Animal rescue, care and welfare is fully integrated into and utilizes the Incident Command System (ICS). REARS planning, response and logistics is also embracing and following the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
Incident Command System (ICS)
Typically, the Evacuation function is a law enforcement task with regards to people or traffic movement. Animal rescue falls under the Evacuation Group as supervised by an Evacuation Group Supervisor (Sheriff’s Department in County Area and Local law Enforcement within certain incorporated areas not subject to RSO contract service). The Evacuation Group will typically fall under the Law Enforcement Branch under the Operations Section. If no Law Enforcement Branch has been activated, then the Evacuation Group reports directly to the Operations Section Chief or Deputy Ops Chief.
The animal rescue function will be supervised by a Riverside County Animal Services Officer acting as the Animal Rescue Coordinator. This function will be found at the Incident command Post (ICP), or within close proximity to the Operations Section Chief.
As incident needs dictate, a Law Enforcement Branch may be established within the Operations Section. This function will be supervised by a Law Enforcement Branch Director, who will in turn supervise the Evacuation Group Supervisor. This Evacuation Group Supervisor oversees two functional Groups related to, #1 Humans and #2 Animals.
Animal rescue needs or issues may be coordinated through the County OES Agency Rep on scene or directly with the Animal Rescue Coordinator. The Animal Rescue Coordinator will be the only element of the animal rescue function located at the ICP. The resources; trailers, equipment and personnel, to be utilized for animal rescue will be located away from the ICP in an Animal Staging Area. The Animal Rescue Coordinator will prioritize animal rescue issues and will then contact the Animal Staging Area Manager for the deployment of resources.
Once rescues have been completed, teams check back in with Animal Staging for accountability purposes. At Animal Staging, animals are tagged and inventoried and then transported to a holding or sheltering location.