An Integrated Approach to Resource Management for Public Safety and Emergency Management

Best Practice Guide

Explaining resource management: objectives and frameworks

No doubt you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating. In the midst of an emergency, getting the right resources, to the right place, at the right time can prove the difference between life or death. Those are the stakes of resource management in a nutshell.

So what’s resource management actually? It’s the organizational function dedicated to coordinating and overseeing tools, processes, and systems that help provide incident managers with appropriate resources in an appropriate timeframe during a crisis. Yet resource management has wider applicability outside of a purely emergency management context. Just think about it, all public safety and emergency teams can benefit from better allocating their resources whether for business-as-usual work, special projects, or incidents.

That being said, some of the best resource-handling frameworks have emerged out of emergency management. The frameworks set out to help organizations improve operational flexibility and enhance capacity. The ultimate goal being to help teams problem solve quickly (but not carelessly,) a necessity in emergency response. The frameworks do so by offering a series of best practices that emergency management and public safety teams, whether working individually or in concert with mutual aid partners, can deploy to effectively respond to incidents.

In the U.S., for instance, the National Incident Management System (NIMS,) developed by the Department of Homeland Security in the early 2000s, lays out a standardized approach to incident management. The approach is based on a few core concepts: A consistent method for identifying, acquiring, allocating, and tracking resources.

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