader he/she shall defer the media to Emergency Management or the incident’s Public Information Officer.


  1. Tools and Equipment (Individual)
    • It is recommended that all team members have the following personal items:
      1. Safety boots, rain suit, hard hat, latex gloves, leather gloves, ear protection, safety glasses, dust masks, flashlight with spare batteries and any other appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) deemed necessary for safe operations.
      2. . Non-perishable food and water for at least three days
      3. Medications and other personal items
      4. Sleeping bag or sleeping mat
      5. Spare clothing including pants, shirts, socks, and hats.
  2. Each taskforce should be equipped with the below:
    1. A minimum of one chainsaw and one cut-off saw w/pre-mix and five gallons of gas for each saw. Chaps must be worn when using chainsaws. Saws shall have the appropriate blades to cut wood, metal and concrete.
    2. A minimum of two standard length logging chains w/hooks
    3. One construction type air compressor (for tire re-filling), or operating tool(s)
    4. Cellular phones, organizational 800 MHz radios, and 2-way radios for team communication
    5. Public Works will provide one digital camera at minimum. It is advisable that each team member have a camera if possible
    6. Law Enforcement will have at least one pair of binoculars
    7. One video camera (optional) with spare battery (WHO BRINGS?)
    8. Compass (WHO BRINGS?)
    9. Law Enforcement Team Leaders will have area maps with markers
    10. Law Enforcement will have a minimum of one GPS device
    11. Compact Portable Toilet Unit (WHO BRINGS?)
    12. The Fire Department vehicle will have one wind speed and weather monitoring device as a minimum
  3. Vehicles
    1. Vehicles are to be furnished by TFIT organizations with additional equipment as listed. Each vehicle should be equipped with:
      1. Five gallons of drinking water
      2. Tire repair kitFirst aid kit and flashlight
  1. Roles & Responsibilities

TFIT Branch Contact Information

Position Name Title Agency Cell Phone Office Phone E-Mail
TFIT Branch Director Darrell Seckendorf Sergeant Commander SSO 941-915-8362 941-861-5800 dseckendorf

TFIT Assistant for SCG Public Works Gary Spraggins Operational Manager SC/PW 941-650-3306 941-861-0730

SPD Leader


SPD Leader

TFIT TF4 SO Leader North County

Poly Tech

Charles Flint Sergeant SSO 941-306-7674 941-861-5800

North County

Poly Tech

Sean Lacaille Skilled Trades Worker Utilities/Stormwater 941-650-0905

North County

Poly Tech

Dennis Hickey Equipment Operator Utilities/Stormwater 941-822-4819

North County

Poly Tech

Matthew Connelly Skilled Trades Worker Utilities/Stormwater 941-567-8249

North County

Poly Tech

Carl Bukantas Skilled Trades Worker Utilities/Stormwater 941-650-0952

North County

Poly Tech

Jay Thinnes Skilled Trades Worker Utilities/Stormwater 941-232-8429

North County

Poly Tech

Kathryn Meaux Environmental Specialist Environmental Water Resources 941-650-1640
TFIT TF5 SO Leader Central County

Tatum Elementary

Gerardo Carrillo Deputy SSO 941-915-7799  941-861-5800

Central County

Tatum Elementary

Christopher Dooley Skilled Trades Worker PW Field Services 941-468-8184 / 941-840-9680

Central County

Tatum Elementary

Christopher James Skilled Trades Worker PW Field Services 941-650-0910 / 941-809-8492

Central County

Tatum Elementary

Kyle Giddens Skilled Trades Worker PW Field Services 941-223-0195 / 812-1513

Central County

Tatum Elementary

Hector Demha Equipment Operator PW Field Services

Central County

Tatum Elementary

Mason Becker Skilled Trades Worker PW Field Services 941-445-2325 / 941-286-4099
TFIT TF6 SO Leader South County

