Operations management

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Emergency command vehicle of the Basel-Landschaft disaster control unit , on the occasion of a briefing (on the right, the damage site commander, on the left, assistants)

The operational management (EL) is a facility of the authorities and organizations with security tasks , but also at companies (such as the railroad or energy suppliers) in the event of damage, in order to enable targeted management and coordination of all forces. It consists of a responsible head of operations and his management support . The formation, composition, structure of the operational management as well as their legal powers and responsibilities differ depending on the organization and administrative body. Operations managers usually have a special identification vest or special helmet markings in order to be recognized quickly.

Operations command lines are very similar in all countries, but are based on the usual structures. However, in order to provide the explanations in more detail, this article describes the operational management as it is institutionalized in Germany .


In addition to the legal requirements, the size and composition of the operations management team depends primarily on the extent of the damage and the tasks involved in the operation . In the smallest case, the head of operations can also work alone. In everyday operations to avert danger, the operation is led by the respective managers depending on the size of the tactical units deployed. In a typical use in tensile strength is to support the motorman often a Platoon Headquarters , consisting of a Zugtruppführer (also Vice train driver), a driver and a Sprechfunker provided.

In the case of large-scale events across the board, the operational command can include a large number of people with (partial) management tasks and support staff, some of them directly on site (for example in the form of a management group or a support group for technical operations management ) or remotely located in the rear management staff . If several specialist services are involved and there is an increasing need for coordination, a higher-level head of operations is appointed, depending on the legal situation. This can be one of the executives already working at the place of assignment or another person who is also called in.

In order to be able to make well-founded professional decisions, the head of operations forms a local management unit for large-scale operations, which includes managers from the specialist services and organizations (e.g. " specialist advisors ", THW liaison officers , police liaison officers, etc.) and, if necessary, external experts. The latter include members of other public bodies such as the building authorities , health authorities or municipal utilities , technical specialists ( chemists , structural engineers , engineers, etc.) or representatives of a company that is affected by the damage (e.g. representatives from an energy supply company ).

The task force is subordinate to the task forces of all units involved in the operation, together with their own management structure. The overall structure is regularly hierarchical. For larger deployments, one or more intermediate levels can be set up between the individual managers of the (sub) units and the overall deployment management. These are called deployment sections and are managed by a deployment section leader (EAL). The deployment sections can be formed both on the basis of geographical aspects (e.g. deployment section north, deployment section south, etc.) or based on their task profile (e.g. deployment section fire-fighting, deployment section patient treatment).

Duties and powers

Press spokesman for an operations management team

The tasks of the operations management include, in addition to the tactical management of all subordinate forces, the establishment and identification of their own operational control center, the cordoning off of the operational area, the establishment of communication links, the establishment of a contact point for all operational forces (reporting head), the presentation of the situation , the management of the operational documentation (e.g. deployment diary), the request and supply of emergency services as well as the division of the operational area according to tactical aspects ("organization of the room") through the creation of operational sections. The operational management also arranges for the electrical power or the gas supply to be switched off at the companies responsible. It also sends messages to the control center or superior command centers and ensures that the population is warned (in the event of hazardous substances being released or traffic obstructions). The publicity has for use, detailing not only the pure information to the public is important, but thus also the request for assistance, providing warnings and instructions as well as the representation of their own performance. In this sense, the operational management ensures coordinated media support by its own press officer .

In order to fulfill these tasks, the operational command is granted far-reaching authority to give orders (instruction rights) vis-à-vis the deployed units. Due to legal provisions, the head of operations can also be assigned powers vis-à-vis third parties, e.g. B .:

  • the use of people and aids to provide assistance,
  • entering and evacuating properties, structures and ships,
  • the implementation of barrier measures,
  • the issuance of dismissals for interferers,
  • the detention of people at risk,
  • the temporary shutdown of production facilities.

An operations manager should therefore have various skills, including:

  • Decisiveness,
  • Willingness to delegate,
  • Expertise,
  • Competence in personnel management and motivation,
  • Stress resistance,
  • Knowing about the options available.


Meeting room of a command vehicle
Command vehicle of the Cologne fire brigade with extended slide-out .

Emergency lines can be prepared stationary or mobile facilities that are deployed on site. A command vehicle is primarily used for small operations teams ; for larger ones, several rooms are often required in mobile accommodation ( tents or containers ) or in permanent buildings (up to prepared staff rooms). The distribution of space in the case of larger operations managements is typically divided into a staff room as a common workplace for the department heads and support staff, a work space for specialist advisors, a telecommunications room, as well as social rooms and meeting rooms.

