Welcome to the website of the National Steering Group. This website provides information on the Framework for Major Emergency Management in Ireland.

The Framework for Major Emergency Management was developed in 2005 and was adopted by Government decision in 2006. Its purpose is to set out common arrangements and structures for front line public sector emergency management in Ireland. The Framework is based on the internationally recognized systems approach that, in essence, proposes an iterative cycle of continuous activity through five stages of emergency management:

  • Hazard Identification
  • Mitigation
  • Preparedness
  • Response; and
  • Recovery

The Framework is designed to fit with the ‘all hazards’ approach to emergency management, and has been developed reflecting best international practice, customized to suit Irish conditions. In Ireland, one of the main purposes of the Framework for Major Emergency Management is to set out the working relationship between the various elements which make up the front line emergency response.

One of the key objectives of the Framework is to set out the arrangements and facilities for effective co-ordination of the individual response efforts of the Principal Response Agencies to  major emergencies, so that the combined result is greater than the sum of the individual efforts. The Framework assigns responsibility for undertaking the co-ordination function clearly and unambiguously and requires it to be supported, so that it happens and is effective.


  • It provides that a “Lead Agency” should be identified from the Principal Response Agencies, and be assigned the responsibility and mandate for the co-ordination function in Local and Regional scale emergencies. The Framework provides that one of the three Principal Response Agencies will be designated as the “Lead Agency” for any emergency and thereby assume the responsibility for leading the co-ordination.
  • The mechanisms for determining and designating the Lead Agency in any situation are set out in the Framework. In Table 7.1 of Appendix F7, pre-nominated lead agencies for common incident types are presented, and this is the primary basis for determining the Lead Agency.
  • The concept of the “Lead Agency” provides for clear leadership co-ordination and collaborative emergency management and one that fits with Irish arrangements.


The Approach to Co-ordination in the Framework

The additional structures, arrangements and facilities, which are required to make co-ordination happen successfully are set out in the Framework. It is necessary to make sure that the co-ordination process is effective and streamlined, so that it fits in with current practice and structures, and with the requirements of differing emergency situations. Viewing co-ordination as a progressively expanding task, as the scale / complexity of the emergency increases, is regarded as crucial, as well as;

  • Defining key roles and co-ordination;
  • Defining and setting the parameters/boundaries for the mandate/authority given with the co-ordination responsibility;
  • Identifying physical spaces to provide for and support co-ordination;
  • Appropriate communication facilities;
  • Co-ordination of media liaison ; and
  • Information management systems.


Information on the Framework for Major Emergency Management is available through clicking on the menu buttons. Further information is available by clicking on the links below.

Structures for Implementation

National Steering Group

National Working Group

Regional Groups