Venice YMCA

Chris McConnell Deputy SSO 941-539-7774  941-861-5800

South County

Venice YMCA

Peter Sauchinitz Manager Parks & Rec 941-915-1226

South County

Venice YMCA

Thomas Hagans Skilled Trades Worker Parks & Rec 941-345-3834

South County

Venice YMCA

Jesse Ackerland Skilled Trades Worker Parks & Rec 941-960-0284

South County

Venice YMCA

Tony Herrera Skilled Trades Worker Parks & Rec 941-444-9812

South County

Venice YMCA

Jeff Benak Equipment Operator Parks & Rec 941-650-5555

South County Venice YMCA

Ron McRae Equipment Operator Parks & Rec 941-915-1210

South County Venice YMCA

Lee Bell Equipment Operator Parks & Rec 941-479-1467

South County

Venice YMCA

Dan Spencer Arborist Landscaping Services

South County

Venice YMCA

Shaun Young Arborist Landscaping Services

South County

Venice YMCA

James Caudell Arborist Landscaping Services

Leader Venice FD

Joe Silva Captain VFD 941-480-3030 Jsilva


Leader Venice PD

Eric Hill Lieutenant VPD 941-650-7602 941-486-2444 Ehill

TFIT TF7B Leader Venice PD Todd Resh Lieutenant VPD 941-270-1480   Tresh



Venice PD

Mattmuller Chief VPD 941-650-7600


Jason Adams Lieutenant VPD 941-650-6875

TFIT Points of Contact Information

Position Name Title Agency Cell Phone Office Phone E-Mail
Sarasota County Fire Rodney VanOrsdo Assistant Chief SCG/Fire 941-861-5479
Sarasota County PW Gregg Young Operational Manager SCG/PW 941-650-0086 941-861-0751
City of Sarasota PW Lead Doug Jeffcoat Director City of SRQ/


941-993-3507 941-329-6101
City of Sarasota Utilities Richard Meier, P.E. Reliability Manager City of SRQ/Utilities 941-685-0166 955-2325, ext. 6265 Richard.Meier@sarasotagov


City of Sarasota Emergency Manager Richard “Todd” Kerkering, CEM Emergency Manager City of Sarasota 941-650-6451
City of North Richard Berman Emergency Manager City of North Port 941-628-3931 941-240-8189 Rberman

City of North Port Public Works Juliana B. Bellia Interim Public Works Director City of North Port PW 941-628-8455 941-240-8051 (o)

941-270-0022 (per cell)
SSAR K-9 Lead Pat Abrams President SSAR 941-915-5445 941-751-7627 (o) 941-377-7915 (h) Abramsp

Venice Public Works Joe Veneziano Director Venice PW 941-486-2422 x30022
School Board Lead Ellery Girard Executive Director SBSC 941-685-9576 941-486-2145 Ellery_Girard

FPL Lead India Monahan Account Manager FPL 239-595-8406 941-483-2035 India.Monahan

Venice YMCA Pat Ryan Manager YMCA


ACS Ed Gansen ACS 303-579-2354
  1. Training
    1. Team leaders from each discipline represented on the task force should meet frequently to discuss planning, training and deployment issues. All task force members should meet annually to clarify roles and responsibilities prior to hurricane season. Each TFIT will participate in an annual exercise, if conducted. At a minimum TFIT Teams will meet to familiarize themselves with each other and to discuss what each discipline brings to the team. Team meetings are to be set by Task Force team leader or the Director of TFIT.
    2. All team members shall have completed, at a minimum, IS-700 and ICS/IS-100 and ICS/IS-200. In addition, Supervisory personnel shall complete ICS-300 and ICS-400.
  2. Monitoring Requirements

TFIT members shall occur at the direction of the Branch Director and the Sarasota County Operations Chief. Members shall also participate in the annual exercise or other exercises organized for team participation.

  1. Record Management

Team members shall keep any and all training records which must be available for review by the Branch Director and/or Operations Chief.

