Incident Command System

Necessary Elements

An incident command system (ICS) is a management system that can be used for any kind or size of incident. It can also be used as a management system for planned, non-emergency events. To ensure effective incident management at all incidents that involve any type of response activities, command, communication, and resource control must exist.

  • Command: A designated lead person responsible for:
    • Assessing the situation and resources
    • Developing and implementing an appropriate action plan
    • Monitoring the effectiveness of the plan
    • Reviewing / modifying the plan as changes occur
  • Communication: In order to orchestrate and coordinate the use of resources at an incident, all members of the incident response team must be linked by:
    • A well-defined organizational structure
    • Clear lines of communication
  • Resource control: Resources must be properly directed to maximize their utilization

Without an incident management system in place to provide for command, communication, and control, the result will most likely be chaos. The ICS provides an effective tool to accomplish these tasks.

Examples of Incidents

Some of the incidents and events that may be managed through the ICS include:

  • Air, rail, water, and ground transportation accidents
  • Fire, HAZMAT, and mass casualty incidents
  • Multi-jurisdiction and multi-agency disaster responses
  • Oil spill response and recovery incidents
  • Planned events (e.g., parades, tournaments, and concerts)
  • Private sector responses
  • Search and rescue missions
  • Single- and multi-agency law enforcement incidents

The City, county, and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue have adopted the ICS as the standard for handling disaster response. Additional information about ICS can be obtained from the City’s emergency manager at 503-642-0383.