Tue. May 28th, 2024

Which NIMS Component Includes the Incident Command System ICS?

which nims component includes the incident command system ics
which nims component includes the incident command system ics

The National Incident Management System is a framework that includes six components: command and coordination, planning, preparedness, response and recovery. The right answer is A. The Command and Coordination component includes the Incident Command System (ICS).

The ICS standardized organizational structure allows for a clear chain of command and effective communication. The ICS also arranges for resources and needed services, tracks and records costs and timekeeping for incident personnel. Read more about : which nims component includes the incident command system ics.


Using standard communications protocols, an incident commander and other personnel at the scene can communicate with each other via radio or cellular phones. The communication standards allow information to flow efficiently while maintaining the safety and security of individuals involved in an incident. The standards also promote clear language and ICS terminology in transmissions, allowing everyone at the scene to understand each other.

The communications system also allows a division or group supervisor to be assigned to manage a particular area of the incident scene. These supervisors can use a chain of command to assign tasks to their assigned personnel. They can also establish a division or group plan, and monitor operations and resource status within their management area. Span-of-control recommendations, which are determined by the maximum number of individual responsibilities that one supervisor can handle effectively, drive the expansion and contraction of the division or group.

For larger incidents, additional ICS sections can be established. Although most highway incident response involves only the creation of an Operations Section, other situations might necessitate the establishment of a Planning, Logistics, Finance and Administration, or Intelligence Section. For example, a hazardous material spill or an extended incident situation (e.g., multiple crashes due to fog) could require the establishment of these sections. Transportation agencies often play a key role in the Planning and Logistics Sections, where they can help develop response plans and provide transportation assets to support incident objectives.

In addition to ICS management structures, the system has an extensive set of standard operating procedures for various functional areas at a highway incident scene. These operational procedures are used by a variety of organizations, including law enforcement, fire and rescue, emergency medical services, highway maintenance, towing and recovery, public works, motorist assistance and utility companies. A national typing protocol is used to inventory and categorize ICS resources. These resources are named and described by their function or capability “type.” This enables rapid assignment of resources to ICS positions by the IC/UC, or by a designated Agency Representative, at an incident scene. This also enables the IC/UC or agency representatives to track the status and location of a resource.


The incident command system ics and its components help to organize short-term field-level operations for a wide range of incidents, including highway traffic incidents. It is used by agencies responsible for responding to incidents on the nation’s roads, including law enforcement, fire and rescue, emergency medical services, public works, transportation, utility, towing and recovery, motorist assistance, and specialized response agencies like hazardous materials specialists.

The first step in ICS implementation is to determine the appropriate incident management method for a given highway incident. This is usually a question of legal or functional jurisdiction, which may result in a choice of Single Command or Unified Command (UC). In single command, one ranking person assumes responsibility for the incident and sets incident objectives. In UC, multiple ranking personnel from different agencies share command responsibilities and develop an Incident Action Plan.

Once an incident management method is selected, the ICS organization should be established. The size of this organization depends on the incident and must be consistent with span-of-control guidelines specified by NIMS. This includes the assignment of technical specialists with appropriate training and experience to corresponding functional areas of the ICS organization.

An ICS incident must have an established location for headquarters, base camps, staging areas, mass casualty triage areas, and point-of-distribution sites. This helps to ensure that all resources are coordinated and located within the incident area, which is critical for efficient operations.

In addition, a comprehensive resource management process must be in place to maintain an accurate picture of the use of all personnel, teams, equipment, supplies, and facilities available or potentially available for assignment. This process is referred to as comprehensive resource management and is an important component of ICS.

Lastly, an on-scene communications plan should be developed and maintained to establish a common communication structure. This helps to ensure that all on-scene participants are able to communicate effectively and maintain communications connectivity throughout the incident. Read more about : which nims component includes the incident command system ics.

NIMS specifies five functional areas for implementing the ICS: Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Finance & Administration. The Incident Commander can create Sections within each of these functions to delegate responsibilities and assign duties. These include the Resources Unit, which performs on-scene check-in of personnel and equipment resources; the Situation Unit, which collects and evaluates incident information; and the Documentation Unit, which provides documentation services including accounting, procurement, time recording, and cost analysis.

Resource Management

NIMS defines systems for identifying, inventorying, requesting and tracking resources throughout an incident’s life cycle. Optimal resource selection and deployment under demanding conditions requires systems for managing personnel, vehicles, equipment and supplies. These systems are activated prior to and during an incident, and can include command posts, bases and camps, staging areas, mass casualty triage sites and point-of-distribution locations. These facilities are designated by Incident Command to accomplish a variety of purposes, including establishing command and control; coordinating the delivery of commodities; and providing safety, medical care, transportation and logistics support.