  1. References
    1. TFIT is part of the Sarasota County Comprehensive Emergency management Plan.
    2. Sarasota County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan
    3. FLARNG RIAT Operations Plan
    4. TFIT Mission Maps/Critical Facility Maps

9.1 Standards

Florida Statutes 252

Sarasota County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

9.2 Other SOP/ ROP’s & SOG/ROG’s

ROP 3101 General Operating Instructions

9.3 Supplementary Documents


10. Definitions


Commonly Used Acronyms

AF Alternate Facilities

CEMP Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

CAP Civil Air Patrol

COG Continuity of Government

CONOP Concept of Operations

COOP Continuity of Operations Plan

CST COOP Support Team

DFO Disaster Field Office

ECO Emergency Coordinating Officer

EMAC Emergency Management Assistance Compact

ERG Emergency Relocation Group

EOC Emergency Operations Center

FDEM Florida Division of Emergency Management

FDLE Florida Department of Law Enforcement

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

HSAS Homeland Security Advisory System

HVAC Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning

IAP Incident Action Plan

IC Incident Commander

ICP Incident Command Post

ICS Incident Command System

JFO Joint Field Office

JIC Joint Information Center

JIS Joint Information System

LMS Local Mitigation Strategy

LZ Landing Zone

MAC Multi-Agency Coordinating System

MOU Memorandum of Understanding

NIMS National Incident Management System

NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

PDD Presidential Decision Directive

PIO Public Information Officer

SOP Standard Operating Procedure

SOG Standard Operating Guidelines

TFIT Tactical First-In Team

TT&E Test, Training, and Exercise

UC Unified Command

USCG United States Coast Guard

WMD Weapons of Mass Destruction

Activation – Once a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) has been implemented, whether in whole or in part, it is considered “activated”.

All-hazards – The spectrum of all types of hazards including accidents, technological events, natural disasters, terrorist attached, warfare, and chemical, biological including pandemic influenza, radiological, nuclear, or explosive events.

Alternate Facility (AF) – A location, other than an agency’s normal facility, used to process data and/or conduct mission-essential functions in the event of a disaster.

Area Command – An organization established to oversee the management of multiple incidents that are each being handled by a separate Incident Command System organization or to oversee the management of a very large or evolving incident that has multiple incident management teams.

Assigned Resources – Resources checked in and assigned work tasks on an incident.

Available Resources – Resources assigned to an incident, checked in, and available for a mission assignment, normally located in a Staging Area.

Base – The location at which primary Logistics functions for an incident are coordinated and administered. There is only one Base per incident. (Incident name or other designator will be added to the term Base.) The Incident Command Post (ICP) may be co-located with the Base.

Biological Hazard – Biological hazards are associated with any insect, animal or pathogen that could pose an economic or health threat. Biological hazards are a pervasive threat to the agricultural community in Florida with the Mediterranean fruit fly and citrus canker as two examples. The possibility also exists for the importation of pathogens that could have a widespread effect on the livestock industries. In addition, there is the remote possibility of an adverse effect on to the general population through naturally occurring pathogens (i.e., influenza, emerging infectious diseases) or by way of a terrorist action. The primary hazards associated with this category are: pest infestation, disease outbreaks, and contamination of a food and/or water supply.

Bomb Threats – an explosive weapon detonated by impact, a timing mechanism, or other means with an intended purpose of damaging buildings, killing or maiming people, and causing smoke and fire.

Branch – The organizational level having functional or geographical responsibility for major aspects of incident operations.

Camp – A geographical site within the general incident area (separate from the Incident Base) that is equipped and staffed to provide sleeping, food, water, and sanitary services to incident personnel.

Check-In – Process in which all responders, regardless of agency affiliation, must report in to receive an assignment in accordance with the procedures established by the Incident Commander.

Civil Unrest – A spontaneous wild or turbulent disturbance created by a large number of people in an attempt to cause damage and dysfunction of private and public property.

Command Staff – Consists of the Incident Commander (IC), Public Information Officer (PIO), Safety Officer (SO) and Liaison Officer (LNO). All positions report to the IC and may have assistants as needed.

Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) – An operations oriented document authorized by Chapter 252, Florida Statutes. The CEMP establishes the framework through which Sarasota County prepares for, responds to, recovers from, and mitigates the impacts of a wide variety of disasters that could adversely affect the health, safety and/or general welfare of the residents of this area. The plan provides guidance to state, special districts, and local officials on procedures, organization, and responsibilities, as well as provides for an integrated and coordinated local, state and federal response.

Communication/Dispatch Center – Agency or interagency dispatcher centers, 911 call centers, emergency control or command dispatch centers, or any naming convention given to the facility and staff that handles emergency calls from the public and communication with emergency management/response personnel.

COOP Emergency Relocation Group (ERG) – Members of the organization who have been trained to respond to emergencies involving Continuity of Operations. These members are responsible for reporting to the alternate facility and are responsible for making sure mission-essential functions are carried out while normal operations are disrupted.

COOP Support Team (CST) – Support team members are personnel who do not report directly to the alternate facility but who might be told to return to their homes until otherwise notified (e.g., they may be needed as backup to support the ERG in carrying out mission-essential functions).

Continuity of Government (COG) – Activities that address the continuance of constitutional governance. COG aims to preserve and/or reconstitute the institution of government and sure that a department or agency’s constitutional, legislative, and/or administrative responsibilities are maintained. This is accomplished through success of leadership, the pre-delegation of emergency authority, and active command and control during response and recovery operations.

Continuity of Operations (COOP) – Internal agency efforts to assure continuance of minimum essential functions across a wide range of potential emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological and/or attack-related emergencies.

Critical Infrastructure – Systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would be a debilitating impact on security, public health, or safety, or any combination of those matters.

Delegation of Authority – A statement provided to the agency head by the agency executive delegating authority and responsibility. The Delegation of Authority can include objectives, priorities, expectations, constraints, and other considerations or guidelines as needed. Many agencies require a written Delegation of Authority to be given to the agency head prior to their assuming command of larger incidents.

Demobilization – The orderly, safe, and efficient return of an incident resource to its original location and status.

Devolution – The capability to transfer statutory authority and responsibility for essential functions from an organization’s primary operating staff and facilities to other organization employees and facilities, and to sustain that operational capability for an extended period.

Domestic Preparedness Plan – Based on the Regional Task Force 6 Response to terrorism to include identified targets, security vulnerabilities, levels, agency information sharing and measures to be taken based upon a credible threat. It identifies and ranks critical facilities for Sarasota County. This plan can be found in the Sarasota County CEMP.

Domestic Terrorism – The unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States without foreign direction, and whose acts are directed at elements.

Drive-Away Kits – Supplies, equipment, and documentation necessary for an alternate facility to be sustained for up to 30 days. These portable kits are transported with the ERG members in time of a relocation of to an alternate site.

Droughts and other water shortages – can be particularly damaging to crops and livestock and can affect the entire county.

Emergency Coordination Officer (ECO) – Staff assigned to the Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during activation that are responsible for their assigned Emergency Support Function (ESF) responsibilities. Infrastructure and Environmental Services have representation on ESF-1 (Transportation), ESF-3 (Infrastructure), ESF-9 (Search & Rescue), and ESF-12 (Energy). See chart in this section for a description of ESFs.

Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) – A congressionally ratified organization that provides form and structure to interstate mutual aid. Through EMAC, a disaster-affected State can request and receive assistance from other member States quickly and efficiently, resolving to key issues upfront; liability and reimbursement.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC) – The County agency directly responsible to the Board of County Commissioners for the coordination of all services and resources in Sarasota County when effecting disaster relief operations. The EOC supports incident management (on-scene operations).

Field Operations Guide (FOG) – Durable pocket or desk guide that contains essential information required to perform specific assignments or functions under the Incident Command System (ICS).

Fire in Buildings – fires can cause serious damage to buildings, property, and humans. The main danger to humans is smoke inhalation and burning.