Advance exploration

The emergency response team (also: incident response team ) of an organization or an authority can be deployed before the actual helpers arrive to explore the scope and locations of the helpers and to prepare them in cooperation with already active helpers. This applies regularly before aid missions to be coordinated internationally. These teams are made up of specialists, depending on the emergency, and primarily of logisticians who can assess how far the existing infrastructure, for example an airport, can still be used.

Situation in Germany

Who is specifically in charge of operations management at the location of the damage and what rights are associated with this is regulated differently in Germany and depends on the federal state. However, there is a draft of the former Standing Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction and Civil Protection for a service regulation “Management and Management in Action (DV 100)”. It defines a generally recognized regulation of the structure and processes in an operations management team as well as the tasks and procedures of the operations manager. This draft is implemented in many emergency organizations through their own regulation (e.g. as fire service regulation 100). As indicated above, daily operations to avert danger are managed by the respective managers (as an example of the German authorities and organizations with security tasks : transport leader in the rescue service, group leader , platoon leader or association leader ) depending on the size of the tactical units deployed . First of all, the highest manager of the respective authority or organization is the operation or section leader in this area. In many federal states, the fire brigade's head of operations is basically also the overall operations manager , often referred to as the technical operations manager (TEL) . He is then responsible across all specialist departments and organizations. Depending on the factual and legal situation, a police officer can also take command.

Operations management at the fire brigades

The structure and staffing of the operational management result from the development of the scope of damage or tasks. According to FwDV 100, a distinction is made between four management levels:

  • Leadership level A: "Leadership without a leadership unit": tactical units up to the strength of two groups; Control facility (e.g. control center)
  • Management level B: "Leading with local management units": Train or formation at a deployment site; Leadership team or leadership team; Control facility (e.g. control center)
  • Management level C: "Leading with a management group": Association at a deployment site; Leadership group; Control facility (e.g. control center)
  • Management level D: "Leading with a management group or with a management staff": several associations at one deployment site or at several deployment sites in the damage area; Management group or management staff of the district, the urban district or the urban district; Management facility of the person responsible for the supra-local hazard prevention (e.g. control center or information and communication center)

Who takes over the on-site operations management in individual cases depends on the fire protection or fire brigade laws of the federal states as well as on the organization of the local fire brigade. For example, the fire brigade law of Baden-Württemberg stipulates that the fire brigade commander of the location is the technical operations manager . In the case of professional fire brigades , special command services are usually set up, which, depending on the location and number of units deployed, take over the task of command. The structure and responsibilities of these command services can, in turn, differ greatly between different professional fire departments. A widespread model, however, is the C service concept , which distinguishes between three management services, which are referred to as A, B and C service (not to be confused with the management levels according to FwDV 100):

  • D-Dienst: Group leader, head of operations at the site where two or three vehicles, but no train, are (only at the Frankfurt am Main professional fire brigade )
  • C service: platoon leader, operations manager at deployment sites where a fire engine is used
  • B-Dienst: Association leader, head of operations for operations with at least two fire engines or in special situations
  • A service: top management level, operations manager for larger situations

Sometimes it is also divided into inspection service (I service = B service) and management service (D service = A service) , for example at the professional fire services in Nuremberg and Munich , or in management service and management service ( professional fire service Stuttgart ). In smaller cities, the term emergency control service (EL service) is used for the B service, for example at the Wismar fire brigade and the Neubrandenburg fire brigade . If emergency services from the professional fire brigade and the volunteer fire brigade work together at a site, the volunteer fire brigade's forces are usually also subordinate to the chief of operations of the professional fire brigade.

Operations management with the participation of plant fire brigades

Two different scenarios are possible when a public fire brigade and a plant fire brigade work together:

  1. Operations outside the plant premises with the support of a plant fire brigade :
    Here the plant fire brigade is only a support unit and is subordinate to the chief of operations of the public fire brigade. Such support can come about in particular in the event of accidents involving dangerous goods , as plant fire brigades may have special equipment depending on the plant that is not available from professional or voluntary fire brigades.
  2. Operations on the factory premises:
    In some federal states there is a regulation by law as to who will be responsible for the operations management in this case. (see, for example, § 28 Paragraph 1 Fire Brigade Act Baden-Württemberg ) In other federal states there are no corresponding legal regulations; Here it is either decided during the mission who is to lead the mission or the community on whose territory the plant is located makes an agreement as part of the pre-mission measures.

