The Incident Command System: The History Of The Incident Command System

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The History of The Incident Command System
The Incident Command System or ICS was introduced nearly 50 years ago as a way to mitigate confusion in emergency situations involving multiple responding units. Originally used by southern California fire services during fast moving wildfires, ICS has been used for many different scenarios that may exhaust the first responding unit on the scene, including a car accident needing and additional ambulance or help from a fire department with heavy equipment such as the Jaws of Life, an airplane crash with multiple victims, or a terrorist attack like the Oklahoma City Bombing on April 19, 1995; or the attacks in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. The Incident Command System
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The incident overwhelmed local emergency capabilities and outside help was needed for rescue efforts to be successful. The Incident Command System was crucial in coordinating those efforts. In an excerpt Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Bombing 19 April 1995 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Executive Summary, The Oklahoma Department of Civil Emergency Management stated:
“Immediately following the blast, an Incident Command System (ICS) was quickly established by the Oklahoma City Fire Department, to manage the intensive search and rescue mission. The "system" effectively handled the massive influx of resources which included federal, state, local and voluntary agency response personnel and equipment, under the sole command of the Oklahoma City Fire Department. The Oklahoma City Police Department handled the traffic and security aspects of the event in coordination with the Oklahoma County Sheriff, state and federal agencies.”
Early recognition of a need for ICS and a prompt initiation by the Oklahoma City Fire Department allowed for a swift implementation of a command structure which in turn allowed recourses to be allocated quickly and
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These guidelines will ensure that more services are trained in ICS and can communicate with other agencies while at a large scale incident. The National Incident Management System or NIMS was formulated by the Department of Homeland Security at the order of President George W. Bush. The program was established in March of 2004 as a way to further reduce communication, command, and jurisdictional hindrances in large scale emergency events. The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA released a statement stating this about NIMS: The NIMS provides a consistent, flexible and adjustable national framework within which government and private entities at all levels can work together to manage domestic incidents, regardless of their cause, size, location or complexity. This flexibility applies across all phases of incident management: prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and

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