Flooding – can be in the form of flash floods, rising water, or flooding from wind-driven or wind-held water. Flooding is generally associated with other weather-caused destructive forces. The topography of the county lies between 10 and 35 feet.

Forest and grass fires – are continuing threats that cause annual losses to timber and agricultural interests.

Frost and freezes – can cause damage in all areas of the county and be particularly destructive to the winter agricultural efforts within the county.

Gale Advisory – An advisory of 39-54 MPH sustained winds and strong wave action.

General Staff – A group of incident management personnel organized according to function and reporting to the Incident Commander (IC). The General Staff normally consists of the Operations Section Chief, Planning Section Chief, Logistics Planning Chief, and Finance/Administration Section Chief. An Intelligence/Investigations Chief may be established, if required, to meet incident management needs.

Hazardous materials incidents – involving hazardous materials may threaten both life and property anywhere within the county.

Hazardous Materials Response Plan – Updated by the Fire Service to include identification of facilities beyond the threshold for storage of Extremely Hazardous (EHS) to include site visits and risk vulnerability analysis. This plan can be found in the Sarasota County CEMP.

Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP) – A capabilities and performance-based exercise program that provides a standardized methodology and terminology for exercise design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning.

Hot Site – A continuity facility that already has in place the computer, telecommunications, and environmental infrastructure required to recover critical business functions or information systems.

Hurricanes – generate high winds, wave action, and flooding. Although coastal areas are most susceptible, wind and water damage can extend inland. The most common time period for Florida to experience a hurricane is from early June to November. The Saffir-Simpson scale categorizes hurricanes as follows:

  • Category 1 74-95 MPH – Causes a storm surge four-to-five feet above normal. Floods low lying coastal roads, causes minor pier damage, and some small craft in exposed anchorages are torn from moorings.
  • Category 2 96-110 MPH – Causes a storm surge six-to-eight feet above normal. Coastal and low-lying roads leading inland are flooded two to four hours before the hurricane eye passes over. Piers damaged marinas flooded, small craft in unprotected anchorages are torn from mornings.
  • Category 3 111-130 MPH – Causes a storm surge nine-to-twelve feet. Smaller structures destroyed by coastal flooding; larger structures destroyed by battering waves and floating debris. Low-lying roads leading inland flooded three-to-five hours before the eye passes over.
  • Category 4 131-155 MPH – Causes a storm surge 13-18 feet above normal. Flooding flat terrain up to 10 feet above sea level as far as six miles inland. Major flooding and wave battering damage to lower floors of structures near shore. Low-lying roads leading inland flooded three-to-five hours before the eye passes over. Major beach erosion.
  • Category 5 >155 MPH – Storm surge more than 18 feet. Major damage to lower floors of all structures less than 15 feet above sea level within 500 yards of shore.

Incident – An occurrence or event, natural or manmade, which requires a response to protect life or property. Incidents can, for example, include major disasters, emergencies, terrorist attacks, terrorist threats, civil unrest, wildland and urban fires, floods, hazardous materials spills, nuclear accidents, aircraft accidents, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, tsunamis, war-related disasters, public health and medical emergencies, and other occurrences requiring an emergency response.

Incident Action Plan (IAP) – An oral or written plan containing general objectives reflecting the overall strategy for managing an incident. It may include the identification of operational resources and assignments. It may also include attachments that provide direction and important information for management of the incident during one or more operational periods.

Incident Command System – A management system that is designed to enable effective and efficient management of domestic incidents. It is a multi-hazard, flexible management system that coordinates the activities of an incident.

  • ICS organizations have five major functional areas, referred to as Command and General Staff; Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance/Administration.
    • Command – Can be a single Incident Commander (IC), or Unified (UC) consisting of the IC/UC, Public Information Officer (PIO), Safety Officer (SO) and the Liaison Officer (LNO).
    • General Staff – Consists of the Operations Section Chief, Planning Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief and the Finance/Administration Section Chief.
  • Each of these functions can be expanded as needed to maintain an effective span of control.

