November 14, 1997 Special Presentation
by Janet Dilling, CEM

Command vs. Coordination
Optimal Systems for EOC Management



Slides 1, 2, 3, 4
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About Janet Dilling


EIIP Virtual Library Presentation of Paper
November 14, 1997 - 1:00 PM (EST)

Command vs. Coordination - Optimal Systems for EOC Management

Janet Dilling, CEM, President
TEAM Simulations, Inc.
Tallahassee, Florida

Janet Dilling, CEM, President of TEAM Simulations, Tallahassee, Florida, was the first author to present a paper in the EIIP Virtual Forum. This premier event occurred on Friday, November 14, 1997, 1:00 when Ms. Dilling presented Command vs. Coordination - Optimal Systems for EOC Management in a moderated chat session in the Virtual Library. The paper was originally published in the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners (ASPEP) Journal; Janet recently presented her paper in two international emergency management conferences in The Hague, The Netherlands, and Prague, New Czech Republic.

Janet Dilling's paper, background information, and instructions for joining the EIIP Virtual Forum for the 1-hour live online presentation were disseminated widely in preparation for another EIIP "first" event. To assist with the presentation, the Moderator for the Virtual Library, Amy Sebring, put up URLs for the audience to enable their viewing of slides pertinent to the author's paper. The presentation of the paper was done in three parts, each relating to a specific slide. After each slide was viewed, Janet entertained questions from the audience before moving on to additional propositions from her paper.

Eleven people participated in the Virtual Library presentation. Comments during and after the online discussion were highly complimentary of this effort and especially encouraging for more of this type presentation. Several people downloaded the paper the paper from the Virtual Library with one participant stating his purpose for doing so was to share it with his boss. The paper was well-researched and bespoke Janet's personal experience and expertise as an emergency management practitioner who has served in both local and state governments. Janet Dilling was an excellent choice as a knowledgeable professional; she did an amazing job delivering her paper in this new format. We are also pleased to announce that Janet is also a new Partner in the EIIP.

Lessons Learned:
The presentation went well with a good rhythm and pace that held the audience's attention. The author contributed to the success of this event by working diligently with us prior to the live session to practice and learn the chat software, coming into the Brown Bag sessions to further enhance her skills, and by inputting her own ideas for making the session and her delivery warm and personable. The only negative remark from comments solicited after the Virtual Library experience was that we needed more time for questions and exchange between the author and the audience. For future events of a similar nature and length in the Virtual Library, we will allow an hour and fifteen minutes to ensure adequate time for interaction.

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Command vs. Coordination
Optimal Systems for EOC Management

An ever increasing number of emergencies and disasters require the coordinated efforts of multiple agencies in managing response and recovery actions. These actions are most often coordinated and controlled from a jurisdictional Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The organizational structure of the EOC varies widely throughout the United States. So, too, does the command or coordination system to direct the actions of the participating agencies.

There is a growing shift to restructure EOC organizations, often to organizations modeled after the highly successful field Incident Command System. This restructuring, however, is often completed without any (or sufficient) consideration of environmental/human characteristics or variables, specific to that jurisdiction, which may impact group behavior and decision making under a "command" oriented structure.

This paper will explore the differences between "command" and "coordination" or more specifically, centralized and decentralized systems in an Emergency Operations Center structural context. The investigation will center around the interreatedness of three sets of independent variables: environment, technology, and human individual behaviors and how they impact the dependent organizational structure. Propositions or relationships will be drawn from the investigations to establish a model through which Emergency Managers may develop organizational structures to best facilitate EOC operations in their jurisdictions or agencies. Central to this study is the consideration of two research questions:

  1. What independent variables are necessary in establishing an appropriate organizational structure for EOC operations?

  2. What dimensions of the identified variables should determine the structure?

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Ms. Dilling is President of TEAM Simulations, Inc. an international firm providing change response simulations, business leadership programs and learning events, and crisis management training and exercises to the public and private sector. Ms. Dilling has over 13 years experience in crisis management in the military, local and state government, and the private sector. She concurently serves as the Assistant Director of the Florida Public Affairs Center, Florida State University.

Formerly with the Florida Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee, Florida Ms. Dilling held key positions in the emergency response to several hurricanes and numerous tropical storms. In 1992 while a local emergency management director, Janet was recognized with both the Emergency Manager of the Year Award for the State of Idaho and with the annual Community Service Award of her city for her contributions to her community and the state in emergency management planning and operations. She was also among the first group of 56 government, industry, and military emergency members in the United States to be awarded professional certification as a "Certified Emergency Manager" (CEM).

Past-President of the American Society of Professional Emergency Planners (ASPEP), Ms Dilling has also served as an officer and on numerous national committees in several other national and state emergency management professional organizations. She has been a frequent presenter at state, regional, national and international conferences.

Ms. Dilling holds a Bachelor's Degree from Salem College, North Carolina and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the University of Idaho. She holds the rank of Major in the U.S. Army Reserve.

President, TEAM Simulations, Inc
1515-15 Paul Russell Road
Tallahassee, FL 32301
(904) 656-1928 (904) 656-9898
[email protected]

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