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Thread: ICS and Law Enforcement

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    Question ICS and Law Enforcement

    Do the law enforcement agencies in your area practice ICS on any regular basis ? Example: PD is first on scene of MVA, do they conduct size up and transmit same over radio followed by establishment of command, relaying info to incoming units (stage at certain location, etc....) ? Do they report into the IC when present on fire ground and utilize the accountability system in place (tags, passport, etc) ?

    All our local LE are NIMS compliant on paper but refuse to do the above because they dont believe in it or think it is of value. They tell us NO COPS anywhere really do this !

    Looking for examples where "cops" do use ICS.

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    Do the law enforcement agencies in your area practice ICS on any regular basis ? Yes. They follow ICS in their structure.

    Example: PD is first on scene of MVA, do they conduct size up and transmit same over radio followed by establishment of command, relaying info to incoming units (stage at certain location, etc....) ? They relay some informtion to dispatch, who then relays to FD/EMS. They don't establish command as that is not their responsibility in my town.


    Do they report into the IC when present on fire ground and utilize the accountability system in place (tags, passport, etc) ? Do your LEO's have tags/passports? Mine don't. And they don't need them. On a fire ground, they are normally (after FD arrival) taking traffic control, crowd control, etc. Don't really need them to "tag" into a board on the fire ground for that. They will have an officer at the command post.


    Serious question here....have you (the FD) ever included the PD in any of your drills/training? Better to work with them beforehand then find out what's working/not working at calls.
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    Serious question here....have you (the FD) ever included the PD in any of your drills/training? Better to work with them beforehand then find out what's working/not working at calls.
    You beat me to it.

    Also, conducting a size up and transmitting it over the radio was not part of any ICS training, fire or LE, that I ever attended.

    Perhaps you should go back to ICS training.
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    Much like Bones, the first arriving officer will give a size up to the control center who will relay the info to us. We generally operate on different radio channels than the Sherrif's dept. They do not assume command since that is not their function.

    If they are present on a fireground, as bones said, they are generally there for traffic control and will not be in the hot or even warm zones. They don't carry PAT tags and generally have no need for them.

    In general we have a good working relationship with the police. We have trained with them and several of the Sherriff's deputies are members of various fire departments, so in general I feel that we could work together on a major incident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcl312 View Post
    Do the law enforcement agencies in your area practice ICS on any regular basis ? Example: PD is first on scene of MVA, do they conduct size up and transmit same over radio followed by establishment of command, relaying info to incoming units (stage at certain location, etc....) ? Do they report into the IC when present on fire ground and utilize the accountability system in place (tags, passport, etc) ?

    All our local LE are NIMS compliant on paper but refuse to do the above because they dont believe in it or think it is of value. They tell us NO COPS anywhere really do this !

    Looking for examples where "cops" do use ICS.
    The cops here were openly against it...until they found out there was federal $$$ tied to it. Now they jump through whatever paperwork hoops are needed to meet the very flexible criteria that has been rubber stamped by the Feds.
    As in our unique CIMS system...where everybody and nobody is in charge. Where the cops take "haz-mat" marks for CO runs in radio cars and thus get considered the Haz-mat specialists in the city, when they routinely foul up even the most simplest and text book examples of Haz-mat incidents...etc.

    Ever look at a building collapse around here...there are lots of blue helmets running around without permission doing whatever they want to do...most of which ammounts to an obvious duplication of services....but I digress.

    FTM-PTB

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    You got to be kidding right? I see it now, I pull up on a scene, "County I'll be out at 24 Hill St. reference a domestic disturbance. This will be 24 Hill St. Command." ICS and normal LEO calls don't mix. We enforce laws, not rules.

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    Yes, in California ICS is used by LE on medium and large scale incidents.

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    Yes, we have drills and LE is always involved and yes they have accountability tags and yes we talk to them all the time......

    some here have stated that it is not LE place to take command but I was taught that the first arriving unit (Fire, Police, EMS) should start the process and then transfer command as needed. I dont want to get hung up on ICS details, it is more about process. With ICS we are all supposed to be on the same page, understanding the common objectives and keeping everyone safe by avioding freelancing. However when one agency does not beleive they need to "play" with everyone else this concept is defeated.

    Back to the simple MVA, our LE is usually first on scene....they may radio their dispatch but that is where it ends.....when FD arrives there is no one in "command", meaning none in LE relays to incoming units we have x # injures with entrapment, fuel spill, etc....

    We have discussed this with them at length and they believe that LE has a role to play and it does not "mesh" with our role so they dont interact with us unless they need something specific to an investigation or traffic issue....with the recent emphasis on NIMS we have approached this subject again only to be told "real cops dont use ICS"....hence my question.