Incident Commander (IC) – The individual responsible for all incident activities, including the development of strategies and tactics and the ordering and the release of resources. The IC has overall authority and responsibility for conducting incident operations and is responsible for the management of all incident operations at the incident site.

Incident Command Post (ICP) – The field location where the primary functions are performed. The ICP may be co-located with the incident base or other incident facilities.

Incident Management Team (IMT) – An Incident Commander and the appropriate Command and General Staff personnel assigned to an incident. IMTs are generally grouped in five types, Types I and II and are national teams, Type III are State or regional, Type IV are discipline or large jurisdiction specific, while V are ad hoc incident command organizations typically used by smaller jurisdictions.

International Terrorism – The unlawful use of force or violence committed by a group or individual who has some connection to a foreign power or whose activities transcend national boundaries against persons or property, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

Joint Field Office (JFO) – A temporary Federal facility established locally to provide a center point for Federal, State, tribal, and local executives with responsibility for incident oversight, direction, and/or assistance to effectively coordinate protection, prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery actions.

Joint Information Center (JIC) – A facility established to coordinate all incident-related public information activities. It is the central point of contact for all news media. Public information officials from all participating agencies should co-locate at the JIC.

Joint Information System (JIS) – Integrates incident information and public affairs into a cohesive organization designed to provide consistent, coordinated, accurate, accessible, timely, and complete information during crisis or incident operations. The mission of the JIS is to provide a structure and system for developing and delivering coordinated interagency messages; developing, recommending, and executing public information plans and strategies on behalf of the Incident Commander (IC); advising the IC concerning public affairs issues that could affect a response effort; and controlling rumors and inaccurate information that could undermine public confidence in the emergency response effort.

Liaison Officer – A member of the Command Staff responsible for coordinating with representatives from cooperating and assisting agencies or organizations.

Lightning – Central Florida is the most lightning prone area in the United States with about 90 thunderstorm days a year. Because of this, Florida has more lightning deaths than any other state. In fact, lightning kills more people in Florida than all other weather hazards combined. Historically, the most dangerous months are June, July and August. This is due to the abundance of moisture, atmospheric instability and storm triggering breezes.

Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) – The unified strategy to minimize the impacts from disasters based on vulnerability analysis through prioritization of identified category mitigation projects and initiatives, increased public awareness and enhanced guiding principles. The LMS can be found in the Sarasota County CEMP.

Mission-Essential Functions – Prioritized agency functions that must be performed under all operational conditions. COOP Plans are created to ensure that these functions can continue to be performed even following a major disaster.

Mobilization – The process and procedures used by all organizations – Federal, State, tribal, and local for activating, assembling, and transporting all resources that have been requested to respond to or support an incident.

Multi-Agency Coordination System (MAC) – These define the management components and organizational structure for the successful coordination between the multiple jurisdictions often involved in large-scale incidents.

Mutual-Aid – Written or oral agreement between an among agencies/organizations and/or jurisdictions that provides a mechanism to quickly obtain emergency assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials, and other associated services. The primary objective is to facilitate rapid, short-term deployment of emergency support prior to, during, and/or after the incident.

National Incident Management System (NIMS) – Provides a systematic, proactive approach guiding government agencies at all levels, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work seamlessly to prepare for, prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity, in order to reduce the loss of life or property and harm to the environment

Operations Period – The time scheduled for executing a given set of operation actions, as specified in the Incident Action Plan (IAP). Operational periods can be of various lengths, although usually the last 12-24 hours.

Operations Section – The Section responsible for all tactical incident operations and implementation of the Incident Action Plan (IAP). In the Incident Command System (ICS), it normally includes subordinate Branches, Divisions, and/or Groups.

Orders of Succession – The order of persons who displace or follow each other’s duties or responsibilities in an organization in the event that usual agency leadership is no longer able to perform their duties.

