"Overcome the Challenges of Using
IMS - The World Standard for Emergency Management,
- in Your EOC."
Emergency managers and business continuity specialists who operate in emergency operations centers (EOCs) away from the front lines need to adapt the standard Incident Management System (IMS) methodology to make it work effectively.

Hospital leaders and executives must find ways to implement NIMS in practical terms beyond the mere declaration that IMS is in effect with Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance & Admin sections.

Business leaders & executives must find ways to implement IMS in a business context, where the lingo of firefighters, police services and other first responders bears little relevance.

Public agency leaders who coordinate emergency responses at a strategic level, away from the hands-on deployment of first responders , must interpret and adapt IMS to an EOC environment where information, analysis, documentation, and coordination are the primary activities for the organization’s role in the response.

IMS is the international standard for effective emergency response. It ensures organized, coordinated action, shared understanding, clarity of purpose and instructions, and is modular and scalable to meet the demands of any emergency response effort.

IMS was formally codified in the 1970s based on California’s experience with fighting wildfires and the uncoordinated, inefficient efforts that arose from well-meaning but disjointed responders. IMS has since become the standard by which all fire departments, police services, and emergency medical services organize, coordinate and execute efforts to resolve emergencies.

However, what works for front-line responders does not automatically transfer directly into the emergency operations center environment.

If you are a public agency or department coordinating responses at a strategic, system-wide level dealing with policy, strategy, accountability, public perception, political and economic impact in addition to health, life and safety, you need to understand and implement IMS in a way that actually works.

If you are a business, hospital, or hospital dealing with emergencies ranging from supply disruptions, labor disruptions, or other incidents that have economic, political and strategic impacts in addition to emergencies that threaten public or employees’ health, life and safety, you need to understand and implement IMS in a way that works for your environment and that meets your needs.

The lingo and standard operating procedures employed by first responders at the scene of an emergency are not actually usable in a direct 1-to-1 fashion in an EOC.

The basic principles of IMS are simple. You can learn them in an hour or two. What is simple is not always easy. Implementing IMS is a clear example of this.

It isn’t enough to design an org chart based on IMS principles. It isn’t enough to put names or positions in the boxes and then tell people to use that structure during an emergency response. It isn’t even enough to train everyone who will be involved in an emergency response so that they know the principles of IMS.

You need to translate the principles into effective tools, processes and procedures in order to truly implement IMS effectively in your EOC. You need to translate the principles into something you can really use in order to benefit from the strengths of IMS.

I have designed and redesigned IMS structures, processes and procedures for strategic-level organizations – four different provincial government ministries in Ontario, Canada – and refined the tools, processes and procedures for EOCs through repeated emergency responses.

The Practitioner’s Guide to Implementing IMS in EOCs was developed through real-world experience:

  • Designed IMS structures and processes from scratch for the Ministry of Energy, which is responsible for keeping electricity, oil and gas supplied to over 13 million people in over 400 municipalities.
  • Designed IMS structures and processes from scratch for the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal, which in 2007 oversaw over $1.8 billion in capital investment.
  • Redesigned IMS structure and processes for the Ministry of the Attorney General, which operates over 250 courthouses across the province and which, by law, must enable judges to remand every accused individual within 24 hours of arrest
  • Redesigned the IMS structure and processes for the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care, which manages over $46 billion in programs, including coordi nation and direction to 156 hospital corporations and over 24,000 independent physicians

The tools, processes and procedures that you will receive in the Guide have been tested and refined based on actual EOC operations in response to:

  • Pandemic H1N1 in 2009, requiring a 10-month activation of the Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care EOC to manage political, scientific, medical, logistical, financial and public relations efforts.
  • The G8 and G20 Summits of 2010, the largest security event in Canadian history, surpassing the Vancouver Summer Olympics in both scale and complexity.
  • The Northwest Forest Fire Evacuations of 2011 which involved the evacuation & displacement of thousands of residents from 13 remote communities,and the coordinated, system-wide redeployment and escalation of services to support the displaced communities.
  • The Canadian Medical Supply Disruption of 2012, which required system-level responses to political and financial threats, and to real, tangible health, life and safety threats to over 34 million people across the Canada.

With The Practitioner’s Guide to Implementing IMS in EOCs, you will benefit from these experiences and lessons and be able to implement IMS effectively without having to search in the dark, learn by trial and error, or pay the price of responding ineffectively.


The Practitioner’s Guide includes all of the following to get your EOC operating at a high level of performance using IMS effectively:

  • An overview of how the principles and tenets of IMS (in its various iterations including NIMS, HICS, Ontario IMS, and others) need to be applied to actually work in an EOC
  • Process flow diagrams illustrating the communication flows & workflows that make IMS a dynamic, effective system in an EOC Preparation checklists to ensure your EOC is physically ready to support IMS implementation
  • Prepared templates to enable clear, efficient communication and standardized documentation in your EOC
  • A quick reference guide on smart investments in your EOC that enable more effective IMS implementation
  • Training materials and “job action sheets” for every key IMS role to ensure anyone stepping into a role in your EOC knows what is expected of them.
  • Special access to online multimedia training modules for people who will have roles in your EOC during emergency responses .

Order the Practitioner’s Guide to Implementing IMS in EOCs now to start preparing your EOC to truly benefit from the strengths and advantages of IMS. Adopting IMS straight from the world of front-line first responders into your EOC will not work and will only frustrate you, frustrate your colleagues, and kill any organizational enthusiasm or willingness to adopt IMS methodology.


For only $87, you will fully leverage the strengths of IMS without having to figure out on your own, without having to make avoidable mistakes, and without having to burn up goodwill and political capital within your own organization through failed attempts to use IMS.


Emergencies happen at any time. The time to prepare is now.

Order The Practitioner’s Guide to Implementing IMS in EOCs today and be ready before the next emergency strikes.