Regardless of the size or complexity of a highway incident, first responders establish an ICS organizational structure upon arrival at the scene. This structure evolves from Single Command to Unified Command (UC) during the course of an incident, and organizational elements expand and contract based on incident demands. The UC structure typically includes an Operations Section to perform tactical operations at the incident scene. The Operations Section is organized into an organization chain of command that includes an Operations Chief who oversees the execution of tactical operations within a priority mission agreed upon by UC members.

In addition to the Operations Section, UC may establish a Planning Section and an Administrative Section to manage other incident management functions. The Planning Section is organized into a chain of command similar to the Operations Section, and is responsible for the development of an incident action plan (IAP). The Administrative Section manages non-tactical operational activities such as procurement, time recording, and cost analysis.

The smallest organizational element in an ICS is the Resource, which can represent a crew of one or more personnel or a piece of equipment. Individual Resources are typically grouped into functional groups called Divisions or Groups. For larger incidents, these groups can be consolidated into organizational Branches that contain more than one Division or Group. Two types of specialized organizational structures are also used to manage single resources: Task Forces and Strike Teams. These organizational elements are located on the same level as Divisions and Groups in the ICS organization chain of command, and may be comprised of a single agency or multiple assisting agencies.

Join Information System

The NIMS components provide an organizational structure to facilitate the coordination of America’s response to highway incidents and emergencies. Through a balance of flexibility and standardization, NIMS provides a set of core doctrine, terminology, concepts, principles, and procedures to organize, facilitate, and integrate the Nation’s domestic incident management response capabilities. By establishing common concepts, doctrine, roles, and structures, responders will be able to focus more on responding and less on organizing their responses.

The Incident Command System, or ICS, is the standardized on-scene incident management concept for coordinating Federal, State, tribal and local response efforts. NIMS designates ICS as the standard organizational structure for unified on-scene incident management and requires that local governments adopt ICS as a condition of receiving Federal preparedness assistance.

NIMS defines five major functions for the ICS: Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance & Administration. The NIMS Guide also specifies a sixth function, Intelligence, as an integral part of the ICS.

A key aspect of ICS is the ability to adapt as the incident evolves. As a result, NIMS includes provisions for the ICS to expand and contract in real time as incident conditions require. Moreover, NIMS stipulates that the ICS should include non-public safety agencies such as highway maintenance and engineering departments, transportation management centers, service patrols, towing and recovery companies, and roadside and emergency vehicle services.

For most highway incidents, full deployment of the ICS functional structure is rarely required. Often, a simple command post is established with the Incident Commander and a few support staff. However, as the incident grows in complexity, additional ICS personnel are necessary to meet NIMS guidelines for span of control.

As the incident progresses, communication is critical to ensuring all resources are kept informed of the situation. To achieve this goal, NIMS establishes the Joint Information Center (JIC). JIC brings together public information officers from each participating agency to develop and distribute a single unified message to the general public.

To ensure all stakeholders have the same level of understanding, NIMS training is developed and delivered according to professional standards. NIMS courses are typically taught by FEMA-approved instructors, who are subject to periodic review and approval by FEMA. These instructors are not only expected to have a minimum level of knowledge and skill, but are expected to follow established adult learning methods and techniques.


FAQ 1: What is the NIMS (National Incident Management System) Component that includes the Incident Command System (ICS)?

Answer: The NIMS component that includes the Incident Command System (ICS) is the Command and Management component. ICS is a critical part of this component, providing a standardized framework for managing incidents of all sizes.

FAQ 2: Why is the Incident Command System (ICS) an essential part of the NIMS components?

Answer: ICS is an essential part of the NIMS components because it provides a systematic and structured approach to incident management. It helps organizations effectively manage emergencies and disasters by establishing a clear chain of command, roles, and responsibilities during incidents.

FAQ 3: How does the Incident Command System (ICS) function within the NIMS framework?

Answer: Within the NIMS framework, the Incident Command System (ICS) serves as the primary system for managing incidents. It integrates with other NIMS components, such as Resource Management, Communications and Information Management, and Coordination and Mutual Aid, to ensure a coordinated and efficient response to incidents.

FAQ 4: Who is responsible for implementing the Incident Command System (ICS) within the NIMS framework?

Answer: The responsibility for implementing the Incident Command System (ICS) within the NIMS framework typically falls on the incident commander or the designated individual in charge of the incident. This person is responsible for establishing and managing the ICS structure.

FAQ 5: How does the NIMS component that includes the Incident Command System (ICS) enhance emergency response and management capabilities?

Answer: The NIMS component that includes the Incident Command System (ICS) enhances emergency response and management capabilities by providing a standardized approach to incident management. It promotes clear communication, coordination, and resource allocation, which are essential for responding effectively to incidents of all types and sizes. This system ensures that responders and agencies can work together seamlessly during emergencies, improving overall response efficiency and effectiveness.


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