November 14, 1997 Special Presentation
Command vs. Coordination
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About Janet Dilling
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Command vs. Coordination
An ever increasing number of emergencies and disasters require the coordinated efforts of multiple agencies in managing response and recovery actions. These actions are most often coordinated and controlled from a jurisdictional Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The organizational structure of the EOC varies widely throughout the United States. So, too, does the command or coordination system to direct the actions of the participating agencies.
There is a growing shift to restructure EOC organizations, often to organizations modeled after the highly successful field Incident Command System. This restructuring, however, is often completed without any (or sufficient) consideration of environmental/human characteristics or variables, specific to that jurisdiction, which may impact group behavior and decision making under a "command" oriented structure.
This paper will explore the differences between "command" and "coordination" or more specifically, centralized and decentralized systems in an Emergency Operations Center structural context. The investigation will center around the interreatedness of three sets of independent variables: environment, technology, and human individual behaviors and how they impact the dependent organizational structure. Propositions or relationships will be drawn from the investigations to establish a model through which Emergency Managers may develop organizational structures to best facilitate EOC operations in their jurisdictions or agencies. Central to this study is the consideration of two research questions:
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JANET DILLING, CEM
Ms. Dilling is President of TEAM Simulations, Inc. an international firm providing change response simulations, business leadership programs and learning events, and crisis management training and exercises to the public and private sector. Ms. Dilling has over 13 years experience in crisis management in the military, local and state government, and the private sector. She concurently serves as the Assistant Director of the Florida Public Affairs Center, Florida State University.
Formerly with the Florida Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee, Florida Ms. Dilling held key positions in the emergency response to several hurricanes and numerous tropical storms. In 1992 while a local emergency management director, Janet was recognized with both the Emergency Manager of the Year Award for the State of Idaho and with the annual Community Service Award of her city for her contributions to her community and the state in emergency management planning and operations. She was also among the first group of 56 government, industry, and military emergency members in the United States to be awarded professional certification as a "Certified Emergency Manager" (CEM).
Past-President of the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners (ASPEP), Ms Dilling has also served as an officer and on numerous national committees in several other national and state emergency management professional organizations. She has been a frequent presenter at state, regional, national and international conferences.
Ms. Dilling holds a Bachelor's Degree from Salem College, North Carolina and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Idaho. She holds the rank of Major in the U.S. Army Reserve.
JANET D. DILLING, CEM
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