The fire chief's first action was to appoint an Operations Section Chief, a Liaison Officer and a Logistics Section Chief 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.
The fire chief, as Incident Commander, is responsible for all incident operations. He acted timely to get the organization in place to respond to the emerging disaster. He acted with forethought; that is, he began use of ICS in a way that can handle the situation.
The Liaison Officer sets up a RECEIVING position on the tailgate of a truck as the single point of contact for the arriving representatives from OTHER agencies (i.e., State agencies, National Guard, State Military, etc.) This is their initial point of contact at the INCIDENT COMMAND POST (the location where primary command functions are executed; usually colocated with INCIDENT BASE, which is where primary logistics functions are coordinated and administered. There is only one Base per incident.)
Incoming personnel will go to the STAGING AREA (a temporary location where incident personnel and equipment are assigned on a three (3) minute available status.)
The Operations Section Chief designated a STAGING AREA in the county fair grounds and a Staging Area Manager to check in all incoming resources and dispatch them at the request of the Operations Chief.
Meanwhile, the Planning Section Chief prepares an Incident Action Plan; i.e., how to attack the raging fire - overall incident strategy and specific control actions for the next operational period. In other words, he's planned how to contain the fire while others are already fighting it as best they can without the yet to arrive support.
ICS organizational structure develops in a modular fashion based on the kind and size of an incident. It builds from the TOP down with responsibility and performance placed initially with the Incident Commander.
In a single command structure, a single Incident Commander (IC) is solely responsible (within the confines of his authority) to establish objectives and overall management strategy associated with the incident. The Incident Commander is directly responsible for follow-through, to ensure all functional area actions are directed toward accomplishment of the strategy. Implementation of the plan required to effect operational control of the incident is the responsibility of the Operations Chief, who reports directly to the IC.
Continues next week