Regardless of the existence of a legal regulation for the operational management in joint operations of a professional or voluntary fire brigade and a works fire brigade, there are basically three options for the management organization at the operational site:

  • The chief of operations of the professional or voluntary fire brigade is the overall chief of operations
  • The chief of operations of the plant fire brigade is the overall chief of operations
  • Both heads of operations form a single command line

In practice, it is usually advisable to have joint operations management, as this allows the experience of the operations manager of the professional or voluntary fire brigade to be combined with the special knowledge of the operations manager of the works fire brigade.

Operations management of the rescue service

Organizational head of rescue service and chief emergency doctor

If a large number of rescue equipment is used during an operation, central coordination of the medical and tactical measures of the rescue service is usually necessary. In this case, the Organizational Head of the Rescue Service (OrgL or OLRD) and the Chief Emergency Doctor (LNA) take over the management of the rescue service. The OrgL is responsible for the tactical assessment of the damage situation from a medical-organizational point of view and the management of the subordinate rescue service personnel, whereas the task area of ​​the LNA mainly includes the determination of the treatment priorities and the treatment and transport priorities. In some cases, OrgL and LNA are also responsible for managing the emergency services for the care and catering service.

The indications for alerting the OrgL and the LNA are set out in service instructions or alarm and release regulations and can therefore differ depending on local conditions. It also depends on the guidelines and recommendations of the individual federal states whether the OrgL and LNA work as members of the overall operational management or whether they are subordinate to the general operational management as operational section heads for the rescue and medical service area (in some places also called medical rescue or patient treatment ).

In Bavaria, OrgL and LNA are summarized under the term Sanitaet Einsatzleitung (SanEL) . As a rule, the medical operations management is supported by a special unit, the medical operations management support group (UG SanEL) .

Head of rescue service

The emergency service leader (ELRD) is an emergency service manager who only exists in Bavaria . The ELRD is alerted if a damaging event has to be dealt with which requires a special procedure by the rescue service that goes beyond the usual incident or a coordination with members of the medical service , but not the management by a medical emergency management. (cf. § 14 AVBayRDG) The ELRD is, so to speak, the manager for the rescue and medical service personnel in operations that are more extensive than an everyday rescue service, but are still well below the threshold for major damage or disaster. The alarm criteria for the ELRD are:

  • Emergencies of all kinds from presumably three emergency patients in unclear emergency situations
  • Operations with more than three rescue appliances used
  • Emergencies with probably three to nine emergency patients
  • Fires in residential and industrial buildings, agricultural properties, BMA alarm or bomb discovery
  • Accidents with smaller aircraft up to a maximum of four people
  • Water rescue operations (at the request of the water rescue operations leader to coordinate the land rescue service)
  • Forest accidents in the forest area
  • Operations with special coordination needs, unusual progress or indefinite duration

The ELRD coordinates the work of the deployed units of the land rescue service and, if necessary, maintains contact with other operations managers (e.g. water rescue operations manager, height rescue operations manager) or the local control center.

Operations management in the event of a disaster / local operations management

prepared staff room of a district office

In the event of a disaster or other major loss events, special statutory regulations apply; the politically responsible operational management is then usually the so-called main administrative officer (HVB) , i. H. the district administrator or mayor of an independent city. However, competencies can also be delegated. For the highest official management level, the designation staff of the main administrative officer (Staff HVB) , in Baden-Württemberg administrative staff and in Bavaria management group disaster control (FüGK) - supported by the communication group management (KomFü) - is commonly used.

At the location of the damage, management is carried out by the officially named unit. In the event of a disaster, this unit is usually called the Technical Operations Management (TEL), in Bavaria this unit is called the Local Operations Management (ÖEL) . The head of this unit is provided with a tactical unit for command support, in the case of an ÖEL this is called the Local Operations Management Support Group (UG ÖEL) . The control centers lose their role as rear control center.

A division of a large staff into subject areas supports a coordinated approach through defined assignment of tasks. These subject areas are usually served in mirror image by liaison officers and employees who come from the affected subject areas of the regular public administration . The following subject areas are typical in such staff today:

  • S1: Human Resources / Internal Service
  • Technical operations management region Hanover
    S2: location
  • S3: use
  • S4: supply
  • S5: Press and media work
  • S6: information and communication
  • S7: Psychosocial emergency care (not in every federal state)

In addition, external consultants can also be called in.

The term Technical Einsatzleit clothes (TEL) called in some states the total of ( Technisches) Einsatzleit it , the various staff functions and associated specialist consultants, it is however not uniformly regulated. In Bavaria, below the political-administrative level (district administration), the local operational management support groups (UG-ÖEL) take on these tasks. In the THW there are also management and coordination staff (LuK staff) at the administrative and organizational level .

