The National Incident Management System – A Workbook for State Department of Transportation Frontline Workers
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
The Transportation Pooled Fund Program
Table of Contents
This workbook was researched and produced as a project by Excalibur Associates, Inc. in support of SAIC under Federal Highway Administration Transportation Pooled Fund Study 5(161), Transportation Security and Emergency Preparedness Professional Capacity Building (PCB) Pooled Fund Study. State Departments of Transportation and other agencies contributing to the pooled fund were California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Texas, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration.
Workbook contents have been coordinated with FEMA. The contents are adequate for use in replacing the requirement for frontline transportation workers to take IS 100.a. Only the State Administrative Agency can make the determination as to whether this workbook can be substituted for those courses in order to meet State training requirements.
Homeland Security Presidential Directive – 5 requires all Federal departments and agencies to adopt the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and to use it in their individual incident management programs and activities, as well as in support of all actions taken to assist State, tribal, and local governments. The directive requires Federal departments and agencies to make adoption of NIMS by State, tribal, and local organizations a condition for Federal preparedness assistance (through grants, contracts, and other activities). The NIMS recognizes the role that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector have in preparedness and activities to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents.
As a frontline transportation worker you may have had one or more opportunities to be part of an emergency response to small incidents, such as traffic accidents, or local floods or a tornado; or large scale incidents, such as a major hurricane that may have included support from the Federal government.
Did you know that there are two Federal documents that provide the framework for emergency response activities and describe how Federal, State, tribal and local governments will work together when responding to large and small incidents? Because Federal, State, tribal, and local government agencies are adopting the principles and concepts of incident management contained in the National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS), it is important for you to understand how you fit into an incident response.
There are many ways for you to receive that training, such as online courses, traditional classroom instruction, distance learning, or a combination of one or more of these. Each of these methods is time consuming and costly to you and your organization. This Workbook is designed to allow you to meet the training and education requirements in a self-paced manner as agreed to by you and your supervisor.
After you have completed this Workbook, you will have met the national objectives and training requirements and will have a basic understanding of the NRF and NIMS, including the part about the Incident Command System (ICS). You will learn:
- What the NRF and NIMS mean to you, and
- Where you fit in the management of an incident.
This Workbook consists of four modules:
- The National Response Framework
- The National Incident Management System
- Introductions to the Incident Command System
- Incident Command System Organization
Throughout the Workbook, you will learn how the information contained in the four modules relates to you as a frontline State Department of Transportation (DOT) worker. At the end of each module, there are a few review questions related to a scenario for you to answer.
At the end of the Workbook is a 10-question review quiz. You are to answer the 10 questions and return the Workbook to your supervisor. There is also an Addendum with a planning checklist for you to use if you are deployed to an incident scene. Keep this Addendum for future use.
Module 1: The National Response Framework
The National Response Framework (NRF)
You may have heard the term National Response Framework. This document was published by the Federal government, but it was developed with input from partner stakeholders: Federal agencies, States, local response organizations, and the private-sector. It is a guide to how the Nation: local, tribal, State, and Federal governments, and the private sector, conducts all-hazards response activities. It provides guidance on how roles, including yours, are aligned for efficiency and effectiveness during response operations. It is based on best practices identified following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and describes specific authorities and relationships for managing incidents that range from the serious, but strictly local, to large-scale terrorist attacks or catastrophic natural disasters. It is not a response plan, but provides a basis for developing response plans at all levels of government.
The NRF presents the key response principles, identifies the participants and their roles, and describes structures that guide the Nation's response operations. It provides all response personnel, including you, with guidance and information relating to:
- Who is involved with emergency management activities at the local (mayor), tribal, State (governor and agencies, including the State Department of Transportation), and Federal levels.
- What we as a Nation collectively do to respond to incidents; for example, State DOTs will provide resource support to local governments responding to incidents. NOTE: A critical principle is all incidents are managed locally. When the local government's resources are exhausted, the State will provide additional resources, and then the Federal government will provide support to the State as needed.
- How we as a Nation organize to implement response actions; for example, a Joint Field Office with State and Federal personnel in direct support to local responders.
For you, the frontline State DOT worker, many of these activities will not be visible. They will go on behind the scenes of the work that you do at the incident scene. Nonetheless, it is important for you to be aware that they are happening; to know that there are processes and procedures in place to ensure that the response goes smoothly, and most importantly, that life safety is always first and foremost.
The National Response Framework identifies 15 Emergency Support Functions (ESF), that provide the structure for grouping functions most frequently used to provide Federal support to States, for both declared disasters and emergencies under the Stafford Act. It designates a lead Federal agency, and identifies which Federal agencies support each of these ESFs.
The 15 Emergency Support Functions are:
ESF 1 – Transportation
ESF 2 – Communications
ESF 3 – Public Works and Engineering
ESF 4 – Firefighting
ESF 5 – Emergency Management
ESF 6 – Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Services
ESF 7 – Logistics Management and Resource Support
ESF 8 – Public Health and Medical Services
ESF 9 – Search and Rescue
ESF 10 – Oil and Hazardous Materials Response
ESF 11 – Agriculture and Natural Resources
ESF 12 – Energy
ESF 13 – Public Safety and Security
ESF 14 – Long-Term Community Recovery
ESF 15 – External Affairs
The same ESFs will also be identified in most State Emergency Operations Plans (EOP). Some states have identified additional ESFs for their EOPs, so you may have heard about ESFs 16, 17 or higher. Some states do not call them by the ESF number; instead, they use the name of the ESF such as Transportation, Communications, or Public Safety. Whichever method your state chooses to use is fine.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is the lead Federal agency for ESF 1, Transportation. In the same manner, the State DOT usually has the leadership role within the state for all matters relating to ESF 1, Transportation: infrastructure, including roads, tunnels and bridges; transit systems; airfields; canals; and railroads; as well as for all preparedness activities, response operations, and recovery and mitigation activities related to transportation resources. The ESF lead agency coordinates planning efforts and the use of resources from other State agencies that may be identified to provide support. So, even though your State Department of Transportation may be the lead agency for ESF 1, Transportation, you are not alone. In the same manner, your State DOT may support some of the other ESF lead agencies.
