The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized approach to emergency response that has been in place at the local, state, and national levels since the 1970s. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), ICS is “the combination of procedures, personnel, facilities, equipment, and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in the management of on-scene resources during incidents. It is used for all kinds of incidents and is applicable to small, as well as large and complex, incidents, including planned events.”1

ICS was developed in the aftermath of a devastating 1970 fire season in Southern California. It is designed to prevent confusion over differing terminology, operating procedures, and lack of coordination from the various response agencies that deploy to an incident.2 Now a widely adopted model among emergency management and incident response personnel in the United States, ICS sets out standards for chain of command, organizational structure, use of terminology, and organized and coordinated response to an incident.

Understanding how ICS works can provide your institution with insight on how local, state, and federal responders will respond to an emergency or disaster affecting your community and can be very helpful when thinking about how your institution might respond internally. How do we coordinate activities across teams or departments? Who is in charge? How is that decision made?

Join COSTEP MA for a self-paced study group on learning the basics behind ICS. This is a great opportunity for beginners to receive their first ICS training and for anyone familiar with ICS to receive a training and implementation refresher. All activities are free and will be structured around the following schedule:

  • December 2020: ICS 100 Training.
  • January 2021: Learn about implementation.
    • Schedule a time to watch David W. Carmicheal’s webinar, The Supercharged Management System, published through the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC)’s Connecting to Collections Care program, to learn how to put ICS to use:
  • February 2021: ICS training round-up and FAQ.
    • Join COSTEP MA for an informal, virtual meet-up to discuss all things ICS. Bring your questions, comments, and insights from what you’ve learned! Registration information will be posted in January.

COSTEP MA will be providing monthly updates for the study group on our blog. Follow along on our blog for future posts on ICS 100 training through FEMA.

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