Department of Education




PoliciesSafety and welfareSchool safety and security ‹ Emergency and Critical Incident Management
Application: Mandatory
Effective: 29 November 2011

Emergency and Critical Incident Management

6 Definitions

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Command and control

The overall direction of emergency management activities, including the coordination of human and physical resources.

Comprehensive approach/all hazardous approach

The development of emergency arrangements related to prevention, preparedness, response and recovery (PPRR). The PPRR are not necessarily sequential phases.

Critical incident

An incident in which there is a high likelihood of traumatic effects. A critical incident evokes unusual or unexpectedly strong emotional reactions which have the potential to interfere with the ability of the individual, group or system to function either at the time or later. For example, an on-site accident causing death or serious injury, student or staff suicide, major vandalism, sexual assault at school, students lost or injured on an excursion or intruders on a school site who cause harm to people or damage property.
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An event, actual or imminent, which:

  • occurs on or off site;
  • endangers or threatens to endanger life, property or the environment; and
  • requires a significant and coordinated response. For example, fire or bomb threats, hazardous materials spillage, prolonged loss of a utility (for example, water or power), cyclone and floods.

Emergency Control Post

The specific, safe location at which the Incident Controller is positioned and from which the response to the emergency or critical incident will be coordinated. The Emergency Control Post is usually the administration area. An alternative post should also be identified in case the original area is not suitable.


The movement of people from a threatened area to a place of safety.
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Hazard Management Agency

A public authority which, because of legislative responsibility or specialised knowledge, expertise and resources, is responsible for emergency management. Such organisations are either designated by legislation or detailed in State-level emergency management plans, for example, WA Police and the Fire and Emergency Services Authority.

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Incident controller

The person responsible for the overall management of an emergency or critical incident. This is normally the principal or site manager unless they are incapacitated, unavailable, or have delegated the role. For some incidents, the Incident Controller will be subordinate to a district level or Central Office Incident Controller or another agency which has legislative authority for management of that hazard.

Incident support coordinator

The person from Central Office appointed to liaise with the district education office or school Incident Controller when an emergency or critical incident is deemed to require Central Office support.


A person entering school premises without permission and who does not have good cause to be on the premises.
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Isolating students, staff and visitors from a perceived threat of physical harm at the school site by confining people to classrooms or other school buildings. Lockdown is sometimes referred to as Protect in Place or Shelter in Place.
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Online Incident Notification System

The system for enabling schools and regional education offices to formally record and advise the Department of emergencies, critical incidents at other specific incidents. The Online Incident Notification System can be found on the Department's Intranet homepage and http://intranet/home/Default.asp.

Operational debriefing

A review of the management of an emergency or critical incident in order to affirm and reinforce what worked well, and refine and improve future processes and practice.
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Measures to ensure that, should an emergency or critical incident occur, resources and services are capable of coping with the effects. Measures can include planning, staff training, and acquisition of specific safety equipment, infrastructure and maintaining the safety of the school grounds.


Measures to eliminate or reduce incidence or severity of emergencies and critical incidents.
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Measures which support emergency or critical incident -affected individuals and school communities in reconstruction of the physical infrastructure and restoration of emotional, economic, environmental and physical wellbeing.


Actions taken immediately prior to, during and immediately after an emergency or critical incident to ensure that its effects are minimised.
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School site plan

The plan of the school site showing the general layout of buildings. The site plan may include Emergency Exits/Evacuation Escape Routes, location of any fire fighting equipment and the direction/location of the Evacuation Assembly Area. It may also identify the location of Fire Hydrant/s, gas storage and control valves, and the electrical system Main Isolating Switch.

Site manager

Officers who have executive responsibility for overall management of any Department of Education and Training site.
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Emergency and Critical Incident Management

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