Department of Emergency Management/Project Sidewinder

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Project Sidewinder was a DEM pilot project to reorganize District level operations.

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General Objectives

The objectives of this plan include the following:

  • Keep to DEM policy
  • A single District Level Authority
  • Cover an entire District
  • Maintain concentration of force
  • Delegate authority
  • Maintain redundant authority
  • Separate duties for MPD and MFD
  • "The DEM helps those that help themselves"

Executive Summary

The purpose of Project Sidewinder is to reorganize a DEM District team (specifically, SE-5) into a more coordinated Section Team. Instead of assigning personnel to static areas, the Section Team will assign manpower to smaller Zones. People will be periodically reassigned to new Zones, forcing the Section Team to move throughout the entire District.

A Word on Policy

"As a policy the DEM is about survivors surviving and since I can remember we have never ever, ever, ever claimed a portion of the city. Our policies are aimed at helping even the non meta gamer survive. when you commit to one siege in one section of town you ignore the other hordes and other zombies rampaging through. Which we handle every day all across the map. Every single day our members post sitreps about battles in less popular parts of the city. You know, the battles that nobody but the folks living in the area care about. The battles that don't get their own thread to discuss in the big forums of the game...those battles are what the DEM are about. It's all well and good to talk about making a stand here or there and, in truth, you'll even see some of us in those situations as well. However the whole of Malton is our concern not one point in one ongoing battle with undead."
- Kristi of the Dead

As a policy, we don't get locked into ONE fight. There is a whole city to protect (district in our case). In practically every suburb there is a local group defending "their" turf. This plan assumes the DEM exists to help those local groups. The DEM does not exist to defend unclaimed area, but we will patrol those areas. It is in the hands local groups to defend and hold.


Sidewinder patrols the District

Each colored block is a 5x5 corner of a suburb. They have been referred to as quadrants, but for this plan we will call those areas Zones. One man will be assigned to patrol each Zone. His job doesn't change, only his jurisdiction. The patrolman will clear buildings, heal, barricade, recon, and point out targets. The big change is that this is not a permanent assignment, but a temporary one. We use Zones and not photoshopped maps for logistical ease.

All Zones should be contiguous. That contiguous area is called the Section. Periodically, patrolmen are reassigned to new Zones, making the whole Section move like a Sidewinder snake, gradually patrolling the entire District. The Section does not have to move as shown, or even move with a set pattern. The Section may backtrack, or even skip entire Zones. What is important is that the Sidewinder keeps moving in a methodical manner, responds to local conditions, and follows DEM policy.

The Section Teams

The Section personnel are divided into three teams: the Patrol Team, Fire Team, and Section Tactical Assistance Team.

Section Team Leader

The Section Team Leader is the single District Level Authority chosen by DEM command. He has authority over the two other team leaders as well as all S.T.A.T. personnel. The STL will not be assigned a Zone or be part of the Fire Team. There will be an deputy ready to take over Section Team leadership. This deputy can be either of the following: the PTL, FTL, or the highest ranking S.T.A.T. member.

Patrol Team

The Patrol Team makes up the Section (and thus, Sidewinder) "body" and supplies the personnel to patrol the zones. The team should be made up of 3-5 Patrolmen in 3-4 zones. With one Patrol Team Leader (PTL) not assigned to a zone and one Assistant PTL (APTL) who may be assigned a zone depending on manpower. Individual patrolmen are authorized to leave their assigned zones for self preservation, to restock, and to render aid in another Zone. However, the assigned Zone should be considered priority one. When posting a Situation Report, patrolmen must also indicate their assigned Zone Condition.

Patrol Team Leader

The Patrol Team Leader shall be responsible for assigning Zones to patrolmen. As such he will control how and when the Section moves. The PTL will not be assigned a patrol Zone as he should be inspecting Zones or helping the patrolmen. The Assistant PTL will offer administrative support and be ready to take over Patrol Team leadership if necessary. The APTL will not be assigned a Patrol Zone if the Section is already made up of 4 Zones.

Fire Team

If the Patrol Team is the "body" of our Sidewinder Snake, this is the "head". This represents the District's true concentration of force. The zone they currently occupy is the Active zone. Its manpower should match that of the Patrol Team. One Fire Team Leader (FTL)and one Assistant FTL. Their job is to help "clean up" any zones that need it. If a problem can't be solved within a given amount of time, that Zone is abandoned (see: River Tactics). The Fire Team moves on and the patrolman is reassigned. If the Patrol Team is MPD, this team should be MFD (or vice versa).

Fire Team Leader

The Fire Team Leader shall have authority to choose which zone and what targets to engage with his team. These engagements may be conducted as the FTL sees fit, but the Fire Team must not become entrenched in a single Zone for more than one week, two maximum. The Assistant FTL will offer administrative support and be ready to take over Fire Team leadership if necessary.

Section Tactical Assistance Team (S.T.A.T.)

