Signing Of Co-ordinated Incident Management System

  • Jack Elder
Civil Defence

Thank you for the oportunity to address you today.

What we have here is another example of the improved, professional approach being adopted to the management of emergency incidents. We are all reliant on each other in this increasingly complex world.

Society expects and demands much more in the way emergency incidents are handled. And there is an increasing willingness to scrutinise performance and to criticise results which are less than perfect.

We are all familiar these days with terms such as 'performance management' and 'risk management'. This manual is an important contribution to ensuring that emergency services operate in a co-ordinated co-operative manner.

Improving the co-ordination and effectiveness of response to routine incidents as well as major incidents is one of the key concepts in our new approach to emergency management.

Proactive management of risk is increasingly reducing the probability and severity of incidents but the scale and nature of emergencies still vary considerably.

Performance as I have already mentioned tends to be scrutinised closely. And so are the collateral effects of incidents on the environment and economic activity. One consequence of this is the increasing need for the lead agency to call on specialist assistance from other agencies.

The demand for a common, co-ordinated approach to incident management has been most timely and I congratulate the Fire Service Commission as the National Rural Fire Authority for its role as lead agency in the development of CIMS.

The relative speed with which you have all achieved agreement on CIMS reflects the maturity of relationships between the agencies who made up the working group.

Tomorrow I am going to Hamilton to observe a Civil Defence exercise organised by the Hamilton City Council and involving a wide range of groups who'll be involved in any emergency. The scenario will be a major bomb blast near the city centre causing a building collapse and all sorts of other devastation. One of the objectives of Exercise Clearday will be to practise the use of CIMS.

I note that the preparation of this manual marks the completion of the first stage of the CIMS project. Now, individual agencies must adapt their individual, historical incident management systems and language, to conform to this new common model.

I will view the results of your labours with great interest.