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ESF 9: Search and Rescue

Approval and Implementation

Dallas County Community College District - Emergency Support Function #9 – Search & Rescue Annex

This Emergency Operations Plan Annex is hereby approved for the Dallas County Community College District. This plan annex is effective immediately and supersedes all previous editions.

Emergency Support Function 9 – Search & Rescue

ESF Coordinator

Chief of Police
1601 South Lamar Street
Dallas, TX 75215
Phone: 214-378-1624

Primary Department/Agency

DCCCD Public Safety & Security
1601 South Lamar Street
Dallas, TX 75215
Phone: 214-378-1624

Support and External Agencies

Cedar Hill Fire Department
1212 W Beltline Road
Cedar Hill, TX 75104
Phone: 972-291-1011

Coppell Fire Department
265 Parkway Blvd.
Coppell, TX 75019
Phone: 972-304-3512

DFW Airport Police and Fire
2900 East 28th Street
DFW Airport, TX 75261
Phone: 972-973-3500

Farmers Branch Fire Administration
13333 Hutton Drive
Farmers Branch, TX 75234
Phone: 972-919-2640

Garland Fire Department
1500 Hwy66
Garland, TX 75040
Phone: 972-781-7100

Lancaster Fire Department
1650 North Dallas Ave.
Lancaster, TX 75134
Phone: 972-218-2600

Irving Fire Department
845 W Irving Blvd
Irving, TX 75060
Phone: 972-721-2514

Mesquite Fire Department
1515 N. Galloway Ave.
Mesquite, TX 75149
Phone: 972-216-6267


See Emergency Operations Plan, Authority.


The Emergency Support Function (ESF) annexes to the Emergency Operations Plan organize the applicable college District positions, departments, and outside support agencies into groups according to their roles in strategic response to a campus emergency or disaster. Outside agencies may include: governmental, non-governmental, private sector, and other volunteer resources. The ESF annex provides basic information on available internal and external departments and agencies that might be needed for an incident that affects Dallas County Community College District. Each ESF has at least one lead position or department within the District that will lead the specific response, one or more supporting departments within the District that will provide response support, and one or more external supporting departments from the surrounding communities, and neighboring jurisdictions.

ESFs will normally be activated at the direction of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Director in response to activation level 3 or greater emergencies as outlined in the EOP. Designated department and agency resources may be requested to respond or recover from emergency incidents that affect the District. Normally, the response and recovery actions will be coordinated from the EOC as Incident or Unified Command will use the resources at the incident scene.

The primary position/department/office(s) will normally be responsible for coordinating specific requirements associated with the emergency support function. Support position/department/office(s) may be contacted to provide expertise and assistance, as needed. Finally, external departments/agencies may be needed if internal resources are overwhelmed or where District capabilities do not exist (such as emergency medical or fire services.) In all cases, prior memorandums of understanding, mutual aid agreements, or funding issues would need to be addressed prior to requesting assistance.


The purpose of ESF 9 is to identify the internal and external departments responsible for search and rescue actions that may take place in an emergency. This ESF provides and coordinate resources (personnel, equipment, facilities, materials and supplies) to support law enforcement, public safety, security, and evacuation needs during an emergency or disaster.


Emergency Support Function 9:

  • Provides coordination of search and rescue.
  • Locates distressed personnel.
  • Coordinates and executes rescue operations, including extraction and/or evacuation.
  • Provides medical assistance and civilian services by use of public and private resources to assist persons and property in potential or actual distress.
  • May be activated to respond to incidents that overwhelm normal Incident Command response actions.


Dallas County Community College District is exposed to many hazards, all of which have the potential for disrupting the community, causing casualties, and damaging or destroying public or private property. Potential emergencies and disasters include both natural and human-caused incidents.

See the EOP Hazard Summary for the potential emergencies that may impact DCCCD.

The District DOES NOT operate its own search and rescue service and has minimal internal response capability for this ESF.


The District makes the following planning assumptions:

  • District resources will be quickly overwhelmed.
  • Communication systems may fail during a major incident.
  • Backup systems will be available, but may take time to activate.
  • Shortfalls can be expected in both support personnel and equipment.
  • Local, state, and federal assistance may not be immediately available.
  • During large-scale emergencies and major disasters, law enforcement agencies may be required to expand their operations and undertake certain tasks that are not performed on a day-to-day basis.
  • During large-scale emergency situations, some normal law enforcement activities may be temporarily reduced in order to provide resources to respond to the emergency situation.

Concept of Operations


A common operating procedure within the District and across local jurisdictions provides the framework for search and rescue capabilities. Interoperable systems make this framework possible. Resources are in existence throughout the college District and the cities in which District properties lie to provide coordinated capabilities for the most effective and efficient warning, response, and recovery activities. When these capabilities are properly coordinated, response activities become more effective and efficient.

  • The Emergency Operations Plan provides overall guidance for emergency planning.
  • ESF annexes are designed to provide general guidance and basic information to include points of contact in case additional resources or expertise is needed at the EOC or incident scene.


  • Because the district does not operate its own search and rescue capability, the ESF coordinator will assign the ESF support agency respective to campus location and with primary jurisdiction as the primary agency for this ESF.
  • National Incident Management System concepts will be used for all incidents.
  • Incident or Unified Command will be used by responding departments and agencies.
  • When requested, ESF personnel will report to the EOC and utilize the EOP, its annexes, and other SOPs to activate and operate during an incident or event.