Emergency Support Function 1, Transportation, is usually NOT the primary responsible agency for the movement of goods, equipment, animals or people. However, you have to keep in mind that each state is organized differently, so in some cases your State DOT may be involved in transportation activities to some degree. You, or your supervisor, can access the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) online at http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov for guidelines specific to traffic control signage and information specific to Departments of Transportation.
|According to the NRF, the DOT is responsible for:||You might do these types of activities:|
|Monitoring and reporting the status of, and damage to, the transportation system and infrastructure||Inspect or assist in inspecting bridges, roads, rails and/or airfields after a severe flood or earthquake|
|Identifying temporary alternative solutions that can be implemented to ensure that the movement of people and materials can be continued during the response||Establish detours and set up alternate route signs; clear state highways of debris; clear runways for movement of aircraft; and assist with traffic control and flow.|
|Performing activities conducted under the direct authority of the DOT||Close roads, harbors or airfields|
|Coordinating the restoration and recovery of transportation system and infrastructure||Replace bridges and railroad tracks; dredge harbors|
|Coordinating and supporting preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation activities among transportation stakeholders||Participate in training and exercises; work with local governments to rebuild stronger infrastructure|
If you want to learn more about the National Response Framework, you can find information at: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nrf/.
Scenario: A real life example is an EF-5 tornado leveled the town of Greensburg, Kansas. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius and President George W. Bush both declared Kiowa County a disaster area. This meant that both State and Federal resources would be coming into Kiowa County to assist the local government officials and responders with response activities.
The Kansas Department of Transportation is deploying you to Kiowa County to support response activities.
Review Questions 1 to 3 are multiple choice. Read the question and circle the response you believe to be most correct.
1. In accordance with the National Response Framework, the jurisdiction that will manage activities for the response to the tornado is the:
a. State of Kansas, through the State Emergency Management Agency.
b. Federal Government, through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
c. Kiowa County.
2. The Kansas State Department of Transportation will be in charge of coordinating all transportation-related support to Kiowa County. This task falls to the State DOT because it has the leadership role for Emergency Support Function:
a. 1, Transportation
b. 5, Emergency Management
c. 14, Long-Term Recovery
3. The Kansas State Department of Transportation is preparing to deploy a large number of trucks and drivers to assist Kiowa County as it responds to the tornado. A possible job that you may be called on to perform is:
a. Transporting people from staging areas to work sites.
b. Assisting the County Highway Department clearing debris to open roads for access by incoming resources from the State and Federal governments.
c. Arranging for food and beverages for the responders.
1. c. A critical principle of the NRF is all incidents are managed locally. [see page 2]
2. a. Following the NRF and the lead of the US Department of Transportation, the State Department of Transportation has the leadership role for ESF 1, Transportation. [see page 2]
3. b. One of the tasks that the State DOT is responsible for is identifying temporary alternative solutions that can be implemented to ensure that the movement of people and materials can be continued during the response. If there is debris blocking the roads, the solution is to clear it away. [see page 3]
Module 2: The National Incident Management System
The National Incident Management System
You may have heard the term National Incident Management System (NIMS). The NIMS is a companion document to the National Response Framework (NRF), and provides a comprehensive, national approach to incident management that is applied and followed at all jurisdictional levels: local, tribal, State, and Federal; and across functional disciplines: fire, health, law enforcement, and transportation. The NIMS provides the template for the management of incidents, while the NRF provides the structure and mechanisms for National-level policy for incident management.
The NIMS is intended to:
- Be used in all types of incidents, hazards and emergencies regardless of cause, size, location or complexity.
- Improve coordination and cooperation between public and private entities in a variety of incident management activities.
- Provide a common organizational structure and language for incident management.
In other words, the NIMS is intended make sure you and emergency responders from other organizations are on the same page when responding to all types of emergencies.
Consistent use of NIMS lays the groundwork for response to all emergency situations, from a single agency responding to a fire, to many jurisdictions and organizations responding to a large natural disaster or act of terrorism. An important effect of the NIMS is that it creates a common approach in both pre-event preparedness and post-event response activities that allow responders from many different organizations to effectively and efficiently work together at the scene of an incident. Under the NIMS, you and the other responders know what to expect and what to do when you arrive at an incident scene.
The NRF and NIMS are companion documents that were created to improve the Nation's incident management and response capabilities. Together, the NRF and NIMS provide for the effective integration of the capabilities and resources of various governmental jurisdictions, non-governmental organizations, and the private-sector incident management and emergency response disciplines into a cohesive, coordinated and seamless national framework for incident response.
If you would like to read more about NIMS, you can find it at: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/.
Components of NIMS
The NIMS has five components. Four of these, and what they mean to you as a frontline State DOT worker, are:
- Preparedness. Preparedness is the collective term for pre-event activities that, literally, prepare you and your organization to be able to respond to an incident. Some of the activities are:
- developing emergency response plans that describe how you, your supervisor and the State DOT should respond to an incident;
- providing standards for accreditation, licensure or certification - these are standards that require certain measurable knowledge and other capabilities, for example, having a valid driver's license;
- training and drilling yourself and your teammates in job fundamentals to ensure you can accomplish the tasks identified for you in the emergency plan;
- participating in exercises that test and evaluate whether the emergency plan is adequate and whether you can do your job in an emergency response; and,
- correcting shortfalls in planning and training identified during exercises or real events.
- Communications and Information Management. The concept of using normal words instead of code words helps to ensure that when you talk to other emergency workers on the job, you and they will be able to understand each other; that is, you and county or other local transportation workers will be less likely to misunderstand each other; and, provides rules for the easy sharing of important response-related information and for providing a common operating picture to all agencies and teams, so everyone knows the same information at the same time.
- Resource Management. You and your fellow workers are valuable resources during an emergency response, Making sure you are working in the areas where you are most effective, and making sure you have the tools to do your assigned task are efficient resource management.
- Command and Management. Under NIMS, command and control processes are designed to enable efficient and effective management and coordination of resources, including you. The NIMS identifies a standardized incident management system, consisting of three major parts: Incident Command System (ICS), Multiagency Coordination Systems and Public Information. Under Command and Management, you know exactly where in the Command structure you will be.
The fifth component is Ongoing Management and Maintenance, which is simply the process of ensuring continued coordination and oversight of the program.
