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    Question Incident Command

    Here in my county, the school system has its own "Special Police." No where is it written, or verbally said, or understood as to who would be in command in the event of a major incident. Who SHOULD be in command? Fire Dept.? Special Police? Sheriffs Dept.? Emergency Management? Your opinion is appreciated.

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    I would imagine that it would depend on the type of incident. Around here... if it's a fire run, the fire department is in charge.

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    Check to see if there is anything in the state statutes.

    In CT, there is a statute that places a IC for a FD in charge of any incident to which they respond. Of course, this has been challenged time and time again by different groups but it is still the law.
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    Default Re: Incident Command

    Originally posted by HFRH28
    Here in my county, the school system has its own "Special Police." No where is it written, or verbally said, or understood as to who would be in command in the event of a major incident. Who SHOULD be in command? Fire Dept.? Special Police? Sheriffs Dept.? Emergency Management? Your opinion is appreciated.
    Several school districts have there own police departments out here thought they do not perform the same fuctions as a normal PD, If an incident where to occur on a school campus and it is beyond the resource of the school pd reuglar pd would be called, If there is a situation such as a fire at a school the fire department would be in charge part of the Incident Command system would most likely have a rep from the school pd

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    How about doing a pre-plan of the school? Walk through it and involve the special police. You may be albe to work these details out before an incident happens. I imagine things will run smoother no matter who is in charge.

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    "Major Incident"

    Hmmmmm...

    For "normal" incidents, Unified Command Posts and some understanding of who is ultimately the first-among-equals there is needed.

    Like Adze said, in CT the Fire Chief is ultimately in-charge (unless there's a city ordinance to the contrary). Doesn't mean a police officer can't be at the command post, and it doesn't mean that fire should do what fire does, police do what police does, both cooperate where they should, and neither tells the other their job. Get called to a shooting? Statutorily, the Fire Chief is in charge in my state -- but common sense says you're not going to be telling the Police where to position their men. You defer to their role & training to handle the police part of the incident. Whether the Fire Chief, Sheriff, or Police Chief is the "Incident Commander" doesn't matter as long as everyone is on the same page of the playbook.

    So you make up the playbook in advance! Doesn't have to be anything elaborate, a simple letter of understanding could lay that all out.

    Now, "major" incidents is a term for semantics. Where does an incident end and a disaster begin? (some would say when someone wearing a white helmet shows up, but I digress 'Cause you may end up with a new "top dog" once it's a disaster -- like a Mayor or Governor taking charge statutorily.

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    These Special Police officers are Sworn in LEOs with full law enforcement authority. I was thinking more along the lines of a Columbine incident, with command being between either Special Police and Sherrifs dept. There is planning under way for a written plan, and drilling. But at any other incident, such as a fire, fire would be in command, or working in command with special police.

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    A pre-incident meeting with walk through sounds like the best start. Next is not who is on command so much as how we institute command. Fire or not, in a school life safety issues are the number one concern and fire alone cannot manage every situation. ICS allows for multiple command and control, Unified or Joint, and then accountability follows suit. If operations becomes the issue, then base that on the kind and type of incident. If it transitions to a disaster and the next several layers show up, what better way to transfer command than from an established ICS structure that already has command, control, and accountability in place. Right now I see so many "kinds" of ICS being used; that is "let's use what we want, and change names to make us unique" systems that pre-incident agreements are critical to allow all agencies involved the chance to be a part of a common organization. I see the wildland community and structure community both operating with ICS, but they don't fit very well together when we have to work together. Most command-general staff does, but not very well from OSC down the operations chain. Get the command issue worked out ahead of time, ICS has ways of doing that to be compatible with both organizations.
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    We use a unified incident command system in my city with an understanding that fire and EMS are run by the fire department and crime scences and investigation are done by the police. At our command center the Fire Chief and Police Chief are on equal footing when it come to making major decisions and will defer to each others expertise......Example: when a large fire is in progress the fire depatment runs the show...when the fire is out the cops run the investigation with the assistance of our fire investigators.

    Example 2: Report of a bomb at a store ...the police run the show and we stand by. All incidents will not be as clear cut as the two I mentioned but they all should have the same outcome.....everyone goes home safe!
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    It's actually easier at the Command level than say at the OSC level. Since only one OSC runs operations, it is difficult for some emergency responders to see the fire dept. providing the oversight to law enforcement officers. ICS allows for this, either an assistent that is l.e., or l.e. technical specialist to OSC, or law enforcement group that is totally staffed and run by law enforcement. The concept is information flow and accountability in both directions. If the primary tactics are fire, fire provides the OSC, if it's law enforcement, then law provides the OSC. ICs are joined at the hip. Tech. Specs. provide just that, technical direction and groups provide specialized short term functions. I'm starting to teach, sorry.
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    OSC?

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    OSC = Operations Section Chief
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