A POD can be thought of as a ship. Just like the Navy, Army, Marines, or Air Force, it has a command structure. The leader of the operation is the POD Manager.
The POD Manager supervises the Command Staff. The Command Staff are comprised of the Press Assistant, Safety Lead, Security Unit Deputy, Planning Unit Deputy, Logistics Unit Deputy, and the Operations Unit Deputy. The Command Staff monitor and coordinate all POD functions.
The Command Staff manage all POD staff either directly or through their Lead. They ensure that all POD staff are:
- Assigned a supervisor
- Provided with work breaks
Every team that is supervised by a Command Staff member, has one Lead. This assures that:
- Every staff member reports to only one Team Lead
- Every team lead reports to only one Command Staff member
- Every Command Staff member reports to the POD Manager
By structuring a POD in this format we are assured that information flows up and down the "Chain of Command". Every staff member has only one supervisor; this is the person they get their direction from and give their concerns and requests to.
At the beginning of the shift you will be given a Job Action Sheet (examples are given in the links to the right). This sheet tells you who to report to and gives you a synopsis of what you will be doing. You will also be given “Just In Time” training which will explain any specifics you need to know about the POD.
Every POD follows basic Incident Command System Principles. To learn more about the Incident Command System (ICS) please be sure to take FEMA's ICS 100 class.
The most important thing for you to remember is that in an Incident Command System, you must always know to whom you report and to document anything out of the ordinary that happens. Documentation should include the time, what happened, and what actions were taken in response.