Planning Section – The Section responsible for the collection, evaluation, and dissemination of operational information related to the incident, and for the preparation and documentation of the Incident Action Plan (IAP). The Section also maintains information on the current and forecasted situation and on the status of resources assigned to the incident.

Planning Meeting – A meeting held as needed before and throughout the duration of an incident to select specific strategies and tactics for incident control operations and for service and support planning.

Power Interruption – Loss of power to facilities causing disruption in operations for an extended period of time.

Public Information Officer (PIO) – A member of the Command Staff responsible for interfacing with the public and media and/or with other agencies with incident-related information requirements.

Reconstitution – The process by which surviving and or replacement organization personnel resume normal agency operations from the original or replacement primary operating facility.

Recovery – The development, coordination, and execution of service and site-restoration plans; the reconstitution of government operations and services; individual, private-sector, nongovernmental, and public-assistance programs to provide housing and to promote restoration; long-term care and treatment of affected persons; additional measures for social, political, environmental, and economic restoration; evaluation of the incident to identify lessons learned; post incident reporting; and development of initiatives to mitigate the effects of future incidents.

Resources – Personnel and major items of equipment, supplies and facilities available or potentially available for assignment to incident operations and for which status is maintained. Resources are described by kind and type and may be used in operational support or supervisory capacities at an incident or at an emergency operations center.

Response – Immediate actions to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of emergency plans and actions to support short-term recovery.

Safety Officer – A member of the Command Staff responsible for monitoring incident operations and advising the Incident Commander on all matters relating to operational safety, including the health and safety of emergency responder personnel.

Severe Thunderstorms – often accompanied by wind, hail, flooding, and lightning and can occur throughout the county in all seasons of the year.

Single Resource – Individual personnel, supplies, and equipment items, and the operators associated with them.

Situation Report – Document that often contains confirmed or verified information regarding the specific details relating to an incident.

Southwest Florida Hurricane Evacuation Plan Regional plan defining evacuation demographics, census data, evacuation clearance times and shelter capacity information. This plan can be found in the Sarasota County CEMP.

Span of Control – The number of resources for which a supervisor is responsible, usually expressed as the ratio of supervisors to individuals. (Under NIMS, an appropriate span of control is between 1:3 and 1:7, with optimal being 1:5)

Special Districts – Special districts (such as Soil and Water Conservation, Water Management, Mosquito Control, Fire and Rescue, and School) are responsible for establishing liaisons with counties within Florida.

Special Needs Population (PSN) – A population whose members may have additional needs before, during, and after an incident in functional areas, including but not limited to: maintaining independence, communication, transportation, supervision, and medical care. Individuals in need of additional response assistance may include those who have disabilities; who live in institutionalized settings; who are elderly; who are children; who are from diverse cultures; who have limited English proficiency (LEP) or are non-English speaking; or who are transportation disadvantaged.

Staging Area – Established for the temporary location of available resources. A Staging Area can be any location in which personnel, supplies, and equipment can be temporarily housed or parked while awaiting operational assignment.

Strike Team – A set number of resources of the same kind and type that have an established minimum number of personnel, common communications, and a leader.

Tactical First-In Team (TFIT) – The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office serves as the lead agency for ESF-9 “Search & Rescue”. They have expanded this activity to include area functional teams that initiate emergency road clearing, search & rescue, impact assessment, needs assessment, hazardous materials identification and utility restoration assessment. This task force is made up of eight (8) rapid response teams comprised of the various recovery agencies involved with impact assessment.

Task Force – Any combination of resources assembled to support a specific mission or operation need. All resource elements within a Task Force must have common communications and a designated leader.

Technological – A technological hazard is one that is a direct result of the failure of a manmade system, or the exposure of the population to a hazardous material. Technology is one of the underpinnings of our society. With any failure of that technology we are affected.

Technical Specialist – Individual with special skills that can be used anywhere within the Incident Command System (ICS) organization. No minimum qualifications are prescribed, as technical specialists normally perform the same duties during an incident that they perform in their everyday jobs, and they are typically certified in their fields or professions.

