source ref: ebookdis.html
Examination of the analysis made it clear that there was need for inter-agency standardization and commonality, supported by modem technologies, if fire service performance was to improve. This led to the "design criteria" statement for a new system.
ICS DESIGN CRITERIA
The design criteria were developed before significant work began on developing the new system. This was done to assure that whatever the exact configuration of this new organization would be, it would be compatible with all of the requirements of a major emergency management system. The design criteria addressed a set of guidelines that included standard multi-agency organization, terminology, operating procedures, and communications integration. There were seven requirements placed on the design of the system:
MANAGEMENT CONCEPTS AND SYSTEM CHARACTERISTICS
The fire services participating in the developmental effort (United States Forest Service; California Department of Forestry; California Office of Emergency Services; Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County Fire Departments; and Los Angeles City Fire Department) provided representatives who, collectively, had hundreds of years of emergency management experience. These people were practical, and familiar With all of the problems inherent in disaster response. They were all aware of "Murphy's Law" ("If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong."), and they wanted to keep Murphy away from the Incident Command System.
The fire services wanted to be sure the ICS was designed so that each agency would retain control over its own legal and fiscal responsibilities, agency roles, and organizational procedures. They wanted a system that would work well even with the participation of inherently different agencies and agencies from different levels of government (city, county, regional, state, and federal). Also desirable was a method for providing the best information management and maintaining order and effectiveness under crisis conditions. These needs led to yet another set of concepts and characteristics.
Throughout ICS, procedures are designed to protect agency (or jurisdictional) autonomy. The Unified Command concept was designed to encourage the close working relationship of diverse agencies while at the same time preventing "power plays" or "take overs" by larger or more assertive members. The system recognizes the legal and fiscal authorities of both primary and supporting organizations.
Management by Objectives (MBO)
The classic interpretation of MBO (Kast, 1974:171) is incorporated in the ICS planning process. The objectives set by Command must be "real" in the sense that subordinate positions agree that the objectives can be met. Command is required to adjust any objectives that subordinates state they cannot accomplish. This assures that plans are realistic and that Command is clearly aware of organizational limitations. It also increases the commitment of subordinate positions because those who help to design their own assignments have a greater motivation to reach objectives.
The organization is designed to keep people from the same agencies and emergency management disciplines together (i.e., police are not organizationally mixed with fire personnel; fire people are not assigned to public works). This concept improves the safety of the responders, makes it easier to keep accurate time records, and simplifies communication throughout the organization.
Each part of the organization is designed so that its members can concentrate on a primary assignment and not be unnecessarily distracted by other responsibilities. For example, the Operations Section does not have to be concerned with feeding, fixing flat tires, or obtaining special clothing. Units in the Logistics Section are activated to serve these and other needs so that Operations can put full energy into the basic assignment.
Organizational supervisory positions are designed to provide supervisor-sub-ordinate ratios that meet modern management practice. The general rule is five subordinate units per supervisory position, although allowance is made to vary this ratio under special circumstances. If tasks are relatively simple or routine, taking place in a small area, communications are good, and the incident character is reasonably stable, then one supervisor may oversee up to eight subordinate units. Conversely, if the tasks are demanding, taking place over a large area, and incident character is changing, then the span of control might be reduced to one supervisor per two or three subordinates. ICS is designed to provide the most efficient leadership possible under crisis conditions.
The organization can be increased as an incident escalates in complexity, and it can be decreased as the incident comes under control. Following span-of-control guidance, an Incident Commander may respond initially with only a few units. As the incident grows, Command can add specific positions with specific assignments. Sections, Branches, Divisions, Groups, and Units (de-fined below) can be added. The complete (and rarely activated) organization will provide direction and control over 5,200 personnel. As the incident de-escalates, the organization can be reduced in a systematic manner, relieving those elements that are no longer needed. If appropriate, a demobilization unit can be staffed to assure prompt release of unneeded resources. Thus, ICS provides a means of adding and subtracting resources in the most cost-effective and leadership-efficient manner.
