Specialists with ICS certification in communications were used in the Oklahoma City response by Urban Search and Rescue Teams. Such certification is the result of the
The major benefit of ICS, as a management system, is that it can expand in a logical manner from an initial attack (as to a fire) into a major incident; and that it does so efficiently and well.
For example, a small grass fire starts outside of a city. A local fire department responds. The unit reaches the fire. The ranking officer on this first unit is the initial Incident Commander and handles all of the other IC positions as needed. Since the fire is small the obvious task is to extinguish it, which they set about to do as an incident strike team.
Just as the last ember's are about to be extinguished a heavy wind blow ups and sparks cause the fire to jump a road into a dry hay field. What was originally a small local fire situation suddenly becomes a escalating emergency as the wind-fed fire roars through the fields and hungrily engulfs vast areas. A disastrous conflagration suddenly threatens many farms, a large city and two towns. Many engines and crews from multiple jurisdictions will be needed to fight the fire. ICS, as a system - once learned and understood - is automatically put into operation by those responders knowledgeable with it. The ranking officer of the first unit, being trained in the ICS, implemented the first stage when he arrived. As the situation changes, the management response will change with it. How it changes we will see in the following bulletins.
Next bulletin: ICS expandability