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Emergency Management


This page introduces you to our important Emergency Management Plan. Note that this page contains a special 'collapse paragraph' feature. So to read all of a paragraph you might have to click on the specially marked 'more...' text.

Note: The content displayed in the information displayed below is also available as a PDF file (recommended for downloading and printing)

WCDHB Emergency Management Planning

Note: The content displayed below is also available as a PDF file (recommended for downloading and printing)

Emergency Management

Emergency management, like continuous quality improvement, is a cyclic process involving risk reduction/mitigation, readiness, response and recovery.

The Emergency Management Cycle

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Training and Exercises

Training and exercises are essential elements in ensuring staff are prepared to deal with an emergency incident.
There should be a carefully planned and delivered major incident training programme so that staff:

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Elements of a training programme should include:

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Plans become unreliable if not regularly exercised and tested. It is important to validate plans and staff competencies by appropriate exercises at regular intervals as part of our quality improvement and risk management programme. Exercises:

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Managing Emergencies at WCDHB

At times WCDHB staff have to manage emergency situations or crises. These can include:

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Emergency Plans

Currently there are documented emergency response and recovery plans for each DHB facility, plus one over-arching WCDHB plan. Each of these plans includes:

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Internal and External Emergencies

When discussing the WCDHB’s response to emergency situations, it is useful to divide the type of responses required into those needed to manage the result of an event external to the organisation, and those needed to manage the result of an event which has occurred internally.

External emergencies

The WCDHB has four major roles during a major external incident:

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CIMS (Coordinated Incident Management System)
Provides a model for command, control and coordination of an emergency response. Provides a means of coordinating agencies during the course of an emergency incident.
Emergency Operations Centre
An established facility/location where the response to an incident may be supported. There should also be a second location available as well.
A critical examination of an operation carried out to evaluate actions for documentation and future improvements.
Any event which arises within the organisation or service (internally) or from external sources, and which may adversely affect persons or the community generally, and requires an immediate response.
Emergency Management Plan
A documented scheme of the assigned responsibilities, actions and procedures required in the event of an emergency.

Four Phases of Comprehensive Emergency Management Planning

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Any activities which actually eliminate or lessen the risk of a disaster and/or reduce the impact of it.

(NB: When mitigation measures have not or cannot prevent disasters) Plans developed to save lives and minimise effects of a disaster. Preparedness activities also seek to ensure an adequate response.

Actions designed to provide emergency assistance for casualties, reduce the probability of secondary damage, limit the impact of a disaster, and speed recovery operations.

Progressing towards an acceptable level of normality.
(NB: Recovery continues until all systems return to normal or better). Short-term recovery returns vital systems to minimum operating standards.
The purpose of long-term recovery is to return life/systems/facilities to normal or improved levels. It may continue for a number of years after a disaster.

WCDHB Activities:

  • Policies/procedures (clinical/non-clinical)
  • Compliance (fire safety)
  • Building regulations/codes
  • Credentialling of staff
  • Performance management
  • Staff education
    (incl Health and Safety,
    Emergency Management)
  • Risk identification, prioritising and planning
  • CQI activities

WCDHB Activities:

  • Plans
  • Exercises/drills
  • Education
  • Mutual aid agreements/memoranda of understanding
  • Systems testing (e.g. communications, fire alarms)
  • Asset inventories
  • Audits/surveys
  • CQI activities
  • Risk management activities

WCDHB Activities:

  • Mobilising of relevant staff/systems
  • Provision of specialist personnel
  • Implementation of emergency
  • Response plans
  • Activation of Emergency Operations Centre

WCDHB Activities:

  • Incident debriefing
  • Insurance assessment/claims
  • Business Interruption insurance
  • Staff/public information
  • Reporting/reassess plans -using as improvement exercise

WCDHB Staff:

  • All personnel with staff management roles
  • Facilities staff
  • Human Resources staff
  • Health and Safety
  • Risk Manager
  • EM Coordinator
  • Internal auditor(s)

WCDHB Staff:

  • Emergency Management Planning group
  • All other staff

WCDHB Staff:

  • Duty Manager
  • Senior staff (as determined by level of emergency)
  • Communications staff
  • Other staff as directed by manager/senior staff member

WCDHB Staff:

  • Risk Manager
  • EM Coordinator
  • Ward/Unit/Department/Service manager/coordinator
  • CE


  • Ministry of Health/HFA
  • Insurers
  • Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management

Emergency Management Planning Documents

  • WCDHB Emergency Planning Document

    This document summarises how West Coast DHB (WCDHB) Emergency Management Plans are based on the Coordinated Incident Management System (CIMS) currently being adopted by all the emergency services. This system provides a functional framework for planning for emergencies.

    PDF document, 35 KB

  • Four Phases of Comprehensive Emergency Management Planning Table

    A table outlining the four phases to effectively manage emergencies: 1) Risk Identification & Reduction, 2) Readiness, 3) Response and 4) Recovery

    PDF document, 63 KB

  • West Coast DHB Emergency Plan (Version 4)

    The purpose of this Plan is to create a framework to manage a resilient and sustainable health sector during any potential or significant health emergency. The focus is to provide a consistent approach by coordinating the strengths and resources of the many providers of healthcare services in the West Coast region to better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the effects of both natural and man made hazards.

    PDF document, 736 KB

West Coast DHB Emergency Procedure Flip Charts

These flip charts describe the various procedures to be adhered to when facing an emergency (i.e.: Missing Patient, External Emergency, Hazardous Material alert, Flooding, Resource Equipment Failure, Suspicious Activity, Patient Emergency, Violent Confrontation, Hostage, Fire, Bomb Threat and Natural Disaster).