There are several categories of "common" terminology:
Each position has a specific title (Incident Commander, Planning Section Chief, Branch Director, Division Supervisor). Although there are some necessary differences between the "fire" (ICS) and the "law enforcement" (LEICS) versions, the basic organizational structure is the same, For instance, the fire version has Section Chiefs while LEICS titles those positions Section Officer-in-Charge, or OIC. LEICS has "Armorers," "K-9 Units," and "SWAT Teams,"while ICS has "Strike Teams," and "Air Attack" positions not in LEICS. The medical applications of ICS have introduced "Medical Supervisor," "Triage Leader," and "EMS Staging Manager. Each of these differences is justified by the requirements of the particular discipline (fire, law, or medical). The differences, however, still follow a standard hierarchy (see Table 7-1). Adherence to the hierarchical terminology, even though some special terms are needed, is what enables personnel from separate agencies or disciplines to understand and utilize ICS on multi-agency incidents.
Both ICS and LEICS define specific resources. ICS defines 16 "primary" resources (engines, bulldozers, helicopters) and 13 "support" or secondary resources (breathing apparatus, mobile mechanic, utility transport). LEICS defines 39 kinds of resources (SWAT team, light rescue team, coroner, patrol vehicle).
Defining the title and capability of specific resources, and having those definitions used throughout any particular discipline, has several advantages. First, resources can be ordered and managed to meet specific tasks; second, both the ordering and the sending parties know exactly what is needed; and third, the grouping of some resources into "teams" or "task forces" allows simplified resource accounting (see "Comprehensive Resource Management," below).
Defining resource elements and using those definitions throughout a jurisdiction or emergency response discipline is one important way to overcome the recurrent problem of incident managers ordering "everything you've got."
Common terms are used to identify the facilities used at an incident, and each facility has a defined function. For instance, the Incident Command Post (ICP) is the location where Command functions are carried out.
Table 7-1. Standard Organizational Positions
Command Staff Officer
The Incident Base is where personnel eat, sleep, and receive other care. The two facilities are not interchangeable in terms of function. Having common facility definitions and functions is another means of communicating and avoiding confusion; when personnel understand these functions and terms, they know where to go and what they will find at a given facility.
ICS/LEICS have a systematic process for making the best possible integration of available communications. Two standard forms, the "Radio Requirements Worksheet" and the "Radio Frequency Assignment Sheet" (see Appendix C) provide means to identify all available radio resources on the incident (mobiles, relays, base stations, and portables). These radio resources are then assigned to Command, Tactical, Support, Air-to-Air, and Air-to-Ground functions. These assignments abide by the unit integrity, agency autonomy, and functional clarity concepts of ICS, so no agency's radios are assigned to others without Command approval. The radio resources data are noted in Division Assignment Sheets and included in the Incident Action Plan (see Appendix C), so that all personnel on the incident have instructions on the available nets.
Comprehensive resource management.
ICS resource management procedures are designed to overcome the typical problems of too few, too many, lost, or mismanaged response forces. As with all other parts of the system, the resource management procedures are interrelated and compatible with the design criteria and management concepts.
Specific responsibility for resource status-keeping is assigned to the Resource Status Unit ("Restat") in the Planning Section. Restat is responsible for staffing "check-in" locations where all incoming resources fill out a check-in form (Appendix C). Data on resource status are continually updated, reported to Command, and used throughout the planning process.
Resources are managed either as single resources, task forces, or teams. The process simplifies status keeping and reduces span-of-control problems. Resources are monitored by three different status conditions: 1) "Assigned"-performing an active assignment; 2) "Available"-ready for immediate assignment; or 3) "Out-of-Service"-not ready for assignment. Status changes, major changes in location, and other data are recorded by a standard process that provides both Command and Planning with nearly real-time management information.
Two other extremely important components of ICS, the Unified Command concept and the Incident Action Planning Process, are discussed in detail later in this chapter.
OVERVIEW OF THE SYSTEM
There are 36 basic positions in the complete ICS organization (Fig. 7-1). The Command, Branch Director, Division Supervisor, Task Force Leader, Team Leader, and some other positions may be duplicated (following span-of-control guidelines) if necessary to expand the organization. With all positions filled,
(click to enlarge)
A key point about the command function is that the executive responsibilities cannot be ignored. Even though there may be only five or six responders on an incident and the Incident Commander may be quite involved in the actual "doing" work, the command function requires attention to organizing and managing.
The Incident Commander is supported by a Public Information Officer',` Safety Officer, and a Liaison Officer as needed. These positions report directly to Command and assist in fulfilling the duties of coordination with others and the overall safety of the organization's members.
