If one individual can simultaneously manage all major functional areas, no further organization is required. Positions that are not assigned/filled are functionally performed at the next higher level. If one or more of the areas requires independent management, a person is named to be responsible for that area.
The common ICS terminology and organizational function is shown by the following management standard:
Those assigned to manage at each level have a distinctive title:
- Incident Command = Incident Commander
- Command Staff = Officer
- Section = Section Chief
- Branch = Branch Director (optional level)
- Division = Division Supervisor
- Unit = Unit Leader
In general, within the ICS, the span-of-control of any person with emergency management responsibility should range from three to seven, with a span-of-control of five as a general rule of thumb.
The ICS uses a unified command because:
- Incidents have no regard for jurisdictional boundaries.
- Individual agency responsibility and authority is usually legally confined to a single jurisdiction
Next bulletin: ICS terminology