This is the personal team of the Section Team Leader. The S.T.A.T. will be made up of District personnel not in the Patrol or Fire Teams along with dedicated medics/revivers and directly lead by the STL. They function as Fast Responders for patrolmen not in the Active Zone, Scouts, Fire Team augmenters, roving "free agents", special missions and as a general tactical reserve (you always want a reserve). Manpower should ideally equal that of the other teams, but will probably be lower.

The STAT functions as a tactical reserve. To give a few examples:

  • The Fire Team is engaged, but a Patrolman in another Zone needs a little help.
  • The Fire Team is having trouble in a particularly tough Zone.
  • A Patrolman is restocking/MIA/Zombified and his Zone needs to be covered.
  • Forward observation is needed to choose a path for the Section Team.
  • An important Building needs special attention.

All these things could be done with STAT members (perhaps all simultaneously, given enough people). Dedicated revivers/healers (MEMS, MFU, and maybe some MFD) will be in the STAT so they can "go about their business" without worrying about patrolling or being in a strike team. Ideally, the Section Team Leader would be in charge of the STAT and issue orders to individuals instead of to the whole team.

Zone Condition

A basic assessment of the Zone's threat level

  • Green (Good): This zone has low Zed activity, high Cade level, and the locals are in control. Boring.
  • Yellow (Fair): This zone has moderate Zed activity. The locals need my help. I may need assistance here and there.
  • Orange (Poor): This zone has high Zed activity. The place needs some serious help. Send in the Fire Team!
  • Red (Dangerous): This zone is overrun by Zombies. Get me out of here before I join them!

Zone Assignment

Zone Assignment Flow Chart

Let's walk through the flowchart to the right.
For Sidewinder purposes, 1 Week has 6 days with Friday and Saturday counting as a single day.

  • First, the Patrolman is (re)assigned to a Zone.
  • The Patrolman has three days to conduct an initial assessment and reports back the Zone condition.
    • If the Zone is green or red, the Patrolman should be reassigned to a new Zone.
    • If the Zone is yellow or orange the Patrolman's orders are "confirmed".
  • The Patrolman patrols the Zone for another three days and make another assessment.
    • If the Zone condition is green, red, or yellow, then the Patrolman is reassigned.
    • If the Zone condition is orange the Patrolman's orders are extended one more week (two total).
  • After 2 weeks total, the patrolman is reassigned.

We force reassignment to keep us moving throughout the zone. As pointed out above by KotD, we don't fight sieges; we use River Tactics.

Orange Zones should be priority targets for the Fire Team. In fact, you could say that a major purpose of Sidewinder is to seek out and identify orange Zones for the Fire Team.Orange Zones are extended to give time for the Fire Team to work. Generally, the Fire Team should not be in a zone for more than two weeks.

The time frames used are up for debate, but recent experience shows it could work. Also, we don't have to be so rigid. If someone reports a zone green or red, they get reassigned. If they have patrolled a yellow zone "for a while", they get reassigned, unless the zone is now orange and awaiting Fire Team support. See, it can be flexible.

Situational Awareness

In a Section Team, situational awareness (i.e. Situation Reports) of the whole Section (all Zones) is extremely important. The Fire Team must know exactly how the Active Zone is doing and what Zones need help next. Patrolmen must be aware of other Zones in case they need to help out. S.T.A.T. members will also have to know where they are needed most. Of course, decisions will be made easier for the team leaders with proper information. While DEMON is a fantastic tool, not everyone uses or updates it. DEMON is also neutral, conditionally important information is not highlighted just for you. It does not replace "boots of the ground" and the Sitreps that come with. Clear, concise Sitreps (and the reading of those Sitreps) will be key to Sidewinder success.

Alternate Structures

Under certain circumstances the internal structure of the Section may change to respond

The Best of Times

Under a condition of low Zombie activity around the District, the STL is authorized to expand the Patrol Team with personnel from the S.T.A.T. or even the Fire Team. This will facilitate a faster patrol of the District and make finding Zombie activity easier.

The Worst of Times

If more than half the District is overrun by Zombies, if patrolmen must constantly retreat from red Zones, if the Sidewinder has little choice in it's movements, then the Section Team must be more aggressive. In this case, the STL is authorized to convert the Patrol Team into a strike team (SWAT?). With increased concentration of force (2 strike teams and reserves), the Section Team may be able to start reclaiming the District. As a Plan B, the Section Team may move to another District and assist there.

Political Pressures

If MFD serving directly under MPD (or vice versa) will create turmoil in the DEM, then an alternative is available. The Section Team Leader/District Level Authority and the S.T.A.T will be removed from the command structure. The Patrol Team will consist of all MPD personnel, while the Fire Team will consist of all MFD personnel. The Fire Team Leader is encouraged to keep a reserve in case of emergency (replacing the S.T.A.T.). One hopes it won't come to this as a major objective of Project Sidewinder is to establish a single District Level Authority.

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