  • If ESF 9 requires activation, the EOC Director or his/her staff will contact the departments or agencies listed in this annex to report to the EOC.
  • The District emergency notification system may be utilized for the notification and recall of groups needed for the function of the ESF.

Direction and Control

  • The Incident Command System (ICS) is used by District personnel to respond to emergencies and disasters. During the emergency response phase, all responders will report to the designated Incident Commander (IC) at the Incident Command Post (ICP).
  • The ESF shall not self-deploy to the incident scene. Wait to be contacted or try to contact the Emergency Operations Center for guidance and direction.
  • Do not call any emergency dispatch or public safety answering point unless you have an emergency or critical information to report.

Emergency Support Function Operations

The emergency support function will primarily take action in the following phases:

  • Preparedness
    • Review and update this annex.
    • Participate in any exercises, as appropriate.
    • Develop and maintain a list of possible resources that could be requested in an emergency.
    • Maintain a list of personnel (at least one primary and one back up individual) that can be called to the EOC, as needed.
    • Develop procedures to document costs for any potential reimbursement.
  • Response
    • When requested by the EOC Director, immediately respond to EOC.
    • Obtain, prioritize and allocate available resources.
    • Coordinate emergency information for public release through the EOC command structure as defined by NIMS and the District EOP.
  • Recovery
    • Coordinate assistance as needed by the IC, EOC Director, or EOC Policy Group, as appropriate.
    • Ensure that ESF 9 team members or their agencies maintain appropriate records of costs incurred during the event.


ESF Coordinator

  • Develop, maintain, and coordinate the planning and operational functions of the ESF Annex through the ESF primary agency.
  • Maintain working inter-local agreements, or other functional contracts to bolster the ESF capability.

ESF Primary Agency

  • Serves as the lead agency for ESF 9, supporting the response and recovery operations after activation of the EOC.
  • Develop, maintain, and update plans and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for use during an emergency.
  • Identify, train, and assign personnel to staff ESF 9 when District EOC is activated.
  • At a minimum, the National Incident Management System ICS-100, ICS-200, IS-700, and IS-800 on line classes should be completed by assigned personnel. Additional training requirements may found in the Training, Testing, and Exercise support annex, published under a separate cover.

ESF Support and External Agencies

  • The supporting external agencies in this ESF may assume a primary function status where District resources are not available, with all responsibilities of the primary agency as indicated in this annex.
  • Support the District with inter-local agreements, or other functional contracts.
  • Support the primary department as needed.

Terms and References


DCCCDDallas County Community College District
DPSDepartment of Public Safety (Texas)
EOCEmergency Operations or Operating Center
ESFEmergency Support Function
FBIFederal Bureau of Investigation
IAPIncedent Action Plan
ICIncident Commander
ICPIncident Command Post
ICSIncident Command System
MAAMutual Aid Agreement
MACSMulti-Agency Coordination System
MOUMemorandum of Understanding
NRFNational Response Framework
SOPsStandard Operating Procedures
UCUnified Command


Active Shooter IncidentAn active shooter is a person(s) who appears to be actively engaging in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms, and there is no apparent pattern or method to their selection of victims. These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, with immediate deployment of law enforcement to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to innocent victims.
Consequence ManagementThe requirements of crisis management and consequence management have been combined. They combine the law enforcement function of identification and prevention of terrorist activities with the emergency management function of protection of public health and safety and emergency relief from the consequences of acts of terrorism.
Emergency Operations CenterSpecially equipped facilities from which government officials exercise direction and control and coordinate necessary resources in an emergency situation.
EvacuationThe National Incident Management System (NIMS) defines evacuation as an organized, phased, and supervised withdrawal, dispersal, or removal of civilians from dangerous or potentially dangerous areas, and their reception and care in safe areas.
Incident Action Plan (IAP)An oral or written plan containing general objectives reflecting the overall strategy for managing an incident. It may include the identification of operational resources and assignments. It may also include attachments that provide direction and important information for management of the incident during one or more operational periods.
Individuals with Access and Functional NeedsPersons who may have additional needs before, during and after an incident in functional areas, including but not limited to: maintaining independence, communication, transportation, supervision, and medical care. Individuals in need of additional response assistance may include those who have disabilities; live in institutional settings; are older; are children; are from diverse cultures; have limited English proficiency or are non-English speaking; or are transportation disadvantaged.
Inter-local agreementsArrangements between governments or organizations, either public or private, for reciprocal aid and assistance during emergency situations where the resources of a single jurisdiction or organization are insufficient or inappropriate for the tasks that must be performed to control the situation. Commonly referred to as mutual aid agreements (MAAs) and can include memorandums of understanding (MOUs).
National Incident Management System (NIMS)

The NIMS provides a consistent nationwide approach for federal, state, territorial, tribal, and local governments to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity.

National Response Framework (NRF)

An all-discipline, all-hazards plan that established a single, comprehensive framework for the management of domestic incidents. It provides the structure and mechanisms for the coordination of federal support to state and local and tribal incident managers and for exercising direct federal authorities and responsibilities.

Standard Operating ProceduresApproved methods for accomplishing a task or set of tasks. SOPs are typically prepared at the department or agency level. May also be referred to as Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs).
Terrorist IncidentA violent act, or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political and social objectives