Incident Management (ICS)

The Incident Command System (ICS) was initially developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s to address problems of inter-agency responses to wildfires in California over a large geographical area. It is now a component of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) in the US, and as a pattern for similar approaches internationally.

ICS/NIMS is a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response and emergency management agencies providing a common hierarchy within which responders from multiple agencies, departments or organizations can be effective.

The system consists of a standard management hierarchy and procedures for managing temporary incident(s) of any size. ICS procedures should be pre-established and sanctioned by participating authorities, and personnel should be well-trained prior to an incident.

ICS/NIMS includes procedures to select and form temporary management hierarchies to control funds, personnel, facilities, equipment, and communications. Personnel are assigned according to established standards and procedures previously sanctioned by participating authorities. ICS is a system designed to be used or applied from the time an incident occurs until the requirement for management and operations no longer exist.

The system is interdisciplinary and organizationally flexible to meet the following management challenges:

  • Meets the needs of a jurisdiction, or organization to cope with incidents of any kind or complexity (i.e. it expands or contracts as needed).
  • Allows personnel from a wide variety of agencies or expertise to meld rapidly into a common management structure with common terminology.
  • Provide logistical and administrative support to operational staff.
  • Be cost effective by avoiding duplication of efforts, and continuing overhead.
  • Provide a unified, centrally authorized emergency organization.

In the United States, ICS has been tested by more than 30 years of emergency and non-emergency applications. All levels of government are required to maintain differing levels of ICS training and private sector organizations regularly use ICS for management of events. ICS is widespread in use from law enforcement to every-day business, as the basic goals of clear communication, accountability, and the efficient use of resources are common to incident and emergency management as well as daily operations.

For over 20 years, Brocato and Associates has been at the forefront of the use, development and training of the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System. We have utilized these systems on incident response, emergency management activations and special events planning implementation as well as providing training to public and private sector partners. We can assist your agency or organization to realize the potential in these systems for your organization, and to fully develop and train your staff (s) in the ICS/NIMS systems.