Technical Information Specialist

The Technical Information Specialist is responsible for documenting, tracking and retrieving all pertinent information for the task force during incident operations. The Technical Information Specialist reports directly to the Technical Team Manager.

Description of Duties

The Technical Information Specialist is responsible for:

Gathering requested information from all available sources and forward to the Planning Officer for incorporation in the planning function.

Documenting (written, audio, and visual mediums) the activities of the US&R task force during an assigned mission for onsite and post-incident analysis, historic documentation and post-event critiques, lessons learned, and training.

Tracking all pertinent task force personnel information, work schedules, and equipment inventory status.

Adhering to all safety procedures.

Accountability, maintenance, and minor repairs for all issued equipment.

Performing additional tasks or duties as assigned during a mission.

Preparing all audio and visual references materials necessary during the mission.

Position Requirements and Criteria

Individuals who meet the following requirements and criteria will be eligible to become Technical Information Specialists in the FEMA US&R Response System. The intent of these requirements is to select personnel fully capable of providing competent information management for the task force in the urban disaster environment. The requirements and criteria for the position are identified in the following categories:

Knowledge Skills Abilities

Knowledge of and practical ability in technical writing, US&R terminology, data collection, documentation procedures, and information analysis of emergency/disaster operations.

Knowledge of and practical ability in the operation and use of various visual media including, but not limited to, video recorders, audio recorders, and still photography.

Skills

1. Ability to use a portable laptop computer and a working knowledge of word processing and other related software to include but not limited to: word processors, spreadsheet, presentation, and database software.

2.Must be able to meet the physical requirements of the sponsoring agency with or without accommodations.

  1. 3.Must be available on short notice to mobilize within six hours of request and be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours for a response assignment of up to 10 days in austere environments.
  2. 4.Mustbecapableofimprovisingandfunctioningforlonghoursunderadverseconditions.
  3. 5.Must maintain current inoculations for Diphtheria/Tetanus (or Tetanus only if there is a contra-indication to Diphtheria), Hepatitis A & B, Measles/Mumps/Rubella (if born after 1957), and Polio.
  4. 6.Must be able to function safely at heights and on or around rubble.
  5. 7.Must be aware of the signs, symptoms and corrective measures of critical incident stress syndrome.
  6. 8.Must understand and adhere to safe working practices and procedures as required in the urban disaster environment.
  7. 9.Must have a working knowledge of FEMA's US&R Response System, organizational structure, operating procedures, safety practices, terminology, knowledge of all task force equipment, and communications protocols.
  8. 10.Must have successfully completed the First Responder Operations Level for Hazardous Materials as per OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.120 Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.

11. Must be currently certified in America Heart Association (or equivalent) Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation - Basic Life Support.

12. Must have a working knowledge of the Incident Command System including successful completion of the IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800 on-line courses.

13. Successful completion of the DHS/FEMA US&R Orientation Course or equivalent.

14. Successful completion of Respiratory Protection training and quantitative fit test per 29 CFR 1910.134

15. Successful completion of the DOJ Emergency Response to Terrorism, Basic Concepts or equivalent.

16. Successful completion of the FEMA/US&R WMD Enhanced Operations

17. Successful completion of Awareness Level training per NFPA 1670 including;

  • Confined Space Operations
  • Water Rescue Operations
  • Structural Collapse Operations

18. Successful completion of GPS Awareness Level course (Garmin V or comparable)

19. Must understand the needs of and provide support to their counterparts within the task force for specific operations, techniques and application of tools and equipment.

20. Must possess training and experience in personal safety in US&R environments.

21. The authority having jurisdiction shall assure that the individual meets or exceeds the required knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s).

Position Specific Requirements 

The Technical Information Specialist is responsible for documenting, tracking, and retrieving all pertinent information for the task force during incident operations. The Technical Information Specialist reports directly to the Planning Team Manager.

Description of Duties

The Technical Information Specialist is responsible for:

  • Gathering requested information from all available sources and forwarding to the Planning
    Team Manager for incorporation in the planning function;
  • Documenting (written, audio, and visual mediums) the activities of the US&R Task Force
    during an assigned mission for onsite and post-incident analysis, historic documentation
    and post-event critiques, lessons learned, and training;
  • Tracking all pertinent task force personnel information, work schedules, and equipment
    inventory status;
  • Adhering to all safety procedures;
  • Providing accountability, maintenance, and minor repairs for all issued equipment;
  • Performing additional tasks or duties as assigned during a mission; and
  1. Preparing all audio and visual references materials necessary during the mission.
    Position Requirements and Criteria
    Individuals who meet the following requirements and criteria will be eligible to become Technical Information Specialists in the DHS/FEMA National US&R Response System. The intent of these requirements is to select personnel fully capable of providing competent information management for the task force in the urban disaster environment. The requirements and criteria for the position are identified in the following categories:
  2. • Knowledge • Skills • Abilities

The Technical Information Specialist must have;

  • Knowledge of technical writing, US&R terminology, data collection, documentation
    procedures, and information analysis of emergency/disaster operations.
  • Knowledge of the operation of various visual media including, but not limited to, video
    recorders, audio recorders, and still photography.
  • Knowledge of standard computer operating systems including but not limited to
    Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint programs.
  • Successfully completed the FEMA/US&R Planning Team Training course.
  • Knowledge of ICS system and the appropriate forms for documenting incident action/tactical
    plans.
  • Knowledge of the Garmin V (or comparable) GPS and Map Source software program.

