One of the Advantages of the Incident Command System (ICS) IS

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You may have a question which asks you about one of the advantages of the Incident Command System (ICS). Here, I have the answer for this question and also the explanation about the advantages of the Incident Command System (ICS) and some more information about ICS.

According to the Weegy site, here is the answer for that question.

  • One of the advantages of the Incident Command System (ICS) is …

A. It uses organizational charts that can be provided to the news media
B. It was created for first responders and is helpful at the beginning of an incident
C. It provides a framework for people from multiple agencies to work well together
D. It has been proven effective during massive wildfire incidents
Answer: C. It provides a framework for people from multiple agencies to work well together

Now, let’s read about ICS, the advantages of ICS and some more information about ICS according to the ICS_UC Technical Assistance Document on NRT site below.

What Is ICS?

According to the ICS-UC Technical Assistance Document which can be found on NRT site, here is the explanation about ICS.

ICS stands for Incident Command System. ICS or UC ( Unified Command) is an efficient on-site tool where all emergency response incidents are managed by it, and UC is a necessary tool which is used to manage multi-jurisdictional responses to oil spills or hazardous substance releases.

It is also explained that ICS is a standardized on-scene incident management concept. It is designed specifically to enable responders to use an integrated organizational structure which is the same as the complexity and demands of any single incident or some incidents without being deterred by jurisdictional boundaries.

In the early 1970s, ICS was developed with the aim to manage rapidly moving wildfires and to address the problems below.

  • Too many people who reported to one supervisor;
  • Emergency response organizational structures which were different;
  • Lack of incident information which was reliable;
  • Communications which were Inadequate and incompatible ;
  • Lack of structure for planning which was coordinated among agencies;
  • Lines of authority which were unclear;
  • Differences of Terminology among agencies; and
  • Incident objectives which were unclear or unspecified .

Duties Associated with Each ICS Function

In the list below, it is a list of the duties generally associated with each ICS function.

  • The Incident Commander (IC) or the Unified Command (UC)

They have responsibility to all aspects of the response, including developing the objectives of the incident and managing all incident operations.

  • The Command Staff

They have responsibility for health and safety, public affairs, and liaison activities within the incident command structure.

    • The Information Officer
      They have to develop and release information about the incident to the news media, to other appropriate agencies and organizations and to incident personnel.
    • The Liaison Officer
      They have to serve as the point of contact for helping and coordinating activities between the IC/UC and various agencies and groups. It can include local government officials, Congressional personnel, and criminal investigating organizations and investigators arriving on the scene.
    • The Safety Officer
      They have to develop and recommend measures to the IC/UC for assuring the health and safety of personnel and to assess and/or anticipate hazardous and unsafe situations. In addition, they also review the Incident Action Plan for safety implications, develop the Site Safety Plan, and provide timely, complete, specific and accurate assessment of hazards and required controls.
  • The General Staff including Planning, Operations, Logistics, and Finance/ Administrative

They have responsibility which remains with the IC. They have it until they are assigned to another individual. When the responsibilities of Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance/ Administrative are established as separate functions under the IC, they are managed by a section chief and they can be supported by other functional units.

    • The Operations Staff
      They have the responsibility to all operations directly applicable to the primary mission of the response.
    • The Planning Staff
      Their responsibility is to do the things like evaluating, collecting, and disseminating the tactical information related to the incident. Besides, they also prepare and document Incident Action Plans (IAPs).
    • The Logistics Staff
      They have the responsibility to provide services, facilities, and materials for the incident response.
    • The Finance and Administrative Staff
      They have the responsibility for all administrative, financial, and cost analysis aspects of the incident.

The List of Command Staff and General Staff Responsibilities

According to the ICS_UC Technical Assistance Document on NRT site, here is a list of Command Staff and General Staff responsibilities that the IC or UC of any response should do or assign to appropriate members of the Command or General Staffs.

  • They have to provide a response direction.
  • They have to coordinate effective communication.
  • They have to coordinate resources.
  • They have to establish incident priorities.
  • They have to develop mutually agreed-upon incident objectives and approve response strategies.
  • They have to assign objectives to the response structure.
  • They have to review and approve IAPs.
  • They have to ensure integration of response organizations into the ICS/ UC.
  • They have to establish protocols.
  • They have to ensure worker and public health and safety.
  • They have to inform the media.

The Advantages of an ICS/ UC

Here are the advantages of an ICS/UC according to the ICS-Technical Assistance Document on NRT site.

  • It uses a common language and response culture.
  • It optimizes combined efforts.
  • It eliminates duplicative efforts.
  • It establishes a single command post.
  • It permits for collective approval of operations, planning, logistics, and finance activities.
  • It encourages a cooperative response environment.
  • It permits for shared facilities, reducing response costs, minimizing communication breakdowns and maximizing efficiency.
  • Responders are allowed to develop and implement one consolidated IAP.

What Is a Unified Command?

Even though a single Incident Commander usually manages the command function, an ICS organization may be expanded into a UC or Unified Command. This is a structure which brings together the Incident Commanders of all major organizations which are involved in the incident to coordinate an effective response while at the same time bringing their own jurisdictional responsibilities.

The Unified Command has responsibility to overall management of the incident and it directs incident activities where those include development and implementation of overall objectives and strategies, and also approves ordering and releasing of resources.

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