incident Command System

A division of government with a specific function offering a particular kind of assistance. In the Incident Command System, agencies are defined either as jurisdictional (having statutory responsibility for incident management) or as assisting or cooperating (providing resources or other assistance). Governmental organizations are most often in charge of an incident, though in certain circumstances private sector organizations may be included. Additionally, nongovernmental organizations may be included to provide support.
Agency Administrator/Executive
The official responsible for administering policy for an agency or jurisdiction, having full authority for making decisions, and providing direction to the management organization for an incident.
Agency Dispatch
The agency or jurisdictional facility from which resources are sent to incidents.
Agency Representative
A person assigned by a primary, assisting, or cooperating Federal, State, tribal, or local government agency or private organization that has been delegated authority to make decisions affecting that agency’s or organization’s participation in incident management activities following appropriate consultation with the leadership of that agency.
Describing an incident, natural or manmade, that warrants action to protect life, property, environment, public health or safety, and minimize disruptions of government, social, or economic activities.
Allocated Resources
Resources dispatched to an incident.
Area Command
An organization established to oversee the management of multiple incidents that are each being handled by a separate Incident Command System organization or to oversee the management of a very large or evolving incident that has multiple incident management teams engaged. An agency administrator/executive or other public official with jurisdictional responsibility for the incident usually makes the decision to establish an Area Command. An Area Command is activated only if necessary, depending on the complexity of the incident and incident management span-of-control considerations.
The evaluation and interpretation of measurements and other information to provide a basis for decisionmaking.
Assigned Resources
Resources checked in and assigned work tasks on an incident.
Tasks given to resources to perform within a given operational period that are based on operational objectives defined in the Incident Action Plan.
Title for subordinates of principal Command Staff positions. The title indicates a level of technical capability, qualifications, and responsibility subordinate to the primary positions. Assistants may also be assigned to unit leaders.
Assisting Agency
An agency or organization providing personnel, services, or other resources to the agency with direct responsibility for incident management. See Supporting Agency.
Available Resources
Resources assigned to an incident, checked in, and available for a mission assignment, normally located in a Staging Area.
Based on credentialing and resource ordering, provides incident-specific credentials and can be used to limit access to various incident sites.
The location at which primary Logistics functions for an incident are coordinated and administered. There is only one Base per incident. (Incident name or other designator will be added to the term Base.) The Incident Command Post may be co-located with the Base.
The organizational level having functional or geographical responsibility for major aspects of incident operations. A Branch is organizationally situated between the Section Chief and the Division or Group in the Operations Section, and between the Section and Units in the Logistics Section. Branches are identified by the use of Roman numerals or by functional area.
A predetermined complement of tools, equipment, and/or supplies stored in a designated location, available for incident use.
A geographical site within the general incident area (separate from the Incident Base) that is equipped and staffed to provide sleeping, food, water, and sanitary services to incident personnel.
Certifying Personnel
Process that entails authoritatively attesting that individuals meet professional standards for the training, experience, and performance required for key incident management functions.
Chain of Command
A series of command, control, executive, or management positions in hierarchical order of authority.
Process in which all responders, regardless of agency affiliation, must report in to receive an assignment in accordance with the procedures established by the Incident Commander.
The Incident Command System title for individuals responsible for management of functional Sections: Operations, Planning, Logistics, Finance/Administration, and Intelligence/Investigations (if established as a separate Section).
The act of directing, ordering, or controlling by virtue of explicit statutory, regulatory, or delegated authority.
Command Staff
Consists of Public Information Officer, Safety Officer, Liaison Officer, and other positions as required, who report directly to the Incident Commander. They may have an assistant or assistants, as needed.
Common Operating Picture
Offers an overview of an incident thereby providing incident information enabling the Incident Commander/Unified Command and any supporting agencies and organizations to make effective, consistent, and timely decisions.
Common Terminology
Normally used words and phrases-avoids the use of different words/phrases for same concepts, consistency.
Process of transmission of information through verbal, written, or symbolic means.
