Incident Management System (IMS) Guidance Version 2.0
April 1, 2021 - Incident Management System (IMS) Guidance Version 2.0
 
The update of Ontario’s Incident Management System Guidance (Version 2.0) has been completed, and is now available online at https://www.emergencymanagementontario.ca/english/emcommunity/ProvincialPrograms/IMS/Resources/IMSGuidance.html
 
IMS 2.0 builds on the standardized organizational structures, functions, processes and terminology of IMS 1.0 and offers municipalities clear, straightforward guidance on communicating, coordinating and collaborating during an incident response. Although the fundamentals of IMS remain the same, significant improvements have been made, such as:
 
  • Making it simpler to understand and increasing its flexibility and interoperability;
  • More choices for municipal Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) incident response structures by offering three EOC options;
  • Emphasis on the role of coordination for local incidents;
  • Recognizing the importance of communication with the public by adding Public Information Management as a core function;
  • Additional and more specific guidance around the limited use of Unified Command and a checklist for its effective use;
  • A new section outlining response escalation guidelines to help municipalities determine the need for additional support and resources necessary to meet the escalation of incident response; and Incorporating the title of EOC Director (as an alternate to EOC Commander) for the Coordination and Command function within an EOC to maintain interoperability and alignment with common practices across municipalities.
Now that the update is complete, work will begin, in consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders, to develop supporting tools and updates to IMS training courses. This work should take approximately six months to a year, subject to operational activities. Until then, existing training courses will continue to be valid, noting that the IMS Training Unit will provide instructors with guidance on how enhancements from IMS 2.0 may be incorporated into lesson plans. This work will be critical to further support local incident response efforts in the future.
 
Please contact Drew Maddison, Program Manager, Field Operations, at Drew.Maddison@ontario.ca if you have any questions regarding IMS 2.0.
 
The OAFC would like to give a special thanks to our IMS Steering Committee Representative Deputy Chief Andy Glynn from Oakville for his work on this project.  While, Deputy Chief Glynn stepped down from the committee last fall, he worked tirelessly on this project and it would not have been completed without his efforts. OAFC Director, Chief Brian Arnold from Cambridge has replaced Deputy Chief Glynn on the committee. 
 
The OAFC would also like to thank Chief Ted Bryan from Otonabee-South Monaghan for his ongoing work on both the IMS Steering Committee and the IMS Training Committee.  Furthermore, and while not a comprehensive list, we would also like to thank the other OAFC members who participated in the update and are acknowledged in the new IMS 2.0 document including Chief Mike Vilneff from Cobourg, Chief Dave Elloway from Guelph, and Interim Chief Jim Kay from Innisfil and Bradford West Gwillimbury (we hope we didn't miss anyone!).