Emergency management: Incident management structure



Enbridge has an incident management organizational structure that, depending on the nature of the incident, can cover all levels of the organization from the front line worker to the executive leadership team, as illustrated below.

 Team chart

For all operational events, a field response team will be deployed. The field response team takes action at an incident scene to directly deal with the issue and its consequences. This can be as simple as a single technician responding to the smell of gas or a carbon monoxide alarm in a home. In this case, the incident is typically resolved quickly with minimal consequence and no additional support is required. For the initial stages of the response, the field response team is generally the local operations staff that are trained to make initial assessments, take actions to protect life and safety and start containment activities. Our field response teams will work with local emergency responders, when required. The field response teams follow the principles of the Incident Command System (ICS), including working in Unified Command with local agencies when appropriate. Unified Command may be used where there are multiple jurisdictions or organizations involved. It enables Enbridge and agencies with different jurisdictional, geographic, and functional responsibilities to coordinate, plan, and interact effectively.

Generally, evacuation of the public only proceeds when it is safe to do so and only in coordination with local emergency services. The responsibility and decision to evacuate is a local agency responsibility. In the event of an evacuation, Enbridge would provide support, in conjunction with local emergency responders, government officials and other emergency support providers.

If an emergency warrants it, the Incident Management Team (IMT) will be mobilized. The IMT is an expansion of the field response team to support tactical response operations, facilitate planning, and address the immediate concerns of the public and government.

Combined, the field response team and the IMT is fully scalable to fill all ICS roles that may be required to respond directly to the event. Assignment of responsibilities in the ICS begins with the top position (i.e., Incident Commander) and works down, as required.


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Enbridge Enterprise Emergency Response team (E3RT) gathers in Fort Worth for real-time emergency response drill

We also maintain the Enbridge Enterprise Emergency Response Team (E3RT). The E3RT is a cross-business-unit group trained to respond to large-scale events in Canada and the U.S. which require more resources than a single one of our operating regions or business units could provide. This team includes people with a range of diverse skills needed to fill specific ICS roles.

In the most serious situations, the Business Unit Incident Support Team and/or the Crisis Management Team may also be activated to provide strategic support as well as support for issues that are broader in scope than the direct response. The scopes of the BU Incident Support Teams and the Crisis Management Team fall outside of the operational emergency response plans.

Incident Command System

Enbridge utilizes the ICS for managing a response to an emergency. The basic ICS structure is outlined below. The ICS organizational structure is designed to coordinate with other responding agencies and to include those agencies inside the Command Post to manage a coordinated response. The ICS is a flexible, scalable tool that provides a common framework, uses common terminology and has standardized functional roles. These attributes help ensure that the incident swiftly transitions from the reactive to the proactive phase by setting up a chain of command, establishing a set of priorities and strategies, and coordinating resources to address those priorities, often together with our emergency response partners. The structure of the ICS depends on the nature and complexity of the emergency, and is based on need, rather than rigid organizational structure. For smaller, less complex emergencies, one position may assume many responsibilities, whereas for larger emergencies, several positions may be required. By using the ICS, trained personnel from throughout the organization can be deployed to support an incident.

Elements of the response management enabled through use of the ICS include:

  • incident action – define objectives, strategies, resources that contribute to public safety, responder safety and the environment;
  • site safety and security;
  • communications plans;
  • containment and recovery;
  • clean-up and waste management; and
  • public information management.

Within each emergency response plan, persons are assigned to specific ICS roles as part of the IMT. Through regional staff, contractors, the E3RT and relationships with federal, provincial/state, and local agencies, we are able to ensure that the ICS structure is staffed based on the needs of the incident. For expanding incidents, we have cooperative arrangements and mutual aid agreements in place.

Incident Command System Overview

ICS structure org chart

Click on the links below to read more about the key elements that Enbridge employs to ensure its stakeholders and the environment are protected: