RED COMMAND 2013

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) will host the Urban Shield 2013, a planned training exercise involving local, national, and international first responder agencies.  This event begins Friday October 25, 2013 and ends on Monday October 28, 2013.  This 48 hour exercise will be managed utilizing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS).  The event incorporates the guiding principles from the National Response Framework (NRF) to assist tactical teams as well as all first responders, to prepare for and provide a unified response to disasters and major emergencies.

Urban Shield will be separated into 8 operational Area Commands designated Black, Gold, Green, Purple, Blue, Silver, Red, and Orange.  There will be an EMS Branch and a Medical Branch as well.  Participating Hazardous Materials, Water Rescue and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams will operate under the command of the “Red Area Command” also known as “Fire Branch”.  Darin White, Battalion Chief of Special Operations of the Oakland Fire Department will be the Fire Branch Director.
Scenario Introduction

“Fire Branch” scenarios for 2013 will be comprised of hazardous materials, water based and Urban Search and Rescue  based incidents.  As in previous Red Area Commands there will be an emphasis on information sharing, decision-making skills, multi-discipline and agency cooperation and unified effort among first responders and supportive resources at the scene of emergencies.  This collaborative effort will be comprised of fire, search and rescue (land and water based), hazmat, law enforcement, EMS, public works, Cal Trans, rail and multiple businesses and community emergency response teams (CERT).

All Water Rescue, Urban Search and Rescue and Hazardous Materials teams will be evaluated on core competencies which will be designed to test their abilities in differing evolutions and situations that will require effective communication and development of incident action plans (IAP) that outline the necessary strategies and tactics for successful outcomes.   The decision making model will encourage collaborative play with other specialized teams and disciplines, law enforcement and/or role players.  Scenarios will be designed to provide teams with play that is fast paced, dynamic and increasingly encountered by first responders in this era.

Event Tasks

Hazardous Materials teams will participate in 12 time based scenarios which will differ from day- to- day but will be graded on the same performance criteria.  Scenarios will be 45 mins.-1 hour in duration and will be developed referencing the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Core Capabilities and the Bay Area UASI Capabilities Based planning for all hazards.  Each site will be within 5 minutes driving time from the previous site.  Upon arriving at a scenario, a general briefing will be issued; site orientation and operational parameters will be provided.  Teams will be directed to work in a collaborative manner and are expected to share and incorporate the resources and personnel that are made available to them.  At the conclusion of the scenario, a de-briefing will be provided and discussion about lessons learned, impediments overcome, and future decision-making considerations.  The evaluator(s) will discuss key areas of performance with the teams before they depart to the next site.

Urban Search and Rescue Teams will be presented with a variety of scenarios (6-8) which will challenge the teams’ ability to perform in varying conditions within both mentally and physically demanding environments.  The use of critical infrastructure, state-of -the art props and innovative constructs will offer unique experiences in each scenario ranging from confined spaces, high and/or low angel rescue, building collapse, trench rescue and more. Travel time between sites will be kept at a minimum in order to maximize time allotted for each scenario.  

Water Rescue Response Teams will be provided with several scenarios designed to assess the teams’ abilities, levels of training and skills including but not limited to: navigation, pt. extraction, towing and docking, pumping, line guns, and shore based response.  Water based scenarios will occur in daylight hours only to ensure maximum visibility.

The teams/agencies with the highest cumulative scores will be recognized according to their rankings.  Scoring will be performed by subject matter experts and representatives from federal, state, local, and the private sector.

Information Sharing and Communications

In recognition of the importance of sharing information and real time situational awareness among first responders, the emergency operations centers and regional partners, the Red Area Command will work with the ACSO to utilize existing and new software, technologies and equipment designed to provide interoperability and timely situation status and resource status reports.  Partnerships with commercial providers and operators of communication technologies and software, equipment and resources (which are invaluable during emergencies) will also be an integral component of the information sharing and communications process.

Participation/Volunteer Opportunities

First Responder Organizations and specialized teams who are interested in participating or volunteering to serve as part of the planning and exercise design team must submit an e-mail or letter of interest to the attention of Battalion Chief Darin White.  The letter or e-mail should specify the area of interest and expertise.

Individuals who are interested in serving as assistant safety officers, site captains, assistant site captains, proctors/evaluators (subject matter experts), must be available to do so on either Saturday October 26, or Sunday October 27, 2013.

Type 1 or 2 hazardous materials teams shall be comprised of no more than 10 persons (including their supervisor) and should be willing to compete from 0900 – 2000 hrs. on either Saturday or Sunday.

Type 1 or 2 Urban Search and Rescue Teams shall be comprised of no more than 10 persons, (including their supervisor) and will be assigned to compete from 0900-0800 hrs. on either Saturday or Sunday.

Water Rescue Response Teams shall be comprised of no more than 4-5 persons and should include personnel trained as surface swimmers, rescue boat operators and/or swift-water trained.  Agencies who are seeking to participate are required to indicate the type of vessel and their area of jurisdiction and mission.

E-mails and letters of interest should be addressed to Darin White, Battalion Chief, Oakland Fire Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or sent via USPS to Darin White, Battalion Chief of Special Operations/Safety Officer, Oakland Fire Department, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Pl, Suite 3354, Oakland, Ca. 94612. 

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