Incident Command System
The Incident Command System (ICS) is the NIMS element you should become most familiar with. The ICS provides a standardized, yet flexible, management process to ensure all resources committed to a response, whether the resources are provided from different organizations within or outside a single jurisdiction, or, for complex incidents with national implications are used in the best way possible. When an incident requires response from multiple local response agencies, effective cross-jurisdictional coordination using common processes and systems is critical to an effective response and for the safety of the responders.
The use of the Incident Command System allows for responders from outside a local jurisdiction or state to volunteer or be sent to another incident scene and still understand the terminology and operations being used. You could be sent to an area other than the one you report to on a daily basis, especially during a regional or statewide incident or when those who would normally respond are affected by the situation and external resources need to be brought in to help.
You will learn more about the principles and importance of ICS in the next two modules.
Scenario: An example is when Hurricane Dean entered the Caribbean Sea, heading for the South Texas Coast. The State of Texas and the Federal Government mobilized personnel and equipment, and started deploying resources in the San Antonio area. The National Ambulance contract was activated, and more than 300 ground ambulances and 25 fixed and rotary wing air ambulance assets were deployed to San Antonio. The State of Texas deployed hundreds of school buses to Southern Texas. The U.S. Department of Transportation arranged for aircraft to be staged out of Brownsville for the air evacuation of the general public from the coastal area.
The Texas State Department of Transportation has deployed you from your normal workplace to Brownsville to support emergency responders preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Dean.
The statements in Review Questions 1 and 2 are either True or False. Read the questions and circle the response you believe to be most correct.
1. Principles and concepts of the National Incident Management System are used only in major incidents, such as Hurricane Dean, which involves the deployment of Federal resources.
2. You find you are being transferred to McAllen 60 miles away. You hear that the response operation at McAllen also follows the principles of ICS. Because of this, and because you understand ICS, you will be able to make the transition without having to learn new terms or methodologies.
Review Question 3 is multiple choice. Read the question and circle the response you believe to be most correct.
3. The Texas DOT has spent a significant amount of time developing plans, training you and your peers, conducting exercises and making corrective actions when required. Which NIMS component addresses these types of activities?
b. Resource Management.
c. Ongoing Management and Maintenance.
1. False. It is intended to be used in all types of incidents, hazards and emergencies regardless of cause, size, location or complexity. [see page 7]
2. True. The use of the Incident Command System allows for responders from outside a local jurisdiction or state to volunteer or be sent to another incident scene and still understand the terminology and operations being used. [see page 9]
3. a. See the discussion of Preparedness at the top of page 8.
Module 3: Introduction to ICS
This Module introduces you to:
- The background and development of ICS.
- ICS as the standard for emergency management across the country.
- ICS as interdisciplinary and organizationally flexible.
- Applications of ICS.
- ICS as a key feature of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
By the end of this Module, you should be able to:
- Identify opportunities to use ICS.
- Understand the basics of Incident Command.
The Incident Command System (ICS)
An incident is an occurrence, regardless of cause, that requires response actions to prevent or minimize loss of life, or damage to property and/or the environment.
Examples of incidents include:
- Structural and wildland fires.
- Incidents, including accidents, on roadways that result in closures, detours, repairs.
- Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, ice storms or earthquakes.
- Human and animal disease outbreaks.
- Search and rescue operations.
- 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 such as the Olympics, Presidential visits, or the Super Bowl.
- Other planned events, parades or demonstrations.
- Accidents such as chemical spills, nuclear power plant accidents.
Given the size of some of these types of events, it's not always possible for any one agency alone to handle management and resource needs.
The ICS is a standard, on-scene, all-hazard incident management approach. It allows responders to use the same organizational structure for a single or multiple incidents regardless of boundaries.
The ICS has considerable internal flexibility, that is, the management organization can grow or shrink to meet different requirements. This flexibility makes it a very cost effective and efficient management approach for both small and large situations.
Why is there an Incident Command System?
The ICS was developed in the 1970s following a series of catastrophic fires in California's wildlands. What were the lessons learned? Surprisingly, studies found that response problems were far more likely to result from inadequate management than from lack of resources or tactics. Weaknesses were often due to:
- Lack of accountability, including unclear chains of command and supervision.
- Poor communication due to both inefficient use of available communications systems and conflicting code words and terminology.
- Lack of an orderly, systematic planning process.
- Lack of a common, flexible, predesigned management structure that enables commanders to delegate responsibilities and manage workloads efficiently.
- Lack of predefined methods to effectively integrate interagency requirements into the management structure and planning process.
What is ICS?
The ICS is:
- A proven management system based on successful business practices.
- The result of lessons learned in the organization and management of emergency response to incidents.
The ICS is designed to:
- Meet the needs of incidents regardless of cause or size.
- Allow you and other personnel from a variety of agencies to meld rapidly into a common operational structure.
- Provide logistical and administrative support to you and other operational staff.
- Be cost effective by avoiding duplication of effort.
The ICS has been tested and proved effective in more than 30 years of emergency and non-emergency applications, by all levels of government and the private sector. NOTE: The NIMS requires the use of ICS during responses to any/all incidents whether or not there is Federal or State involvement!
The ICS consists of procedures for managing personnel, facilities, equipment, and communications resources. It is a system designed to be used from the beginning to the end of an incident.
The ICS principles are implemented through a wide range of management features including the use of common terminology and a modular organizational structure. This means no matter where you might be sent to assist in a response you should meet people who speak the same language and be organized in a similar manner.
The ICS emphasizes effective planning, including management by objectives and reliance on an Incident Action Plan (IAP).
The ICS features related to command structure include chain of command and unity of command, as well as unified command and transfer of command. Most important to you is chain of command – that is how you will receive your instructions and tasks.
Through mobilization and accountability, ICS helps ensure that resources are on hand and ready.
And, finally, ICS supports you and other responders, and decision makers by providing the data needed through effective information management.
Common Terminology and Clear Text
The ability to communicate within the ICS is absolutely critical. That is, everyone uses clear text; they do not use radio codes, agency-specific codes, or jargon.
The ICS establishes common terminology that allows incident management and support groups to work effectively together. Common terminology helps to define:
- Organizational Functions. Major functions and functional units with incident management responsibilities are named and defined.
- Resource Descriptions. Major resources (personnel, facilities, equipment, and supplies) are given common names and are "typed" or categorized by their capabilities.
- Incident Facilities. Common terminology is used to designate incident facilities.