(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)
The most important observation that can be made about the disaster management failures documented in this book is that most disaster response organizations start and stop with the "doing" work. Earlier examples cite numerous instances where overall management has not been maintained, and only massive "doing" chores constitute the emergency actions. In ICS, the Operations Section activities-while certainly important-are integrated into a total managed System, and not a means unto themselves to the exclusion of all other chores that must be done.
Planning Section responsibilities are of staff nature (see Fig. 7-4). They are support of Command and Operations, and designed to provide past, present, and future information about the incident. This information includes both resource and situation status on a real-time basis. Responsibilities include:
The Planning Section includes a position for "Technical Specialists." The position(s) may be filled by any qualified advisor(s) to provide Planning with technical data that are critical to incident management. In a flood situation, for instance, it may be necessary to consider public health and sanitation issues. A public health officer could be assigned as a Technical Specialist to provide professional advice. In the case of a building collapse, a construction engineer or the local building permit inspector might be used to advise Planning. The purpose of the position is to assure that plans are complete and realistic, regardless of the nature of the problem.
Logistics Section responsibilities are also of staff nature (see Fig. 7-5). Logistics provides all of the personnel, equipment, and services required to manage the incident. Following the "functional clarity" concept of ICS, Logistics is responsible for two subfunctions: Service and Support.
It is important to note that once human, technical, and mechanical resources are obtained by Logistics, the management of those resources is turned over to Planning and Operations.
(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)
In both ICS and LEICS, there are two checklists for the supervisory and subordinate positions of each of the five functional areas. There are general checklists showing the tasks all positions are accountable for on all incidents, and a specific checklist for detailing performance of each individual position. The checklists and other information about the system are included in pocket-sized "Field Operations Guides" (State of California, 1982) that can be provided to emergency response personnel as training tools and as reminders or references during actual incidents.
THE INCIDENT ACTION PLANNING PROCESS
Every emergency incident, no matter how small, requires some form of planning to control the problem. Better planning results in more effective and efficient response activities. ICS (and LEICS) use a planning process that meets the design criteria of "expansibility" from simple, daily activities up to the demands of a major emergency. It has been carefully designed to accomplish rapid, yet complete, planning for even the most complex of incidents.
For simple, routine incidents the process will be accomplished intuitively by the Incident Commander (the first arriving officer or supervisor). Even for the massive emergency where written Incident Action Plans should be prepared for every shift, the initial Incident Commander will probably start with an intuitive plan. However, ICS emphasizes that the mental and verbal procedures used in the early crisis should be rapidly replaced by the more formal and systematic planning process. Learning the formal process sets a mental pattern that allows for more complete application of the principles when intuitive planning is necessary.
The Incident Action Planning process is derived from classic Management by Objectives (MBO) concepts below (Kast, 1974:171).
Forms Aid the Process
The experienced emergency responders who developed ICS spent over a year designing the forms that are used in the planning process. Their work was focused on preparing documents that would: 1) follow the MBO concept; 2) answer the questions, "What do we need to know?" and "What do we need to do?" on complex incidents; 3) be relatively easy to complete; and 4) be of real assistance, not just an exercise in paperwork, for incident personnel working under crisis conditions. All of those requirements were met.
There are two types or categories of forms used in the planning process. "Action" forms are those necessary to set objectives, assign the organization, and outline the tasks to be done. These are combined into the written Action Plan and provided to the personnel who will do the work. "Support and recording" forms are the remainder. They assist incident management by providing worksheets for systematic plan development, assuring that data and records are available and that resources are accounted for, integrating communications capabilities, and documenting decisions.
Many view the following list of forms and their applications as a formidable challenge, and "not quite worth the effort." That is not really the case. Trained incident managers can complete these forms in a very short time, even for complex incidents. The time required is materially shortened by the "fill in the blanks" nature of the forms and is materially offset many times over by the completeness of final planning and the effectiveness the process brings to emergency management. NOTE: All ICS forms are included in Appendix C. ICS and LEICS use the same form numbers throughout. There are some format differences between the two sets to accommodate the differences in disciplinary terminology. However, actual practice has shown that either ICS or LEICS forms may be used interchangeably because of their essential similarity.
