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STANDARDIZED
              VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
    For Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery


   ...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recov...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                              October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medi...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency ...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Med...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                          October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical ...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                          October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical ...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                              October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency Re...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                           October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                                            October 1, 2006
Public...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                        October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Em...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency ...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency ...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency R...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency R...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency R...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                 October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency ...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency R...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                                                             Octob...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                            October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medica...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency R...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Med...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency ...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                       October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Eme...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Med...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                              October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency Re...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                              October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency Re...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency R...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency R...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                        October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Em...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                               October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency R...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                              October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medi...
Standardized Volunteer Management System                                October 1, 2006
Public Health & Medical Emergency ...
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response
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Transcript of "Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response"

  1. 1. STANDARDIZED VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM For Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery System Description & Concept of Operations October 1, 2006 A product of: The George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management For use by: Emergency Management Professionals Funding provided by: The de Beaumont Foundation Authors: Joseph A. Barbera, MD (Principle Investigator) Anthony G. Macintyre, MD Greg L. Shaw, DSc Lissa Westerman, RN Valerie Seefried, MPH (Project Coordinator) Frank Fiedrich, PhD Sergio de Cosmo, MA 'Copyright with reproduction permitted for non-commercial purposes only. All use of this material should be referenced with the following: Barbera JA, Macintyre AG, Shaw GL, Westerman LT, Seefried V, Fiedrich F, de Cosmo S. Standardized Volunteer Management System for Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery (2006); The Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management, The George Washington University.'
  2. 2. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 STANDARDIZED VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM For Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery Table of Contents Preface………………………………………………………………….. 3 System Description……………………………………………………... 5 Concept of Operations…………………………………………………..20 Appendix A – Position Descriptions & Job Action Sheets……………..55 Appendix B – Acronyms………………………………………………..93 Appendix C – VMS Implementation Issues & Recommendations…….97 Appendix D – The VMS Incident Planning Process………………….121 Appendix E – The VMS Tools: Forms & Checklists..……….………125 (Tools should be downloaded as separate files) © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 2 The George Washington University
  3. 3. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 STANDARDIZED VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM For Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery Preface Volunteerism has a long and storied tradition in the United States. Of particular note has been the healthcare profession, where volunteers have stepped forward to provide selfless assistance in times of great need during war and disasters. Professionalism in emergency management and incident response in the United States has progressed markedly over the past half century. In fact, “emergency management” is now a recognized professional discipline and the importance of using well established templates for managing response is increasingly recognized. The Incident Command System (ICS) is now the overarching response management template in the U.S., and provides ICS principles that should be incorporated into any and all response plans. As preparedness for emergencies and disasters has increased in importance, attention has been increasingly focused on the management and use of volunteers during response. To date, there has been little published effort to outline a detailed, effective system to manage the many “just-in-time” volunteers that are inevitable after disasters, and to process all volunteers, match their qualifications and interests with incident personnel needs, and effectively integrate them into the response. At the same time, an increasing number of healthcare and other professionals are committing themselves to voluntarily assist in times of great need. It is therefore mandatory that the professionals in charge of preparedness examine the requirements inherent in processing volunteers and effectively integrating them into response efforts. This necessarily includes establishing an effective system that can collect, screen, process, credential, brief, and effectively deploy volunteers in a safe manner. In addition, the system must be capable of providing seamless integration of the volunteers into the existing response capabilities. The standardized Volunteer Management System (VMS) presented in this document recognizes the complexities involved in managing volunteers. Rather than over- simplifying the process, the model system organizes the many volunteer-related responsibilities, tasks, and actions into a single coordinated system1 with an effective management component. Based upon the Incident Command System architecture and processes, it is designed to be fully consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and be easily integrated into current programs addressing volunteers at the national, state, local and individual agency or organization levels. A large number of tools are provided to simplify the task of implementing the system. A companion electronic Volunteer Management System (e-VMS) is under development to 1 A “system” is defined by the authors as “A clearly defined functional structure, with defined processes, that coordinates disparate parts to accomplish a common goal.” © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 3 The George Washington University
  4. 4. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 enhance efficiency in operating the VMS. The VMS model is standardized to work for use with any type of volunteer population. The tools in this project were adapted specifically for health and medical volunteers, but can be easily revised to address other disciplines. The Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management (ICDRM) at The George Washington University is a multi-disciplinary institute founded in 1994. It conducts educational programs at the Master’s, Graduate Certificate, and Doctoral degree levels, and has produced research, academic products, and professional guidance across a very wide range of emergency, crisis, and risk areas. More information on the Institute and its work is available at http://www.gwu.edu/~icdrm/. The ICDRM project team is grateful to the public health professionals in the Arlington County (Virginia) Division of Public Health, who initially interested the Institute in research and development in this area (see Arlington County Public Health Volunteer Management System, available at http://www.gwu.edu/~icdrm/) and to Lauren Fernandez, a doctoral student whose doctoral research formed the initial basis for the project that produced the standardized VMS. The Institute is also grateful to The de Beaumont Foundation and its principals, for their funding and for their enthusiasm and encouragement to develop a comprehensive model system. It is the hope of the VMS project team that this product will promote optimal professionalism and effectiveness in the management of volunteers in future emergencies and disasters. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 4 The George Washington University
