Resources at the scene of an oil spill involve a significant number of response personnel, equipment, and support materials. The current practice of using single resource management during oil spill emergencies is ineffective and extremely time-consuming. This form of resource tracking results in the overtaxation of the resource status unit (RESTAT) and does not give the operations section the best opportunity to make tactical decisions based on the location of available resources. The recent use of comprehensive resource management as part of the incident command system (ICS) (Oil Pollution Act of 1990, 1990) with strike teams and task forces for the deployment of personnel and equipment during an industry-led National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) (Incident Command Systems, Fire Publications, no date) exercise provided an opportunity to implement a more efficient and effective system for the deployment and tracking of resources.

The deployment of strike teams and task forces greatly reduces the number of resources to be tracked and provides the operations section with a more realistic view of available and assigned resources. This results in better allocation of resources to more effectively manage the tactical priorities of an incident. In addition, the tasks of the cost control and food services units are made simpler by a more accurate picture of on-scene resources and personnel.

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