Fort Bend County Health and Human Services and Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management

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1 Fort Bend County Health and Human Services and Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management

2 Fort Bend County Mass Fatality Management (MFM) Plan July 2011 Regional Mass Fatality Management Concept of Operations Plan September 2012 There has been a lot of interest generated recently regarding Mass Fatality Incidents

3 Any occurrence of multiple deaths that overwhelms the routine capability of an agency.

4

5 There is no magic threshold for determining a Mass Fatality Incident in FBC The type of incident, the type of death and the number of bodies are all determining factors

6 The ultimate purpose of any mass fatality response is to recover, identify, and arrange for the final disposition of the deceased in a timely, safe, and respectful manner while accommodating religious, cultural, and societal expectations.

7 Deals with the three main areas of a Mass Fatality Incident Response: Scene Operations Morgue Operations Family Assistance Center Fort Bend County Mass Fatality Management Plan is comprised of two parts: Base Plan Field Operations Guide

8 Local capabilities are adequate for many mortuary affairs Resources may be impacted by an emergency Secondary hazards to safety could exist Regional emergencies may make it difficult to obtain mutual aid Fear and panic can be expected An act of terrorism will require coordination with the FBI

9 Deals with: Concept of Operations Communications Public Information Roles and Responsibilities Mass Fatality Response Resources

10 Scene Control Missing Persons Transportation of human remains and personal effects Facility Management Tracking Human Remains and Personal Effects Surge Resources Storage of Remains Personnel Management Information Management Victim Identification Antemortem Data Management Disposition of Identified and Unidentified Remains Release of Remains Issuance of Death Certificates Role of the Family Assistance Center CBRNE Incidents and Decontamination

11 The Fort Bend County Mass Fatality Field Operations Guide (FOG) was developed to support response resources during the initial operational periods of a mass fatality incident The FOG is a compilation and summary of: Important strategic and tactical information Developed procedures Reference materials

12 Incident Commander Unified Command Public Information Officer Safety Officer Liaison Officer Operations Section Chief Planning Section Chief Logistics Section Chief Finance/Administration Section Chief Mass Fatality Management Branch Director Situation Status Unit Communications Unit Time Unit Morgue Group Supervisor Documentation Unit Supply Unit Procurement Unit Morgue Tracker Team Resource Status Unit Ground Transportation Unit Compensation/Claims Unit Forensic Technician Team Demobilization Unit Food Unit Cost Unit Admitting Station Team Facilities Unit Forensic Photography Team Medical Unit Personal Effects Team Fingerprint Team Release of Remains Team Scientific Group Supervisor Forensic Pathology Team Scene Investigation Group Supervisor/JP Family Assistance Group Supervisor/ARC Dental Team Radiology Team Anthropology Team DNA Team Search and Recovery Team Note: Positions should be filled as needed. Note: Positions should be filled as needed.. The The only only required required position position is the incident is the incident commander.. Additional branches will will likely be be needed needed in in operations (for example, law law enforcement, emergency medical services [EMS], hazardous emergency medical services [EMS], hazardous materials [hazmat]). materials [hazmat]). The JP or his/her designee may serve in the The unified JP or command. his/her designee may serve in the unified command. Transportation Team Family Care Team Hospital Representative Team Morgue Coordinator

13 Justices of the Peace Medical Examiner s Office Law Enforcement Fire Departments Emergency Medical Services Health and Human Services Office of Emergency Management American Red Cross Others

14 Fort Bend County is divided into four precincts with five Justices of the Peace (JP) responsible for determining cause and manner of death or initiating the process to determine cause of death.

15 JPs are key figures in a local mass fatality incident and will serve as part of Unified Command if the incident is completely fatalityrelated During a mass fatality incident, JPs are responsible for determining the cause of death, authorizing autopsies to determine cause of death, authorizing forensic investigations to identify human remains, and for removing human remains from the incident site.

16 FBC contracts with a Medical Examiner s (ME) Office to conduct autopsies The ME may become involved in a response due to: The deceased s identity is unknown The death is violent or unnatural in nature The access ME services, human remains must be transported to the ME s Office or to an established temporary morgue site The ME will act as a forensic consultant to FBC in a mass fatality incident

17 Law Enforcement or the Sheriff s Office will notify the applicable JP of a potential mass fatality incident LE is responsible for investigating deaths that are not due to natural causes or that do not occur in the presence of an attending physician Also responsible for security at the scene and the Family Assistance Center

18 Will assist in conducting Search and Rescue and Search and Recovery Operations (which may involve Technical Rescue) In the event of a CBRNE incident, HazMat teams will be called out to assist with onscene operations

19 Triage, stabilize and provide emergency medical transport of survivors in a mass casualty or mass fatality incident Will provide logistical support to on-scene operations: Mass Casualty Trailers Body Bags EM Track

20 Once it has been determined it is a mass fatality incident, the responsible JP and the Director of HHS will determine whether local resources and capabilities are exceeded. If so, HHS will start the resource request process to request additional resources Additional logistical support

21 Will assist in maintaining situational awareness of the incident Provide logistical support Processing resource requests and sending them up the chain if need be Help provide PIO support for the incident

22 Operate the Red Cross Safe and Well Website for missing persons Act as the lead agency for Family Assistance Center operations Manage mass care operations as necessary

23 Local Hospitals FBC Road and Bridge FBC County Clerk s Office Local Funeral Homes Mental Health America of Fort Bend County FBI NTSB Other State / Federal Agencies ex. DMORT

24 A Family Assistance Center (FAC) is a facility that is set up for the families of the missing and/or deceased. FAC will also be used to collect information from families that might be used to help identify the deceased. The amount of time the FAC remains in operation will depend on the situation, the needs of the families, and the amount of time necessary to recover the remains.

25 On-Scene Operations Incident Notification Scene Evaluation and Organization Recovery of Remains Holding Morgue Final Disposition Transportation Morgue Operations Transportation Family Assistance Center Operations

26 The Incident Commander may request to activate this plan when he or she determines that the number of fatalities exceeds local capabilities. The Emergency Management Coordinator, County Judge, Justice of the Peace or Local Health Authority will activate this plan when he or she determines the number of fatalities exceeds local capabilities.

27 Responders will be center stage in ensuring that all human remains and personal effects are processed and accounted for in a manner that is respectful and considerate of families needs The jobs of responders will be complicated by the fact that there will be considerable media exposure and attention paid to all aspects of the incident The manner in which responders carry out their jobs will likely be under scrutiny Regardless of the incident and response, personnel safety is paramount

28 The public will quickly begin demanding information from the County, especially during a mass fatality incident when mortuary affairs operations are ongoing This will be particularly evident from families at the FAC, citizens living in the area, and others from around the country or globe The lead JP / IC / PIO might be asked to provide periodic if not regular commentary to the FAC, the media, and other organizations

29 Fort Bend County Health and Human Services However FBC HHS actually has no direct role in carrying out this plan

30 To take a short training on the plan, go to Mass Fatality Management: An Overview of Fort Bend County's Plans To view the FBC MFM, go to EOP Annex H Appendix 3 Attachment B

31 Fort Bend County Health and Human Services and Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management

32 David Olinger Public Health Preparedness Coordinator Fort Bend County Health and Human Services Caroline Egan Planning Coordinator Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management Fort Bend County Health and Human Services and Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management

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