  5. 5. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 STANDARDIZED VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM For Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery System Description & Concept of Operations INTRODUCTION This project was performed under a grant from the de Beaumont Foundation. It presents a detailed, research-based system for managing public health & medical volunteers who are willing to assist in formal assignment during emergency response and recovery. While the model is presented for managing medical and public health volunteers, it has been constructed as a standardized Volunteer Management System (VMS) that can be adapted for use in managing any type of volunteer during emergency response and recovery, and interface with current volunteer data base and recruitment initiatives such as ESAR-VHP2 and Citizen Corps (including the Medical Reserve Corps).3 Managing large numbers of volunteers, especially spontaneous volunteers who may be placed in trust positions4 requiring advanced credentials, is very complex. The products of this project are designed to organize this complex task and promote both effective and efficient integration of public health and medical volunteers into incident response. The Volunteer Management System (VMS) model consists of a detailed System Description (describing the structure and primary functions required for the system) and Concept of Operations (how the system components function during each stage of response and recovery). It includes an appendix with Position Descriptions and Qualifications for the key positions within the VMS and an appendix outlining select system implementation issues and recommended solutions. The model is ‘operationalized’ through a tool kit containing mobilization/demobilization guidance, key position job actions sheets (operational checklists), forms, and procedure guidance. The ‘tools’ serve to drive both the management of the system and the processing and oversight of the volunteers. This model VMS is specifically designed to address the processing and support of volunteers5 who may be assigned to response and recovery positions across the range of 2 Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals, available at http://www.hrsa.gov/esarvhp/, accessed August 24, 2006. 3 Medical Reserve Corp information available at: http://www.medicalreservecorps.gov/HomePage, accessed August 24, 2006. 4 A “trust position” is defined as one in which the assigned personnel are performing high-consequence activities, especially if they are performed in a relatively independent fashion. Examples include a surgeon who is operating without direct supervision, or a public health advisor who shapes response policies or procedures. 5 A “volunteer,” as used in this model, is defined as a person agreeing to provide service outside the scope of his/her employer and/or employed position, without additional or specific compensation for this voluntary commitment. This differentiates the “volunteer” from personnel who provide service as part of their job position in an assigned resource. An individual offering or providing this service is a “volunteer” © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 5 The George Washington University
  6. 6. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 public health and medical tasks required during an incident. The VMS may be expanded and configured as needed to meet the public health and medical personnel requirements of a specific incident. It may also be adapted and used as a tool for the management of jurisdictional employees assigned to non-traditional public health and medical tasks. Finally, it may be adapted to a generic VMS for all volunteers, but adapting the system for circumstances beyond those described in this project may require additional analysis and modification to the system model presented in this document. Goal The overall goal of this model is an effective, efficient Public Health and Medical Volunteer Management System (VMS) to process, assign, and ‘just-in-time’ train volunteers, both pre-registered and spontaneous, who arrive to assist during emergencies, disasters, or other challenging events. Objectives The objectives for this model that will accomplish the goal are defined as: 1) Organize individual public health and medical volunteers and volunteer groups for maximal order and effectiveness in supporting medical and public health incident response. 2) Provide for the safety of volunteers. 3) Process and catalogue volunteers to efficiently match the available volunteer skills with the identified incident response personnel needs. 4) Provide effective orientation and ‘just-in-time’ training for volunteers to understand their roles, responsibilities, and supervision issues. 5) Integrate the VMS and its processed volunteers into the Incident Command System (ICS) that is managing the incident.6 6) Maximize the volunteer experience to promote increased volunteer participation in future events. Assumptions The assumptions upon which this guidance is based are presented here, to provide the reader with an understanding of the rationale for this model system and for understanding the basis for the development of the VMS structure and function. even if the volunteer's time is compensated through his/her usual employer and employment rate. 6 The National Incident Management System (NIMS), promulgated in March 2003, requires that NIMS/ICS be used to directly manage all incident response. The VMS is therefore consistent with ICS and designed to effectively integrate into any ICS structure that is managing the incident. NIMS is available at www.dhs.gov © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 6 The George Washington University
  7. 7. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0  Traditional emergency responders have incident response and recovery responsibilities that make it unlikely that focused volunteer management will be a high priority for them. In order to leverage volunteer opportunity and minimize risks inherent to volunteer participation, a functional entity with direct responsibility for volunteer management is required.  An effective incident command system (ICS) will be established to manage the overall incident at the jurisdictional level, and the VMS must integrate into this system or be capable of coordinating closely with appropriate ICS positions.  The command element of the incident command system (ICS) that is managing incident response owns the ultimate, overall responsibility for the safe and effective use of volunteers. The ICS may delegate authority for volunteer management to another resource. This extends the responsibility to the delegated authority, but does not absolve the ICS of final responsibility and accountability.  Within an incident, there may be resources, such as hospitals, with their own independent responsibility and accompanying authority for volunteers accepted by them for positions within their area of responsibility. All must be addressed in a comprehensive volunteer management system.  The VMS should be structured to conform to the ICS concepts provided in the National Incident Management System (NIMS). All public and private response organizations that respond to emergencies are required to comply with NIMS and the ICS it presents. The VMS should therefore be compatible with an effective Incident Management Team (IMT) that is managing the incident response.  Properly screened and trained volunteers, processed through the VMS and then appropriately assigned to the incident, can fill incident roles and be supervised by ICS personnel.  Volunteers who aren’t needed when they apply early in the response may provide manpower or valuable expertise later in the response, or in the recovery phase of the incident as needs evolve.  If volunteer assistance is not indicated for an incident, a resource is still needed to engage volunteers, convey the lack of need for volunteer services at that time, roster qualified personnel in case of future need, and assist in preventing trespassing and other ‘out-of-bounds’ behavior by delineating the consequences of these actions. The resource therefore must possess the capability to roster volunteers and establish a call back mechanism for future volunteer assignments that may arise.  The VMS must be capable of addressing the range of volunteers that could potentially present during adverse events. Categories of volunteers must therefore be defined so that they are addressed effectively by the management system.  The VMS must possess the ability to identify unusual volunteer skills that could potentially be valuable during incident response. This is necessary since not all disaster contingencies can be anticipated, and emergent groups have the ability to apply new strategies, tools, and technologies.7 7 Bolin, R.C. and L. Stanford, The Northridge Earthquake: Vulnerability and Disaster. 1998, London; New York: Routledge, pages xiii, 272. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 7 The George Washington University
  8. 8. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0  The majority of volunteers are not assumed to possess an operational understanding of ICS and how volunteers are integrated, supervised, and directed. Instead, this information must be explicitly provided in a just-in-time training format to volunteers.  The VMS will require further study and possibly field testing to define its capacity for processing and managing volunteers. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 8 The George Washington University