The forerunner of today's framework recommendation for the FwDV 100 and the formation of management staff with the division of subject areas described goes back to the disaster response during the fire in the Lüneburg Heath in 1975. At that time, there were considerable shortcomings in coordination, which were analyzed in order to create more effective management structures in the future. The federal government also defined technical operations management according to StAN No. 101 for disaster and civil protection . This was responsible for the technical and tactical management of the subordinate units at the site of the damage or operation across specialist departments. She had a total thickness of 6/0/4/ 10 and consisted of a FüKW with Crew (3/0/2/ 5 , including the head TEL, the two department head, a Sprechfunker / medical assistant, and a Sprechfunker / drivers), car ( with crew 3/0/1/ 4 included), the consultant fire protection / GABC, recovery / repair, medical / care as well as the driver / location mapper and a motorcycle (0/0/1/ 1 , d. h. detector ). According to the Law on the Reorganization of Civil Protection (ZSNeuOG), this federal concept no longer applies today.

Hospital operations management

In Germany, hospitals are obliged to prepare so-called hospital alarm and deployment plans (KAEP) in preparation for disasters and other major emergencies . These plans are intended to regulate the preparatory and defensive measures with which the hospital reacts to external (e.g. mass casualties , outbreak of a highly contagious infectious disease, CBRN danger situations ) and internal danger situations (e.g. fire in the hospital, finding suspicious objects, Failure of electricity, water or gas supply). As a rule, the KAEP also provides for the formation of a special management facility, which is composed of employees who are authorized to issue instructions and which coordinates all measures within the hospital and the cooperation with the other responsible bodies, in particular the authorities and organizations with security tasks . This body, generally known as Hospital Operations Management (KEL) , includes representatives from the medical management, commercial management, nursing management and the technical management of the hospital. In some cases, the KELs are also broken down in the alarm plans in accordance with the above-described subject division for staff (S1 to S6). In addition, the clinic's internal specialist advisers (e.g. fire protection officer , radiation protection officer ) are usually called in .

Situation in Austria

Operations management at fire brigades

In general, when a fire brigade is deployed in Austria, an operations leader is always sent to the scene of the incident together with the other rescue workers. He takes over the on-site operations management, that is, he coordinates the forces at the incident site and maintains contact with the operations managers of other operations organizations. When the rescue service is deployed, an operations manager is only dispatched throughout Austria if necessary, so that either the control center dispatcher decides when reporting the operation that the type and scope of the operation require an on-site operations manager, or if the on-site operations personnel need one consider local operations management necessary.

The structures, structure and powers of the operations managers in the various organizations vary from state to state and are not uniformly regulated. Both the fire brigade and the rescue service, however, have general regulations from the Federal Fire Brigade Association and the Red Cross , which serve as guidelines and are widely used across organizational boundaries. In principle, the responsibility within the fire service is ranked:

  • commander
  • Deputy Commander
  • further ranking according to the operational leader list of the locally responsible fire department.

If none of these people are present at the scene, it is usually based on the rank of rank. Seniority can also play a role. Even if several fire brigades are on duty, this head of operations is in charge of the overall operation, regardless of whether it is a fire or technical operation. In the case of a deployment in the area of ​​a company with a company fire brigade, the head of operations is from the company fire brigade.

Special features in the rescue service

WCC chief of operations

In contrast to fire brigade operations, operations by the rescue service in regular operations are incidents in which only one or a few people are affected. A head of operations is therefore only dispatched to the scene if a large number of people are assumed to be affected, for example in the event of a major traffic accident, a house fire and the like.

The function of the head of operations in the rescue service is regulated differently in Austria: The basis for the position of the head of operations of the Austrian Red Cross is the "Implementation Regulations for Major Accidents", which are used by almost all rescue organizations across Austria. The operations managers are trained in special courses (graded in different qualification levels - also called "officer courses") and wear shoulder straps on their uniforms that correspond to their level of qualification to make their additional training easier to recognize . As the largest rescue service organization, the Red Cross deployed so-called "Duty Officers" (OvD), also known as "Duty Officers", around the clock in all of Austria's rescue districts. These are experienced employees who supervise a rescue service area and at the same time, if necessary, take on the role of the chief of operations on site. If several organizations are active in the rescue service in a district, each organization usually has its own organization-specific operations management, but sometimes vehicles and teams are also subordinated to the operations manager of the largest rescue organization in the area (in Vienna the Viennese professional rescue , in the other federal states the Red Cross).