- Position Titles. Management or supervisory positions are referred to by titles, such as Officer, Chief, Director, Supervisor, or Leader.
As response requirements for an incident become more complex, the ICS organization expands from the top down as responsibilities are delegated. When needed, separate functional elements can be established and subdivided to enhance internal organizational management and external coordination. As the ICS organizational structure expands, the number of management positions also expands to adequately address the requirements of the incident. In ICS, only those functions or positions necessary for that particular incident will be activated. However, there will always be an Incident Commander and he/she will always be in charge. This is true even if the Incident Commander is the ONLY person at the scene.
Management by Objectives
All levels of a growing ICS organization must have a clear understanding of the functional actions required to manage the incident. Management by objectives is an approach used to communicate functional actions throughout the entire ICS organization.
Reliance on an Incident Action Plan
In ICS, a lot of emphasis is placed on developing effective Incident Action Plans (IAP). An IAP is an oral or written plan that identifies general objectives that are part of the overall strategy for managing response activities. Incident Action Plans include the measurable strategic operations to be achieved and are prepared around a timeframe called an Operational Period. The purpose of the IAP is to provide all incident supervisory personnel with direction for actions to be put into action during the operational period identified in the plan. A new IAP is written for each operational period.
At the simplest level, all Incident Action Plans must have four elements:
- What do we want to do?
- Who is responsible for doing it?
- How do we communicate with each other?
- What is the procedure if someone is injured?
You will be working on a task or tasks that are included in the IAP. Other information in the IAP will not apply to you but may be important to other responders.
Portions of an example IAP are shown on the next two pages. The first page is a cover sheet showing what forms are included in the IAP. The second page identifies the operational period; clearly states the objectives, which are sometimes called priorities; and provides safety information. Safety during operations is extremely important to an effective and efficient response.
Example IAP Cover Sheet
Example Incident Objectives, ICS Form 202 (R)
Manageable Span of Control
Another basic ICS feature concerns the supervisory structure of the organization.
Span of control involves the number of individuals or resources that one supervisor can manage effectively during emergency response activities. Maintaining adequate span of control throughout the ICS organization is very important. Effective span of control during an incident may vary from three (3) to seven (7), and a ratio of one (1) supervisor to five (5) reporting elements is recommended. If the number of direct reports is less than three (3) or more than seven (7) expansion or consolidation of the organization may be necessary.
The principal facilities with which you should be familiar are: the Incident Command Post (ICP), Staging Areas, and Bases.
The ICP is the location from which the Incident Commander oversees all incident operations. There is generally only one ICP for each incident or event, but it may change locations during the event. The ICP may be located in a vehicle, trailer, tent, or within a building. It may even be the hood of a squad car or side of a fire truck. The ICP will be positioned outside of the present and potential hazard zone, but close enough to the incident to maintain command. The ICP will be designated by the name of the incident, e.g., Trail Creek ICP.
Staging Areas are temporary locations personnel and equipment is kept while waiting for assignments. When you first arrive at an incident, you may report to the Staging Area.
A Base is the location that logistics and administrative functions are coordinated and administered. The Base is where you would sleep, eat, shower and refit. There is only one Base per incident, and it is designated by the incident name, for example, Trail Creek Base.
You may also hear the terms camp, helibase and helispot. You may find more information about these three facilities at: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/.
ICS resources can be divided into two categories:
- Tactical Resources. Personnel and major items of equipment that are available or potentially available for assignment to incidents are called tactical resources. Tactical resources generally work outside the Command Post. Tactical
resources are always classified as one of the following:
- Assigned. You are "assigned" when working an assignment under the direction of a Supervisor.
- Available. You are "available" when you have reported to a Staging Area, have been issued your equipment, and are ready for immediate assignment to a specific task.
- Out-Of-Service. You are "out-of-service" after having worked a complete shift.
- Support Resources. These are the personnel, equipment and supplies that feed personnel, provide and maintain communications equipment, provide and set up tents for sleeping and storage, order and deliver supplies, and manage fleet vehicles. Support resources are usually found inside the Command Post or directly supporting the responders.
Communication equipment, procedures, and systems must be interoperable; that is, they must allow communication between organizations and across jurisdictions. For example, it is important that you are able to communicate with local highway department or airfield personnel as well as your incident supervisor.
Chain of Command and Unity of Command
In the ICS:
- Chain of command means that there is an orderly line of authority within the ranks of the organization, with lower levels subordinate to, and connected to, higher levels.
- Unity of command means that you, and every other individual, will be accountable to only one designated supervisor at the scene of an incident. This means when you are assigned to participate in an emergency response, you are working for your incident supervisor, not your day-to-day supervisor (unless they happen to be the same person). Once you are deployed to an incident scene by your State DOT, you are not required to check in with your day-to-day supervisor or to get his or her permission to complete the tasks that are assigned to you by the supervisor at the incident.
Although orders must flow through the chain of command, members of the organization may directly communicate with each other to ask for or share information.
The command function may be carried out in two ways:
- As a Single Command in which the Incident Commander will have complete responsibility for incident management. A Single Command may be simple, involving an Incident Commander and single resources, or it may be a complex organizational structure with an Incident Management Team.
- As a Unified Command in which responding agencies and/or jurisdictions with responsibility for the incident share incident management. A Unified Command may be needed for incidents involving:
- Multiple jurisdictions.
- A single jurisdiction with multiple agencies sharing responsibility.
- Multiple jurisdictions with multi-agency involvement.
Transfer of Command
The process of moving the responsibility for incident command from one Incident Commander to another is called transfer of command. Transfer of command may take place when:
- A more qualified person assumes command.
- The incident situation changes over time, resulting in a legal requirement to change command.
- Changing command makes good sense, e.g., an Incident Management Team takes command of an incident from a local jurisdictional unit due to increased incident complexity.
- There is normal turnover of personnel on long or extended incidents, i.e., to accommodate work and rest requirements of personnel.
- The incident response is concluded and incident responsibility is transferred back to the home agency.
The transfer of command process always includes a transfer of command briefing, which may be oral, written, or a combination of both. If, during the very early stage of an incident response, you are the first person of authority at the scene, you would be the Incident Commander. When another person of authority arrives and will replace you, some of the things you would need to include in the transfer of command briefing are:
- Actions taken and/or accomplished to this point in time.
- Identification of the resources currently assigned and available.