    By the way we emphasize that all on scene agencies (not just fire) use the accountability system in order to track on scene resources and in the advent of something catastrophic we not only PAR firefighters but everyone, we even provided all agencies with tags and training. Some may say only worry about your own but we feel if the FD is in charge we are responsible for accounting for everyone on scene.

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    Smile Re phrase of question

    Maybe I should re-phrase my question to NOT include the term ICS....and just ask for examples of LE that works TOGETHER with FD and EMS on scene in a organized manner and not as independent entity doing their own thing.

    Not looking for solutoins to my issues just looking for examples where this works and how it works. Just looking to answer my own curiosity and have a general discussion on the topic...........

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    In our area LEO's take NIMS classes as it's now a mandatory part of federal grants. They participate in class while quietly noting that "in real life, I'd do this..." something other than the program. This extends from top to bottom, well actually top to mid level as most boots on the street don't take anything but online classes. We even see them in event palling using NIMS and ICS for the plan, but again being the annoying ones talking in the back of the room and agreeing to anything while planning to do otherwise. Of course, in their defense, day to day we always work well together, but the ever present "big one" seems to allude their minds. Though, who's the smarter? We've spent tons of time and money on NIMS compliance only to have many players absent as they don't have the time.

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    In my town, the Police Chief took a 5 day law enforcement class that supposedly took him from no training to ICS-400 level. He doesn't believe any one else in his department needs it and sees no value

    Boise ID Police Department actually uses it. They don't implement unless a supervisor is called to the scene, and then the supervisor assumes the IC role.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcl312 View Post
    Maybe I should re-phrase my question to NOT include the term ICS....and just ask for examples of LE that works TOGETHER with FD and EMS on scene in a organized manner and not as independent entity doing their own thing.

    Not looking for solutoins to my issues just looking for examples where this works and how it works. Just looking to answer my own curiosity and have a general discussion on the topic...........
    we work "together" but there is really no need for one to tell the other what to do. We both show up and know what our task it. Police block road, FD get person out of crumpled car; or police block road, fire hydrants, and front of building, FD puts out fire. If police or fire needs to be told what they need to do at these small incidents, they probably shouldnt be there.

    Only at the large incidents does the fire command and police command really talk. If its a police matter, they tell us when it is safe to do our thing or to go home. If its a fire/rescue matter we tell them what we need from them. Each agency takes care of tracking their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcl312 View Post
    Do the law enforcement agencies in your area practice ICS on any regular basis ?
    No. They run their responsibilities and we run ours, and we do it more or less concurrently. The Local PD are pretty good. The Chief had his officers leave HQ one day to observe us on a haz mat. He told the to observe how we ran ICS (I considered it a high compliment).

    The State PD for most incidents don't use ICS in any form that I've observed. They let us do our own thing until we conflict with their operations, then they tell us to change our operations. They will frequently talk with the Medevac (SP operated) and change LZ's without ever telling us... stuff like that.

    We used to assign an assistant chief to just shadow the trooper in charge at a larger scene so that we could try to have some unity of command. It was hard, because that trooper had LE duties that he still performed (traffic, etc) and was constantly moving around the scene. In addition, they frequently get their orders via radio from their sergeant in the barracks.

    Example: PD is first on scene of MVA, do they conduct size up and transmit same over radio followed by establishment of command, relaying info to incoming units (stage at certain location, etc....) ?
    They do their own version of a size up and try to give us updates. However, they are not firefighters, so it isn't the same as our size up (and that's understandable). I think the locals do a pretty good job.

    The SP have no communications with us directly. Frequently, I would have to rely on hearing them via the scanner in the chief's gig.

    Do they report into the IC when present on fire ground and utilize the accountability system in place (tags, passport, etc) ?
    No. They have in the past used tags when entering the hazard area, but lately have gone away from that. The Police do the arson investigation and will frequently enter the hazard area bypassing our accountability person.

    All our local LE are NIMS compliant on paper but refuse to do the above because they dont believe in it or think it is of value. They tell us NO COPS anywhere really do this !
    I think, for the most part, they will use it if the incident was big enough. We run ICS and invite them to participate, but they really don't show all that much interest.

    Things are changing, especially locally, but it takes time. The current chief of police is a smart guy who sees the value, and I think will phase things in over time.

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    Not looking for solutoins ...
    Now I understand. You are just a s?!t stirrer.
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    "S**t stirrer".......yep thats me, can't ask a question without having a hidden agenda.............. !

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    Its not working for you because you have taken 100, 200, 700 and 800 online and have no actual knowledge of Incident Command. If you had taken 300 and 400 and have some actual knowledge of the process and procedures then it would be a non issue.