Skills

The Technical Information Specialist must be:

  • Competent in the use of a portable laptop computer and related software to include but
    not limited to word processors, spreadsheet, presentation, and database software.
  • Capable of uploading and downloading information between the laptop computer and
    the Garmin V (or comparable) GPS.
  • Capable of operating task force issued digital and SLR still camera photography and
    video recorders to document incident actions.

Ability

The Technical Information Specialist must be:

  • Able to collect data and create appropriate summary reports.
  • Capable of generating and copying appropriate incident tactical plans for distribution to
    task force members.
  • Able to transfer electronic data to the printed hard copy format.
  • Capable of working with other task force members to develop an after action report after
    every exercise and actual deployment.

Technical Information Specialist Position Description General Operational Checklist

UPON ACTIVATION / AT TASK FORCE ASSEMBLY POINT

  •  Receive notification of assignment and instructions from the initiating organization.
  •  Establish communications with the appropriate supervisor.
  •  Monitor mission-related information from local sources such as radio and television.
  •  Review the personal equipment checklist.
  •  Ensure that you have personal daypack, ear plugs, and warm clothes for flight.
  •  Report to the assigned Assembly Point at the prescribed time.
  •  Forward an accurate Responder Information Sheet to the Medical Team Manager.
  •  Complete check-in procedures to include medical screening.
  •  Ensure that you receive any appropriate issue of gear (radio, functional vest, etc.) pertinent to the position.
  •  Participate in task force briefings and meetings as requested.
  •  Carry out assignments as directed.
  •  Must not be under the influence of illegal substances or alcohol for the duration of the deployment.
    AT POINT OF DEPARTURE
    Participate in task force briefings and meetings as requested.
    Carry out assignments as directed.
    Ensure that electronic equipment is turned off prior to boarding aircraft.
    IN TRANSIT
  •  Review the FEMA US&R Field Operations Guide for information pertinent to your position description, operational checklist, operational procedures, and safety procedures.
  •  Monitor mission-related information from local sources such as radio and television.
  •  Review disaster related information, as it becomes available.
  •  Take advantage of available travel time for rest prior to arrival.
  •  Carry out assignments as directed.

Technical Information Specialist Position Description ARRIVAL AT MOBILIZATION CENTER

Participate in task force briefings and meetings as requested. Carry out assignments as directed.

ON-SITE OPERATIONS

  •  Ensure your physical readiness through proper nutrition, water intake, rest, and stress control techniques.
  •  Participate in the task force daily briefings and meetings as requested.
  •  Ensure use of all safety practices and procedures.
  •  Ensure proper equipment needs are met and equipment is operational prior to each work period.
  •  Carry out assignments as directed.
  •  Report any signs/symptoms of incident stress, injury, fatigue, or illness in yourself/coworkers to your immediate supervisor.
  •  Brief your shift replacement fully on all ongoing operations when relieved at work cycle rotations.
  •  Prepare appropriate reports (i.e. Unit Logs ICS-214, etc.).
    REASSIGNMENT/DEMOBILIZATION
  •  Participate in the task force daily briefings and meetings as requested.
  •  Prepare personal belongings for demobilization.
  •  Carry out assignments as directed.
  •  Ensure the return of all items issued to you during the mobilization phase.
  •  Upon return, participate in the task force mission critique and incident stress management activities.
  •  Submit comments to your supervisor for inclusion in the after-action reports. This should include reviewing pertinent position descriptions, operational checklists, and procedures for recommended changes.

The purpose of this checklist is to define the duties and responsibilities of the Technical Information Specialist during a mission assignment. The list is intended to be a general summary of actions. It should be understood that:

  • 1)  Some required actions may not be listed, but must be identified and assumed by this position.
  • 2)  Some actions may be the primary responsibility of another Task Force position, but may require assistance and coordination from this position.
  • 3)  The actions are listed in a general chronological order, but may require deviation.

Upon Activation/At Task Force Assembly Point

  •  Begin a chronological journal of the mission;
  •  Meet with the Planning Team Manager to ensure correct information flow;
  •  Ensure that all elements of the administrative kit are checked and ready;
  •  Check the computers for proper operation;
  •  Brief task force personnel on information gathering and report submission process;
  •  Begin documentation of the event for all phases of the mission; and
  •  Ensure the Technical Information Specialist Kit includes a still camera, video camera,
    laptop computer, and spare batteries.
    At Point of Departure
    See general operational checklist.
    In Transit
    See general operational checklist.
    Arrival at Mobilization Center:
    Coordinate cache supplies and equipment that should receive priority for initial movement to the assigned area.
  •  Establish a work area and organize task force files. Maintain a documentation log;
  •  Maintain a task force operations log throughout the mission;
  •  Establish duplication service and respond to requests as necessary;
  •  Document task force operations and significant incidents by all appropriate audio and visual
    mediums; and
  •  Keep the Planning Team Manager apprised of any accomplishments or conflicts, supplies
    deficiencies, or equipment malfunctions.
    Reassignment/Demobilization
  •  Notify the assigned supervisor of the loss or potential maintenance requirements of any assigned tools and equipment; and
  •  Compile all documentation necessary for Task Force After-Action Meeting.
 
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