Communications/Dispatch Center
Agency or interagency dispatcher centers, 911 call centers, emergency control or command dispatch centers, or any naming convention given to the facility and staff that handles emergency calls from the public and communication with emergency management/response personnel. Center can serve as a primary coordination and support element of the multiagency coordination system (MACS) for an incident until other elements of MACS are formally established.
Two or more individual incidents located in the same general area and assigned to a single Incident Commander or to Unified Command.
Cooperating Agency
An agency supplying assistance other than direct operational or support functions or resources to the incident management effort.
To advance systematically an analysis and exchange of information among principals who have or may have a need to know certain information to carry out specific incident management responsibilities.
Corrective Actions
Implementing procedures that are based on lessons learned from actual incidents or from training and exercises.
Providing documentation that can authenticate and verify the certification and identity of designated incident managers and emergency responders.
Delegation of Authority
A statement provided to the Incident Commander by the agency executive delegating authority and assigning responsibility. The Delegation of Authority can include objectives, priorities, expectations, constraints, and other considerations or guidelines as needed. Many agencies require written Delegation of Authority to be given to Incident Commanders prior to their assuming command on larger incidents. Same as the Letter of Expectation.
The orderly, safe, and efficient return of an incident resource to its original location and status.
Department Operations Center (DOC)
An emergency operations center (EOC) specific to a single department or agency. Its focus is on internal agency incident management and response. DOCs are often linked to and, in most cases, are physically represented in a combined agency EOC by authorized agent(s) for the department or agency.
A fully qualified individual who, in the absence of a superior, can be delegated the authority to manage a functional operation or perform a specific task. In some cases a deputy can act as relief for a superior, and therefore must be fully qualified in the position. Deputies generally can be assigned to the Incident Commander, General Staff, and Branch Directors.
The Incident Command System title for individuals responsible for supervision of a Branch.
The ordered movement of a resource or resources to an assigned operational mission or an administrative move from one location to another.
The partition of an incident into geographical areas of operation. Divisions are established when the number of resources exceeds the manageable span of control of the Operations Chief. A Division is located within the Incident Command System organization between the Branch and resources in the Operations Section.
Any incident, whether natural or manmade, that requires responsive action to protect life or property. Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, an emergency means any occasion or instance for which, in the determination of the President, Federal assistance is needed to supplement State and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States.
Emergency Management/Response Personnel
Includes Federal, State, territorial, tribal, substate regional, and local governments, private-sector organizations, critical infrastructure owners and operators, nongovernmental organizations, and all other organizations and individuals who assume an emergency management role. Also known as emergency responders.
Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
The physical location at which the coordination of information and resources to support incident management (on-scene operations) activities normally takes place. An EOC may be a temporary facility or may be located in a more central or permanently established facility, perhaps at a higher level of organization within a jurisdiction. EOCs may be organized by major functional disciplines (e.g., fire, law enforcement, and medical services), by jurisdiction (e.g., Federal, State, regional, tribal, city, county), or some combination thereof.
Emergency Operations Plan
The ongoing plan maintained by various jurisdictional levels for responding to a wide variety of potential hazards.
Emergency Public Information
Information that is disseminated primarily in anticipation of an emergency or during an emergency. In addition to providing situational information to the public, it also frequently provides directive actions required to be taken by the general public.
Organized, phased, and supervised withdrawal, dispersal, or removal of civilians from dangerous or potentially dangerous areas, and their reception and care in safe areas.
See Planned Event.
External Affairs
Organizational element that provides accurate, coordinated, and timely information to affected audiences, including governments, media, the private sector, and the local populace.
Of or pertaining to the Federal Government of the United States of America.
Field Operations Guide
Durable pocket or desk guide that contains essential information required to perform specific assignments or functions.
Finance/Administration Section
Section responsible for all administrative and financial considerations surrounding an incident.
Refers to the five major activities in the Incident Command System: Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance/Administration. The term function is also used when describing the activity involved (e.g., the planning function). A sixth function, Intelligence/Investigations, may be established, if required, to meet incident management needs.