  9. 9. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 VMS SYSTEMS DESCRIPTION8 OVERVIEW The Volunteer Management System is a resource that supports the incident response by providing selected, processed, trained, and tracked volunteers to fill needed incident response positions. As such, the VMS is a logistics resource that commonly may be placed as a direct report to the ICS Logistics Section, Supply Unit Leader. Alternatively, it may report to a staffing function within the Emergency Operations Center, but with close coordination with the ICS Logistics personnel (see Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response - see Appendix C). The appropriate authority must be delegated to the VMS to allow effective performance (see textbox). VMS’ delegated authorities and assigned responsibilities As the VMS is established and its relationship to the ICS or EOC authorities is being defined, it is important to clearly delineate specific authorities delegated to the VMS as an extension from the jurisdictional authority, in addition to any assigned VMS responsibilities. For example, the authority to screen out unqualified volunteer applicants is delegated to the VMS by the local authorities (ICS or EOC) or any other entity that the VMS may be serving. It is also important to recognize that responsibility for the safety and well-being of volunteers deployed into the incident transitions from the VMS to organizations within the response that accept the assigned volunteers. Even though out-processing and follow-up of assigned volunteers may be accomplished by the VMS through proper direction and funding, the ultimate responsibility for this rests with the organizations that accepted the volunteers for their incident assignments. Many of the issues presented in this document relate to this concept. It is best that the delegated authorities and assigned responsibilities be established as early as possible during VMS development, and reaffirmed at the outset of any VMS response. The physical location where the VMS is based during response, and where most of its services are provided, is designated in this model as the Volunteer Management Center (VMC). Because of the intent to minimize VMS staffing needs, the VMC combines the management of the VMS (this site is commonly called a Volunteer Command Post or Center) and the processing of volunteers (this site is commonly called a Volunteer Reception Center in other published materials) at the same site. A Volunteer Point of Assembly (VPOA) is delineated for the VMS model, in order to establish a defined location if the initial contact with potential volunteers needs to be separate from the physical location of the VMC. 8 System Description: A presentation of an overall system architecture and it components, including how they are organized, how they relate to each other, and what they do. The system description complements the Concept of Operations, which explains how the system and its components function through the successive stages of emergency response and recovery. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 9 The George Washington University
  10. 10. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 The functional organization of the VMS is based upon ICS principles (see Figure 1.). Responsibilities and tasks necessary for the efficient management and integration of volunteers into the response are listed and grouped according to similarity of purpose. As ICS explains, not all functions or positions are staffed individually in all incidents. Staffing decisions are based upon the size, nature and complexity of the incident. In events where no individual is assigned to a functional position, the responsibility for accomplishing the function or task is assumed by the supervisory position for that function or task. This is further illustrated in Appendix A. VMS VMS Manager Organizational Chart Safety VMS OPS Chief VMS LOG Chief VMS Plans Chief VMS Admin/Finance Chief VMS Volunteer VMS Incident On-site Volunteer Processing Branch Integration Branch Coordinator Director Director (ICS) Registration Supervisor Volunteer Tracking VPOA Leader Supervisor Credentials Verification Supervisor ‘Trouble Desk’ Supervisor Assignment Supervisor Assignment Briefing Leader Deployment & Out- processing Leader Volunteer Recruitment Supervisor Figure 1. VMS functional organizational structure when the system is fully staffed. To effectively process and monitor volunteers during incident response and recovery, the key tasks and responsibilities of the management system must be defined and addressed. They are presented in detail throughout the system description and concept of operations, but are summarized in Figure 2. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 10 The George Washington University
  11. 11. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 Volunteer Management System (VMS) For Public Health and Medical Response & Recovery “Processing & Managing the Volunteer” Register Assign, Deploy Re-Assign Collect & Equip & & or Verify Train Monitor Out-Process Figure 2. VMS primary tasks related to volunteer management. To effectively present the complex topic of volunteer management, specific terminology is used. Nomenclature related to volunteers is presented in the following textbox. Terminology that describes management tasks in a manner consistent with NIMS, and to delineate the processing and management activities of the VMS, is presented throughout this text, with key terms defined through footnote references. Volunteer nomenclature To effectively manage volunteers across the spectrum of voluntary service and through the stages of volunteer processing and incident activity, categories of volunteers have been defined. The term “volunteer” is defined earlier in footnote #4. Common Volunteer categories: o Affiliated Volunteers: Volunteers who have established a pre-disaster association, including registration, with an agency or organization that is participating in the disaster response. The pre-event training, registration information, and skills verification for these volunteers may vary. Rostering of affiliated volunteers by the VMS during an incident may be expedited by transfer of acceptable information for each qualified volunteer from their volunteer organization. o Pre-registered Volunteers: Volunteers who have been pre-screened, with confirmed, up-to-date personal and credential information, and who demonstrate a current understanding of the orientation briefing material to the satisfaction of the appropriate VMS personnel. They therefore satisfy the criteria to be immediately rostered for an incident. This may occur through baseline (pre- incident) VMS operations or through approved volunteer organizations with their affiliated volunteers, using mechanisms acceptable to the VMS. o Recruited volunteers: Volunteers with skills that could address unique or short- supply needs of the disaster response, and are individually requested by the response system (by name or by technical ability) to assist in the effort. They may be affiliated or unaffiliated volunteers. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 11 The George Washington University
  12. 12. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 o Spontaneous volunteers: Volunteers presenting to help at the disaster scene that were neither recruited nor affiliated with an organization that has been incorporated into the incident response. Also referred to as “unsolicited volunteers.” o Support volunteers: Volunteers without identified or verified skills of traditional Public Health and Medicine, but that may still be quite valuable for support and other activities where professional medical and public health skills are not indicated. o Unaffiliated volunteers: Volunteers with no prior association with the VMS or association with a recognized volunteer organization or traditional disaster response agency. o Volunteer Groups: Volunteers presenting in a pre-established group that has internal organization and a management element for participating in the incident response. The management component of this group can provide the registration interface with the VMS during response, thereby expediting the affiliated volunteers’ entry integration into the incident response. VMS-specific volunteer categories: o Rostered volunteers: Volunteers who are fully registered and credentialed by the VMS but have not yet been assigned to an incident task. They have been placed on a roster list/s according to their professional qualifications, level of credential verification completed, and functional capacity within an assigned position. o Assigned Volunteers: Volunteers who have been fully registered and credentialed, rostered into the VMS and assigned to an incident task that they have accepted. o Deployed volunteers: Volunteers who have been processed, assigned to an incident position, and moved to the site for their individual incident operations. VMS MANAGEMENT The VMS manager provides the overall supervision of the VMS system and therefore has accepted responsibility for the overall effectiveness of the VMS response (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A). This responsibility involves:  Overseeing the functional mobilization and demobilization of the VMS.  Designating the site for both the Volunteer Point of Assembly (VPOA) and the Volunteer Management Center (VMC).  Establishing the overall (control) objectives, along with the VMS operational period objectives for each operational period.  Assuring adequate function of the VMS. This is achieved in part by monitoring VMS response operations in relation to incident and VMS objectives.  Setting the timing and length for operational periods and the planning cycle for the VMS. The timing should be coordinated with the planning cycles of the overall ICS. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 12 The George Washington University
  13. 13. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0  Assuring that safety issues are adequately addressed for VMS personnel and the volunteers.  Assuring the performance of the public information (media) function as indicated.  Performing the senior liaison function, as indicated, to appropriate organizations external to the VMS.  Problem solving and decision making as required, for issues that can’t be resolved at a lower level of the VMS.  Ensuring that the appropriate forms are being employed, including the VMS General Message Form (VMS 213) for transmittal of important information not documented in some other manner. VMS OPERATIONS SECTION The VMS Operations Section achieves the objectives set by VMS Management. It is the responsibility of the VMS Operations Section Chief (see Position Description and Job Action Sheets in Appendix A) to determine the tactics that will achieve the VMS objectives for the operational period. For the VMS, response objectives focus on organizing and processing volunteers, and integrating the accepted volunteers into the incident. Two Operations Branches, one for each of these focus areas, are described here: The Volunteer Processing Branch and the Incident Integration Branch. The Volunteer Processing Branch is focused primarily on recruiting, organizing, and processing the volunteer. The Incident Integration Branch, in contrast, is focused upon the incident parameters and requested volunteer positions for the incident, and the activities of the volunteers deployed into the incident. VMS OPERATIONS SECTION - VOLUNTEER PROCESSING BRANCH The Volunteer Processing Branch Director (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A) is responsible for the overall reception, cataloging, briefing, assigning, and scheduling of volunteers. All volunteer-related information must be conveyed to the VMS Plans Section for incident archiving and maintaining accountability of volunteer records. The Volunteer Processing Branch responsibilities include:  Staffing the Volunteer Point of Assembly (VPOA): The VPOA is a physical location where volunteers should report to begin in-processing for the Volunteer Management Center (VMC) – the VPOA and VMC are commonly co-located for medical and public health events, but may be separated. A separate location for initially collecting potential volunteers could be due to: 1) perimeter security, 2) the recruitment of volunteers from a general volunteer reception center, or 3) space constraints at the established VMC. Volunteers are not allowed to participate in response unless they have been processed through the VPOA/VMC. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 13 The George Washington University
