Incident Command System
Resources and Facilities
Written by kb5pgy
This week will be my last week covering ICS fundamentals. I will be covering both the categories of resources available in ICS and the types of facilities available in ICS. I will also cover mobilization.
Resources are grouped according to how they are deployed and their readiness level. With regards to deployment, the individual resources are either Task Forces, Strike Teams, or Single Resources.
A Task Force is defined as mixed resources will common communications. For instance, a SWAT Team combined with an ambulance staffed with EMT’s and using common communications deployed to a hostage situation is a Task Force since there are two different disciplines, Law Enforcement and Emergency Medicine, under common communications. The Task Force is commanded by a Task Force Leader.
A Strike Team is a number of resources of the same kind with common communications. For instance, two pumper trucks and a ladder truck being led by a Battalion Chief would be a Strike Team since all resources are of one kind, Fire Suppression.
A Single Resource is
defined as an individual, a piece of equipment and personnel or crew or team of individuals with an identified supervisor. For instance, an airplane being used for wildfire suppression is considered a Single Resource since you have the equipment (the airplane) and the necessary crew to operate the airplane. A team of individuals shoring up a failing bridge under the supervision of a registered professional engineer is also considered a Single Resource.
Resources are also classified according to the readiness level. The three classifications are “Assigned”, “Available” and “Out of Service”.
Assigned means that this resource is under assignment and under the direction of a supervisor.
Available means that the resource is ready for immediate assignment. This includes the issuance of all necessary equipment.
Out of Service means that the resource is either not available or not ready for assignment. Reasons include equipment needs repair or replacement, personnel need rest time, or equipment needs refueling.
The types of facilities available in ICS include the Incident Command Post, Staging Areas, Bases, Camps, Helibases and Helispots. Other facilities may be employed to fit a particular incident response.
There must be one and only one Incident Command Post.. This is where the Incident Commander oversees incident operations. The Incident Command Post can change locations in the course of the event. It should be far enough away from the hot zone so that it is not endangered, but close enough to maintain command.
Staging Areas are temporary locations where personnel and equipment are kept while awaiting assignment.. All resources at a Staging Area are “Available”. There can be more than one Staging Area and they should be close enough to the incident for a timely response, but far enough away so they are not endangered. They can be collocated with other facilities such as the Incident Command Post, the Base, and Helibases.
The Base is the location where the primary logistics and administration functions are coordinated and administered. It can be collocated with the Incident Command Post and is maintained and managed by the Logistics Section. All Resources located at the Base are “Out of Service.”
Camps are used to support incident operations if the Base is not accessible to all resources. They are temporary locations inside the incident and are staffed and equipped to provide food, potable water, sleeping facilities and sanitation.
Helibases are locations where helicopter operations are conducted. They include services such as refueling and maintenance.
Helispots are temporary locations used for helicopter landing zones.
There have been misunderstandings on this subject. All responders must mobilize ONLY when requested or dispatched by appropriate authorities. There must be an orderly mobilization and demobilization in order to have an effective incident response.
When mobilized, make sure that you receive a full deployment briefing that includes the location and response area, the location to check in, contact info for the individual to whom you are reporting, the specific assignment, the reporting time, communications details such as frequencies to be used, special support requirements such as facilities, equipment transport, and offloading, and travel arrangements if necessary.
Checking in at the appropriate location is important to ICS since it insures personnel accountability, tracks resources, prepares personnel for assignment and re-assignment, locates personnel in the event of an emergency, establishes personnel time records and payroll documentation (even though we are volunteers, this could become important for our employers and for tax records), and organizes the demobilization process (helps in writing the demobilization plan). Checking in is required only once at an authorized location such as the Incident Command Post or Base. Remember to receive an initial incident briefing before going to your assignment. This briefing should include the current situational assessment and objectives, the specific job responsibilities, the location of the work area, procedures for obtaining additional resources, and the safety hazards and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as required.
While at your duty station, maintain accurate incident records. Print legibly or type, use the mm/dd/yyyy format for dates and use 24 hour local time. Time and date stamp all records, specifically the ICS-213’s, that you handle.
When demobilizing, complete all your work assignments and required documentation, brief your replacements, subordinates (if applicable), and supervisor, evaluate the performance of subordinates (if applicable), follow incident and agency check-out procedures, provide follow-up contact information, return any incident-issued, non-expendable supplies and/or equipment, complete post-incident reports, critiques, evaluations, and medical follow-ups, complete any administration issues, and notify home unit upon arrival at home and insure readiness for the next assignment.
Above All, always maintain the Chain of Command and Unity of Command. Communicate all potential hazards and changing conditions to appropriate personnel using plain English and clear text. Act professionally and avoid/report all prohibited activities such as theft and drug/alcohol use. We represent Amateur Radio during an event; a bad impression will lead served agencies not to use our services. BPL and those who want our frequencies win and we lose.
Next Week, I will discuss Tropical Weather Terminology. I now return the net to Net Control.
73 de kb5pgy
That concludes tonight’s training. Are there any questions, comments or suggested additions to this material?
Thanks, this is (callsign) clear to net control.