As our fire incident escalates the Incident Commander and Operations Chief will change as relief personnel and more experienced persons arrive. Under the Unified Command Structure, the implementation of the action plan will be under the direction of a single individual, the Operations Chief.
The Operations Chief will normally be from an agency which has the greatest jurisdictional involvement. Designation of the Operations Chief must be agreed on by all agencies having jurisdictional and functional responsibility at the incident. In our scenario, the Fire Chief from the city was appointed as Operations Chief. He is already assigning Strike Teams and Task Forces to attack the fire.
Any management system used in joint operations by many diverse users requires a common terminology. ICS establishes that in the following ways, by providing:
- Organization: A standard set of major functions and units
- Resources: Common names for resources
- Facilities: Common identifier, such as the Incident Command Post, Incident Base, Staging Areas, Camps, Helibase,and Heliport.
The important, and essential, components of the ICS are:
- Common Terminology
- Modular Organization
- Integrated Communications
- Unified Command Structure
- Consolidated Action Plans
- Manageable Span-of-Control
- Predesigned Incident Facilities
- Comprehensive Resource Management
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