Test, Training, and Exercise (TT&E) Program – Measures to ensure that an organization’s continuity plan is capable of supporting the continued execution of the organization’s essential functions throughout the duration of a continuity situation.

Tornadoes – characterized by violent winds and pressure differentials as well as hail, flooding, and lightning, which frequently accompany them. The entire county is vulnerable to the effects of tornadoes. Tornadoes are columns of air accompanied by a funnel-shaped downward extension of cloud having a vortex several hundred yards in diameter whirling destructively at high speeds. Tornadoes can have wind speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. A tornado spins sound like a top and may sound like the roar of an airplane or locomotive. They move at an average speed of 30 MPH and generally move from the southwest to northeast. Tornadoes are ranked according to the Fujita Tornado Scale listed below:

  • F0 Gale Winds 40 – 72 MPH. Some damage to chimneys. Tree branches broken off. Shallow rooted trees uprooted.
  • F1 Moderate Winds 73 – 112 MPH. Peels surface off roofs. Mobile homes overturned. Moving autos pushed off roads.
  • F2 Significant Winds 113 – 157 MPH. Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses. Large trees snapped or uprooted. Light-object missiles generated.
  • F3 Severe Winds 158 – 206 MPH. Roofs and some walls are torn from structures, some small buildings are destroyed, non-reinforced masonry buildings are destroyed, and most trees in forest are uprooted.
  • F4 Devastating Winds 207 – 260 MPH. Well-constructed houses leveled. Structures with weak foundations blown off some distance. Cars thrown and large missiles generated.
  • F5 Incredible Winds 261 – 318 MPH. Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and disintegrated. Automobile-size missiles fly though the air in excess of 100 MPH. Trees debarked.
  • F6 Inconceivable Winds 319 – Mach 1. Maximum wind speeds of tornadoes not expected to reach F6.

Transportation Accidents – These are accidents involving interruption or failure of transportation systems including: air, rail, water, and ground vehicles.

Tropical Depression – An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 MPH (33 knots) or less.

Tropical Storm – An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 MPH (34-63 knots).

Tropical Wave – A westward-moving, low-pressure trough in the deep easterly current that tends to organize low-level circulation and sometimes travels thousands of miles with little change in shape, producing showers and thunderstorms along its path.

Type – An Incident Command System (ICS) resource classification that refers to capability. Type 1 is generally considered to be more capable than Type 2, 3, or 4, respectively, because of size, power, capacity, or (in the case of incident management teams) experience and qualifications.

Typing Resources – Resources are organized by category, kind, and type, including size, capacity, capability, skill, and other characteristics. This makes the resource ordering and dispatch process within and across organizations and agencies, and between governmental and nongovernmental entities, more efficient, and ensures that the resources received are appropriate to their needs.

Unified Command (UC) – An Incident Command System (ICS) application used when more than one agency has incident jurisdiction or when incidents cross political jurisdictions. Agencies work together through the designed members of the UC, often the senior person from agencies and/or disciplines participating in the UC, to establish a common set of objectives and strategies and a single Incident Action Plan (IAP).

Vital Records – a) Records, documents, or other information which, if damaged or destroyed, would cause considerable inconvenience and/or require replacement or re-creation at considerable expense. b) Records or documents which, for legal, regulatory, or operational reasons, cannot be irretrievably lost or damaged without materially impairing the organization’s ability to conduct business.

Warm Site – A continuity facility that is equipped with some hardware, and communications interfaces, electrical and environmental conditioning which is capable of providing backup after additional provisioning, software or customization is performed.

Weapons of Mass Destruction (Terrorism) (Title 18 USC section 2332a) – (1) Any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors; a disease organism; or radiation or radioactivity; (2) (a) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas, bomb, grenade, or rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, or a missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one quarter ounce, or mine or device similar to those above; (b) poison gas; (c) any weapon involving a disease organism; or (d) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life.