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Emergency Response Plan:
List of Acronyms and Glossary


Terms that could be used during an emergency situation:

AAR: After-Action Report

CIMT: Critical Incident Management Team

CIR: Critical Incident Radio

CIRS: Critical Incident Radio System

COOP: Continuity of Operations

EM: Emergency Manager

EMS: Emergency Medical Services

ENS: Emergency Notification System

EOC: Emergency Operations Center

EOP: Emergency Operations Plan

EPG: Executive Policy Group

HAZMAT: Hazardous Material(s)

IC: Incident Commander

ICS: Incident Command System

MOU: Memorandum of Understanding

NIMS: National Incident System

PIC: Public Information Officer


Emergency Action Plan

An emergency action plan (EAP) is a written document required by particular OSHA standards. [29 CFR 1910.38(a)] The purpose of an EAP is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. The EAP focuses on recognizing and reporting emergencies, shelter-in-place and evacuation, as well as other individual emergency actions related to specific hazards identified by the University.

Emergency Manager

Individual who leads the Emergency Response Team, approves incident action plans, and coordinates with the Executive Policy Group during incidents; operates from the EOC.

Emergency Medical Services

Services including personnel, facilities, and equipment required to ensure proper medical care for the sick and injured from the time of injury to the time of final disposition (which includes medical disposition within a hospital, temporary medical facility, or special care facility; release from site; or being declared dead). Further, emergency medical services specifically includes those services immediately required to ensure proper medical care and specialized treatment for patients in a hospital and coordination of related hospital Services.

Emergency Operations Center

The physical location at which the coordination of information and resources to support incident management activities normally takes place. The emergency operations center is organized using the ICS system, and coordinates with the on-scene first responder command post, as well as the County emergency operations center.

Emergency Operations Plan

The ongoing plan maintained by various jurisdictional levels for responding to a wide variety of potential hazards. It describes how people and property will be protected; details who is responsible for carrying out specific actions; identifies personnel, equipment, facilities, supplies, and other resources available; and outlines how all actions will be coordinated.


The organized, phased and supervised withdrawal, dispersal, or removal of individuals from dangerous or potentially dangerous areas.

  • Spontaneous evacuation – residents or occupants in the threatened area observe an incident or receive unofficial word of an actual or perceived threat, and without receiving instructions to do so, elect to evacuate the area. Their movement, means and direction of travel are unorganized and unsupervised.
  • Voluntary evacuation – a warning to persons within a designated area that a threat to life and property exists or is likely to exist in the immediate future. Individuals issued this type of warning or order are not required to evacuate; however, it would be to their advantage to do so.
  • Mandatory or directed evacuation – a warning to persons within the designated area than an imminent threat to life and property exists and individuals must evacuate in accordance with the instructions from local and/or St. John Fisher University officials.

Executive Policy Group

The senior management team that is responsible for making policy level decisions related to emergency management; highest organization within the incident command system.

First Responder

A person who is among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance. In this EOP, first responder refers to law enforcement, fire department, and emergency medical services.


A natural, technological or human-caused source or cause of harm or difficulty.


An occurrence or event – natural, technological, or human-caused – that requires response to protect life, property, or the environment. The size, scope and complexity of the incident may vary and will impact the type and duration of response and recovery efforts.

Incident Commander

Person responsible for all aspects of an incident response; including quickly developing incident objectives, managing all incident operations, application of resources as well as responsibility for all persons involved; operates from the Command Post; generally law enforcement or fire department, depending on the incident.


Activities providing a critical foundation in the effort to reduce the loss of life and property from hazards by avoiding or lessening their impact. Mitigation seeks to fix the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage, having a long-term sustained effect. For example, installing sprinkler systems in buildings is a mitigation action for structural fire that reduces the chances of fire spreading.


Actions that involve a combination of planning, resources, training, exercising, testing, and organizing to build, sustain, and improve operational capabilities. Preparedness is the process of identifying the personnel, training and equipment needed for a wide range of potential incidents, and developing location-specific plans for delivering capabilities when needed for an incident.


Actions to avoid an incident or to intervene to stop an incident from occurring in order to protect lives and property. These actions include administrative and/or engineering controls; monitoring, inspection and assessment; and immunizations, isolation, or quarantine.


  • Individual – immediate actions taken by persons at or near the incident location to protect themselves, including evacuation and sheltering-in-place.
  • Institutional - immediate actions by trained groups (first responders, incident management teams) to save and sustain lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of plans and actions to support short-term recovery.


Decisions and actions relative to replacing property, resuming employment, restoring businesses, and permanently repairing and rebuilding infrastructure. In addition, mental and emotional health issues are considered in recovery. The recovery process requires balancing the more immediate need to return the community to normalcy with the longer-term goal of reducing future vulnerability.

Emergency Response Team Handbook Revised and Updated: January 2020