  14. 14. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0  VPOA initial reception and organization of incoming volunteers: This is accomplished by the VPOA Leader (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A), who provides the potential volunteers with a written VMS orientation packet, and directs those who remain interested to the VMC.  VMS orientation (i.e., introductory) briefing: This occurs at the VPOA if separate from the VMC or in the VMC registration line if the VPOA is contiguous to the VMC. The briefing may be most efficiently accomplished using the written brief, Volunteer Orientation and Acknowledgement of Responsibilities Form (VMS O7). This document presents an overview of the VMS and its role, plus the volunteer roles, responsibilities and accountability requirements. It provides for a signed acknowledgement by the prospective volunteer. The Public Health Risk Statement (VMS O7a) and any volunteer liability information are included with this orientation packet, for the prospect’s consideration before making the decision to volunteer.  Registration of volunteers: Registration obtains personal data, including contact information, and professional data, including health profession qualifications, relevant experience, and active healthcare organization privileges (see Volunteer Registration and Credentials Form - VMS O8).  Verification of Credentials (confirming identification/certification/qualification) and Rostering: The Credentials Verification Supervisor (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A) is responsible for the process of ensuring that offered identification and credentialing claims are genuine. Subsequent categorization of volunteers is based upon these verified credentials, and accomplished using a defined rostering strategy (see Concept of Operations).  Volunteer Assignment: This process is the responsibility of the Volunteer Assignment Supervisor (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A). The process includes: o Receiving available assignments from Incident Integration Branch (see below). o Matching assignments to appropriate volunteers using the roster categories developed/employed by the Credentials Verification Supervisor. o Providing a position description to the volunteer and obtaining acceptance of the assignment. o Providing an assignment briefing to accepted and assigned volunteers (see next section).  Assignment Briefing: The assignment briefing, which is a more detailed volunteer orientation to the incident and the volunteers’ assigned roles, is provided by the VMS Assignment Briefing Leader (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A) to volunteers who have been offered and © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 14 The George Washington University
  15. 15. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 accepted specific incident assignments (i.e., “assigned volunteers”). In-depth information about the incident (more detailed than contained in the written orientation briefing) is provided, based upon information collected by Incident Integration Branch and documented by them or by the VMS Plans Section. The brief may include the issue of personal protective equipment and/or other equipment and supplies for use in the volunteer positions. Operational level just- in-time training is provided for issued equipment or supplies. An opportunity is provided to volunteers to have their questions answered.  Access Privileging and Deployment: The Deployment & Out-processing Leader assures that the volunteers have been fully processed and received all indicated pre-deployment equipment, supplies and training. Each volunteer is then directed through the VMS badging process (if one is established). The VMS badge indicates that the bearer is a fully processed volunteer. Established access privileging procedures are then followed to ensure that an access badge or other incident site privilege indicator is provided to each assigned volunteer (in conjunction with appropriate ICS positions as indicated).  Transport to work assignments: Once equipped, supplied, trained and badged as indicated, the volunteers are transported to the site of their work assignment and “handed-off” to their supervisor for accountability throughout their incident work periods. Transport, if indicated, may be arranged through VMS Logistics in conjunction with ICS. This function also may transport volunteers back to the VMC at the completion of their assigned tasking.  Volunteer Reassignment, Rehabilitation, and Out-processing: Volunteers who have completed their assignment or series of assigned shifts are returned to the VMC from incident deployment. They are received by the VMS Deployment & Out-processing Leader (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A). They are evaluated and provided with rehabilitation (if indicated) and reassignment (if available) or out-processing and release from the incident. A summary of activities at this station (with more detail in the Concept of Operations) include: o Assess the volunteer’s performance evaluation. o Refer for reassignment, if available positions, for qualified, willing volunteers. o Out-processing: demobilization of volunteers who wish to leave or for whom there are no more current or projected incident assignments. Out- processing activities include:  Incident review: a brief review of the volunteer-related activity.  Medical or counseling referral as indicated.  Recovery of issued equipment, unused supplies, and access privilege badge.  Obtain volunteer feedback on VMS functions. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 15 The George Washington University
  16. 16. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0  Volunteer Recruitment: These activities are grouped under the Operations section and can be accomplished by the Volunteer Processing Branch Director or a designated Volunteer Recruitment Supervisor (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet – Appendix A). Activities include: o Notifying and activating (as directed by VMS Operations Section Chief) pre-registered volunteers and volunteer organizations:  Provide initial incident parameters (as known) and any indicated health and safety message.  Request confirmation of the notification and obtain a response as to availability and response time of solicited volunteers. o Conveying appropriate “no-need” messages (cleared with the VMS PIO function, which is usually the VMS manager) to pre-registered/pre- enrolled groups and individuals. o Assisting the Public Information Officer (PIO) (usually the ICS PIO) with developing volunteer assistance appeals for the general public, and/or messages delineating that no more assistance is needed. This would be distributed to media and other recipients upon direction by VMS management. o Assessing indications for developing a needs-based volunteer recruitment strategy specific to the incident; provide recommendations to VMS Operations Section Chief. VMS OPERATIONS SECTION - INCIDENT INTEGRATION BRANCH The Incident Integration Branch Director (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A) is responsible for working with ICS to identify incident volunteer needs and to monitor volunteers assigned to the incident. The responsibilities of the VMS Incident Integration Branch include:  Delineate the Incident Volunteer Needs: Information important to matching volunteers with available positions must be collected, processed, and transmitted: o Identify current and projected incident volunteer needs through the ICS Logistics Section or the appropriate EOC as indicated. o Describe and categorize the volunteer positions (position descriptions, required credentials and qualifications) for use by the VMS Assignment Supervisor.  Collect other volunteer-related incident information: Other information that is important for the processing and integrating of volunteers into the ICS response must be collected and acted upon. This includes: o Identify site privilege badge procedures and convey to Volunteer Processing Branch. o If volunteers have become involved in incident activities prior to VMS activation and volunteer processing, the Incident Integration Branch © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 16 The George Washington University
  17. 17. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 Director works with ICS personnel to determine the course of action to address the unprocessed volunteers (see Concept of Operations). o Obtain incident updates from ICS contacts (as well as other ICS reports and tools) for use in the Assignment Briefing Template, for anticipating future volunteer needs, and for demobilization and other planning purposes (provide to the VMS Plans Section and VMS Volunteer Processing Branch).  Provide VMS information to ICS personnel: This very important task assures that the appropriate ICS personnel understand the role of the VMS, and the ICS role in effective volunteer management: o Orient ICS response staff, as indicated, to the availability of volunteers and their capabilities as indicated. o Assure that ICS personnel understand the role/requirements for volunteers, and orient ICS response staff on their supervision of volunteers as indicated.  Assure Volunteer Tracking: This is accomplished by the Volunteer Tracking Supervisor (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A) if one is designated: o Track volunteer resources as they deploy from the VMC, through transport, reporting to ICS, executing tasks, change in shifts for volunteer, completion of assignment and return to the VMC.  On-site volunteer coordination: This can be accomplished by the On-site Volunteer Coordinator if one is designated by either the VMS or ICS (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A). This function facilitates the on-site management of volunteer-related issues and can be used to address: o Information exchange between the incident site and Incident Integration Branch. o Site-specific volunteer processing activities.  ‘Trouble desk’ function: This function provides a single point of contact for ICS staff or deployed volunteers to access when difficulties with, or questions concerning, deployed volunteers occur (e.g., questions about qualifications of a specific volunteer, volunteer missing from assigned location, liability concern, etc.). This is accomplished by a Trouble Desk Supervisor (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A). VMS LOGISTICS SECTION The VMS Logistics Section Chief (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A) is responsible for supporting VMS Operations in the areas of personnel, facilities, meals, transportation, and communications. Depending on the nature of the © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 17 The George Washington University
