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New field operations guide made available by FEMA

FEMA logistics
team at work

FEMA is making available its first version of the Emergency Responder Field Operations Guide, sometimes call ER FOG, which is intended to help emergency response personnel use the national Incident Command System (ICS) during an incident.

The pocket-sized guide, which runs about 140 pages, represents the culmination of about four or five years of work, Mark Kurisko, a FEMA program specialist, told GSN on Feb. 16. The Coast Guard has such a field guide, and so do some of the armed forces, but this will be the first such guide produced by FEMA, Kurisko added.

“This document provides guidance for assigned incident personnel by describing ICS and the operational planning cycle, explaining responsibilities, and providing position checklists,” says a FEMA notice posted in the Federal Register on Feb. 16.

FEMA notes that ER FOG is not intended to replace emergency operations plans, laws, regulations and ordinances.

“The contents of this document are not intended as a substitute for required training and good judgment,” the notice adds. “All agencies and jurisdictions should ensure that responders receive adequate and appropriate training to perform their assigned duties and tasks.”

The public is invited to submit comments about the new edition of ER FOG by March 18. FEMA says the  document is currently available at http://www.regulations.gov by citing Docket Number FEMA-2009-0014, but an effort by Government Security News to find the document using those instructions was not immediately successful. FEMA’s Kurisko predicted that the field guide will be posted shortly.

Further information is available from Kurisko at 202-646-2840.