Conservation Programs Staff Complete Incident Command System Training
|In front, from left are OCC Conservation Programs staff members Robert Toole, Tammy Sawatzky, Dennis Boney, Karla Beatty, Johnny Pelley and Janet Stewart. In back, from left, are Commissioners Mike Rooker, Virginia Kidd, Matt Gard, Dan Lowrance and George Stunkard and Executive Director Mike Thralls.
At the April 2008 Commission meeting, members of OCC's Conservation Programs Division staff were recognized for completing Incident Command System training. The staff members were Robert Toole, Tammy Sawatzky, Dennis Boney, Karla Beatty, Johnny Pelley and Janet Stewart.
The Incident Command System, or ICS, is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazard incident management concept. ICS allows its users to adopt an integrated organizational structure to match the complexities and demands of single or multiple incidents without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries.
An incident is an occurrence, either caused by humans or natural phenomena, that requires response actions to prevent or minimize loss of life or damage to property and/or the environment.
Examples of incidents include:
- Fire, both structural and wildland.
- Natural disasters, such as tornadoes, floods, ice storms or earthquakes.
- Human and animal disease outbreaks.
- Search and rescue missions.
- Hazardous materials incidents.
- Criminal acts and crime scene investigations.
- Terrorist incidents, including the use of weapons of mass destruction.
- National Special Security Events, such as Presidential visits or the Super Bowl.
- Other planned events, such as parades or demonstrations.
History of the Incident Command System
The Incident Command System (ICS) was developed in the 1970s following a series of catastrophic fires in California's urban interface. Property damage ran into the millions, and many people died or were injured. The personnel assigned to determine the causes of this disaster studied the case histories and discovered that response problems could rarely be attributed to lack of resources or failure of tactics. Surprisingly, studies found that response problems were far more likely to result from inadequate management than from any other single reason.
Weaknesses in incident management were often due to:
- Lack of accountability, including unclear chains of command and supervision.
- Poor communication due to both inefficient uses of available communications systems and conflicting codes and terminology.
- Lack of an orderly, systematic planning process.
- No common, flexible, predesigned management structure that enables commanders to delegate responsibilities and manage workloads efficiently.
- No predefined methods to integrate interagency requirements into the management structure and planning process effectively.
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
In response to attacks on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5) in February 2003. HSPD-5 called for a National Incident Management System (NIMS) and identified steps for improved coordination of federal, state, local, and private industry response to incidents and described the way these agencies will prepare for such a response. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security announced the establishment of NIMS in March 2004. One of the key features of NIMS is the Incident Command System.