1. #1
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    Default Incident Command System

    All right guys, How many Companies are actually utilizing this system?
    a lot of em will say they are. but honestly. We have to use it?
    If we don't do it nobody else will!!!!

  2. #2
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    I'm not sure the point of this, But yea we use the hell out of it. It's alot better then having 5 people telling dispatch the same thing, Or even worst different things. Besides if we didn't what would the chief do....
    Last edited by MalteseMonster; 01-30-2004 at 06:53 AM.

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    It is a mandatory requirement in NJ.

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    Yep we use religiously
    Remember,

    If you don't respond.....who will

    IACOJ EMS Bureau Member
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    Using the Incident Command System for each and every incident from the "band aid medical" (simple, the officer of the engine or bone box responding takes command) to the once in a lifetime "conflagration" (where every single little box on the ICS chart is filled and then some) establishes who is in charge, assigns companies so there is no duplication of efforts and practically eliminates freelancing, since everyone has an assigned task to complete before awaiting the next set of orders!

    It makes things go a whole lot smoother. To quote Chief Alan Brunacini as stated in his book Fire Command...

    If you lose your head the next thing you lose is your ***!
    ICS keeps your head on your shoulders and lets you use the most important tool in your arsenal...brain power!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 01-30-2004 at 05:14 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    The thing to remember about ICS is that it can be used in many other situaitons besides emergency incidents. We used it to run a seminar once. I've seen it used to run a parade. Once you are proficient in using it, you can use it to your advantages in many places.

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    My department used to get laughed at back in the late 80's when they started using ICS on everything...be it a BS call or a rip roaring fire. Now our ICS system runs smooth, even in '94 when a tornado hit and we had the associated incidents. We even teach a bare basics introduction to ICS to rookies in their orientation class.

    The wonderful thing about ICS is like what George mentioned....it's adaptable to every situation.

    Do we use it? Every day on every call.

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    I agree with Geroge and Gonzo...The principles of the ICS system are used on every incident and you also use some of the theories and thought processes in your daily decision making.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    We use it ever time we roll out of the station. After a while it becomes second nature. The local law enforcement officers in our county are even starting to use it and it is working great for them.

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    Yes - we use it.

    However, I feel that unless you get the opportunity to use the 'larger scale' features of ICS, you may get a little rusty.


    Here's one for you? How many of you out there still use ten codes -- vice clear text??
    Marc

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    -- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.

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    We no longer use the 10 codes. Plain english all the time , with the exception of one for bomb threat, and another for a dead body..............

    ICS, well we use it more than we used to, just mostly informal ICS since the majority of our incidents are EMS.......

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    Originally posted by FFMcDonald
    Yes - we use it.

    However, I feel that unless you get the opportunity to use the 'larger scale' features of ICS, you may get a little rusty.
    Look at FEMA's Incident Management Team concept. Use large incident management specialists at your large jobs...not for command, but for organization. Works for law enforcement. Would probably work real well in the fire service.

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    ICS is used at every call in one form or another. We only make it as big as we need it though. Most calls have just Command or Command and Operations.
    IACOJ Agitator
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  14. #14
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    Adze is right. The ICS system is designed to be expanded as the incident increases or downsized as the situation is controlled.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    Every one of us uses codes. Some of us call it "plain english" but what plain english means to one person isn't guaranteed to mean the same thing to someone else. Quick, give me the definition of Tanker, Working Fire, Squad, Rescue, In Service, and a Still Alarm. They all mean different things to different people even within the fire service -- sometimes radically different. "Plain english" in the fire service is rather a the "local vernacular."

    That said, most of what we do can be said in the vernacular of the region, and usually taken in context the general meaning if not the exact definition will get through to someone outside the region. Codes are useful for specific, "administrative" and routine traffic -- indeed that's what their original intent was, to give specific definitions. Just some places went waaaaaayyyy overboard. Today my area uses about 6 signals on a regular basis and vernacular for the rest.

    And before you start to say, "No, never use codes..." do you ever refer to Side A or Side 1 of a building? Guess what, the plain english mantra just went out the window -- plain english has relative terms like front and back and absolute terms like North and South, but it's not plain english to say Side A or Sector 3.

    I prefer the terminology of "IMS" over "ICS" -- you don't command an incident (Fire, though shall go out! Even if you genuflect in the name of Brannigan, Dunn, and Brunacini while saying it, it still won't work). You command the men under you, and you manage your organization's interaction with others from the Police to the Power Company, and you command those resources when they've been placed under you. Incident Management is a much better term. Yes, you're still a "Command" -- but of men, not of an incident. Sometimes I think people forget the personal responsibilty they hold when they start seeing themselves simply as a cog in the wheel of an Incident Management System as an "IC" instead of being an "Officer-in-Charge".