General Staff
A group of incident management personnel organized according to function and reporting to the Incident Commander. The General Staff normally consists of the Operations Section Chief, Planning Section Chief, Logistics Section Chief, and Finance/Administration Section Chief. An Intelligence/Investigations Chief may be established, if required, to meet incident management needs.
Established to divide the incident management structure into functional areas of operation. Groups are composed of resources assembled to perform a special function not necessarily within a single geographic division. Groups, when activated, are located between Branches and resources in the Operations Section. See Division.
Something that is potentially dangerous or harmful, often the root cause of an unwanted outcome.
Identification and Authentication
For security purposes, process required for individuals and organizations that access the NIMS information management system and, in particular, those that contribute information to the system (e.g., situation reports).
An occurrence or event, natural or manmade, that requires a response to protect life or property. Incidents can, for example, include major disasters, emergencies, terrorist attacks, terrorist threats, civil unrest, wildland and urban fires, floods, hazardous materials spills, nuclear accidents, aircraft accidents, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tropical storms, tsunamis, war-related disasters, public health and medical emergencies, and other occurrences requiring an emergency response.
Incident Action Plan (IAP)
An oral or written plan containing general objectives reflecting the overall strategy for managing an incident. It may include the identification of operational resources and assignments. It may also include attachments that provide direction and important information for management of the incident during one or more operational periods.
Incident Command
Responsible for overall management of the incident and consists of the Incident Commander, either single or unified command, and any assigned supporting staff.
Incident Commander (IC)
The individual responsible for all incident activities, including the development of strategies and tactics and the ordering and the release of resources. The IC has overall authority and responsibility for conducting incident operations and is responsible for the management of all incident operations at the incident site.
Incident Command Post (ICP)
The field location where the primary functions are performed. The ICP may be co-located with the incident base or other incident facilities.
Incident Command System (ICS)
A standardized on-scene emergency management construct specifically designed to provide for the adoption of an integrated organizational structure that reflects the complexity and demands of single or multiple incidents, without being hindered by jurisdictional boundaries. ICS is the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents. It is used for all kinds of emergencies and is applicable to small as well as large and complex incidents. ICS is used by various jurisdictions and functional agencies, both public and private, to organize field-level incident management operations.
Incident Management
The broad spectrum of activities and organizations providing effective and efficient operations, coordination, and support applied at all levels of government, utilizing both governmental and nongovernmental resources to plan for, respond to, and recover from an incident, regardless of cause, size, or complexity.
Incident Management Team (IMT)
An Incident Commander and the appropriate Command and General Staff personnel assigned to an incident. IMTs are generally grouped in five types. Types I and II are national teams, Type III are State or regional, Type IV are discipline or large jurisdiction-specific, while Type V are ad hoc incident command organizations typically used by smaller jurisdictions.
Incident Objectives
Statements of guidance and direction needed to select appropriate strategy(s) and the tactical direction of resources. Incident objectives are based on realistic expectations of what can be accomplished when all allocated resources have been effectively deployed. Incident objectives must be achievable and measurable, yet flexible enough to allow strategic and tactical alternatives.
Information Management
The collection, organization, and control over the structure, processing, and delivery of information from one or more sources and distribution to one or more audiences who have a stake in that information.
Initial Actions
The actions taken by those responders first to arrive at an incident site.
Initial Response
Resources initially committed to an incident.
Different from operational and situational intelligence gathered and reported by the Planning Section. Intelligence/Investigations gathered within the Intelligence/ Investigations function is information that either leads to the detection, prevention, apprehension, and prosecution of criminal activities (or the individual(s) involved) including terrorist incidents or information that leads to determination of the cause of a given incident (regardless of the source) such as public health events or fires with unknown origins.
The ability of emergency management/response personnel to interact and work well together. In the context of technology, interoperability is also defined as the emergency communications system that should be the same or linked to the same system that the jurisdiction uses for nonemergency procedures, and should effectively interface with national standards as they are developed. The system should allow the sharing of data with other jurisdictions and levels of government during planning and deployment.
