Thread: Nims/ics

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    Question Nims/ics

    is anyone familiar with any part of "nims" or "ics" indicating that a chief officer must be the incident commander at a structure fire?

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    No, there is not any mandate. However, the Incident Commander should be the most qualified individual on the fire ground. Rank doesn't always indicate qualifications although it truly should.

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    NJ State Governor's Executive order #50. Codey was filling in as Governor when he signed it. It does not require a Chief Officer to be in command, but it does require whoever is in command to have ICS 400 level training. As usual, there is some grey area over interpretations of what was meant to be said and what actually was.....
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    There is no current mandate for ICS or NIMS that requires a chief officer to be the incident commander at a structure fire. The most qualified personnel member on scene should establish command. Keep in mind this does not mean that if a captain or chief officer is on scene that he/she should automatically be the IC. I have personally established command at numerous fire scenes and was the IC as a firefighter. As long as someone on scene is qualified to take command of the scene, that is all that is required.

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    Everyone is current in stating that there is no mandate that states only Officers shall be the IC. However some things to remember. First, the IC has to have some level of ICS training; i.e ICS100, 200, 300, 400, etc. Secondly, the IC as we mentioned can be anyone properly qualified and retain command. But what if a higher ranking individual arrives on scene and does not assume command for whatever reason; i.e. not qualified, does not want command, etc.? It's discretionary to transfer command in some departments. However, one thing remains; if there is a higher ranking individual on scene and there is a lower ranking individual acting as IC, the higher ranking individual is RESPONSIBLE for the incident no matter what. That means if the incident goes south and something happens, the higher ranking individual takes the heat for it no matter if he or she is more or less qualified than the acting IC.

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