The paper will describe the state of command and structure that is applied in case of fire outbreak in the state of California, United States. The description will focus on the components of the operations, the planning process involved, the administration and finally the logistics involved in the entire emergency response process for fire.
The incident-command system (ICS) is defined as a systematic tool that can be used tin commanding, controlling and coordination of an emergency response. The process involves a set of personnel, procedures, policies and equipment all integrated into one organizational structure that is specially designed to improve on operations in a an emergency response of any kind and complexities.
The history of incident command system in state of California dates back 1970 when series of fire outbreaks led to loss of lives, resulted to damage and destruction in California. The federal and state an local involved in the fire siege identified many loop holes in their response and coordination program and therefore later joined hands to finding long lasting solutions and incident command system was the major of that collaborative effort (Erickson, 2006).The organization structure of incident command system consists of the following five major as well as pre-designated functions: command, operations, planning, logistics and finance or administration.
This component of ICS generally involves a multi agency and unified command structure that consists of the management, the external agency representatives and a variety of the supporting personnel. The chief commander is the overall leader of the response process and may delegate authority as incident grows (Jackson & Willis 2010). He is the one giving command and he prioritizes on life safety, incident stability and property conservation.
Components of Operations
Operations in the incident command involves of the field operations that encompass both the application of the tactical incident command as well as considering the necessity of focusing on the greater span of controlling concerns. The operations section is responsible for carrying out all the response activities that are described in the incident action plan. The chief in charge of this section coordinates the all the operations and receives and implements the plan as well as determine the required resources and the organization structure of the section.
The planning process consist of the personnel who are focused on long term issues that concern the system and they include natural resource, assessment of the damage caused, management of waste, development of response strategy and finally the image of the company an the management of its resources. The incident commander is in charge of planning when incidents are of small scale but the he establishes planning section in the event of large events. The section collects evaluates, disseminates and use of information especially concerning the development of the incident as well as the status of the resources. The section also creates the incident action plan which defines the activities of response and resource use for specific time frames.
This involve the roles that the management plays in terms of financing of the incident response system and it includes services from the accounting specialists, claims ,administration and the management of financial services in general. Administration is involved in issues associated with any costs incurred a as result of an incident and how they will be covered. Often the agency that is called upon to provide the rehabilitative services or event stand by incurs the expenses it wishes to be reimbursed and such arrangement on issue relating to emergency eliminates problems at or after the incident occurs.
The component of logistics in the incident response system involves the services of the specialist in purchasing, communications, administration, documentation, security, and transportation and in resources services. The logistics department ensures that any support required for the emergency by the , shelter site, first aid station, response teams, and command post staff, including equipment and supplies are available o time. Also the logistics include finding of volunteers if their services are required to manage the emergency. All the logistics functions are combined easily at the neighborhood level where command post if located at.