- Identification of activities in the Incident Action Plan for the current operational period.
Effective accountability during incident operations is essential at all jurisdictional levels and within individual functional areas. You, as an individual, must abide by your DOT policies and guidelines, and any applicable local, tribal, State, or Federal rules and regulations. Additionally, the following ICS guidelines must be adhered to:
- Check-In. As a responder to an incident, you must report in at the scene so the organization knows you are there.
- Incident Action Plan. Response operations must be coordinated as outlined in the IAP. As a frontline DOT worker you will be supporting the objectives and activities identified in the IAP. You will be assigned a task or job to work on.
- Unity of Command. Every individual involved in incident operations will be assigned to only one supervisor. This may or may not be your day-to-day supervisor; it may be someone from outside your agency.
- Span of Control. Supervisors must be able to adequately supervise and control you and others assigned to them, as well as communicate with and manage all resources under their supervision. Thus, you will generally not have more than two (2) to six (6) other people in your immediate work group.
- Resource Tracking. Supervisors must record and report resource status changes as they occur; this directly aids effective and efficient resource management.
Scenario: The past winter was one of the worst in several years. The States of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, which comprise a major regional area that feeds the Mississippi River, received over 48 inches of snow, a large amount of which was still on the ground in late March. The temperature on April 1 was 45 degrees and a severe spring thunderstorm dumped six (6) inches of rain on the same area. All streams in the area quickly went over their banks, with all the water running downstream to the Mississippi. Roads are underwater, bridges have been damaged, and railroad beds have been compromised.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is deploying you from your normal work area near Milwaukee to Dane County to work in the emergency response.
The statements in Review Questions 1 to 5 are either True or False. Read the question and circle the response you believe to be most correct.
1. You are glad to hear that Dane County uses the Incident Command System. The ICS was developed after a study of previous incident responses to California wildland fires found that failures were more likely to result from a lack of resources than from ineffective management.
2. The Incident Action Plan that Dane County develops that identifies the tasks you may be called on to accomplish is based on a defined operational period.
3. While ICS will be used to manage response activities to address problems caused by the flood waters, one of the local fire chiefs could use the same ICS management principles to manage a carnival at his daughter's grade school.
4. As mentioned above, Dane County follows the principles of ICS. Because of this, they do not need an Incident Commander at every incident regardless of its size.
5. While driving to the county Incident Command Post, along a state highway, you come upon a major traffic accident - it appears that several semi-trailers have jack-knifed and hit several cars. You are the first official person at the scene and you assumed the position of Incident Commander. Twenty minutes later, a local fire chief arrives at the scene and assumes command. A transfer of command is required. One of the things you make sure to tell the incoming incident commander (the fire chief) is what actions you have taken to this point.
1. False. The study of previous incidents found that incident response failures were far more likely to result from inadequate management than from any other reason. [see page 13]
2. True. A new IAP is developed and published for each operational period. [see page 15]
3. True. ICS can be used to manage a routine or planned event, as well as a large and complex emergency situation. This management system has been tested in more than 30 years of emergency and non-emergency applications, by all levels of government and the private sector. As an example, ICS was used to manage the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002. [see page 12]
4. False. Every incident will have an Incident Commander. [see page 14]
5. True. Some elements of the transfer of command briefing are:
- Actions taken and/or accomplished to this point;
- Identification of the resources currently assigned and available; and,
- Identification of activities in the Incident Action Plan for the current operational period. [see page 20]
Module 4: ICS Organization
This module introduces you to the:
- Organizational structure of ICS.
- Five major management functions.
- Use of position titles.
- Roles and responsibilities of the Incident Commander.
- Roles and responsibilities of the General Staff.
By the end of this Module, you should be able to:
- Describe the role and function of the Incident Commander.
- Describe the role and function of the Operations Section.
- Describe the role and function of the Planning Section.
- Describe the role and function of the Logistics Section.
- Describe the role and function of the Finance/Administration Section.
The ICS organization is unique but easy to understand. There is no correlation between the ICS organization used for incident response and the day-to-day administrative structure of any single agency or jurisdiction, with the exception of the military. This is deliberate, because confusion over different position titles and organizational structures has been a significant stumbling block to effective incident management in the past.
For example, someone who serves as an Office Director every day may not hold that title when working under the ICS structure.
Major Management Functions
There are major management functions that are the foundation upon which the ICS organization develops. These functions apply whether the incident is a routine emergency, is organizing for a major non-emergency event, or when managing a response to a major disaster. The major management functions are:
- Incident Command. The Incident Commander establishes the incident objectives, strategies, and priorities, and has overall responsibility for the incident or event. The four functional areas that report to the Incident Commander are:
- Operations: Conducts tactical operations to carry out the plan; that is, develops the tactical objectives and organization, and directs all tactical resources.
- Planning: Prepares and documents the Incident Action Plan to accomplish the objectives, collects and evaluates information, maintains resource status, and maintains documentation for the incident.
- Logistics: Provides support, resources, and all other services needed to meet the operational objectives.
- Finance/Administration: Monitors costs related to the incident; provides accounting, procurement, time recording, and cost analyses.
You may hear these referred to C-FLOP. This is an easy way to remember the first letter of each of the functions. Command, Finance, Logistics, Operations, and Planning.
Organizational Structure: Incident Commander
On small incidents and events, one person, the Incident Commander, may accomplish all management functions. In fact, the Incident Commander is the only position that is always staffed in ICS applications. However, large incidents or events may require that some of these management functions be set up as separate Sections within the organization.
As a frontline Department of Transportation employee, you may be the first person in any sort of official capacity at the scene of an incident. You automatically become the Incident Commander. You will be directing the early portion of the response, and in most cases that means you and anyone else with you, will do things you are very familiar with: reporting the incident to 911, reporting to your dispatcher or supervisor, directing traffic, providing first aid, gathering information from bystanders, and so on. In almost every case, the person with the appropriate authority will arrive within a short span of time, generally a local or State law enforcement officer or a fire company.
When that person arrives, you will transfer command to him or her. Simply put, the transfer of command means you will brief the incoming Incident Commander on what you have done and an assessment of the situation. That person takes charge and you become support to the Incident Commander. You do not leave until you are instructed to do so.
Organizational Structure: ICS Sections
Each of the primary ICS Sections may be subdivided as needed. The ICS organization has the capability to grow or shrink to meet the needs of the incident.