Job Aid
Checklist or other visual aid intended to ensure that specific steps of completing a task or assignment are accomplished.
Joint Information Center (JIC)
A facility established to coordinate all incident-related public information activities. It is the central point of contact for all news media. Public information officials from all participating agencies should co-locate at the JIC.
Joint Information System (JIS)
Integrates incident information and public affairs into a cohesive organization designed to provide consistent, coordinated, accurate, accessible, timely, and complete information during crisis or incident operations. The mission of the JIS is to provide a structure and system for developing and delivering coordinated interagency messages; developing, recommending, and executing public information plans and strategies on behalf of the Incident Commander (IC); advising the IC concerning public affairs issues that could affect a response effort; and controlling rumors and inaccurate information that could undermine public confidence in the emergency response effort.
A range or sphere of authority. Public agencies have jurisdiction at an incident related to their legal responsibilities and authority. Jurisdictional authority at an incident can be political or geographical (e.g., Federal, State, tribal, and local boundary lines) or functional (e.g., law enforcement, public health).
Jurisdictional Agency
The agency having jurisdiction and responsibility for a specific geographical area, or a mandated function.
Key Resources
Any publicly or privately controlled resources essential to the minimal operations of the economy and government.
Letter of Expectation
See Delegation of Authority.
A form of communication for establishing and maintaining mutual understanding and cooperation.
Liaison Officer
A member of the Command Staff responsible for coordinating with representatives from cooperating and assisting agencies or organizations.
Local Government
A county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority, special district, intrastate district, council of governments (regardless of whether the council of governments is incorporated as a nonprofit corporation under State law), regional or interstate government entity, or agency or instrumentality of a local government; an Indian tribe or authorized tribal entity, or in Alaska a Native village or Alaska Regional Native Corporation; a rural community, unincorporated town or village, or other public entity. See Section 2 (10), Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107?296, 116 Stat. 2135 (2002).
Providing resources and other services to support incident management.
Logistics Section
Section responsible for providing facilities, services, and material support for the incident.
Management by Objectives
A management approach that involves a five-step process for achieving the incident goal. The Management by Objectives approach includes the following: establishing overarching incidents objectives; developing strategies based on overarching incidents objectives; developing and issuing assignments, plans, procedures, and protocols; establishing specific, measurable tactics or tasks for various incident management, functional activities, and directing efforts to attain them, in support of defined strategies; and documenting results to measure performance and facilitate corrective action.
Individuals within Incident Command System organizational Units that are assigned specific managerial responsibilities (e.g., Staging Area Manager or Camp Manager).
Measurable standards that are useful in describing a resource’s capability.
Mission Assignment
The mechanism used to support Federal operations in a Stafford Act major disaster or emergency declaration. It orders immediate, short-term emergency response assistance when an applicable State or local government is overwhelmed by the event and lacks the capability to perform, or contract for, the necessary work. See also Pre-Scripted Mission Assignment.
Provides a critical foundation in the effort to reduce the loss of life and property from natural and/or manmade disasters by avoiding or lessening the impact of a disaster and providing value to the public by creating safer communities. Mitigation seeks to fix the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. These activities or actions, in most cases, will have a long-term sustained effect.
The process and procedures used by all organizations-Federal, State, tribal, and local-for activating, assembling, and transporting all resources that have been requested to respond to or support an incident.
Mobilization Guide
Reference document used by organizations outlining agreements, processes, and procedures used by all participating agencies/organizations for activating, assembling, and transporting resources.
Multiagency Coordination (MAC) Group
Typically, administrators/executives, or their appointed representatives, who are authorized to commit agency resources and funds, are brought together and form MAC Groups. MAC Groups may also be known as multiagency committees, emergency management committees, or as otherwise defined by the system. It can provide coordinated decisionmaking and resource allocation among cooperating agencies, and may establish the priorities among incidents, harmonize agency policies, and provide strategic guidance and direction to support incident management activities.
