OK, now came the big discussion on organization. First thing out of almost everyone’s mouth was the question of who would be in-charge. And then of course Jim speaks up. He wanted to talk about principles first…get everyone on the same page. Yup, there was a big sigh to be heard throughout the land. But, it made sense. And I chimed in that starting to organized at the top was a mistake. I told them we didn’t even know what kind of organization we needed because we didn’t know our needs yet. My ICS training paid off again…and I used the ICS format laid out by AHTrimble.com as an example: “Form follows function, function is based on needs.” That means you build from the bottom up based on what is needed. I should have kept my mouth shut.
So Jim starts it out by talking about what different kind of people want in terms of government. It all boils down to some people want freedom, liberty, and rights…others want to impose their will on others. I talked a little bit about politicians lusting for power and money. Jim did a good job of labeling the two different groups…kingmen and freemen. We all agreed that we were freemen believers. That took the better part of three hours to get to that point. Then it was time to break for a little while and think about what our needs as a group were. Jim asked me to go over LIPS again with the group when we got back together. I agreed. Everything was pointing to Jim being the natural leader. Yea!
Once back together I could feel a difference in the group…our little community. There was hope, there was excitement, there was the seeds of success beginning to sprout. Sounds a bit corny…but it was the truth.
Jim kind of took the role of facilitator and turned some time over to me for LIPS. It didn’t take any time at all for everyone to agree to LIPS as our priority setting system, it just makes sense. Then came the discussion about “needs” of the group. We immediately got off track talking about water, food, etc. Jared got up, cleared his throat, and made fun of us…he said he could kill half of us right then and there before anyone could react. He could probably take out most of the rest with little to no trouble given the circumstances. Yeah, he had everyone’s attention, our full attention.
He went back to LIPS and then asked me to talk about ICS. Yes!
I presented the basics off ICS: Command, Operations, Logistics, Planning, and Administration. Everyone pretty much got the principles within an hour. Then Jim asked me to walk through what I thought our needs were and how ICS could meet those needs. Once we got started it was amazingly easy, especially combined with the 7 Common Risk/Threats and LIPS.
Everyone was really into it, even the teenagers. I think they saw it as an opportunity to really have a say-so in their future, into how government works, and that they, and their opinions, were respected. It was exciting and the enthusiasm was going high…and higher. Then someone shouted out for lunch. We ate lunch while we continued to talk. I really loved the whole group environment thing and how we were working together. We had a true sense of community…mixed in with a sense of purpose.
By mid-afternoon we had the foundation laid. Obviously the #1 priority was going to be security…protection against violence. Then came medical aid as a protection against injury and sickness. Then communications, then food & water, then shelter, etc. All organization needs/issues covered by ICS. Another break was called. We were to come up with ideas on who was interested in what and suggestions on assignments. We all had to talk to each other about needs, people, skills, interests, knowledge, training, etc. At dinner we were to present our findings and thoughts.
Whoa! Once we got back together it was a madhouse to say the least. Everyone one wanted to talk, everyone thought they had the best ideas, everyone wanted to be…well, it was pandemonium. Now it was Matt’s turn to shine. He came up with the idea that each person would be given 30 seconds to present their idea on one person and what part of the organization that they might be in charge of. When that was settled, that person who was nominated to be in-charge of that area would be given 2 minutes to speak. Then a vote would be taken. Then each area would be discussed, the new leader facilitating the discussion.Since Operations is the key to all of it, that was to be the first area to discuss.
He called on Jared first. It was a set-up…I am sure of it.
My first thought was Jared made the obvious and perfect choice to be in charge of Operations. He was the most trained and experienced operator in the group. A few of us had military experience but nothing to the degree of Jared. Jared is a turd!
The first thing he does is nominate me for the Operations Section. He said I had the most experience with ICS, the most experience as an incident commander, and the most experience leading diverse groups of individuals in high-stress/high-risk environments. I glared at him the whole time. Matt asked if there were any objections or other nominations. There were none so I held up my hand to voice my objection. Matt called out that I was out of order because a person can’t object to their own nomination. Where did that “rule” come from?
I know it had to been a set-up from the beginning. They are all turds.
By the time it was done our organizational leaders (Section Chiefs) were:
Me – Operations Section
Jim – Logistics Section
Susie – Planning Section
Lisa – Administration Section
We decided to break till morning to give time for smaller group discussions and the Section Chiefs to organize their thoughts and then to present their organizational structure ideas to the group.
Matt brought up the point that we still needed an Incident Commander (person in overall command). It was to all be decided tomorrow morning.
