EOC Team

The Vashon Emergency Operations Center serves island residents before and during critical events as activated and directed by Vashon Island Fire and Rescue in close collaboration with King County. With many years of training and activations, we serve as a model organization addressing Vashon's unique geographical and logistical situation.

The Vashon Emergency Operations Center operates under the aegis of Vashon FireKing County Office of Emergency Management, the State Office of Emergency Management, and FEMA during emergencies. The Vashon Island Fire & Rescue (VIFR) Fire Chief who serves as the island's Emergency Manager & Incident Commander. When not activated, the EOC Team's training, activities and finances are performed in colaboration with Vashon Fire and the VashonBePrepared coalition.

The Vashon EOC:

  • Collects, analyze, and share information.
  • Collects resource needs and requests, including allocation and tracking.
  • Coordinates plans and determine future needs.
  • Performs coordination and policy direction.

EOC Training

Vashon’s Emergency Operations Team trains the 1st Wednesday at 6:30 PM each month (except December). Maybe 20 people show up – experienced and novice alike.

These trainings are a great way to gauge what Vashon's key disaster representatives are up to and meet many of the key teams and volunteers.

In addition to the monthly training, EOC Team members are expected to take additional training with courses provided for free by FEMA. See the adjacent article for more details.

Courses for Vashon EOC Volunteers

A number of federally provided courses are recommended for EOC Team members, and others that are curious how we operate.

All VashonBePrepared volunteers are encouraged to take:

EOC Team and Liaisons

In addition, EOC Team volunteers should take:

IS-2200 Basic Emergency Operations Center Functions is highly recommended for all EOC personnel and liaisons to the EOC.

FEMA sponsored courses all tend to be free, and with COVID, an increasing number are available online, either as Independent Study or Instructor lead courses. Check King County, Seattle, and WA State EMD Training Calendars for upcoming courses.

Full descriptions of these can be found at https://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/icsresource/trainingmaterials/. Detailed course information and self-study courses are at: https://training.fema.gov/emi.aspx

EOC Manager & Section Chiefs

Vashon EOC Manager & Section Chiefs & Deputies should additionally take:

Position/Section specific training is also available and strongly recommended.

EOC Skillsets

In 2018 FEMA began promoting skillsets that EOC Personnel should have, depending on their position.

Therse week-long courses started getting rolled out fall 2021 and represent the cutting edge of EOC Training:

  • K2302, EOC Leaders Skillsets
  • K2304, EOC Planning Skillsets
  • K2306, EOC Resource Skillsets
  • K2308, EOC Ops and SA Skillsets

Vashon EOC is a leader in the state in that some of us have already been trained on these skillsets. We are exploring the value of adopting this  skillset approach to training locally. These new courses are so new they are hard to find information on! Most instructors in the the state haven't even taken them as of late 2022. Try searching for one of the courses above, or try this link:

https://training.fema.gov/emigrams/2021/1682%20-%20training%20opportunity%20-%20eoc%20functions%20curriculum%20fy2021-fy2022.pdf?d=9/27/2021

To get involved, please go to our volunteer page and tell us a bit about your interests and skills.

Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Jobs


During COVID we varied our organizational chart as the incident evolved. This was one depiction. (Click for a larger version)

EOC volunteers are encouraged to learn new skills and be ready to handle whatever position they are most needed for during an incident. That said, most volunteers train for particular Section and Units within the EOC.

Some key positions in our Sections and Units are described below.

  • Incident Commander
    • EOC Manager
    • Public Information Officer
    • Safety Officer
    • Liaison to King County & other Island organizations
  • Life-Safety Operations
    • CERT Liaison
    • MRC Liaison
    • MERT Liaison
    • Utility Unit - Collect information about status and needs of utility systems island-wide (electrical, natural gas, water, landline & cell phone systems, and sewer). Triage and post summary information for the Incident Commander and other EOC desks. Handle communications in/out with utility companies.
  • Community Operations
    • Sheltering & Mass Care Unit
    • Neigborhood Support Unit
  • Planning Section
    • Resource Unit
    • Information Technology Unit
    • Message Center & Documentation Unit - Collect, triage/sort and disseminate written messages in/out of various desks in EOC. Write succinct messages for transmission via radio and email.
      • Messengers - Walk, drive or bike to deliver bulletins and information to key points in downtown Vashon and the outskirts of the island. Usually work in pairs; make field observations and give reports back to the Vashon Emergency Operations Center.
    • Demobilization Unit
  • Situational Awareness Section
    • GIS Unit
  • Logistics Section - Gather information, opportunities and potential resources for the island - acting as a primary conduit for resource requests with King County Office of Emergency Management.
    • EOC Service Branch
      • EOC Communications
      • EOC Medical
      • EOC Food
    • Support Branch
      • Supply Unit
      • Facilities Unit
    • Finance Section

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) & the Incident Command System (ICS)

The Vashon EOC and Vashon Fire operates according to the nationally approved National Incident Management System. First responders (Vashon Fire) follow the Incident Management System (ICS). The Vashon EOC has a unqiue model aligned with both the ICS and Incident Support Model (ISM).

Components of the National Incident Management System

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work together seamlessly and manage incidents involving all threats and hazards—regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity—in order to reduce loss of life, property and harm to the environment.

The Incident Command System (ICS) is a command and communication system for emergencies and events. It establishes a process and communication system to improve effectiveness, particularly when dealing with multiple agencies. Although the system is in a constant state of refinement, it has successfully streamlined a variety of tasks that have been adopted by many agencies and international organizations in order to respond to emergencies.

The Incident Support Model (ISM), unlike the more traditional ICS, Emergency Support Function (ESF), or Departmental models historically followed by other EOCs, focus on what our EOC does - supporting those in the field - and thus better matches our organizational structure to our mission. As stated by the 2017 NIMS Refresh document, this model puts the EOC manager in direct contact with those doing situational awareness/information management, and streamlines resource sourcing, ordering, and tracking.