Command, Control and Coordination are familiar and traditional mechanisms in emergency and incident management.
This is what our systems have been built on but over the past few years we have sponsored a supplementary focus on Consequence, Communication and Community Connection. The combination of these 'six c's' is leading to a massive shift in the way we approach emergency management and it is one Victoria is embracing.
This is a modern approach to emergency management and an approach that is inclusive and community focused. It is also one that supports resilience in communities and in the EM sector.
Including Consequence, Communication and Community Connection into a well-established and tested emergency management system is the next logical step to better focus on the community being central to everything we do in emergency management.
The overall direction of response activities in an emergency, operating horizontally across agencies.
The internal direction of personnel and resources of an agency, operating vertically within the agency.
The bringing together of agencies and resources to ensure effective preparation for, response to and recovery from emergencies.
The management of the effect of emergencies on individuals, the community, infrastructure and the environment.
The engagement and provision of information across agencies and proactively with the community to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.
The understanding of and connecting with trusted networks, trusted leaders and all communities to support resilience and decision making.
Understanding the impact of an emergency, the consequences of the impact and how we reach in and acknowledge the community connections before during and after an emergency is vital to building a sustainable emergency management system and one that recognises the central tenets of wellbeing, liveability, sustainability and viability for communities.
This approach is supported by the State Emergency Management Priorities which include "primacy of life" and issuing of information and warnings to communities as non-negotiables and a focus on protection of property, infrastructure, economics and environment assets and values.
These are important priorities provided to incident controllers and emergency management personnel as they plan their response and they have stood the test of time. They have grown from being control and response focussed to be applied to planning, mitigation, response and relief and recovery - Before, During, After. The State EM Priorities allow us to frame how we address what is important to individual communities.
The history of these priorities shows the change in the approach in emergency management to the "all communities all emergencies" focus. Over the past six years, the priorities have changed from originally being the "State Controller's Intent" in fire and flood to the State Strategic Control priorities to now the State Emergency Management Priorities - across the spectrum.
Safer and more resilient communities is always our aim. How we recognise what is important to communities, the consequences of emergencies and work with those who can make a difference is fundamental.
A modern emergency management system means this is what we build from and strive for.
Craig Lapsley, PSM
Emergency Management Commissioner