When a disaster or public health emergency requiring federal support occurs, ASPR shifts its focus from preparedness to response operations to provide surge support to local, state, tribal and territorial partners.
The cornerstone of ASPR’s approach to incident management for incidents and events is the Incident Management Team. The IMT works with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and private-sector stakeholders to:
- identify the prioritized needs of the communities affected by human-caused or naturally occurring emergencies,
- identify and coordinate resources to meet those needs
- effectively and efficiently manage ASPR deployed field resources and capabilities to ensure successful completion of assigned missions.
Incident Management Team Composition
The IMT is led by the Federal Health Coordinating Official (FHCO) who serves as the lead representative of the ASPR in the field.
The FHCO oversees:
- Mission Generation - the public health and medical assessment and needs validation, prioritization, and mission assignment processes in close collaboration with the FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO), federal
Emergency Support Function (ESF) leads, and other partners, including federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial public health and medical authorities; and
- Mission Execution - the establishment and day to day operation of the IMT’s General and Command Staff and deployed specialized response teams, which is based on the
Incident Command System (ICS).
The IMT is comprised
Regional Emergency Coordinators, Regional Medical Countermeasure Advisors,
National Disaster Medical System responders, and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers who are experienced and specially trained emergency management professionals and ESF-8 public health and medical planners and providers. These IMT responders are able to deploy on short notice to support all-hazard incident response and may be activated in support of pre-planned special events.
Collectively, IMT members have expertise in:
- the core NIMS/ICS-based general staff positions (operations, logistics, plans, and administration and finance) and command positions
- specialized public health and medical assessment, planning, and resource delivery
- specific subject areas, including knowledge of state and local medical and public health response plans and capabilities/capability gaps
- building professional relationships corresponding to the HHS region(s) to which many IMT members are assigned