A basic ICS operating guideline is that the person at the top of the organization is responsible until the authority is delegated to another person. Thus, on smaller incidents when these additional persons are not required, the Incident Commander will personally accomplish or manage all aspects of the incident organization.
ICS Position Titles
To maintain span of control, the ICS organization can be divided into many levels of supervision. At each level, individuals with primary responsibility positions have distinct titles.
Using specific ICS position titles serves three important purposes:
- Titles provide a common standard for all users. For example, if one agency uses the title Branch Chief, another Branch Manager, etc., this lack of consistency can cause confusion at the incident.
- The use of distinct titles for ICS positions allows for filling ICS positions with the most qualified individuals rather than by seniority.
- Standardized position titles are useful when requesting qualified personnel. For example, in deploying personnel, it is important to know if the positions needed are Unit Leaders, clerks, etc.
Supervisory Position Titles
|Organizational Level||Title||Support Position|
|Incident Command||Incident Commander||Deputy|
|General Staff (Section)||Chief||Deputy|
|Strike Team/Task Force||Leader||Single Resource Boss|
Incident Commander's Overall Role
The Incident Commander has overall responsibility for managing the incident by objectives, planning strategies, and implementing tactics. The Incident Commander must be fully briefed and should have a written delegation of authority. Initially, assigning tactical resources and overseeing operations will be under the direct supervision of the Incident Commander.
Personnel assigned by the Incident Commander have the authority of their assigned positions, regardless of the rank they hold within their respective agencies.
Incident Commander Responsibilities
In addition to having overall responsibility for managing the entire incident, the Incident Commander is specifically responsible for:
- Ensuring incident safety.
- Providing information services to internal and external stakeholders.
- Establishing and maintaining liaison with other agencies participating in the incident.
The Incident Commander may appoint people to advise or perform these functions on his/her behalf. When this occurs, these individuals become the Command Staff.
The Incident Commander may appoint one or more Deputies, if applicable, from the same agency or from other agencies or jurisdictions. Deputy Incident Commanders must be as qualified as the Incident Commander because the Deputy has to be able to take the Commander's place if the Commander is unable to continue in the position.
Formal transfer of command at an incident always requires a transfer of command briefing for the incoming Incident Commander and notification to all personnel that a change in command is taking place.
Depending upon the size and type of incident or event, it may be necessary for the Incident Commander to designate personnel to provide information, safety, and liaison services for the entire organization. In ICS, these personnel make up the Command Staff and consist of the:
- Public Information Officer, serves as the conduit for information to internal and external stakeholders, including the media or other organizations seeking information directly from the incident or event.
- Safety Officer, monitors safety conditions and develops measures for assuring the safety of all assigned personnel.
- Liaison Officer(s), serves as the primary contact for supporting agencies assisting at an incident.
The Command Staff reports directly to the Incident Commander.
Expanding the Organization
As incidents grow, the Incident Commander may delegate authority for performance of certain activities to the Command Staff and the General Staff. The Incident Commander will add positions only as needed.
Expansion of the incident may also require the delegation of authority for other management functions. The people who perform the other four management functions are designated as the General Staff. The General Staff is made up of four Sections, representing the four functional areas mentioned above: Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance/Administration. The General Staff reports directly to the Incident Commander.
ICS Section Chiefs and Deputies
As mentioned previously, the person in charge of each Section is designated as a Chief. Section Chiefs have the ability to expand their Section to meet the needs of the situation. Each of the Section Chiefs may have one or more Deputies, if necessary. The Deputy:
- May assume responsibility for a specific portion of the primary position, work as relief, or be assigned other tasks.
- Should always be as proficient as the person for whom he or she works.
In large incidents, especially where multiple disciplines or jurisdictions are involved, the use of Deputies from other organizations can greatly increase interagency coordination.
Until Operations is established as a separate Section, the Incident Commander has direct control of tactical resources. The Incident Commander will determine the need for a separate Operations Section. When the Incident Commander activates an Operations Section, he or she will assign an individual as the Operations Section Chief.
It is very possible that you, as a State DOT worker, will be assigned to an element of the Operations Section and be assigned specific tactical responsibilities.
Operations Section Chief
The Operations Section Chief will develop and manage the Operations Section to accomplish the incident objectives set by the Incident Commander. The Operations Section Chief is normally the person with the greatest technical and tactical expertise in dealing with a specific incident type.
Operations Section: Expanding and Contracting
The Incident Commander or Operations Section Chief at an incident may work initially with only a few single resources or staff members.
The Operations Section usually develops from the bottom up. The organization will expand to include needed levels of supervision as more and more resources are deployed.
You, as a State DOT worker, are a Single Resource, but may be assigned to a Strike Team or Task Force depending on the tactical needs of the response.
- Single Resources may be individuals, a piece of equipment and its personnel complement, or a crew or team of individuals with an identified supervisor that can be used at an incident.
An example of a Department of Transportation Single Resource would be an Engineering Specialist, a pilot, a train conductor, or a barge operator and the tie-up crew for waterways.
- Strike Teams are a set number of resources of the same kind and type with common communications operating under the direct supervision of a Strike Team Leader. Strike Teams are highly effective management units. The knowledge that all elements have
the same capability and of how many will be applied allows for better planning, ordering, utilization and management.
An example of a Department of Transportation Strike Team might be five (5) 10-Ton dump trucks assigned to augment the cargo-carrying capability of a local highway department, or seven (7) inspectors for air or port security.
- Task Forces are a combination of different resources with common communications operating under the direct supervision of a Leader. Task Forces can be versatile combinations of resources and their use is encouraged. The combining of resources into
Task Forces allows for several resource elements to be managed under one individual's supervision; lessening the span of control of the Supervisor.
An example of a Department of Transportation Task Force might be several trucks, a front-end loader, and a chipping machine assigned to a debris-clearing mission.
The Incident Commander will determine if there is a need for a Planning Section and designate a Planning Section Chief. If no Planning Section is established, the Incident Commander will perform all planning functions. It is up to the Planning Section Chief to activate any needed additional staffing.
You might be assigned to the Planning Section if you have extensive knowledge and experience of your assigned responsibilities.
Planning Section: Major Activities
The major activities of the Planning Section may include:
- Collecting, evaluating, and displaying incident intelligence and information.