  18. 18. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 event, the ICS system in place, and the ICS-VMS relationship in the ICS structure, the VMS Logistics Section may be able to access many of the indicated services and materiel through ICS resources. Once volunteers are processed, assigned, and report to the ICS, assistance and support for the individual volunteers is provided directly by ICS staff at the assignment site. This extends to include any medical assistance for volunteers during assignments, but requires close coordination with the VMS. The direct VMS Logistics responsibilities include:  Establish and support the VPOA and the VMC: VMS Logistics is responsible for providing facilities, personnel, refreshment, hydration, communication, and transportation support to VMS either independently or in conjunction with ICS. The VMS Logistics section is also responsible for the systems administration of the electronic platform (e-VMS) if used for data management. This includes installation and ongoing maintenance of the electronic platform during system operations.  Support VMS operations through all stages of response and recovery: This covers mobilization, VMS operations, and demobilization of the VPOA and VMC. It includes all aspects of logistical support. This includes arranging and/or providing medical support for volunteers and for VMS staff (possibly through the ICS medical unit providing support for other incident personnel); and arrange any indicated post-incident medical surveillance and follow-up for VMS staff per jurisdictional determinations. See Concept of Operations for further details. VMS PLANS SECTION The Plans Section Chief (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A) provides planning support and maintains both volunteer and incident documentation for the VMS system. Direct VMS Plans Section responsibilities include:  VMS Situation Status: Maintain information/documentation (using the forms and other tools provided in the VMS package) on incident specific parameters and progress by the VMS in meeting its incident objectives.  VMS Resource Status: Tracks assigned VMS staff, available VMS personnel, and out-of-service personnel and captures the information in documentation. It may provide a similar service for critical equipment and supplies.  VMS Planning Support: Provide planning support to the Management and Operations Sections of VMS through setting and conducting of meetings, preparing planning documents, and providing specialized planning as indicated. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 18 The George Washington University
  19. 19. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0  Information archiving: Archiving (for later use during the incident and after- action process) all relevant volunteer, incident, and VMC information as it is developed by other VMS components. For most small and/or standard incidents, the Plans Section services may be accomplished by a single person serving as Plans Section Chief, or even accomplished by the VMS manager. VMS ADMININSTRATION and FINANCE SECTION The Administration and Finance (Admin/Finance) Section Chief (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet - Appendix A) provides support to Management by maintaining expense records and documentation related to workmen’s compensation, other claims, and events that may serve as potential liability for the VMS. These responsibilities include:  VMS Procurement: Contracting and finance services related to purchasing (working closely with VMS Logistics Section personnel).  VMS personnel time and other incident costs: Track these parameters and maintain awareness of the financial costs for the VMS manager and ultimately, for the ICS or whoever is paying for the VMS services.  VMS liability claims: Processing workers’ compensation claims for VMS staff and adverse incidents involving VMS staff or volunteers. It assists in looking for trends and liability costs, which improves the abilities of the Plans Section Chief and the VMS Operations Section Chief in discerning corrective actions as the incident evolves. This section also assists volunteers in filing any worker’s compensation, expense, or other claims with the ICS Administration/Finance Section. For most small and/or standard incidents, the Admin/Finance Section services may be accomplished by a single person serving as Section Chief, or even accomplished by the position (VMS manager or another section chief) covering the VMS Administration/Finance Section Chief position. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 19 The George Washington University
  20. 20. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 VMS CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS OVERVIEW The concept of operations explains how the described system operates through each progressive stage of incident response and recovery. To clearly and comprehensively portray the VMS Concept of Operations, it is therefore presented according to the incident response and recovery stages noted in Figure 3. While the stages overlap as an incident progresses, each stage occurs in sequence and requires specific actions to be accomplished in an effective manner. This established methodology9,10,11 for describing the Concept of Operations promotes the delineation of a comprehensive, coordinated response by the VMS. Any volunteers managed and integrated into the incident by the VMS may be ‘in- processed’ (registered, credentials verified, rostered, assigned, and briefed), tracked during their incident deployment, or ‘out-processed’ throughout the indicated stages. Stages Described in the Concept of Operations Individual or groups of volunteers may enter or exit the VMS at any point during these stages on on ti ns g n n ti nin iza io t io iza t io nit bil ea r a a bil fic per cog mo Mo l oti nal O re De ln nt ti o nt ia ide ide a nit niz Inc Inc n/i rg a t io S y /O VM a tiv er Ac cov Re Figure 3. Stages of Emergency response & Recovery presented in this VMS Concept of Operations. 9 Medical and Health Incident Management (MaHIM) System available under the “2002” heading at http://www.gwu.edu/~icdrm/publications/index.html, accessed 23 July, 2006. 10 Medical Surge Capacity and Capability (MSCC): A Management Handbook for Integrating Medical and Health Resources During Large-Scale Emergencies available at http://www.hhs.gov/ophep/mscc_sept2004.pdf, accessed July 23, 2006. 11 Emergency Management Principles and Practices for Healthcare Systems, available at: http://www1.va.gov/emshg/page.cfm?pg=122, accessed July 23, 2006. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 20 The George Washington University
  21. 21. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 The relationship between the VMS Concept of Operations and the ICS Concept of Operations (or EOC Concept of Operations if the VMS is assigned to integrate at the EOC level) is important to recognize (Figure 4), since the two by definition must be inter-related. Optimal coordination may be promoted through:  Time sequence relationship: The time relationship between the two systems is such that generally, the ICS will have been activated and mobilized prior to the VMS, though both may mobilize concurrently. As the incident is resolved, the ICS will typically demobilize after the VMS has demobilized.  Management relationship: The primary management interaction/coordination between the VMS and the larger ICS usually occurs at the level of the ICS Logistics Section (Figure 4.). Alternatively, the primary interface may be established at the level of the jurisdictional Emergency Operations Center (EOC), via the Public Health (PH) and Medical Emergency Support Function (ESF), another PH or medical unit, or through a Volunteer ESF, rather than directly with the primary ICS for the incident (see Issue 1: VMS Integration into the Overall Incident Response - Appendix C). The specific arrangement should be designated by the jurisdiction at the time of VMS activation. ICS and VMS interface ICS Incident Commander ICS Operations ICS Logistics ICS Plans ICS Admin/ Chief Chief Chief Finance Chief ICS Supply PH&M-VMS Unit Leader* Manager VMS Operations VMS Logistics VMS Plans VMS Admin/ Chief Chief Chief Finance Chief * This is the standardized ICS title for this Logistics Section position Figure 4. The usual incident ICS and VMS relationship  Responsibility relationship: The ICS responsible for managing the incident has the responsibility to assure that the VMS is functioning properly and has the personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to accomplish its mission, which is © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 21 The George Washington University
