Direction and Control
Gaston County Emergency Operations Plan

Coordinating Agencies: Emergency Management
  Administration Group
Cooperating Agencies: Operations Group
  Logistics Group
  Finance Group
  Planning Group

This annex outlines the direction and control procedures for emergency operations and identifies the personnel, facilities and resources that will be utilized in the coordinated response activities.

  A. Situation
    1. Senior on-scene emergency response personnel (i.e. law enforcement, fire, rescue, EMS), perform direction and control of normal day-to-day emergencies in accordance with local ordinances and Gaston County’s Incident Command procedure.
    2. Many hazards exist within or near the county that have the potential to cause disasters of such magnitude as to warrant centralization of the direction and control (Emergency Operations Center, EOC) function in order to conduct effective and efficient emergency operations.
    3. Municipalities within the county may exercise independent direction and control of their own emergency resources, outside resources assigned to the municipality by the Gaston County Emergency Operations Center, and resources secured through existing mutual aid agreements with other municipalities.  Requests for state/federal government assistance will be directed to the Gaston County Office of Emergency Management Administrator prior to activation.
    4. Centralized county-wide direction and control (Emergency Operations Center activation) is desirable when one or more of the following situations occur:
  • An imminent threat to the public safety/health exists.
  • Extensive multi‑agency/multi-jurisdiction response and coordination are necessary to resolve or recover from the emergency situation.
  • Local resources are inadequate/depleted and significant mutual aid, state and/or federal resources must be utilized to resolve the emergency situation.
  • The disaster affects multiple political jurisdictions within the county, which are relying on the same emergency resources to resolve the emergency situation.
  • Local emergency ordinances are implemented to control the emergency situation.
    5. The Gaston County Emergency Operations Center serves as the central direction and control point for county-wide emergency response coordination.
    6. The primary Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is located in the Emergency Management Offices at 615 North Highland Street in the City of Gastonia.
    7. In the event the primary Emergency Operations Center is inoperable, the back-up Emergency Operations Center can be set up at either the County’s Admin. Building conference rooms, DSS conference room or the Health Department conference room.
    8. When necessary to relocate the EOC outside of the geographic area of Gastonia, alternate EOC locations will be selected based on need and availably and services available. Communications at these locations is supplemented by the Mobile Command Center.
  B. Assumptions
    1. The designated Emergency Operations Center will be activated upon the threat or occurrence of a major emergency/disaster and designated personnel will be asked to report to the Emergency Operations Center in a timely fashion.
    2. The Gaston County Emergency Operations Center's facility and equipment are adequate for coordinating county-wide emergency operations.
    3. Sufficient procedures have been developed to effectively direct and control disaster operations/recovery.
    4. Emergency operations and coordination at all levels of government will be carried out according to plans and procedures.
  A. General
    1. Emergency operations shall include all activities directed toward reduction of the immediate hazard, establishing situation control and restoration of normal operations within the county.
    2. The responsibility for the direction and control of disaster situations is vested in the County Board of Commissioners or municipal elected officials in their respective jurisdictions and is routinely exercised through the Emergency Management Administrator for Gaston County or the City/Town Manager for the municipality.
    3. The Emergency Management Administrator or designee will activate, organize and operate the Emergency Operations Center in a flexible manner based on the magnitude of the situation.
    4. The organizational structure of the Emergency Operations Center will be arranged according to the type of incident, agencies and/or jurisdictions involved objectives and strategies selected to resolve the situation and the demands of the emergency.  Municipalities, when needed, will provide liaison contacts to the County Emergency Operations Center for inter-jurisdictional coordination when the event severely affects the jurisdiction or as requested.
    5. The Chairman of the Board of Commissioners will be notified by the Emergency Management Administrator when Emergency Operations Center activation is warranted to direct and control emergency operations.
    6. The Emergency Operations Center is the operational area from which emergency response activities can be directed, controlled and coordinated. It will be managed in accordance with the County Emergency Operations Annex.
    7. On-scene activities of emergency response personnel will be managed utilizing NIMS and the Gaston County’s Incident Command System procedure.
  B. Staffing

Personnel assigned to the Emergency Operations Center will operate in one of the common function sections as assigned by the Emergency Management Administrator.
    1. The Administration Group, under the direction of the Chairman of County Commissioners, consists of the elected officials, jurisdictional management and liaison officials, jurisdictional Public Information Officer (PIO) and is responsible for:
  • The approval of policies and strategies pertinent to the emergency/disaster situation.

  • Conducting briefings of the Emergency Operations Center staff to assure coordination of information.

  • Compile and maintain documentation of purchases, acquisition and utilization of emergency supplies, equipment and other services.

  • Perform financial and cost analysis to develop conclusions on efficient methods of resolving and recovering from the emergency/disaster situation.

  • Collect, evaluate, display and disseminate information regarding the incident and status of resources.

  • Maintain a journal, post data and maintain status boards.

  • Analyze the predictable probable course of emergency incident events.

  • Develop strategies (action plans) and alternatives to control operations for the incident; and,

  • Anticipate resource requirements.

    2. The Operations Group, under the direction of the EOC Manager or designee and consisting of the designated representatives of the agencies conducting emergency and human needs operations and is responsible for the direct supervision of county operations including the allocation of resources necessary to implement the approved strategies and policies.
    3. The Logistics Group, under the direction of the Logistics Chief is responsible for supporting activities and staff by providing services and supplies necessary to ensure a productive work environment.
    4. The Finance Group, under the direction of the Finance Chief or designee and established to track response cost, cost recovery, purchasing and documentation.
    5. The Planning Group under the direction of the Planning Chief and responsible for formulating the best possible picture of current situation, determine incident strategy and tactical objectives, plan for relief and replacement staff, and writes the Incident Action Plan (IAP).
  A. Staffing assignments for positions in the Emergency Operations Center will allow for continuous 24-hour operations. Selection and assignment of personnel will be the responsibility of the participating agencies.
  B. In the event that the primary Emergency Operations Center is not functional, the alternate Emergency Operations Center will be activated.

Attachment 1
Direction and Control Organizational Structure