MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Agócs, Carol

Geographical Areas



In 2008, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care released the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Protocol, which mandated local health units to develop emergency response plans consistent with the Incident Management System (IMS). The main purpose for implementing IMS was to provide a standardized approach to local and provincial government emergency response by providing a common framework. This paper identifies some of the factors present in health units that consistently implement IMS during incident and emergency response. A questionnaire was developed to collect data from 34 of the 35 health units in Ontario. The findings reveal that health units have been successful in accomplishing the mandated requirements of the Protocol, including writing public health emergency plans using the IMS format, operating Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) using IMS, and having annual exercises to test the plans, but the levels of preparedness or success were broad and varying across the health units.