    And every incident of ours is managed. Doesn't mean that we "call Command" at every call. Nor does it mean there's confusion whose in charge or what roles various officers have been assigned -- just we handle it using more traditional terms.

    I don't buy the arguement that you need to establish Command at car fires or medical calls just to be in practice. If we pulled a 2.5" on every fire, we be really good the day we have a fire big enough to need it. But that's what training & drills are for.

    As for being "rusty" filling the lesser used positions, that's specifically why we have IMS and big management trees -- so on the larger, more complex incidents you don't have to remember every anciliary position that needs to be filled. You look at the plan, and start saying, you do that, you do that, I'll do that, you do that, I'll do that, State Trooper will do that, Medic will do that, you do that.

    From FireScope came ICS, from ICS grew IMS. And why did we have FireScope? Cause Southern California realized they where getting overwhelmed during the huge but infrequent urban-wildland interface fires. 10 years between them, they didn't build up individual experience or institutional memory to the level of being second-nature to handle those incidents and ICS gave them literally a pre-plan of how to organize the management of the incident.

    That's by 4-1/2 cents (I want overtime for that reply!)

    Matt
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  16. #16
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    Plain text. Codes and signals are a good thing to get tangled up on the radio over in pressure situations. It can happen to anybody, I was a Senior TCO for our dispatch before jumping to the fire side and I've gotten mixed up before.

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    We use ICS (IMS) on all incidents and "clear text".
    Someone has to be in charge of any incident even the dumpster fire in the middle of the parking lot.

    I think some are overwhelmed by the way ICS is taught. When you look at the chart for a large incident, you wonder where all the people come from to fill the slots.

    We teach ICS as a toolbox. You take out the tools you need for the given incident and leave the rest alone. Not every incident needs a logistics officer, PIO, etc.

    I was stationed in California when clear text was implimented. There were some "rough spots" for a while on the terminology of the clear text. Wildland fires were dispatched as "vegatation fires". The reasoning was that you didn't know what type of vegatation was burning until some was on scene. Once the burning material was identified, you could call it a grass fire, brush fire, etc.

    Stay Safe
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    We'll all be using NIMS in a few years anyway...
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    yes we do .................
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
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    Smile

    Used everyday, every hour, all the time. Have just added ITAC (Intergrated Tactics, Accountibility, & Communications to the whole thought process. I want us all to go home the next day in one piece.

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    To those that dont use it...

    As far as HazMat incidents are concerned, OSHA and EPA standards require ICS to be used at a HazMat scene.

    We use ICS all the time.

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    We use it for every call. EMS calls are done under "informal" command. The officer on the rescue is the IC, he/she just doesn't need to formally announce it. For MVAs, car fires, etc., any incident with more than a single unit responding, the officer of the first arriving rig establishes formal command.

    We also use "local vernacular" instead of codes and signals with the exception of deceased victims, these are a Code 18 which is used by the County EMS and most of the fire departments. Unfortunately, our PD uses the Sheriff's code/signal system and they call a deceased person a Code 23 so this leads to some confusion.

    I prefer the terminology of "IMS" over "ICS" -- you don't command an incident (Fire, though shall go out! Even if you genuflect in the name of Brannigan, Dunn, and Brunacini while saying it, it still won't work).
    Good one Dal, that's some funny stuff
    FTM-PTB-DTRT

  23. #23
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    Default Hell yes...

    We use in California constantly. Here- "FIRESCOPE'
    (FIrefighting RESources of California Organized for
    Potential Emergencies) is the backbone of the whole
    state. Please check out the FREE ICS forms and
    downloads at their site.

    www.firescope.org

    The FOG (field operations guild) is simply awesome.
    Check out this link, I think you might like it-
    http://www.firescope.org/ics-8x11-fog.htm

    Plus- The above poster Rayr is right. In Cali, we
    use "vegitation fire." It is a very general term
    to describe almost any type of brush/grass/growth that
    is burning. We also use "T/C" or "traffic collision"
    since is also encompasses all type of road related
    incidents. Plus sometimes they are not always
    "motor vehicle" related or always "accidents."

    Please feel free to PM me for more info...Bou
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 02-29-2004 at 05:24 AM.

  24. #24
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    Of course we use it. You'll be hard pressed to find a department that doesn't use the ICS system.(IMS Incident Mangagement System, whatever you want to call it)

    And if your following the national standard, NFPA, you should be too.
    Unless you can afford a lawsuit or lost lives. Guess it's up to you.

    Keep your head down and your powder dry.
    ____________________________
    Lt.Jason Knecht
    Altoona Fire Rescue
    Altoona, WI

  25. #25
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    We don't use ICS in my department. I know we should but it's just not something we do.

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