Incident Command System

What is ICS?

The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response providing a common hierarchy within which responders from multiple agencies can be effective.

ICS consists of a standard management hierarchy and procedures for managing temporary incident(s) of any size. ICS procedures should be pre-established and sanctioned by participating authorities, and personnel should be well-trained prior to an incident.

ICS includes procedures to select and form temporary management hierarchies to control funds, personnel, facilities, equipment, and communications. Personnel are assigned according to established standards and procedures previously sanctioned by participating authorities. ICS is a system designed to be used or applied from the time an incident occurs until the requirement for management and operations no longer exist.

ICS is interdisciplinary and organizationally flexible to meet the following management challenges:

  • Meets the needs of a jurisdiction to cope with incidents of any kind or complexity (i.e. it expands or contracts as needed).
  • Allows personnel from a wide variety of agencies to meld rapidly into a common management structure with common terminology.
  • Provide logistical and administrative support to operational staff.
  • Be cost effective by avoiding duplication of efforts, and continuing overhead.
  • Provide a unified, centrally authorized emergency organization.