Multiagency Coordination System(s) (MACS)
Multiagency coordination systems provide the architecture to support coordination for incident prioritization, critical resource allocation, communications systems integration, and information coordination. The elements of multiagency coordination systems include facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications. Two of the most commonly used elements are emergency operations centers and MAC Groups. These systems assist agencies and organizations responding to an incident.
Multijurisdictional Incident
An incident requiring action from multiple agencies that each have jurisdiction to manage certain aspects of an incident. In the Incident Command System, these incidents will be managed under Unified Command.
Mutual Aid and Assistance Agreement
Written or oral agreement between and among agencies/organizations and/or jurisdictions that provides a mechanism to quickly obtain emergency assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials, and other associated services. The primary objective is to facilitate rapid, short-term deployment of emergency support prior to, during, and/or after an incident.
Of a nationwide character, including the Federal, State, tribal, and local aspects of governance and policy.
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
Provides a systematic, proactive approach guiding government agencies at all levels, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work seamlessly to prepare for, prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity, in order to reduce the loss of life or property and harm to the environment.
National Response Framework (NRF)
Guides how the Nation conducts all-hazards response. The Framework documents the key response principles, roles, and structures that organize national response. It describes how communities, States, the Federal Government, and private-sector and nongovernmental partners apply these principles for a coordinated, effective national response. And it describes special circumstances where the Federal Government exercises a larger role, including incidents where Federal interests are involved and catastrophic incidents where a State would require significant support. It allows first responders, decisionmakers, and supporting entities to provide a unified national response.
Nongovernmental Organization (NGO)
An entity with an association that is based on interests of its members, individuals, or institutions. It is not created by a government, but it may work cooperatively with government. Such organizations serve a public purpose, not a private benefit. Examples of NGOs include faith-based charity organizations and the American Red Cross.
The ICS title for the personnel responsible for the Command Staff positions of Safety, Liaison, and Public Information.
Operational Period
The time scheduled for executing a given set of operation actions, as specified in the Incident Action Plan. Operational periods can be of various lengths, although usually they last 12-24 hours.
Operations Section
Section responsible for all tactical incident operations and implementation of the Incident Action Plan. In the Incident Command System, it normally includes subordinate Branches, Divisions, and/or Groups.
Any association or group of persons with like objectives. Examples include, but are not limited to, governmental departments and agencies, private-sector organizations, and nongovernmental organizations.
Personal Responsibility
All responders are expected to use good judgment and be accountable for their actions.
Personnel Accountability
The ability to account for the location and welfare of incident personnel. It is accomplished when supervisors ensure that Incident Command System principles and processes are functional and that personnel are working within established incident management guidelines.
Plain Language
Communication that can be understood by the intended audience and meets the purpose of the communicator. For the purposes of NIMS, plain language is designed to eliminate or limit the use of codes and acronyms, as appropriate, during incident response involving more than a single agency.
Planned Event
A planned, nonemergency activity (e.g., sporting event, concert, parade, etc.).
Planning Meeting
A meeting held as needed before and throughout the duration of an incident to select specific strategies and tactics for incident control operations and for service and support planning. For larger incidents, the Planning Meeting is a major element in the development of the Incident Action Plan.
Planning Section
Section responsible for the collection, evaluation, and dissemination of operational information related to the incident, and for the preparation and documentation of the Incident Action Plan. This Section also maintains information on the current and forecasted situation and on the status of resources assigned to the incident.
Pre-Positioned Resources
Resources moved to an area near the expected incident site in response to anticipated resource needs.
Actions that involve a combination of planning, resources, training, exercising, and organizing to build, sustain, and improve operational capabilities. Preparedness is the process of identifying the personnel, training, and equipment needed for a wide range of potential incidents, and developing jurisdiction-specific plans for delivering capabilities when needed for an incident.
