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Get to Know the JESIP Joint Doctrine

Starting with the Incident Command System (ICS) in the late 1970s, major incident command, frameworks have emerged to tackle the challenges associated with multi-agency cooperation in emergency response. One such framework is the JESIP Joint Doctrine. What’s this framework all about? 

The JESIP Joint Doctrine and the importance of interagency working

For starters, the JESIP Joint Doctrine, as the name suggests, is all about interagency working. Why’s that?

Well, inter-service cooperation, in the context of major incident response, is rarely simple, with responding agencies bringing their own competencies, experiences, systems, and terminology.

Without previously agreed upon terms of engagement, melding everything together becomes well-nigh impossible. And JESIP provides one such way to meld everything together.

The JESIP Joint Doctrine and principles for joint working

JESIP itself is the governing interoperability framework in the U.K., standardizing how multiple agencies work together during the full lifecycle of an incident.

Not just that. The JESIP Joint Doctrine, as its practitioners note, has outgrown its initial focus on simply improving multi-agency response. Nowadays, it also provides a framework of joint working that can be applied to any type of multi-agency incident, including planned events.

What then are some of its key principles?

The most important principle outlines how multiple agencies can work together jointly, in all phases of an incident, irrespective of scale and whether the incident was spontaneous or pre-planned.

JESIP principles for joint working include:

Principle 1: Co-locate

Co-locate with other responders as soon as practicably possible at a single, safe, and easily identified location.

Benefits of co-location include improved communication and understanding that support joint working.

Co-location supports responders to jointly agree upon objectives and develop a coordinated plan to effectively resolve an incident.

Principle 2: Communicate

Communicate using clear language, free from technical jargon and abbreviations.

Meaningful and effective communication between responders and responder organizations underpins effective joint working.

The “talk not tell” process involves control room personnel passing information and asking other organizations what their response to the incident will be. This is achieved by:

  • Sharing information from all available sources along with immediate resource availability and decisions
  • Nominating a point of contact in each control room and establishing a method of communication between all of them
  • Co-ordinating the setting up of multi-agency interoperable voice communications for responders and operational working if necessary

Principle 3: Co-ordinate

Co-ordinate by agreeing on the lead organization. Identify priorities, resources, capabilities, and limitations for an effective response, including the timing of further meetings.

Co-ordination involves control rooms and responders of all levels discussing the available resources and activities of each responder organization, agreeing to priorities, and making joint decisions throughout the incident.  

Co-ordination underpins joint working by avoiding potential conflicts, preventing duplication of effort, and minimizing risk.

For effective co-ordination, however, one organization generally needs to take a lead role. To decide who the lead should be, factors such as the phase of the incident, the need for specialist capabilities and investigation, during both the response and recovery phases should be considered.

An Introductory Guide to JESIP Principles - Download Now

Principle 4: Jointly understand risk

Jointly understand risk by sharing information about the likelihood and potential impact of threats and hazards, to agree upon appropriate control measures.

By jointly understanding risks and their associated mitigating actions, organizations can promote the safety of responders and reduce the impact that risks may have on members of the public, infrastructure, and the environment.  

But as different responder organizations may see, understand, and treat risks differently, each organization should carry out their own risk assessments, then share the results, so that they can plan control measures and contingencies together more effectively.

Individual dynamic risk assessment findings may be used to develop the analytical risk assessment for the incident.

Principle 5: Shared situational awareness

Establish shared situational awareness by using M/ETHANE and the Joint Decision Model.

Shared situational awareness is a common understanding of the circumstances, immediate consequences, and implications of the emergency, along with an appreciation of the available capabilities and the priorities of the responder organizations.

Achieving shared situational awareness is essential for effective interoperability. And establishing shared situational awareness is important for developing a Common Operating Picture (COP) at all levels of command, between incident commanders, and between control rooms.

Communications between control rooms greatly assists the creation of shared situational awareness in the initial stages and throughout the incident.

Of course, those principles don’t scratch the surface of what JESIP is all about. To find out more, especially the meaning and import of the M/ETHANE acronym, download our Introductory Guide to JESIP Principles and Supporting Systems.

 An Introductory Guide to JESIP Principles - Download Now