    When multiple agencies respond to an incident that contains unique parts that each agency handles itself its called unified command. In such the fire department is in charge of the fire/rescue portion and the law enforcement is responsible for their part. They are each working together for a command goal and are each masters of their own domain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Command_(ICS)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue601 View Post
    Its not working for you because you have taken 100, 200, 700 and 800 online and have no actual knowledge of Incident Command. If you had taken 300 and 400 and have some actual knowledge of the process and procedures then it would be a non issue.
    I don't know... Taking 300 actually sucked intelligence out of my brain, I think. Of course, it was most likely because the instructor wanted to be anywhere but the classroom and was entirely too rigid with the scenarios we went through. ("All truck companies have six firefighters!" Um. Okay. )

    I do believe ICS 300 was the two worst days I've spent training in the last decade.

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    Thumbs up Well................

    We have, without question, a great working relationship with our area's LE folks. Partly because some of them are also Volunteer Firefighters themselves, and partly because they don't show up on our incidents unless we call them. Sometimes a PD car will "find" a Fire, but not often, usually we ask for them to come out if needed, which may be 1 or 2 runs out of 10. Our PD doesn't direct traffic very often, we simply park a few rigs across the road to block everything out of our work area, and get the job done. On those fairly rare incidents where PD presence is needed at the Command Post, the Precinct's shift Commander is usually in charge of the PD operations, and remains at the Command Bus working "across the table" from the Fire OIC. One thing that is different here (I think) is that the PD has more than enough work to do without running on our calls. Another is a Directive from the top down that everyone WILL work together, or someone will be looking for work elsewhere........
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Perhaps you should go back to ICS training.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Now I understand. You are just a s?!t stirrer.
    Pot? This is Kettle? We have some action over here!
    Your two posts have certainly enhanced this thread immensely. What's a matter your inner cop riled up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    Pot? This is Kettle? We have some action over here!
    Your two posts have certainly enhanced this thread immensely. What's a matter your inner cop riled up?
    Inner cop? What are you, 12?

    Someone comes on here, throws bombs and then admits they don't give a rats *** about the issue is not something I have ever done. If I have, please post it, Skippy.

    As those mature posters here have tried to point out, ICS has little or nothing to do with the tactices used by the agencies involved. ICS is the command structure being used at the incident. Tactics and operations as practiced by fire and LE are different. They will never ever be the same. That doesn't mean one is right and one is wrong.

    The question here seems to be, "Why can't the cops do it like us?". That is quite an egocentric position.
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    We have a great working relationship with our police.

    We share the same building and facilities so we have to. On scene of a fire, they will give a good first in report and then take over traffic control when someone from the FD gets there. On a crash, we work great together and compliment each other so that our jobs are easier.

    About 8 years ago, we sat down with the PD and had a training together. We told them what we expect from them (first in report, ICS, etc.) They in turn told us what they expect from us like during a crash or domestic situations. After that training, the light came on for both sides and we really haven't had a problem since.
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    Cops go to calls with FD? What's that like those of you lucky enough to have it?

    Seriously, though, count us in the group of they do their stuff, we do ours on a multi unit response incident. We work well enough together, we just don't try to do what we can't, and they likewise. We actually have more problems with the local EMA personnel than LE in regards to power control.

    Truth be told, it's difficult enough for Fire personnel to figure out all the ins and outs of ICS, and now you want the LE guys to figure it out as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by YFDLt08 View Post
    Cops go to calls with FD? What's that like those of you lucky enough to have it?

    Seriously, though, count us in the group of they do their stuff, we do ours on a multi unit response incident. We work well enough together, we just don't try to do what we can't, and they likewise. We actually have more problems with the local EMA personnel than LE in regards to power control.

    Truth be told, it's difficult enough for Fire personnel to figure out all the ins and outs of ICS, and now you want the LE guys to figure it out as well?
    We can't keep em away!

    Heck, they pass us en-route!

    That's okay, we often try to trap them on-scene with LDH.

    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    We have a great working relationship with our police.

    We share the same building and facilities so we have to. On scene of a fire, they will give a good first in report and then take over traffic control when someone from the FD gets there. On a crash, we work great together and compliment each other so that our jobs are easier.

    About 8 years ago, we sat down with the PD and had a training together. We told them what we expect from them (first in report, ICS, etc.) They in turn told us what they expect from us like during a crash or domestic situations. After that training, the light came on for both sides and we really haven't had a problem since.
    And that's a smart approach.

    Truth be told, MOST FD's have a great working relationship with their PD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Truth be told, MOST FD's have a great working relationship with their PD.
    I think that most departments that have a problem could narrow it down to a particular firefighter or a particular officer.

    We work on a routine basis with 5 law enforcement agencies.

    City PD to our south
    City PD to our north
    Our County Sheriff
    County Sheriff to our south
    Highway Patrol

    So far we have only had a problem with 1 particular member of the Highway Patrol. I don't think we could ask for a much better ratio.
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