Preparedness Organizations
The groups that provide coordination for emergency management and incident response activities before a potential incident. These organizations range from groups of individuals to small committees to large standing organizations that represent a wide variety of committees, planning groups, and other organizations (e.g., Citizen Corps, Local Emergency Planning Committees, Critical Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Councils).
Actions to avoid an incident or to intervene to stop an incident from occurring. Prevention involves actions to protect lives and property. It involves applying intelligence and other information to a range of activities that may include such countermeasures as deterrence operations; heightened inspections; improved surveillance and security operations; investigations to determine the full nature and source of the threat; public health and agricultural surveillance and testing processes; immunizations, isolation, or quarantine; and, as appropriate, specific law enforcement operations aimed at deterring, preempting, interdicting, or disrupting illegal activity and apprehending potential perpetrators and bringing them to justice.
Private Sector
Organizations and entities that are not part of any governmental structure. The private sector includes for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, formal and informal structures, commerce, and industry.
Sets of established guidelines for actions (which may be designated by individuals, teams, functions, or capabilities) under various specified conditions.
Public Information
Processes, procedures, and systems for communicating timely, accurate, accessible information on the incident’s cause, size, and current situation; resources committed; and other matters of general interest to the public, responders, and additional stakeholders (both directly affected and indirectly affected).
Public Information Officer (PIO)
A member of the Command Staff responsible for interfacing with the public and media and/or with other agencies with incident-related information requirements.
Publications Management
Subsystem used to manage the development, publication control, publication supply, and distribution of NIMS materials.
Mechanism used to recoup funds expended for incident-specific activities.
Resource Management
Efficient emergency management and incident response requires a system for identifying available resources at all jurisdictional levels to enable timely and unimpeded access to resources needed to prepare for, respond to, or recover from an incident. Resource management under NIMS includes mutual aid and assistance agreements; the use of special Federal, State, tribal, and local teams; and resource mobilization protocols.
Resource Tracking
A standardized, integrated process conducted prior to, during, and after an incident by all emergency management/response personnel and their associated organizations.
Personnel and major items of equipment, supplies, and facilities available or potentially available for assignment to incident operations and for which status is maintained. Resources are described by kind and type and may be used in operational support or supervisory capacities at an incident or at an emergency operations center.
Immediate actions to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs. Response also includes the execution of emergency plans and actions to support short-term recovery.
To return resources back to their original location.
Safety Officer
A member of the Command Staff responsible for monitoring incident operations and advising the Incident Commander on all matters relating to operational safety, including the health and safety of emergency responder personnel.
The organizational level having responsibility for a major functional area of incident management (e.g., Operations, Planning, Logistics, Finance/Administration, and Intelligence/Investigations (if established)). The Section is organizationally situated between the Branch and the Incident Command.
Single Resource
Individual personnel, supplies, and equipment items, and the operators associated with them.
Situation Report
Document that often contains confirmed or verified information regarding the specific details relating to an incident.
Span of Control
The number of resources for which a supervisor is responsible, usually expressed as the ratio of supervisors to individuals. (Under NIMS, an appropriate span of control is between 1:3 and 1:7, with optimal being 1:5.)
Staging Area
Established for the temporary location of available resources. A Staging Area can be any location in which personnel, supplies, and equipment can be temporarily housed or parked while awaiting operational assignment.
Standard Operating Guidelines
A set of instructions having the force of a directive, covering those features of operations which lend themselves to a definite or standardized procedure without loss of effectiveness.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
Complete reference document or an operations manual that provides the purpose, authorities, duration, and details for the preferred method of performing a single function or a number of interrelated functions in a uniform manner.
When capitalized, refers to any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any possession of the United States. See Section 2 (14), Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107?296, 116 Stat. 2135 (2002).
Status Report
Relays information specifically related to the status of resources (e.g., the availability or assignment of resources).
The general plan or direction selected to accomplish incident objectives.
Strike Team
A set number of resources of the same kind and type that have an established minimum number of personnel, common communications, and a leader.
The Incident Command System title for an individual responsible for a Division or Group.
