Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
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46 Proceedings Spring 2015 www.uscg.mil/proceedings In this response, this was particularly evident in the joint information center, where our Public Information Assist Team information officer provided strong leadership to assist with the tough decisions the information center staff faced, as the incident escalated and national media increas- ingly engaged. Use Living Job Aids We knew early on that the Texas City Y spill was going to become a Type 1 event. The Federal Emergency Management Agency categorizes incidents into fve types based on com- plexity. Type 5 incidents are the least complex and Type 1 the most complex. As we surveyed our interagency and mixed public/private sector team, we quickly realized that some folks could use help. After all, they had been yanked from commercial industry day jobs and were facing the enormous challenges that come with a Type 1 incident. The quick and easy answer: Assign them a savvy DSF "coach" as a deputy or assistant. During this response, members of all three strike teams and the Incident Management Assistance Team easily embed- ded into feld teams, forward command posts, and incident command posts (ICPs), providing invaluable management expertise. Plan Continuity in Leadership With any incident, succession to leadership is important, and we all know that demobilization planning starts the moment that resource reports. We relied on three key DSF personnel: CDR Joe Leonard, CDR Keith Donohue, and CDR Kevin Lynn. As veterans of major Gulf of Mexico spills, they brought experience to this response. Whether they were DSF or organic forces, we found that we needed to identify our experienced people, rest and recharge them, and groom them to feet up into leadership positions. Fix Non-Traditional Problems Non-Traditionally The National Contingency Plan outlines our response priori- ties clearly: protect life and ensure safety. 6 Traditionally, this has been seen as controlling immediate toxicity hazards. Finally, as the response grew, the data sharing became more complex. To meet this challenge, the ERMA support team developed a detailed data sharing agreement that speci- fed how data would be provided and ensured a consistent common operating picture. We anticipate this will serve as a template to coordinate data sharing for future responses. The Take-Aways The deployable specialized forces provide a tremendous return on investment for the public and proved their value during the Texas City Y spill, which grew into a whole-of- government response. As response veterans, it is our duty and prerogative to give advice to those who will come after us. So, listen up: ■ use the right tool for the job, ■ embrace the science, ■ focus on unity of effort, ■ use living job aids, ■ plan continuity in leadership, ■ fx non-traditional problems non-traditionally. What do we mean by this? We feel that these are some of the keys to a successful response, and you can achieve all of them if you rely on your force multipliers — especially the DSFs. We've already touched on the frst two bullet points (use the right tool, embrace the science), as, in this response, we were quick to call on Coast Guard and other agencies' specialized forces. Most importantly, we let them do what they do best, and we listened to their advice to carry out this response. Focus on Unity of Efort As a result of our strong pre-need relationships, staff from areas that were not directly affected surged to assist in this response. Fortunately, DSF personnel are particularly skilled in working with diverse partners and in bridging cultures. Coast Guard personnel, along with other federal, state, local, and contract incident managers work with the responsible party in the incident command post. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Offcer Andrew Kendrick. Massive logistics in remote reaches illustrate the scale of a Type 1 incident response. U.S. Coast Guard photo by CAPT Randal Ogrydziak.