To strengthen its role as a liaison between local governments and the unified command, the spill office should continue with its plans to develop qualification standards for liaison officers and to train more staff for that role. The spill office should also ensure that staff assigned as liaison officers participate in drills to gain experience. In addition, the spill office should ensure that staff in its operations center provide all necessary support, including communications equipment, to liaison officers in the field.
OSPR has developed a program for expanding the liaison staff depth.
OSPR currently has identified 3 liaison position Subject Matter Experts (SME), which was the initial goal for all mission-critical ICS positions that OSPR routinely fills. These SMEs have developed a Liaison training program for staff members for serving at either the Incident Command Post or in the Operations Center in Sacramento. Currently several staff in addition to the SMEs have been trained and are getting their OJT through in-house and industry drills.
OSPR developed a liaison component for the Ops Center Manual which includes tasks, jobs and additional information. OSPR activated the Ops Center Liaison during the October 2010 Dubai Star incident in the San Francisco Bay, and the Statewide Tsunami event in March 2011. The Ops Center Liaison provided significant critical support to the field Liaison officer, and bridged the need for communication between the Command post and the Assembly, Senate, and other agencies (local, State, and Federal) that were not on-scene or directly involved with the response.
The Ops Center Liaison's support removed a tremendous demand off the field Liaison officer for better on-scene focus.
Continuing education and skill development will be ongoing. OSPR plans to continue to train and drill identified Liaison staff, for both Operations Center and field positions. Designated Liaison staff will need to attend drills and exercises regularly to maintain their skills.
The recent implementation of OSPR's oil spill response website has been incorporated into the training as a tool that can be used to provide spill-specific information available to the press and general public. More sensitive information will be available to government agencies under password protection. (See 2011-041 p. 144)
Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.