The Incident Command System

The Incident Command system is a routine used by Search and Rescue (SAR) organizations all over the world. Commonly known as ICS, it prevents panic and pointless ‘running around the bush.’ Three important questions about ICS are to be answered here.

  1. What is ICS?

ICS is a routine program that is used to prevent confusion. It is a series of commands, routines and non-panic calmness that allows for an operation or mission to be done flawlessly.

  1. Why is it important?

Without it, SAR operations would be a mess of panicky chaos. ICS enables a smooth mission that can be performed on schedule and with cool, smooth precision.

  1. ICS’ main functions:

The whole mission is presided over by an officer called the Incident Commander (IC). He gives the orders.

Under him are sub-officers who take care of security, medical services, etc. No officer, except the IC, is allowed to order more than seven people.

The routine is flexible, allowing the number of SAR personnel on the team to increase or decrease according to needs or codes.

ICS is an essential part of SAR. It keeps out panic, it helps the person in trouble better, and it helps the mission get done quicker. Without ICS, SAR would be a mess. It is utterly fundamental to the safety of people all around the world who call on SAR for help.

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