In our fire scenario (last bulletin) the ranking officer set up the basic element of ICS when he (as a strike team leader of the crew that responded to the fire) took command and assigned the fire fighters to their work. At that point it was a local situation and only the single command element was implemented.
When the fire exploded, everything changed. His crew was not able to handle much of the fast moving fire. So, he used the radio to call for help. Moments later the local fire chief arrived and assumed command from the first-in unit. The fire chief's first action was to appoint an Operations Section Chief, a Liaison Officer and a Logistics Section Chief and to designate a Staging Area as they prepared for the arrival of reinforcements. He also appointed a Planning Section Chief to develop the plan of attack on the fast moving fire-storm.
What do these positions do, and why take the time to appoint them in the middle of an emergency?
See the next bulletin on ICS in Action, Pt 2.