Incident map (on form 201). Page 1 of Form 201 is used for a sketch map of the incident if no better document is available. This is particularly valuable during the early stages of an incident to record situations, clarify thinking and communications about locations (for actions or problems), and to focus attention on overall objectives. This form can also be used to describe travel routes for resources (a "traffic plan") and locations of special facilities such as casualty collection points or evacuation centers. More sophisticated maps should be used for detailed planning if they are available. Pages 2, 3, and 4 of Form 201 are used to provide documentation on simple incidents and as a briefing format for succeeding Incident Commanders and other overhead personnel if the incident escalates.
Incident objectives (form 202). Form 202 is the key to effective action. It is the initiator of the planning and control process and the place where Command begins to form and direct the organization. The form allows Command to describe all desired objectives and priorities.
Organization assignment list (form 203 or 207). Form 203 (or Form 207) shows who has been assigned on the incident. It shows who's in charge and details reporting relationships. It also serves as a sequential record of the resources available by time period.
Division assignment list (form 204). Form 204 provides detailed instructions for incident personnel. Information on the form specifies resources assigned, their configuration, and who does what. It is the place where actual tasks necessary to meet Command objectives are described, and may be used to further define priorities. Completed forms assist the "reality checking" phase of MBO by making span-of-control and communications decisions visible. They also assist in this regard by forcing another examination of available capabilities compared to objectives.
Completed forms are distributed as part of the Action Plan. All Sections, all Branch Directors, and all Division Supervisors have forms showing the re-sources under their direction, and the tasks assigned to those resources.
Communications plan (form 205). Form 205 is one of the major tools that can bring order out of chaos on complex incidents. Its preparation and use improves multi-agency communications regardless of the types or capabilities of the involved radio systems. Preparation of the 205 is facilitated by completion of Form 216, described below.
Medical plan (form 206). Form 206 is primarily intended to serve incident personnel. However, on incidents where medical assistance to the public is required, the form can serve "double duty" as an attachment to Medical Division Assignment Sheets. Conversely, in the case of a major multi-casualty incident, one of the Medical Divisions could be assigned the additional duty of caring for incident personnel, using the information from a Form 206 prepared for that purpose.
Organizational chart (form 207). Form 207 provides a more visually detailed picture of the organization. It can be used in place of Form 203 (the organizational assignment list).
Support and Recording Forms
Incident status summary (form 209). Form 209 provides a summary of current status. The form serves Command as an overview of the incident and may be used to forward details to local, state, and federal agencies interested in incident details and control progress. It may also be used(along with the entire Action Plan) as a briefing document for the media and elected officials.
Check-in list (form 211). Form 211 is a basic tool for Planning, Finance, and Logistics Sections. It provides data on all authorized resources on the incident and can be used very effectively to weed out those forces or persons who have simply gravitated to the incident because of its magnitude or notoriety. Item 5 on the form ("Order/Request Number") serves as an indicator of legitimacy: if the resource has been requested by Command there will be some kind of record of that request; if the resource is a voluntary response, this form will define it as such.
Unit log (form 214). Form 214 is prepared by all assigned Units, Division Supervisors, and Branch directors. It provides a record of actions, problems, and intelligence for future planning and a record of past events. It also assists in maintaining accountability.
Operational planning worksheet (form 215). Form 215 is a valuable tool for Action Plan preparation and overall management response to any incident. Command objectives are listed, and the resources "required," "have," and "need-to-order" are shown. From this worksheet, and the process of its preparation, Command, Planning, Operations, and Logistics gain valuable management information. The reality of objectives (shown in the "Work Assignments" column) may be checked against resource availability, the total workload estimated, assignments further clarified, and the resource deficits, if any, recognized and corrected, if possible.
Radio requirements and frequency assignment worksheets (forms 216 and 217. Forms 216 and 217 are the initiators of Form 205 (The Communications Plan). Block 5 of Form 217 ("Radio Data") may be modified to show the radio availability from any group of agency disciplines. Any qualified communications technician will be able to prepare this form quickly, given a general familiarity with agencies involved in even the most complex incidents. This information is then adapted into form 205 by the Logistics Section for use in the Action Plan.
Support vehicle inventory (form 218). Form 218 is prepared by the Logistics Section to provide records and maintain availability information on support and service vehicles. It is a tool for Finance and serves Command, Planning, and Operations by showing the authorized vehicles on the incident.