- Preparing and documenting Incident Action Plans.
- Conducting long-range and/or contingency planning.
- Developing plans for demobilization.
- Maintaining incident documentation.
- Tracking resources assigned to the incident.
Planning Section: Units
The Planning Section can be further staffed with five (5) Units. Technical Specialists such as engineers, surveyors, and encroachment permit coordinators, may be assigned to work in the Planning Section. Depending on the needs, Technical Specialists may also be assigned to other Sections in the organization.
- Resources Unit: Conducts all check-in activities and maintains the status of all incident resources. The Resources Unit plays a significant role in preparing the written Incident Action Plan.
- Situation Unit: Collects and analyzes information on the current situation, prepares situation displays and situation summaries, and develops maps and projections.
- Documentation Unit: Provides duplication services, including the written Incident Action Plan; maintains and archives all incident-related documentation.
- Demobilization Unit: Assists in ensuring that resources are released from the incident in an orderly, safe, and cost-effective manner.
The Incident Commander will determine if there is a need for a Logistics Section at the incident, and designate an individual to fill the position of the Logistics Section Chief. If no Logistics Section is established, the Incident Commander will perform all logistical functions. The size of the incident, complexity of support needs, and the incident length will determine whether a separate Logistics Section is established. Additional staffing is the responsibility of the Logistics Section Chief.
Logistics Section: Major Activities
The Logistics Section is responsible for all of the services and support needs, including:
- Ordering, obtaining, maintaining, and accounting for essential personnel, equipment, and supplies.
- Providing communication planning and resources.
- Setting up food services.
- Setting up and maintaining incident facilities.
- Providing support transportation, that is, the movement of resources.
- Providing medical services to incident personnel.
Logistics Section: Branches and Units
The Logistics Section can be further staffed by two (2) Branches and six (6) Units. Not all of the Units may be required; they will be established based on need. The titles of the Units are descriptive of their responsibilities.
The Incident Commander will determine if there is a need for a Finance/Administration Section at the incident and designate an individual to fill the position of the Finance/Administration Section Chief. If no Finance/Administration Section is established, the Incident Commander will perform all finance functions.
Finance/Administration Section: Major Activities
The Finance/Administration Section is set up for any incident that requires incident-specific financial management. The Finance/Administration Section is responsible for:
- Contract negotiation and monitoring.
- Cost analysis.
- Compensation for injury or damage to property.
More and more, larger incidents are using a Finance/Administration Section to monitor costs, many of which may be reimbursable. Smaller incidents may also require certain Finance/ Administration support. For example, the Incident Commander may establish one or more Units of the Finance/Administration Section for such things as negotiating rights-of-ways, procuring special equipment, contracting with a vendor, or making cost estimates for alternative response strategies.
Finance/Administration Section: Units
The Finance/Administration Section may staff four (4) Units. Not all Units may be required; they will be established based on need.
- Procurement Unit: Responsible for administering all financial matters pertaining to vendor contracts, leases, and fiscal agreements.
- Time Unit: Responsible for incident personnel time recording.
- Cost Unit: Collects all cost data, performs cost effectiveness analyses, provides cost estimates, and makes cost savings recommendations.
- Compensation/Claims Unit: Responsible for the overall management and direction of all administrative matters pertaining to compensation for injury and claims related activities kept for the incident.
Scenario: You have been working in the Operations Section at an Incident Command Post for four (4) weeks. You are assisting one of the Deputy Section Chiefs.
Review Questions 1 and 2 are multiple choice. Read the questions and circle the response you believe to be most correct.
1. Who is responsible for the overall management of an incident?
2. A group of three road graders and two front-end loaders, with operators and a leader, just reported into the Staging Area and are Available. What is this resource called?
a. Single Resource
b. Strike Team
c. Task Force
The statements in Review Questions 3 and 4 are either True or False. Read the question and circle the response you believe to be most correct.
3. If a Chief has not been named for the Finance/Administration Section, the Incident Commander acts as the Finance/Administration Section Chief.
4. Transportation of resources is the responsibility of the Operations Section Chief.
1. a. A Commander is responsible for overall management of an incident. A Leader is responsible for a Task Force, Strike Team or Functional Unit. A Director supervises a Branch. A Chief is responsible for functional Section. A Supervisor is responsible for a Division or Group. [see page 26]
2. c. Task Force. A Task Force is a group of different resources with common communications assembled for a specific task. A Single Resource is a person or piece of equipment. A Strike Team is a set number of resources of the same type and kind. [see page 29]
3. True. The Incident Commander retains responsibility for all activities until a supervisor is identified. [see page 31]
4. False. The Logistics Section Chief is responsible for coordinating and providing support transportation for the movement of resources. [see page 30]
Comprehensive Final Review
These 10 questions will test your understanding of the material presented in this Workbook. The questions are multiple choice - you are to circle the answer you think represents the best response to the question. When you finish this portion of the Workbook, return it to your supervisor - he/she will review your answers and return the Workbook to you to keep.
1. The ability to communicate within ICS is absolutely critical. In order to ensure efficient, clear communication, ICS requires the use of:
a. Agency-specific codes.
b. Radio codes.
c. Common terminology.
d. Technical language.
2. Which General Staff position prepares and documents the Incident Action Plan, collects and evaluates information, maintains resource status, and maintains documentation for incident records?
a. Operations Section Chief.
b. Planning Section Chief.
c. Finance/Administration Section Chief.
d. Logistics Section Chief.
3. Expansion of incidents may require the delegation of authority for the performance of Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance/Administration functions. The people who perform these four management functions are designated as the:
a. Command Staff.
b. Deputy Staff.
c. Chief of Staff.
d. General Staff.
4. Which incident facility is the location where personnel and equipment are kept while waiting for assignments?
a. Staging Area.
d. Incident Command Post.
5. Which position is the only one that is always staffed in ICS applications?
a. Incident Commander.
b. Planning Section Chief.
c. Safety Officer.
d. Operations Section Chief.
6. ICS has been used to manage incidents such as fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and acts of terrorism. Which of the following situations represents another viable application for the use of ICS?
a. The oversight of safety issues associated with Mrs. Butler's 10th grade chemistry class throughout the school year.
b. The oversight of the annual fiscal budget for the Brownsville Library, including the procurement of new books.
c. The management of nursing staff at the City General Hospital during weekend shifts.
d. The planning and operation of the Central City Annual Labor Day Celebration, including a parade and fair.