  22. 22. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 within the Logistics Section of the overall ICS (see Figure 4). It extends some of this responsibility to the VMS, but remains ultimately responsible for volunteers, as well as directly responsible for incident activities that it primarily manages. The ICS, for example, is responsible for maintaining order for any large number of volunteers at the incident site or at a logical volunteer point of assembly (VPOA) prior to VMS activation. VMS INCIDENT RECOGNITION Incident recognition is the first stage of the Response Phase in emergency management. Incident recognition is the process that identifies an “anomaly” (independently or through communication from others), develops a situational assessment of the anomaly and related details, and determines whether an “incident response” by the organization may be indicated. The VMS Incident Recognition, therefore, is the process of determining whether the evolving event parameters indicate the need for activation of the VMS (either partial or full). Responsible parties for recognizing indications for VMS activation may include:  ICS management, operations, or logistics personnel: Designated positions that are responsible for adequate incident personnel, or responsible for maintaining scene control (which could include managing unsolicited volunteers).  VMS personnel responsible for the VMS: They may be alerted to the circumstances through the news media, other alert notification mechanisms within the public safety, medical or public health network, or by volunteer organizations that have personnel responding to an evolving event. Indications for VMS activation (i.e., the event being recognized as a VMS incident) include:  Managing spontaneous volunteer issues: The need to manage spontaneous/unsolicited medical and/or public health volunteers presenting to the ICS managing an incident.  Volunteers needed for response: Potential or actual need for volunteer personnel to fill public health response and medical needs for the incident.  ICS indication of need: ICS request to activate the VMS. The ultimate decision as to whether this is an “incident” for the VMS, and therefore whether to activate the VMS, rests with ICS or EOC manager, since volunteers for public health and medical positions may be indicated through either ICS or EOC management area, according to incident circumstances. VMS personnel may also make © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 22 The George Washington University
  23. 23. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 the activation recommendation to ICS, and this may be prompted by requests or inquiries from Volunteer organizations.12 Information captured during this time period should be recorded in the VMS Initial Event Log (VMS 201) by the initial VMS manager. Once the formal incident planning process has begun, the responsibility for capturing incident information transitions to the VMS Plans Section Chief (see Appendix D). VMS ACTIVATION/INITIAL NOTIFICATION The activation decision is the process of determining the level of activity the VMS will undertake at the outset of its incident response. Initial activation determinations can range from (1) no actual activation at that time, but conveys relevant information to VMS personnel, (2) minimal to intermediate activation (based upon the projected incident needs), up to (3) a full-scale VMS response. Determining the level of activation of the VMS will generally fall within the purview of the VMS manager unless another arrangement is developed during the VMS implementation. For example, the Volunteer Emergency Support Function within the EOC may accomplish this according to a pre-developed decision support tool (see Activation Procedure – VMS M1). The level of activation options are tied to the notification categories (below). Site selection for the VPOA and VMC should be determined at the time of activation. The VPOA and VMC Site Selection tool (VMS M3) provides guidance, but sites should ideally have been determined during preparedness planning. Initial notification is the process of communicating incident information and the level of activation (as appropriate) to VMS personnel, to ICS Logistics Section personnel that interface with the VMS, and to any pre-registered volunteers who are assisting with mobilizing and operating the VMS.13 Notification information (see VMS Notification & Activation Message - VMS M2) is provided in a standardized format using one of the following notification categories:  Update: Conveys non-urgent incident or program information that is unlikely to require any type of immediate action. This is the standard category used for providing information to system members during baseline operations (i.e., non- response). 12 This demonstrates the need for a senior-level 24-hour VMS duty officer that is available and accessible to ICS leaders. If a potential or actual incident is identified where volunteers may be involved, the ICS can notify this on-call position and request a VMS response. 13 The initial notification to volunteer organizations or volunteers who are fully registered and regularly respond for incident operations would be considered an “incident operations action” (similar to other standard personnel call-outs) rather than a VMS activation action, even if it occurs simultaneously with this VMS initial activation notification. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 23 The George Washington University
  24. 24. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0  Advisory: Conveys brief description of an incident that is anticipated or has occurred. Usually indicates a ‘stand-by’ posture or heightened awareness (i.e., no immediate action) or indicates it is unlikely that VMS will be needed (i.e., no response anticipated).  Alert: Conveys brief description of the incident that is anticipated or has occurred. Commonly indicates that it is likely that VMS will be needed, and may authorize or request appropriate pre-activation actions.  Partial Activation: Conveys brief description of the incident that is anticipated or has occurred. Indicates that a specified level of activation (according to a pre- plan) is authorized.  Full Activation: Conveys brief description of the incident that is anticipated or has occurred. Full activation is authorized. The notification message to VMS personnel should include the following (see VMS Notification & Activation Message template –VMS M2 for further detail):  Brief situation description: Incident parameters known at that time.  Activation level: The level of activation & requested action.  Reporting location: The designated address where the VMS personnel will meet to begin their assignments. This is commonly called a point of assembly (which is likely to be distinct from the VPOA).  Important safety information: Pertinent safety issues for personnel responding to their point of assembly, as known at that time.  Confirm notification receipt and provide status: Request for confirmation of message receipt, response status of the notified party, and response time to their point of assembly for the notified individual or group. This provides VMS management with an early indication of adequacy and timing for VMS staffing. VMS MOBILIZATION Mobilization is the stage in which the components of the activated VMS transition from baseline operations to the response level designated in the notification. This includes transport of VMS personnel, supplies, and equipment as indicated, set-up of the operational space for the VPOA and VMC (location/s should be determined by the VMS Manager in conjunction with ICS), and any initial assignment of personnel (see VMS Mobilization Checklist - VMS L1; and VMS Demobilization and Recovery Checklists - (VMS M4). Mobilization of the VMS is accomplished under the supervision of the VMS Logistics Section Chief. Work areas and communications equipment adequate for © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 24 The George Washington University
  25. 25. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 communicating with appropriate personnel in ICS are established (see VMS VPOA & VMC Site Selection - VMS M3, and VMC Site Set-up - VMS L2, plus the VPOA & VMC Signage - VMS L3 for the VMC). A schematic of the VMC is provided in Figure 5. OUT-PROCESSING VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT POST & DEPLOYMENT INCIDENT INTEGRATION VPOA BADGING REGISTRATION WAITING/STAGING AREA ASSIGNMENT BRIEFING CREDENTIAL VERIFICATION ASSIGNMENT Figure 5. A suggested physical layout for the Volunteer Management Center to conduct the VMS operational processes presented in this guide. ICS should provide the following assistance to VMS:  Security: Security and perimeter management for the VPOA/VMC. This should be established at the outset of VPOA/VMC mobilization  Logistics: Logistical support in establishing the VPOA and the VMC. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 25 The George Washington University
  26. 26. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 Initial Operational Capability Once the VMS has been activated and the mobilization stage is underway, the VMS Manager must ensure that a basic operational capability is rapidly established to process early arriving volunteers even as mobilization is evolving. This operational capability may be elementary, temporary, and sustained by only a minimal level of staffing. VMS INCIDENT OPERATIONS Incident Operations is defined as the period during which the VMS actively supports the incident by conducting all the described activities required for effective volunteer processing and management. These essential activities are presented according to the VMS functional sections and the key positions within those functions. Response actions could commence immediately upon activation of the VMS for sudden onset events, at the same time that mobilization is initiated. For example, assistance requests to volunteer organizations (Red Cross or Medical Reserve Corps, and others) could be made immediately, and before VMS mobilization is fully accomplished (see Notification Messages for Pre-registered Volunteers - VMS O6). VMS may also be coordinating, at the direction of the ICS, with a larger, more generic effort that is attempting to coordinate all types of volunteers and/or with State volunteer offices. VMS Management The responsibilities and tasks of the VMS manager (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet – Appendix A) and any appointed VMS command staff positions include:  Implement customized pre-plans14: Management reviews the initial pre-plan VMS structure (using the VMS Organizational Chart - VMS 207) and revises as necessary, then makes key personnel assignments. This is disseminated to the VMS personnel and ICS. As VMS personnel arrive, they document their time on incident and their position assignment (using the VMS Personnel Check-in List - VMS 211) for each operational period. 14 “Pre-plans” are guidelines that describe processes and procedures to be followed, plus other response considerations, for the VMS. These build upon the more generic guidance in the System Description and Concept of Operations and tools, and are for specific types of incidents (i.e., hazard-specific) or specific locations. Many organizations refer to these detailed pre-plans as “Standard Operating Procedures” (“SOPs”). © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 26 The George Washington University