Air operations summary (form 220). Form 220 records air operations details. The Operations Section uses this form to manage aircraft in a manner that provides the best possible coordination between air and ground forces. Finance also uses the form in cost accounting.
Why Unify Command?
More than 90% of emergencies that occur daily in the United States are readily managed by local agencies using only their own resources. On a small percent-age of emergencies, the responsible agency may exhaust its own resources and call on neighboring jurisdictions for assistance. Many agencies are experienced with these "automatic aid" responses and assist each other on a routine and problem-free basis. These incidents do not call for Unified Command and are best handled under a single command structure.
However, about 5% of all emergencies become serious enough to require the response of several agencies, each with its own legal obligation to perform some type of action, not just assist their neighbor. It is in these critical, multiple--involvement emergencies that Unified Command is called for. Some examples:
In today's world, the public, private, and political values at risk in major emergencies demand the most efficient methods of response and management. Meeting this demand when multiple and diverse agencies are involved becomes a very difficult task. The Unified Command concept of ICS offers a process that all participating agencies can use to improve overall management, whether their jurisdiction is of geographical or functional nature (Irwin, 1980).
What is Unified Command?
Unified Command is the first consistent, systematic means of organizing a variety of autonomous civilian agencies into one concerted emergency response effort. The concept offers uniform procedures that enable all involved agencies to perform their roles effectively. Unified Command overcomes many inefficiencies and duplications of effort that occur when functional and geographic jurisdictions, or agencies from different governmental levels, have to work together without a common system. Unified Command is deeply rooted in ICS concepts and characteristics. It follows the same MBO planning processes, respects agency autonomy, maintains functional clarity, and provides a common management framework for action. The goals of the Unified Command concept are to:
These are practical goals. They have been achieved with relative ease on actual incidents involving multiple fire agencies, incidents requiring fire and law enforcement coordination, and emergencies that included fire, law, and medical disciplines. As the ICS becomes more completely implemented by agencies across the country, the goals will be met with greater regularity and greater effectiveness. When that happens, many of the consistent disaster management failures documented in this book will begin to disappear.
ICS Characteristics Pertinent to Unified Command
The Incident Command System is based on commonality. The commonality is a major departure from the traditional ways agencies have operated, and it creates significant opportunities for improvement over old methods. When agencies involved in a major emergency use ICS (the same organizational structure, the same terminology, and the same management procedures), there are few, if any, differences in operations. In essence, they are "one" organization, and can be managed as such. Instead of several command posts operating independently, the total operation can be directed from only one location. Instead of preparing several sets of plans (with no guarantee of coordination among them), only one set need be prepared to inform all participants. In place of several logistical and communications processes, only one system of collective and integrated procedures is used.
These five ICS characteristics (one organizational structure, one Incident Command Post, one planning process, one logistics center, and one communications framework) create a strong synergy. By meeting and working together at one location, preparing a single plan of action, and using other common procedures, the senior officers (Unified Commanders) from many agencies bring their collective powers to bear on the incident. They are able to share information, coordinate actions, improve resource utilization, greatly improve communications, and rapidly cope with changing incident conditions. This unified effort is supported and reinforced by the ICS Planning Process.
The Planning Process for Unified Command
The planning process for Unified Command is the same as for single Command, except that more people are involved. The process follows the MBO sequence, uses the same worksheets and forms, and allows for both functional and geographic response authorities to combine objectives and actions.
The process starts with documentation of each Commanders' objectives just as though it were a single-agency incident. These objectives may be widely different depending on incident character, agency roles, and other factors. It is extremely important to understand that these separate, and perhaps diverse, objectives do not have to be forced into a consensus package. Unified planning is not a "committee" process that must somehow resolve all differences in agency objectives before any action can take place. It is, however, a "team" process, and that promotes open sharing of objectives and priorities. Through the process, the team formulates collective (which is significantly different than common") directions to address the needs of the entire incident.
Once collective objectives and priorities are documented, the process continues as it would for single-agency involvement, except that all agencies are included:
The developed multi-agency plan is returned to the Unified Commanders for approval. Again, it is important to understand that the individual Commanders in the group only approve those portions of the plan that affect their, agencies.