7. One ICS principle relates to the supervisory structure of the organization and pertains to the number of individuals or resources one incident supervisor can manage effectively. This operating guideline is referred to as:
a. Unity of Command.
b. Delegation of Authority.
c. Span of Control.
d. Form Follows Function.
8. A basic ICS principle is that the first Incident Commander is responsible for all actions until:
a. The five management functions are activated.
b. Properly relieved by an incoming Incident Commander.
c. The next operations period has begun.
d. Demobilization occurs at the end of the incident response.
9. At each level of the ICS organization, individuals in positions of primary responsibility have distinct titles. Using specific ICS position titles:
a. Allows ICS positions to be filled with the most qualified individuals rather than being filled just by rank alone.
b. Ensures that responders remain accountable to agency management not present at the incident scene.
c. Improves responder motivation by providing prestige associated with certain titles.
d. Provides personnel with a clear understanding of the pay scale associated with increasing levels of responsibility.
10. Unified Command:
a. Assigns a single Incident Commander to assume unity of command and make decisions for all jurisdictions.
b. Enables all agencies with responsibility to manage an incident together by establishing a common set of incident objectives and strategies.
c. Requires that employees report to several different Incident Commanders, each representing each jurisdiction.
d. Obligates all responsible agencies to pool their resources without consideration to the terms of mutual aid and assistance agreements.
Checklist for ICS Participants
In the event you are assigned to an incident command during an emergency response, use the following as a checklist for preparation and participation.
General Guidelines-Lengthy Assignments
Many incidents last only a short time and may not require travel. Other deployments may require a lengthy assignment away from home. Below are general guidelines for incidents requiring extended stays or travel:
- Assemble a travel kit containing any special technical information (e.g., maps, manuals, contact lists, and reference materials).
- Prepare personal items needed for your estimated length of stay including medications, cash, credit cards, etc.
- Ensure that family members know your destination and how to contact you.
- Determine appropriate travel authorizations.
- Familiarize yourself with travel and transportation arrangements.
- Determine your return mode of transportation (if possible).
- Determine payroll procedures (at incident or through home agency).
General Guidelines-Roles and Authorities
In addition to preparing for your travel arrangements, it is important to understand your role and authorities.
- Review your emergency assignment. Know who you will report to and what your position will be.
- Establish a clear understanding and limits of your decision-making authority.
- Determine communications procedures for contacting your headquarters or home office (if necessary).
- Identify purchasing authority and procedures.
- Identify procedures for obtaining food and lodging.
Actions Prior to Departure
Upon receiving an incident assignment, your deployment briefing should include, but may not be limited to, the following information:
- Incident type and name or designation.
- Descriptive location and response area.
- Incident check-in location.
- Specific assignment.
- Reporting date and time.
- Travel instructions.
- Communications instructions, e.g., incident frequencies.
- Special support requirements (facilities, equipment transportation and off-loading, etc.)
- Travel authorization for air, rental car, lodging, meals, and incidental expenses.
Check-In at the Incident: Activities
Check-in officially logs you in at the incident. The check-in process and information helps to:
- Ensure personnel accountability.
- Track resources.
- Prepare personnel for assignments and reassignments.
- Locate personnel in case of an emergency.
- Establish personnel time records and payroll documentation.
- Plan for releasing personnel.
- Organize the demobilization process.
Check-In at the Incident: Locations
Check in only once. Check-in locations may be found at several incident facilities, including:
- Incident Command Post.
- Base or Camp(s).
- Staging Areas.
- Division/Group Supervisor (for direct assignment).
Note that these locations may not all be activated at every incident. Check-in information is usually recorded on ICS Form 211, Check-In List. This form, and any other forms that will be used, will be provided to you.
Initial Incident Briefing
After check-in, locate your incident supervisor and obtain your initial briefing. The briefing information helps you plan your tasks and communicate with others. Briefings received and given should include:
- Current situation assessment.
- Identification of your specific job responsibilities.
- Identification of coworkers.
- Location of work area.
- Identification of eating and sleeping arrangements, as appropriate.
- Procedural instructions for obtaining additional supplies, services, and personnel.
- Operational periods/work shifts.
- Required safety procedures and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as appropriate.
All incidents require some form of recordkeeping. Requirements vary depending upon the agencies involved and the nature of the incident. Detailed information on using ICS forms will be covered in other training sessions, or may be found in the Forms Manual.
Below are general guidelines for incident recordkeeping:
- Print or type all entries.
- Enter dates by month/day/year format.
- Enter date and time on all forms and records. Use local time.
- Fill in all blanks. Use N/A as appropriate.
- Use military 24-hour time.
- Section Chiefs and above assign recordkeeper (scribe).
If you are expected to be a supervisor:
- You must maintain a daily Unit Log (preferably on form ICS-214), indicating the names of personnel assigned and a listing of the major activities that occurred during the operational periods to which you were assigned.
- You are expected to give briefings to your subordinates, adjacent forces, and replacement personnel.
Important considerations related to communications include:
- Observing strict radio/telephone procedures.
- Using plain English in all communications. Codes should not be used in radio transmissions. Limit the use of discipline-specific jargon, especially on interdisciplinary incidents.
- Limiting radio and telephone traffic to essential information only. Plan what you are going to say.
- Following procedures for secure communications as required.
Sexual harassment or discrimination of any type and the use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol are prohibited on all incidents. Report all such activities to your supervisor.
Often times, incident response can produce high stress situations. As part of your responsibilities you may be required to interact with people who have been adversely affected by the incident. It is important to be patient and act in a professional manner at all times.
Agency requirements for demobilization may vary considerably. General demobilization guidelines for all personnel are to:
- Complete all work assignments and required forms/reports.
- Brief replacements, subordinates, and supervisor.
- Evaluate the performance of subordinates.
- Follow incident and agency check-out procedures.
- Provide adequate followup contact information.
- Return any incident-issued equipment or other nonexpendable supplies.
- Complete postincident reports, critiques, evaluations, and medical followup.
- Complete all payment and/or payroll issues or obligations.
- Contact the Demobilization Unit to obtain demobilization instructions.
- Upon arrival at home, notify the home unit (i.e., whomever is tracking you) of your arrival and ensure your readiness.
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