Incident Command System Training | Do YOU Know What To Do When An Emergency Strikes?
You may be wondering why Incident Command System training is so important. For starters, back in the 1970s, before there were Incident Command Systems (ICS) in place, a number of problems arose throughout the country regarding incidents in the workplace and how you should react and recover from them. These problems were numerous, including:
- Too many workers reporting to a single manager or supervisor.
- Too many variations in emergency response structures within different organizations.
- Little to no reliable incident information or documentation.
- Incompatible and inadequate communications.
- Little to no structure for coordinated planning between separate agencies.
- No clearly drawn lines of authority.
- Differences in terminology between agencies.
- Unspecified or unclear incident objectives.
Due to these problems, the Incident Command System was created to give federal, state, and local governments consistent guidelines when it comes to preparation for, response to, and recovery from an event or incident. The ICS applies regardless of the size, nature, location, complexity, or scope of the incident. Keep in mind that this also applies to non-profit entities.
The core set of ideas that the ICS provides for are interoperability, efficiency, and effectiveness through a central set of concepts, principles, terminology, and technology that includes all aspects of incident management. Included in this is multi-agency coordination, identification and management of resources, training, unified command, qualification and certification, and the collecting, tracking, evaluation, and dissemination of information.
The current ICS was signed into law on March 5, 1996 as Executive Order No. 26. This established the National Interagency Incident Management System, or Incident Command System, as the standard command and control system for the entire country to be used during any emergency operation. The ICS is designed to hep set a standardized set of procedures for managing personnel, facilities, communications, and resources.
On top of this, President Bush also directed his Secretary of Homeland Security to create and implement the National Incident Management System (NIMS) which integrates effective practices of emergency preparedness and response into a more widely encompassing national wireframe for incident management. NIMS allows responders at any level to work with each other more effectively when managing incidents, regardless of the size, cause, or complexity of the incident. As a result of NIMS being devloped, Executive Order No. 26 was updated to Executive Order 26.1 in 2006 to include the change to NIMS. The benefits of NIMS are:
- Standardization of organizational structures, processes, and procedures.
- Standardized planning, training and exercising, and qualification requirements.
- Certification standards and equipment acquisition.
- Interoperable communications methods, systems, and procedures.
- Information management systems.
- Supporting technologies such as information systems, data display systems, specialized technologies, and voice and data communications systems.
However, once the ICS and NIMS were implemented, it became clear very quickly that any and all systems must meet the following requirements in order for it to be fully effective. Keep these in mind when developing an ICS for your job site or workplace:
- The system must be organizationally flexible so that it meets the needs of any type or size of incident.
- The system must be able to be used by agencies on a daily basis for both routine and major emergencies.
- The system must allow personnel from various agencies and a variety of different locations to quickly and efficiently merge into a central management structure.
- The entire system must be cost effective.
All of these guidelines and regulations will be taught in our incident command system training classes along with several other pertinent pieces of information. The thing to remember about emergencies and incidents is that they happen quickly, without warning, and they can escalate very quickly, especially if the personnel involved have not been trained in proper incident command system procedures. When you take incident command system training, you will be equipping yourself with knowledge and skills that will help you keep a level head and know what to do in the event of an emergency. Don’t let yourself become flustered and panic when it matters most, get yourself trained and certified in ICS training and you will feel much better and more composed should an emergency strike.