Utah Division of Emergency Management outlines delegation of authority agreements

The Utah Division of Emergency Management's "The Journal" recently addressed the need for delegation of authority agreements and when a letter or agreement for them is required.

Each incident, disaster or event, including a biological or chemical event, determines when a community needs to implement a delegation of authority, with first responders and emergency management working in a tiered response system based on the complexity of the incident and their response capability.

The most common incidents that can be effectively controlled on a routine basis are covered by community emergency response services. When an incident's complexity or magnitude exceeds such capabilities, assistance is requested from normal mutual aid systems and compacts.

When an incident management team is requested by a community, the community may assign key duties to the team that would normally be under the jurisdiction's authority. The delegation of authority allows the community to define the role of the team to act on the community's behalf.

The delegation of authority may include reporting requirements to community officials and reporting actions taken and intended actions, as well as the authority to obligate funds, request additional assistance, order evacuations and close roads, schools or businesses.

Jurisdictional boundaries for the location are also outlined in the delegation of authority, as is a time duration for the authority granted.

The delegation of authority may be retracted as the delegating officials deem necessary based on performance, legality and moral and ethical issues.

At no time do delegation of authority letters or agreements take statutory, regulatory or any authority away from a community, its leaders or its agencies and organizations.