Principles of Incident Command System


Incident Command System, is primarily a crisis management instrument anchored on a chain of balanced technical principles comparable to those often discussed in managerial studies as conventional control theory. It transcends the sphere of rationality and bureaucratic organization to the uncertain and often chaotic environment of catastrophe responses. ICS makes sure that there are rules and disaster management practices in place in order to direct and enable organizations which are mandated to make sure that there is a proper coordination mechanism to avoid unnecessary delays and confusion. The system provides a set of rules and practices to guide the actions of various organizations responding to a disaster and creates the necessary division of labor and coordination mechanisms among them.

Check out our pricing
Type of assignment
Number of pages
Writer level

Difficult Incident Command System Principles

We are living in a multifaceted world where reaction to emergencies ranging from single car accidents to massive disasters often demands interagent collaboration. During an emergency, various personnel may be called to be involved in deffirent rescue operations. With the current trends towards deployment of ICS systems to conduct rapid emergency responses, there is a chance that one will operate in an ICS environment. Therefore, this makes emergency operation an extraordinary activity that requires superior techniques and mechanism of solving incidences. The ICS consists of five major elements which are the command element followed by planning and operations, and finally, logistics and finance. This essay aims at analyzing the two most difficult to dal with ICS principles and considering the approaches to employ to manage them more efficiently.

The ICS is run on fourteen key principles which are crucial in creating the order and the balance required for effective disaster management. These principles have proven to be very much effective in various business organizations and across government agencies. When it comes to the aspect of smaller incidences, the command element is applied but in larger ones, the planning component needs to be involved.

In matters of logistics, facilities together with services and materials along with personnel are availed for use in the incident. The financial aspect is more often omitted, but the truth is that if costs associated with financial operations are not monitored, recorded accurately and claims warranted, then it becomes almost impossible to conduct any form of reimbursement. A good example of the aspect of finance is if an incident that may lead to a presidential declaration happens, then it becomes very hard to manage if no proper monitoring and recording were done. It’s necessary to understand that each of the five components can be enlarged to form extra units together with the delegation of power.

ICS works with the elementary principles to make sure that there is an expeditious and efficient commitment of resources to minimize interruptions of usual operations and policies of the organizations that respond to incidences. One of the principles that will be difficult to manage is the integrated communications principle. This standard creates a communication plan that is a benchmark together with operating procedures that are universal. Additionally, the principle ensures that the frequencies and standard terminologies and clear to understand and use. In this principle, there may be multiple communication networks set based on the incident complexity. This rule asserts the fact that in every incident, a good communication plan is of greatest importance. This plan is a component of the written action plan of the event.

This integrated communication may be difficult at first because it requires organizations work together with jurisdictions and a lot of personnel to be able to integrate and invest in new communication infrastructure. Implementing new communications policies and plans which make a smooth exchange of the integrated information among operational units possible is vital.

Another reason that makes it difficult is the need for thorough procurement management meant to supply necessary equipment and protocols that are crucial to be able to achieve integrated voice and data which are essential in managing communications.

The minimum requirement of any communication network is the ability to link the supervisory personnel with the operations command. Thus, any communication network must comply with some required guidelines. A fundamental component of an efficient and effective multi-agency incident system is the application of plain English in all collaborations as opposed to signs and jargon.

Our features
300 words/page
Discount System
Vip Services
Free Revision (on demand)
Affiliate Program
Plagiarism Free Papers

If there is an opportunity to improve on these principles, one thing that has to be in place is a link between the operational section head and the supervisors. Availing a common communication channel to the various components and resources deployed to tactical elements like branches, divisions, and ground to air will be a priority given the chance to advance this principle.

Another ICS principle that will be difficult to manage is modular organization. The ICS organizational structure increases in a modular style based on a spectrum of factors such as complexity of an incident, its size together with the quantity of resources that are needed. Furthermore, it specifies possible environmental hazards triggered by an event. The responsibility of the ICS expansion rests with the incident operations command. The latter assesses the incident and bases its ICS organization from the feedback of the situation assessment report. The complexity of an incident rises because of organizational expansion right from the top to bottom making delegation of tasks inevitable. These expansionary mechanisms cause structural enlargement, thereby, increasing the supervisory and executive posts to be able to address the incident.

One of the reasons why this ICS principle will be difficult to implement is based on the fact that if the required posts are not adequately staffed as the incident expands, then the hereditary tasks can prevail over the team. The emergency response team can be overworked, fatigued, and overwhelmed with plenty of tasks. One would agree with the view that the situation on the ground concerning an incident can keep changing in unexpected way; hence, if not properly tackled, the shortage of required personnel may pose a difficulty when managing the incidence effectively.

If there is an opportunity to plan an emergency response beforehand, the first thing to do would be to ensure that the entire team provides the required focus and attention to the tasks assigned including the incident commander. The reason for this action is to make sure that no one operates outside of the limit of their functions since this can result in duplicity of efforts and resources causing misuse of the scarce resources.Because of the challenge of the expansionary nature of some incidences anticipating that reality will be a key for a contingency plan. A good information flow will be well established and happen in real time so as to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and property due to delays which could have been prevented in the first place.


In conclusion, the fact is that ICS is one of the best tested and proven incident management instruments. Understanding that emergency response requires a high degree of preparedness, and professionalism in reducing risks associated with human mistakes is of utmost importance. ICS has several principles that define how this tested crisis management instrument can work the best. These principles bring the necessary order and the much-required focus and expertise in a structured manner reducing the element of the duplicity of responsibilities or tasks during an incident.

The most important aspect of an incident is minimizing losses or damages that can be substantial if no prompt, accurate, and justified actions are taken to mitigate a disaster. Some principles may be difficult to manage due to several factors of internal and others external in nature. From the analysis, the two most difficult principles include the integration communication and the modular organization principles. These principles are central to the ICS. The complex nature of their operations makes them the most efficient if the barriers and difficulties they possess are overcome.