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Incident Command Systems: A Perspective on Strategic and Tactical Applications
Author            : Geary W. Sikich
Designation    :Principal
Company        : Logical Management Systems, Corp.
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Synopsis

The Incident Command System (ICS), originally developed as a result of large forest fires in Southern California in 1970 served as a basis for the development and application of the "all hazards" approach to emergency management/response planning is presented in this paper. The ICS has been adapted to apply to the industrial setting, where the affected entities' management structure and response structure have seldom been integrated into a cohesive organization. The industrial setting evokes a need to provide an "Enhanced Incident Command System" (EICS), addressing expanded emergency management/response functions and roles associated with industrial incidents. EICS is a flexible system designed to facilitate an integrated response to a variety of postulated incidents. EICS allows for a full range of activities, from planning through response, mitigation and recovery activities.

Traditionally, the focus has been on the Response Activities. This focus is changing. Management roles are being identified. Public demand for management accountability has increased. Personnel responsible for response are demanding more management interface and support. Management is impelled to provide more support and play an integral role in the overall response to an incident.Although each organization is unique, the "all hazards" approach will generally consist of the following key elements:
  • "All Hazards" Emergency Management Plan
  • Emergency Plan Implementing Procedures
  • Emergency Management/Response Organization (Enhanced Incident Command System)
  • Emergency Management/Response Training and Retraining
  • Emergency Management/Response Facilities and Equipment
  • Drills and Exercises
  • Coordination with Off-Site Emergency Plans
  • Evacuation Time Studies
  • Hazards Assessment and Analysis
The remainder of this paper discusses the application of tactical and strategic Incident Command Systems in the industrial setting.

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