Lesson 1: Course Welcome & ICS Overview
The overall course goal is to promote effective response by:
• Familiarizing you with how Incident Command System (ICS) principles are used to manage incidents.
• Preparing you to coordinate with response partners from all levels of government and the private sector.
IS-100.b follows the National Incident Management System (NIMS) guidelines. To learn more about NIMS, you should complete IS-700.A, National Incident Management System, An Introduction. Overall Course Objectives
At the completion of this course, you should be familiar with:
• ICS applications.
• ICS organizational principles and elements.
• ICS positions and responsibilities.
• ICS facilities and functions.
• ICS planning.
In addition, you will learn the steps you should take to be accountable for your actions during an incident. What Is the Incident Command System?
The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized approach to incident management that:
• Enables a coordinated response among various jurisdictions and agencies.
• Establishes common processes for planning and managing resources.
• Allows for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. Incident Command System: Helping Us Meet Our Mission
Disaster can strike anytime, anywhere. It takes many forms—a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill, or an act of terrorism. An incident can build over days or weeks, or hit suddenly, without warning.
A poorly managed incident response can undermine our safety and well being. With so much at stake, we must effectively manage our response efforts.
Although most incidents are handled locally, partnerships among local, tribal, State, and Federal agencies as well as nongovernmental and private-sector organizations may be required.
As partners, we must respond together in a seamless, coordinated fashion.
The Incident Command System, or ICS, helps ensure integration of our response efforts. ICS is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazards approach to incident management. ICS allows all responders to adopt an integrated organizational structure that matches the complexities and demands of the incident while respecting agency and jurisdictional authorities. Although ICS promotes standardization, it is not without needed flexibility. For example, the ICS organizational structure can expand or contract to meet incident needs.
In this course, you’ll learn ICS principles. And more importantly, you’ll learn to interface better with your response partners.
Incident Command System Origins
The Incident Command System was developed in the 1970s following a series of catastrophic fires in California. Property damage ran into the millions, and many people died or were injured.
The personnel assigned to determine the causes of these disasters studied the case histories and discovered that response problems could rarely be attributed to lack of resources or failure of tactics. Homeland Security Presidential Directives
In response to attacks on September 11, 2001, the President issued the following Homeland Security Presidential Directives (HSPDs):
• HSPD-5 identified steps for improved coordination in response to incidents. It requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to coordinate with other Federal departments and agencies and State, local, and tribal governments to establish a National Response Framework (NRF) and a National Incident Management System (NIMS).
• HSPD-8 directed DHS to lead a national initiative to develop a National Preparedness System—a common, unified approach to “strengthen the preparedness of the United States to prevent and respond to threatened or actual domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.” NIMS and NRF
• NIMS provides a systematic,…