Effective Incident Management Organising

Incident Management above the Incident Management Team

Failure in emergency incident management coordination in major events has long been recognised in both national and international literature. In large events breakdowns of information flow, and in particular breakdowns in coordination above the IMT are both common and always problematic.

The findings from the Royal Commission indicate a need to look beyond creating new standard operating procedures or adding to existing role responsibilities. They indicate that, despite the good work that has occurred in the past to build a robust inter-service incident management system, the first point of breakdown is typically in communication and coordination in overwhelming events. This project is seeking to better understand how multi-agency emergency management coordination above the IMT level can be improved in order to reduce the consequences to communities of the emergency event.

The research questions

  • How has a lack of shared mental models by key personnel in emergency incident management led to breakdowns in coordination in previous incidents?
  • How is emergency management coordination above the IMT organised?
  • How does information flow to and from regional and state levels of emergency management influence the capacity of personnel to adjust emerging conditions?
  • How might we best train and educate personnel in the most effective emergency management coordination above the IMT?
  • What social networks of communication best facilitate effective multi-agency coordination?
  • What changes are needed to support effective command and control at the regional and state levels of command and control and multi-agency coordination?

Review WIKI

A WIKI has been set-up to help researchers and end-users review the progress of this project. Those involved in this review have been issued with a password to gain access to this WIKI:


Related news

AFAC 2013 Conference Logo
The formal proceedings of the Research Forum, held as part of the 2013 Bushfire CRC and AFAC Conference in Melbourne are now available.
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Better management of emergency incidents can reduce any adverse consequences on communities. This Fire Note discusses research into multi-agency emergency management at regional and state levels to improve incident management.
PhD students from around the world are enhancing fire research in Australia
Postgraduate students from around the world are bringing a diverse range of skills, experience and knowledge to enhance fire research through the Bushfire CRC.
The Bushfire CRC and AFAC contingent in France
Research using a 3D fire suppression simulator was undertaken when representatives from the Bushfire CRC recently travelled to France as part of a study tour to exchange best practices in fire response.
New Bushfire CRC research is helping incident management teams improve firefighting performance by looking at how firefighters communicate during fires and how they plan for possible worst-case scenarios during an incident.

Publications from this Project


Journal Article

Book Chapter

Conference Proceedings

Conference Paper

External References

Liam Fogarty is the Lead End User for the project on Effective Incident Management. He was interviewed at the 2010 Bushfire CRC annual conference.

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Christine Owen is a project leader for Bushfire CRC research on incident management systems. She was interviewed at the 2010 annual conference.

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James Minas is conducting his PhD project on "Making decisions under uncertainty". He was interviewed at the 2010 Bushfire CRC annual conference in Darwin.

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Deb Parkin's PhD project will consider the contribution that the development of a minimum standard of training might have on the effectiveness of an Incident Management Team. She was interviewed at the 2010 Bushfire CRC annual conference in Darwin.

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Resources linked to this Project