  27. 27. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0  Complete staffing assignments: Staffing assignments to the VMS positions is accomplished by the VMS Manager and the appropriate section chiefs. Expert judgment needed for volunteer processing must be addressed during these position assignments, according to a pre-determined strategy developed during VMS implementation (see textbox). Public Health & Medical Expertise in the VMS Key positions within the VMS organizational structure should be staffed by individuals possessing the ability to apply ‘expert’ proficiency or knowledge to make critical decisions during the processing and management of volunteers. For example, the decision to assign a volunteer to a complex high-trust role requires expert judgment beyond confirming the volunteer’s required certifications. ‘Expertise’ in this area for a public health and/or medical response requires a high level of health and medical knowledge and skills, equivalent to an experienced RN, NP, or MD, based on incident parameters. Several implementation options are possible when selecting the VMS positions to be staffed by public health or medical experts (see Issue 2: Technical Expertise in VMS Management Positions - Appendix C).  Define Operational periods and planning cycle: Establishes the operational periods for the VMS, which then sets the planning cycle for the VMS. All of this is coordinated with the ICS planning cycle if feasible.  Set VMS objectives: Establishes overall (control) objectives for the VMS and the objectives for each operational period. From these, the VMS Manager assesses the overall effectiveness of VMS as the incident evolves, and institutes changes as indicated.  Address health and safety: This may be accomplished with a staffed VMS Safety Officer position (see VMS Safety Officer Job Action Sheet – Appendix A). Otherwise, it is the responsibility of the VMS Manager. The safety function assures the development of the VMS Health and Safety Plan (see VMS Health and Safety Plan – VMS 208) by a designated VMS Safety Officer, and assures the Safety Officer obtains the Public Health Risk Statement from ICS or develops one (see VMS Public Health Risk Statement for Volunteers - VMS O7a) for distribution to volunteers. This document outlines any specific health and medical risks to the volunteer while on assignment and describes precautions and interventions to address those risks. Oversees all aspects of VMS operations to assure safe practices, and intervenes as indicated.  Assure VMS action planning: Oversees the VMS Action Planning process, including reporting and planning requirements, and reviews/approves the VMS Action Plan for each operational period (see the VMS Plans Section Chief and © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 27 The George Washington University
  28. 28. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 VMS Planning Process textbox p. 46 below and The VMS Incident Planning Process – Appendix D).  Establish liaison & coordination: Maintains liaison functions as described in the VMS Systems Description.  Approve VMS public information: Accomplishes any indicated public information tasks for the VMS: The location of the VPOA and VMC should be disseminated to ICS, to VMS personnel, and to volunteer organizations. Much of this may be developed by the Volunteer recruitment Supervisor, but must be approved by the VMS Manager. When appropriate, this information should then be announced publicly through the ICS PIO function.  Maintain financial accountability for VMS costs: Monitor expenditures, liability concerns and contracting to assure adequate funding sources for the VMS (directly supervised by the Admin/Finance Section Chief if the position is staffed).  Monitor VMS effectiveness: Assures adequate functioning of the VMS (see system performance textbox) System Performance Monitoring system performance and applying organizational learning/improvement is an important element of the VMS and helps assure adequate function of the system. Measures of effectiveness for system performance, which are commonly tied to the system’s objectives, should therefore be identified early in the system mobilization and be tracked by VMS Management throughout the duration of VMS operations. Possible quantitative and qualitative measures to monitor include:  The number of ICS volunteer requests filled compared to the total number of requests made  Average time elapsed from registration to an assignment or to completion of volunteer processing  Feedback from volunteers and from ICS volunteer supervisors  Trouble desk issues General oversight for system performance resides with the VMS Manager, but each section chief should monitor performance of their individual section. Changes, except for life-safety and extreme corrections, should be incorporated during the planning for the upcoming operational period. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 28 The George Washington University
  29. 29. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 VMS Operations Section Chief The Operations Section Chief (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet – Appendix A) oversees the activities within the “Operations Section.” This position develops the tactics for each operational period, makes assignments for resources within the VMS Operations Section, evaluates progress towards the tactical objectives and makes changes as indicated (these may include additional staffing or expertise, adjustment of tactics, and others). The Operations Section Chief must also address the development of tactics and assignments for the next period (see textbox), accomplished in conjunction with other members of the Command and General Staff during the planning cycle. Strategy and Tactics to be Determined for Each Specific VMS Incident These are VMS issues that must be addressed to achieve the established control objectives:  Volunteer collection methods and site for the VPOA  Registration tactics, such as data collection methods and the configuration of registration streams  Identity & credentials verification strategy & tactics  Volunteer roster categories  Available position categories  Badging methods  Transportation of volunteers, or assuring that they have self-transported and arrived  Volunteer tracking methods  On-site coordinator assignment (VMS or ICS position)  Volunteer recruitment strategy & tactics Most of these tactical alternatives should be worked out in pre-plans. The appropriate pre-plan can then be rapidly selected and implemented. VMS Operations Section - Volunteer Processing Branch The processing steps for volunteers are conceptually presented in Figure 5. 1. Volunteer assembly: The collection and initial organization of volunteers occurs at the Volunteer Point of Assembly (VPOA), the reception area where volunteers initially congregate to be processed. This is accomplished by the VPOA Leader (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet – Appendix A). 2. VMS orientation (i.e., introductory) briefing: This briefing is provided through a written orientation instrument. Distribution may occur at the VPOA or, if the © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 29 The George Washington University
  30. 30. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 VPOA is contiguous with the VMC, in the line awaiting registration. Volunteers are presented with information related to the general role of the VMS, and the role and responsibility of the volunteer during response (See Volunteer Orientation and Acknowledgement of Responsibilities Form - VMS O7). This information includes: o Appreciation for their willingness to volunteer, and delineate the inherent responsibilities inherent o Volunteer participation rules, with signed acknowledgement by the volunteers that:  All volunteers accept supervision and operate within assigned parameters.  VMS manages volunteers until assigned to the incident.  Designated ICS supervisors manage the volunteers once assigned and deployed.  When volunteers accept assignment, they commit to professionally performing until their assignment is completed; unforeseen assignment issues are immediately reported to the Assignment Desk if not yet deployed, or to the Trouble-Desk function once on assignment.  The volunteer agrees to abide by the rules and understands the defined consequences of violating the rules (e.g., dismissal, trespassing charges, and other possible sanctions). o Liability and workers’ compensation coverage information should be clearly outlined, indicating both the type and level of coverage, or should specifically state when coverage is not provided (see Issue 12: Liability Issues for VMS Staff and for Volunteers – Appendix C). o A Public Health risk statement is provided, which should be available from the ICS Safety Officer. Otherwise, it is prepared by the VMS Safety Officer using the ICS safety plan (see Public Health Risk Statement For Volunteers- VMS O7a) It should outline any specific health and medical risks to the volunteer while on assignment and describe precautions and interventions to address those risks. The VMS orientation briefing is designed to provide a clear understanding regarding volunteerism before the prospective volunteers commit to the registration process. The Volunteer Orientation and Acknowledgement of Responsibilities (VMS O7) includes an instrument to obtain a signed acknowledgement by the volunteer that he/she understands and accepts the volunteer role and responsibilities during incident response. This acknowledgement is archived through the Plans Section. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 30 The George Washington University