And so came the next morning. I was braced from chaos to reign and arguments to grow into fist fights. More plots and schemes to unfold. Man, was I wrong!
Matt again facilitated this meeting. He reminded everyone that Operations Section was the primary need, the #1 priority, and all the other Sections were there to support Operations in fulfilling their mission. Because without the success of Operations…everything else fails. So here is the outcome.
I got up and outlined our mission for the Operations Section:
1 – To provide security against violence from outside threats and risk.
2 – To be the sole people to work “outside the wire” in support of the other Sections.
There was limited discussion, a couple of questions, and everyone accepted it. Matt asked for me to outline what I thought our Operations Section should look like. I went on to explain the need for 3 teams to provide security, they had to rotate the security to prevent burnout, and have enough people to be effective. I proposed 3 teams of 4 people each with a roving scout. Here is the team make-up that I proposed:
Team 1 – Me, Mike, Annie, Allen
Team 2 – Ken, Paul, Joe, Mel
Team 3 – Matt, Tim, Melissa, Nancy
Scout – Jared.
Oh boy…did that just about get me hanged! The mothers erupted about their children being assigned to such dangerous work. I had a rebellion on my hands and it scared me to the point I had no idea what to do. Jim to the rescue.
Jim asked me for some specifics…particularly if we were going to be some killer army unit fighting it out with the enemy. I chuckled and explained that is the last thing we wanted to do. I told him that we were primarily lookouts and we want to spot trouble before it became a problem and then avoid in every way possible. Jim expanded that a little more to mean we would avoid trouble, be passive/defensive, and not endanger anyone. I said yes, but also to defend ourselves if we had to. Two hours later people had voted “yes” to the plan with only one abstention. I could see some folks were not totally thrilled with the idea…but I think that reality was settling in and people’s old outlooks on life were adjusting to the new normal.
Next came Jim for the Logistics Section. He proposed Himself, Beth, Trey, and Maria for internal security. The internal security would for the immediate protection (close-in) security of all non-Operations people (i.e. primarily the kids). He proposed Kim and Daniel for the Medical Unit, Kim in-charge. If things got busy Beth would help Kim, Trey would help Daniel. That would create two medical teams, each with a security person. Communications would be handled by Mike (who turned out was a Ham radio operator) with Joe and Mel helping out as needed, and over time they would be trained to be as good as Mike. Day Care Unit would be Lisa, Susie, Morgan, Kurt, Peter, and Amy.
Planning would be headed up by Susie with help for others as needed. Administration needs be in the hands of Lisa with help as needed.
By lunch everyone had agreed, votes taken, organizations put into place, and everyone was ready for lunch. I was ready for a nap. And the Mat (I hate Matt) spoke up and reminded everyone that we still needed an IC. A collective groan rippled out among the crowd. I got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I sensed another plot unfolding.
Daniel hollered out that I should be it. Everyone nodded their heads and Matt started to take a vote. I yelled out, “I will not seek the office of IC. If nominated as IC I will not run. If elected as IC I will not serve.” A few got the reference to President Johnson and chuckled, most didn’t. I’m felt old. I said that wasn’t fair and I should have a say in it. Matt tabled the issue till after lunch.
After lunch it went the same way and I was in a panic…I am no leader. I am good at operations, I am good at being second in command, but I am not a leader…especially of a group like this. When all the discussion and voting was said and done…Jim and I were co-ICs. Technically it is called Unified Command. The result was fairly simple, in terms of command I would be making decisions with Jim. Jim would be the spiritual conscious/leader of the group. He and I had to agree on any major decision, but either could make the minor calls. Jim and I agreed to work out more details as we went along. Everyone seemed happy…except me. Jared kept smiling at me and winking. I think there was some underhanded dealing taking place behind my back.
I called a meeting for the Operations Section for later that afternoon. All of them were excited. I asked Jared (turd head) to prepare a training plan for us. He agreed…what choice did he have…this was all his fault.
That afternoon we got together and man, it went smooth as silk, everyone was cooperative, plans set into place…then Melissa spoke up. She wanted all of our meetings to open and close with prayer. Dang religious nuts! But, most everyone else was nodding their heads and I reluctantly agreed if no one had an objection. I did but kept my mouth shut. No one spoke up, motion passed, prayers it was.
One major item that came up were weapons; we needed standardized weapons for each team and training with those weapons. Jared said he would handle the training aspect with a solid plan. I said I would speak with the other Section Chiefs and we would figure out a solution to propose to the group. Joe spoke up and reminded us of our right to property. Meaning we just couldn’t dictate who did what with their privately owned weapons. Good point! Let’s see how this first test works out.
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