Unified Command Configuration
In addition to all of its other attributes, ICS is a common-sense system. It is designed with a great deal of inherent flexibility. This allows modification of the on-scene organization to meet specific conditions, complexities, and workloads for different incidents. There are also various ways that a Unified Command group may be formed. The guidelines for deciding who should be in command are simple and apply at any level of incident complexity:
Responding agencies will be filling one of two roles. They will be either jurisdictional, with direct statutory responsibility and authority, or they will be sup-porting agencies who have been called for help.
Only jurisdictional agencies with statutory responsibility on some part of the incident can assign one of the Unified Commanders.
The agencies who assign Commanders must have the authority to order, transport, and maintain the resources necessary to meet Command objectives. This authority is not dependent on size or budget level since even very small agencies may participate in a Unified Command. It is dependent upon legitimate capability to pay the bills. (In the case of small agencies, this capability may come from state and federal assistance, but is nevertheless the required capability.) Only agencies with fiscal authority may assign one of the Unified Commanders.
These guidelines apply equally to multi-geographical, multi-functional, and multi-geographical-functional incidents. The guidelines can and should be modified to meet exceptional conditions. An incident of disaster proportions will involve state and/or federal agencies, and officials from those government levels may be appropriate members of the Unified Command Group.
Alternatives to Command Participation
There is a practical limitation on Unified Command participation. Once a group exceeds about eight persons, the effectiveness of that group begins to deteriorate. ICS concepts recognize this and recommend that no more than eight people fill the Unified Command Group. During incidents where more than eight agencies have legitimate legal and fiscal authority, there are alternative ways to encourage total participation without having all in command. These and other alternatives have been used successfully on multi-agency and multi-disciplinary incidents. It requires training and experience to make the process work effectively. Pre-incident meetings, planning, and agreements facilitate the process. Two of the most popular alternatives to participation in the Unified Command Group are:
Deputy Incident Commanders
Agencies with limited involvement may choose to fill their commitment to the incident with a Deputy, rather than a "full" Commander. This will enable adequate input from that agency into the planning process, protect the agency's autonomy, and provide significant support to the unified effort.
For smaller jurisdictions involved in a major emergency, it may be appropriate to designate that agency's area or function as a Branch, Division, or Group, and place a senior officer of the agency in charge. The officer (now a Director or Supervisor in the organization) will be an integral part of the unified effort and take part in the planning process. At the same time, he is fulfilling "at home" responsibilities, probably with his own forces, and serving his jurisdiction.
MANAGING MEDICAL RESOURCES
The function of the Medical Unit (see Fig. 7-5) is frequently misunderstood by persons not familiar with ICS. Medical professionals, in particular, express concern that such an important function seems to be placed in a subordinate role. It is important to understand that these concerns are unfounded. The Medical Unit's role is to take care of incident personnel, only. Very early in ICS development this was called the First Aid unit, but the title and the functions required were changed quickly to assure that incident personnel with more serious injuries could and would have adequate medical care. The intent and purpose of the Unit is to provide medical attention to responders that are part of the incident organization.
If an incident involves casualties that are victims of the emergency itself, then various forms of a medical response organization can be assigned. Medical entities will fit in any (or all) parts of the system, depending on the character of the incident. A public health officer or other M.D. could be the Incident Commander under some circumstances, or might be a member of a Unified Command Group. On major multi-casualty events, one medical representative could be the Operations Section Chief, others could be Branch Directors or Division Supervisors. Still other representatives could be in the Planning, Logistics, and Finance Sections. Groups of ambulance and paramedic personnel can be designated as Teams or Task Forces for just about any incident involving injuries.
At any level of severity the ICS concepts of modular development, functional clarity, and unit integrity will hold true for medical applications, as they do for other types of incidents. The organization can be increased to meet the needs of the event (see also Chapter 8, and Fig. 8-1). Some examples include:
Medical applications of ICS can bring increased effectiveness to the discipline. As the ICS becomes more established with fire and law enforcement agencies across the nation, the medical discipline will find more opportunities to adopt the system.
INTEGRATING VOLUNTEER EFFORTS
It has been well established that volunteer efforts can both help and hinder emergency response agencies. The help comes in the form of immediate energies and work accomplishment. The hindrance comes from unmanageable (or unknown) numbers of volunteers, poorly directed work, and a general lack of control. All of the helping aspects of volunteer involvement can be accentuated, and all of the hindering dynamics can be reduced or eliminated by appropriate use of ICS.