The chief of operations of the rescue service is primarily responsible for the organizational and logistical issues of the incident, he coordinates vehicles, personnel, material, as well as additional claims and removal of patients. All other managerial functions ("Head of triage", "Head of medical aid", "Head of transport" and the like) are subordinate to him and are directly bound by instructions. A senior emergency doctor is appointed for medical issues in particularly large damage situations in which several (emergency) doctors are on duty - as in Germany. Together with the chief of operations of the rescue service, this forms the operational management of the medical service . The whole thing is comparable to the German medical operations management. Similar systems are sometimes used by other emergency organizations that operate rescue services in Austria (such as the Viennese professional rescue service or the Arbeiter-Samariterbund).

Overall operational management and (official) management staff

In the event of a disaster, operations management is assumed by the responsible mayor, district captain or governor. But that only means that he gets the instructions from the authorities. The implementation within the fire brigade is again the responsibility of the fire brigade's EL. The same applies to operations in the area of ​​water protection. In this case, the administrative management team has the district administration or the magistrate. At the scene, the operations managers from all on-site organizations form the so-called overall operations command. If it is a major and / or cross-district incident, a representative of the responsible authority can take over the management of this overall operational management at the damage site. Depending on the size of the incident, a state management staff , district management staff or community management staff, in which the individual organizations are also represented by liaison officers , will be set up via the fire brigade or rescue service operations, as well as a possible overall operations management at the scene . In the event of an incident , this established management staff is headed by the responsible governor , district captain or mayor .

The staff functions are set up in a similar way to those listed above for Germany. In recent years, an S7 has been used for holistic care , especially at the Red Cross. For example, he also has to manage the crisis intervention by the deployed personnel such as the peers for the emergency services , but also for the victims.


  • Heinrich Kern, Paul Vaulont: Die Roten Hefte, Heft 16 - The head of operations at the scene of the fire and accident . 6th edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-17-005840-1 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Committee on Fire Brigade Matters, Disaster Control and Civil Defense: FwDV 100 "Management and Management in Action". (PDF) State Fire Brigade School Saxony, March 1999, accessed on January 20, 2017 .
  2. cf. for example § 41 HBKG for Hessen.
  3. ^ Juris GmbH: Landesrecht BW FwG | State standard Baden-Württemberg | Complete edition | Fire Brigade Act (FwG) as amended on March 2, 2010 | valid from: 19.11.2009. Retrieved January 20, 2017 .
  4. C-service concept - tactics - about us - fire brigade - security & law - living in Dortmund - city portal dortmund.de. Retrieved January 20, 2017 .
  5. scholdes112: D-Dienst BF Frankfurt? scholdes112, January 10, 2010, accessed July 23, 2018 .
  6. State capital Munich, editorial office: command service vehicles. Retrieved January 20, 2017 .
  7. ↑ Command vehicle (ELW1) Dd. In: Feuerwehr-Stuttgart.de. Retrieved January 20, 2017 .
  8. ^ Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg: Rescue Service Plan 2014 Baden-Württemberg. February 18, 2014, accessed January 20, 2017 .
  9. AVBayRDG: § 14 Tasks and thresholds - Citizen Service. Retrieved January 20, 2017 .
  10. OrgL / ELRD Group - City and District Hof: What is an OrgL / ELRD? Retrieved January 20, 2017 .
  11. ^ Juris GmbH: Landesrecht BW VwV staff work 6.2 | Administrative regulation (Baden-Württemberg) | 6.2 | id F. v. 11/29/2011 | valid from 01/01/2012 | valid until December 31, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2017 .
  12. ^ Juris GmbH: Landesrecht BW LKatSG | State standard Baden-Württemberg | Complete edition | Law on Disaster Protection (State Disaster Protection Act - LKatSG) in the version of November 22, 1999 | valid from: 07/28/1999. Retrieved January 20, 2017 .
  13. a b c BBK / BZS: Units and institutions of management in disaster control. Proof of strength and equipment in technical operations management (TEL). STAN no. 101. As of May 1984.
  14. see also: Evidence of strength and equipment (STAN) for the units and facilities of disaster control .
  15. Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior: Instructions for creating hospital alarm and deployment plans. April 2006, accessed January 23, 2017 .
  16. Hospital alarm and deployment plan (Lower Saxony model). DRK Landesverband Niedersachsen, August 2008, accessed on January 23, 2017 .
  17. ↑ State Management Staff of the Lower Austrian Red Cross ( Memento from August 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) accessed on June 15, 2011