Supporting Agency
An agency that provides support and/or resource assistance to another agency. See Assisting Agency.
Supporting Technology
Any technology that may be used to support NIMS. These technologies include orthophoto mapping, remote automatic weather stations, infrared technology, and communications.
An integrated combination of people, property, environment, and processes that work in a coordinated manner to achieve a specific desired output under specific conditions.
Deploying and directing resources on an incident to accomplish the objectives designated by the strategy.
Target Capabilities List
Defines specific capabilities that all levels of government should possess in order to respond effectively to incidents.
Task Force
Any combination of resources assembled to support a specific mission or operational need. All resource elements within a Task Force must have common communications and a designated leader.
Technical Assistance
Support provided to State, tribal, and local jurisdictions when they have the resources but lack the complete knowledge and skills needed to perform a required activity (such as mobile-home park design or hazardous material assessments).
Technical Specialist
Individual with special skills that can be used anywhere within the Incident Command System organization. No minimum qualifications are prescribed, as technical specialists normally perform the same duties during an incident that they perform in their everyday jobs, and they are typically certified in their fields or professions.
Technology Standards
Standards for key systems may be required to facilitate the interoperability and compatibility of major systems across jurisdictional, geographic, and functional lines.
Technology Support
Facilitates incident operations and sustains the research and development programs that underpin the long-term investment in the Nation’s future incident management capabilities.
Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, terrorism is defined as activity that involves an act dangerous to human life or potentially destructive of critical infrastructure or key resources; is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State or other subdivision of the United States in which it occurs; and is intended to intimidate or coerce the civilian population, or influence or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping. See Section 2 (15), Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107?296, 116 Stat. 2135 (2002).
An indication of possible violence, harm, or danger.
Those instruments and capabilities that allow for the professional performance of tasks, such as information systems, agreements, doctrine, capabilities, and legislative authorities.
Tracking and Reporting Resources
A standardized, integrated process conducted throughout the duration of an incident. This process provides incident managers with a clear picture of where resources are located; helps staff prepare to receive resources; protects the safety of personnel and security of supplies and equipment; and enables the coordination of movement of personnel, equipment, and supplies.
Referring to any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including any Alaskan Native Village as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaskan Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688) [43 U.S.C.A. and 1601 et seq.], that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.
An Incident Command System resource classification that refers to capability. Type 1 is generally considered to be more capable than Types 2, 3, or 4, respectively, because of size, power, capacity, or (in the case of incident management teams) experience and qualifications.
Typing Resources
Resources are organized by category, kind, and type, including size, capacity, capability, skill, and other characteristics. This makes the resource ordering and dispatch process within and across organizations and agencies, and between governmental and nongovernmental entities, more efficient, and ensures that the resources received are appropriate to their needs.
Unified Approach
A major objective of preparedness efforts is to ensure mission integration and interoperability when responding to emerging crises that cross functional and jurisdictional lines, as well as between public and private organizations.
Unified Area Command
Command system established when incidents under an Area Command are multijurisdictional. See Area Command.
Unified Command (UC)
An Incident Command System application used when more than one agency has incident jurisdiction or when incidents cross political jurisdictions. Agencies work together through the designated members of the UC, often the senior person from agencies and/or disciplines participating in the UC, to establish a common set of objectives and strategies and a single Incident Action Plan.
The organizational element with functional responsibility for a specific incident Planning, Logistics, or Finance/Administration activity.
Unit Leader
The individual in charge of managing Units within an Incident Command System (ICS) functional section. The Unit can be staffed by a number of support personnel providing a wide range of services. Some of the support positions are preestablished within ICS (e.g. Base Camp Manager), but many others will be assigned as Technical Specialists.
Unity of Command
Principle of management stating that each individual involved in incident operations will be assigned to only one supervisor.
For the purposes of NIMS, any individual accepted to perform services by the lead agency (which has authority to accept volunteer services) when the individual performs services without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services performed. See 16 U.S.C. 742f(c) and 29 CFR 553.101.
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