For example, the modular flexibility of ICS can incorporate volunteer Units, Teams, Task Forces, and perhaps even Divisions. A qualified agency Division Supervisor can easily manage up to 30 individual volunteers, or up to a 100 if they are arranged in 20-person crews. A Branch Director could oversee the effective work of about 500 people under good conditions. The possibilities for integrating volunteers is essentially unlimited, provided the agency supervision is available. A few of those possibilities are search and rescue, sandbagging, evacuation alerting, road construction, and firefighting. The key element is supervision and fitting the resources into the organization. That requires Command attention to managing the organization, and brings us back almost full-circle to the responsibilities of the five functions in ICS.
In cases where volunteer efforts need to be managed, Command must recognize the situation and set reasonable objectives for those efforts. Command and Planning must develop the organization to provide supervision and clear direction to the volunteers. Planning must also inventory the volunteer resources through a retroactive check-in procedure and include them in the Incident Action Plans. Logistics must be able to service and support the re-sources and set up communications through existing agency, or perhaps"ham" (radio amateur) capabilities. The Finance Section should assure that volunteers are physically capable of doing the assigned tasks, are paid if so directed, and are properly compensated for any incident-related disabilities. If volunteers are managed in this way, then the public agencies' response efforts will be more effective. If volunteers are not managed, then the typical problems and inefficiencies associated with their involvement will continue.
After the 1970 fires, southern California fire services recognized that their experience included the same theme of weaknesses that are described after most disasters. They recognized that those weaknesses could be corrected if a systematic process for managing multiple and diverse resources were developed. The fire services described criteria and adopted modern management concepts that would reduce or eliminate the problems. The resulting system, ICS, was designed to cope with the basic causes of disaster problems. ICS provides ways to quickly perform situation analysis and to use the analysis as a basis for realistic planning and actions. The organization integrates multiple resources into definitive functional efforts. It provides for direction and management of multiple disciplines and different government levels under crisis conditions; it improves communications; and it increases the effectiveness of all involved. The planning process brings order out of chaos, and the step- by-step use of helpful forms makes the process systematic and thorough. Unified Command procedures protect agency autonomy. Major law enforcement and medical agencies in various parts of the nation are adopting the system without changing its basic configuration. This testifies to the fact that ICS is no longer viewed as a "fire" system and is now seen as it was intended to be-a management system.
Exemplary Practices in Emergency Management The California FIRESCOPE Program
Monograph Series No. 1, FEMA 117, 1987. Available from: Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Emergency Training Center, Emergency Management Institute, PO Box 70742, Washington, DC 20023. Free.
FIRESCOPE Program: System Description, Incident Command System Operational System Description, ICS-120-1, 1981. Available from: Operations Coordination Center, PO Box 55157, Riverside, Calif 92517. An extensive list of FIRESCOPE and ICS publications is available from this address.
Incident Command System, 1983, Available from: Fire Protection Publications, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-0118, (800) 654-4055, $13.00.
Incident Command System Operational: Basic Orientation Course Training Package, 1982. Available from: California State Board of Fire Services, California Fire Service Training and Educational System, 7171 Bowling Dr, Suite 500, Sacramento, Calif 95823.
Law Enforcement Incident Command System (LEICS), 1985. Available from: Jerome Ringhofer,
Deputy Chief, Desert and Mountain Command, San Bernardino County Sheriffs
Department, PO Box 569, San Bernardino, Calif 92402.
Multi-Casualty Incident Operational Procedures Manual, 1986. Available from: California Fire Chiefs Association, 825 M St, Rio Linda, Calif 95673, $5.00.
National Interagency Incident Management System: Information and Guides, 1983. Avail- able from: National Wildfire Coordinating Group, Publications Management System, Boise Interagency Fire Center, 3905 Vista Ave, Boise, Ida 83705, Free. An extensive NIIMS publications and forms list and prices are also available at this address.
WHERE TO GET INFORMATION ON ICS TRAINING
For information on ICS training, contact your local office of the U.S. Forest Service, your state forestry agency, or:
Operations Coordination Center
P.O. Box 55157
Riverside, CA 92517
Director, Fire and Aviation Management
USDA Forest Service
PO Box 96090, Room 1001 RP-E
Washington, DC 20090-6090
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Director, Boise Interagency Fire Center
Attention: Public Affairs Officer
3905 Vista Drive
Boise, ID 83705