The role of the incident commander is to lead an incident, as well as to make all tactical decisions without interference from management. The manager’s role is to make strategic decisions based on current events and allocate resources across multiple incidents. This is why it is critical that effective communication between the incident commander and the emergency operations center (EOC) is maintained. The incident commander follows established policy and procedure, uses standard forms and checklists, and communicates with other team members.
The Liaison Officer (LO) is the point of contact for all agencies involved in an incident, and is responsible for establishing and maintaining interagency contacts. In addition to providing information and support to the responding teams, the LO may be responsible for communicating with the media and external parties.
The LO must have extensive knowledge of the location of all the teams involved in an incident, and must be familiar with the building’s layout and configuration. He must know where the team members are located, and which parts of the building have already been searched. He must also have reliable communication with the EOC.
The LO may appoint other officers to perform the functions of the Command function. For instance, in less complex incidents, the IC can focus on safety monitoring, coordination, and resource monitoring. On the other hand, more complex incidents require full scene management and may be more demanding for the IC. In this case, the LO may need to appoint Command Staff to perform critical management functions to ensure the incident is managed effectively.
In an emergency, the Incident Commander is a person with the overall responsibility of managing the on scene incident. This person must have extensive knowledge of the building or area in which the incident is occurring. This person must also know where the team members are located and which parts of the building have been searched.
In an emergency, the incident commander takes the lead role, and is usually the first police officer on the scene. Their job is to ensure that the scene is safe, identify additional resources needed, and establish immediate goals. They will then assign other officers to the incident, as needed. The first response will generally consist of a single police officer, but the ICS may also include other officers, supervisors, and agencies.
Managing an incident requires multiple levels of management. Each level of management has specific responsibilities. The Division/Group Supervisor is responsible for directing and supervising individual crews and ensuring they perform their assigned duties. A Division/Group supervisor also manages the Incident Action Plan and assigns resources to each division. The Division/Group Supervisor communicates with the Incident Commander and keeps him or her informed through regular progress reports.
The Incident Commander assigns Divisions/Groups to ensure efficient and effective emergency operations. The Incident Commander advises each Division/Group Supervisor on specific objectives and specific tasks. It is important that the Division/Group Supervisor understands the tasks delegated and what the end state should be.
The Company Officer is responsible for managing the incident, which may be a fire or explosion. This duty requires the officer to know the layout of the building and where the members of the team are located. In addition, the officer must have the knowledge of which areas of the building have already been searched.
The incident commander has overall responsibility for the incident, and wears a distinctive vest. This officer determines the objectives of the incident and establishes priorities based on agency policy and available resources. Typically, a first responder is the incident commander. The officer should set up a command post at a safe distance from the incident, and the command post should not be moved unless conditions warrant it.
Public Information Officer
The Public Information Officer is responsible for communicating with the news media and coordinating communications with the incident command system and other stakeholders. This person is also responsible for communicating with the affected groups and employees. In the event of an incident, the public information officer will coordinate with the emergency management team, fire department, police department, and safety and security officers.
A Public Information Officer is a member of the Command Staff with responsibility for managing the incident. During an emergency, this person is the primary liaison between the incident command team and the media. An effective span of command is one supervisor to three to seven subordinates, and a modular structure allows for flexibility. Additionally, the Public Information Officer must ensure that resources are maintained at all times, as well as communicate with the media.