Aurnhammer, Thomas W. The Incident Command System and its Application
to Fire Investigations. Firehouse. Vol. 19 No. 6 (June 1994). p 92-94.
Abstract: Training for fire investigators has improved in many
areas. One category that remains deficient, however, is training in the
management skills required to direct a successful, large-scale investigation.
The ICS, or Incident Command System, can provide the structure needed
for such an investigation. The ICS incorporates multiple agencies and jurisdictions.
Familiarity with this system will facilitate communication and division
of responsibility. A typical ICS organization chart is illustrated. The
sections, falling under the Fire Investigation Commander (Incident Command)
with Command Staff, are as follows; Operations, Planning, Logistics and
Regardless of size, every incident requires a commander who is responsible
for overall management of the situation. He or she is also accountable for
safety and will serve as the outside agency liaison. The operations section
is responsible for all phases of the on-scene and follow-up investigation.
The planning section will accumulate and study all information regarding
the investigation and relay it accordingly. The logistics section is responsible
for organizing the services and support staff needed to perform and conclude
the investigation. Finally, the finance section will document all expenses,
obtain purchase authorizations and process all financial related paperwork.
The ICS system is designed to be flexible and should be adjusted as demands
of the investigation change. Operations are designed around management by
objectives, limit supervisory span-of-control to no more than seven subordinates,
and facilitate structured sharing and recording of data. Ideal for large
investigations, it can be used on smaller scenarios as a training tool.
The basic needs of any emergency are the same; someone must be in command,
assessing the situation and resources, determining a course of action, monitoring
effectiveness and modifying the plan to meet the situationís needs.
All the necessary tasks must be accomplished and team members must communicate.
The ICS is best implemented when efforts are made to pre-plan and cooperate
with other agencies before an incident occurs. It is helpful to notify other
organizations of your intention to utilize ICS.
For more information, contact:
PTN Publishing Corporation
445 Broad Hollow Road, Ste 21
Melville, NY 11747
Phone: (516) 845-2700