  31. 31. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 Medical and Other Support to Volunteers Volunteers who have been processed, credentialed, and assigned to professional positions within the response have formally accepted significant responsibility to perform tasks. During the preparedness phase, consideration should be paid to whether the agency or jurisdiction benefiting from this professional volunteerism will provide the same level of medical support and workers compensation coverage provided to paid professionals responding to emergencies and disasters. This includes, but is not limited to, access to medical care for problems developed due to their response activity, post-incident health monitoring and surveillance, and possibly some form of workers compensation coverage for injury or illness incurred while deployed on an assignment through the VMS.15 Benefits may be limited to those volunteers that have been fully processed and formally assigned through the VMS, thus limiting the financial exposure to the organization responsible for this medical or worker’s compensation coverage. Whatever benefits will be provided should be determined during the preparedness phase, and the orientation briefing should provide this information to the prospective volunteer. Qualified legal assistance in developing procedures for this issue is recommended. 3. VMS Registration: This is the initial station in the VMC itself. The registration process is accomplished under the direction of the Registration Supervisor (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet – Appendix A). Registration obtains self-reported personal data and professional qualifications from the prospective volunteers. The registration information includes: o Personal information. o Emergency contact information. o Contact information for on-call and for on-assignment (cellular phone and/or pagers are preferred). o Professional information: profession, capability (i.e., categorized skill sets), certifications, qualifications (licensure, experience, and others), and an acceptable verification-of-credentials source if available (i.e., an accredited healthcare organization where the volunteer has professional privileges). Skill sets for volunteers are also sought if indicated. These could include foreign and sign language skills, computer or security expertise, or other capability. This information is collected (see Volunteer Registration and Credentials Form - VMS O8) and provided to VMS Plans and to the Credentials Verification station. A Volunteer Process Checklist (VMS O10) is the final form in the registration packet; it allows both the VMS and the individual volunteer to assure that all the 15 Workers' compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that provides compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses. Workers Compensation laws vary by State. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 31 The George Washington University
  32. 32. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 necessary processing steps are accomplished as the volunteer progresses through the system. A volunteer who has completed this step is then considered “registered.” Depending on the kinds of volunteers presenting, registration can be configured for efficient processing so that urgently needed volunteers can be rapidly assigned. The configuration of the registration area (an operational tactic) is implemented by the Registration Supervisor and Volunteer Processing Branch Director after approval by the Operations Section Chief. For example, the number of registration stations and flow of volunteers can vary between events and even over the course of a single event. One implementation strategy to consider is the use of multiple registration/processing streams based upon categories of volunteers (individual volunteers, volunteers groups, pre-registered volunteers, individually requested volunteers), with “fast-track” for priority or easy-to-register categories. The processing of spontaneous, unaffiliated volunteers (individuals or groups) may be the most time intensive. Creating a distinct processing stream for these volunteers would allow other volunteer categories to be registered and assigned more quickly, permitting the VMS to meet ICS personnel requests more efficiently (see Issue 3: Volunteer Registration Strategies - Appendix C). 4. Identity & Credentials Verification: Registered volunteers then have their identity and their presented professional qualifications, experience and privileges confirmed as true and accurate (see Volunteer Registration and Credentials Form - VMS O8). These activities are performed under the direction of the VMS Registration Supervisor (see Position Description and Job Action Sheet – Appendix A). Privacy concerns should be addressed during the credentials verification process. This includes securing of forms, obtaining a Release of Information Form (VMS O9), signed by the volunteer during registration, to facilitate obtaining information on the volunteer, and using private areas for screening. Due to time urgencies and limited human resources to process volunteers, the methods used for credential verification must be carefully considered. Several specific strategies have been defined as options for accomplishing credentials verification: primary source verification, secondary source verification, and expedited emergency credentialing (see Issue 4: Credential Verification Strategies - Appendix C). The verification process includes: o Confirmation of identity. o Confirmation of professional credentials (certification and other qualifications including licenses, experience, and professional abilities) according to the jurisdiction’s established credentialing guidelines. o Rostering volunteers with verified credentials according to a delineated rostering strategy. o Providing the roster to the Volunteer Assignment station. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 32 The George Washington University
  33. 33. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 Once identification is confirmed and satisfactory credential verification is attained, the volunteers are “rostered” according to verification level and the Credentials Verification Supervisor’s judgment of their qualifications for potential incident positions (see Creating Rostering Categories textbox and Issue 5: Rostering Strategy for Credentialed Volunteers - Appendix C). Creating ‘Roster’ Categories for Volunteers When being processed and accepted into the VMS, a volunteer can be ‘rostered’ to facilitate assignment matching. This can involve the use of a pre-defined tiered rostering strategy, which includes addressing professional classification, job category and the functional characteristics of the volunteer within that job category based upon the level of credential verification. 5. Volunteer Assignment: This “matching” function reviews the rostered volunteers and assigns them to available positions identified by the Incident Integration Branch (using the Volunteer Position Requests Form – VMS O1).16 It is accomplished by the VMS Assignment Supervisor ((see Position Description and Job Action Sheet – Appendix A). The process includes: o Receiving available assignments from Incident Integration Branch (see below). o Matching assignments to appropriate volunteers using the roster categories developed and used by the Credentials Verification Supervisor. o Providing a position description to the volunteer and obtaining acceptance of the assignment. The position descriptions are best developed by the organizations requesting volunteers (ideally as attachments to VMS pre- plans). These position descriptions will facilitate the volunteer assignment process, as well as assist the volunteer with understanding what their roles and responsibilities will be during their assignment. o Completing the Volunteer Assignment Slip (VMS O11) for that particular assignment. o Referring accepted and assigned volunteers for an assignment briefing to (see next section). The assignment supervisor should assure that priority positions, as identified by ICS, are filled first if possible (see textbox). 16 For complex and high-trust positions, this goes beyond merely matching credentials with task description. It may include the use of expert judgment to match individual attributes of the credentialed volunteer with the specific assignment requirements. © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 33 The George Washington University
  34. 34. Standardized Volunteer Management System October 1, 2006 Public Health & Medical Emergency Response & Recovery VERSION 1.0 Prioritization of Volunteer Requests and Assignments As previously discussed, the system description and concept of operations for a community’s response to emergencies and disasters must define the point of integration for the Volunteer Management System within their response structure. The VMS should be assigned to a single function in the management construct, most often integrating through and reporting to the ICS Logistics Section or EOC resource tracking and dispatching function. In either case, it must establish a single channel of authority and communication process that the VMS will receive volunteer requests and the priority, if any, in which the requests should be filled. The lack of a clear, coordinated management construct that delineates direct lines of authority may cause the VMS to be receiving requests from multiple sources without a mechanism in place to prioritize all requests based on the overall incident needs, or to avoid processing redundant requests. As a result, it is important that the incident requests and the prioritization of volunteer requests be accomplished by ICS and clearly communicated through a single channel to the VMS. Assignment is facilitated by the categorization of rostered volunteers into groupings as described above, and by grouping incident requests so that the assignment personnel can easily match personnel to available incident positions. All ‘credentialed and rostered’ volunteers are processed through the Volunteer Assignment Supervisor (or designee) and placed into to one of three categories: a) “Rostered and Assigned” - these are: o Volunteer(s) assigned to an incident position and scheduled for immediate dispatch (after assignment briefing and training on duties) to perform ICS designated task (see Volunteer Assignment Slip - VMS 011). o Volunteer(s) assigned to an incident position but scheduled for future shifts. They are staged for assignment briefing, then released to return prior to start of assigned shift to complete the required deployment activities. b) “Rostered and Staged” - these are volunteers with assignments pending: the volunteer(s) is/are staged at the VMC or another staging area because of pending assignments. c) “Rostered and Released On-call” – these are volunteers who are fully rostered but have no assignment available or immediately anticipated. The volunteers are released with instructions (see Volunteers Awaiting Assignments - VMS O14) regarding potential future assistance, call-back procedure, importance of respecting the incident perimeter, and caution about unauthorized entrance. The issue of the unacceptable volunteer must also be addressed (see textbox). © Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management 34 The George Washington University

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