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  • BVFD/MPr/ICS/ Issue 1 Page 1 of 22



    Issue 1.


    Management Procedure



    PD Govender

    PURPOSE: Incident Command System (ICS) is an organized approach to effectively control and manage operations at fires and other emergencies and can be modified to fit any particular incident. At any fire department emergency, small or large, one person must be in command, assessing the situation and available resources, determining the appropriate incident action plan, monitoring the plans effectiveness and continually modifying the plan to meet the plans effectiveness and continually modifying the plan to meet the realities of the situation as events evolve. Every effort has been made to provide a system flexible enough to be used at all incidents, small and large, yet rigid enough so that various Fire Departments can work together under one system.

    EFFECTIVE DATE: March 2006

    REFERENCES: NFPA 1500 Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety NFPA 1561 - Standard on Emergency Services Incident Management System SANS 10090 Standard on Community Protection against Fire

    OBJECTIVES: By implementing ICS we will: 1. Provide the structure that will help organize the firefighters and other resources

    required at the scene of emergencies. 2. Make our routine handling of incidents and responses more efficient. 3. Further develop the concept of delegation of responsibility on the incident scene. 4. Remind everyone that safety is the top priority at all incidents. 5. Adapt a radio procedure using standard designations understood by all firefighters. 6. Make the task of commanding incidents easier and more efficient.

    SCOPE: This SOP applies to all officers and members of the FD.

    RESPONSIBILITY: The Officers are responsible to enforce, explain and encourage members to comply with this Management Procedure.

    RELATED DOCUMENTS: 1. BVFD/MPr/ ICS.EC 06 Effective Command 2. BVFD/MPr/ ICS TP 06 Tactical Priorities 3. BVFD/MPr/ ICS ST 06 Staging 4. BVFD/MPr/ ICS FS 06 Fireground Safety 5. BVFD/MPr/ ICS ACC 06 Accountability

  • BVFD/MPr/ICS/ Issue 1 Page 2 of 22

    PART A: INITIAL COMMAND RESPONSIBILITIES Upon arrival at the scene of the incident, the first arriving officer or senior firefighter shall: 1. Rapidly evaluate the situation (SIZE-UP).

    2. Establish and confirm COMMAND, with an initial status report.

    3. Initiate, maintain and control the communication process.

    4. Develop the overall strategy. Relate this plan and your objectives to others. This plan should consider the three tactical priorities that must be completed to stabilize the situation.

    These three priorities are, in order: A. Rescue B. Fire Control

    C. Property Conservation

    5. Set up sectors and sector officers as necessary in order to develop an effective incident scene organization.

    6. Continue to review, evaluate and develop the attack plan as required by events. Always keep in mind firefighter safety.

    7. Always try to keep a reserve of firefighters and equipment to handle the unexpected emergency and to provide relief when necessary.

    (Firefighter Assist Team should be set up for large and/or dangerous operations.)

    8. Utilize staging areas as required.

    9. Establish the Command Post (CP) location and visually identify. Once a CP is established, Control should be notified of its location so they can notify incoming units and other agencies.

    (Keep in mind that if the Mobile Command Unit or another vehicle is to be used at a major incident, then a space should be left open at a good location for that unit.)


    A.1.1. ESTABLISHING COMMAND The first arriving officer or senior firefighter on the incident scene shall establish command and remain in command until RELIEVED by a senior officer or until the incident is terminated.

    A.1.2. INITIAL REPORT The firefighter establishing command shall transmit brief initial radio report including: The Radio Report shall include: A. Unit designation of the unit arriving on the scene. B. A brief description of the incident situation, (i.e. building size, occupancy,

    Hazmat release, multi-vehicle accident, etc.)

  • BVFD/MPr/ICS/ Issue 1 Page 3 of 22

    C. Obvious conditions (working fire, Hazmat spill, multiple patients, etc.), including any safety concerns for firefighters or other arriving units.

    D. Brief description of action taken. E. Declaration of Strategy (for structural fires this would be declaring an offensive

    or defensive mode). F. Any obvious safety concerns. G. Assumption and identification of Command. H. Assume & Announce accountability location. Example: For an offensive structure fire - ENGINE 1 is on the scene of a large two story school with a working fire on the second floor. ENGINE 1 is laying a water supply line and going in with a hand-line to the second floor for search and rescue. This is an offensive fire attack. ENGINE 1 will be Durban Street Command."

    For an defensive fire - ENGINE 2 is on the scene of a medium size warehouse fully involved with exposures to the East. ENGINE 2 is laying a supply line and attacking the fire with a hose reel and a hand-line to the exposure for search and rescue and fire attack. This is a defensive fire. ENGINE 2 will be Field Street Command.

    A.1.3. RADIO DESIGNATION The radio designation "COMMAND" will be used along with the geographical location of the incident (e.g. "High Street Command" or Mountain Mill Command"). This designation will not change throughout the duration of the incident. The designation of "Command" will remain with the officer currently in command of the incident throughout the event.

    A.1.4. COMMAND OPTIONS/RESPONSIBILITIES The IC should determine the amount of personal involvement required of him/her in the initial attack, but s/he must continue to be fully responsible for the tasks assigned to the Command function. For small incidents the IC may get directly involved in many aspects of the incident. In small incidents there may be no, or very little, delegation of tasks to subordinates. At a major incident, the IC will delegate different tasks to subordinates in order to maintain the span of control, in order to keep the number of people reporting to him/her to a manageable level. The initiative and judgment of the IC are of great importance. When Command is initially established by the IC, s/he must decide on the appropriate commitment for the firefighters and available equipment, which will usually fall into one of these three (3) general modes listed below:

    A.1.4.1 INVESTIGATION MODE These situations generally require investigation by the first arriving unit, usually an officer and crew. The officer should go with the crew to investigate while utilizing a portable radio to command the incident.

    Example: Engine 2 in attendance 123 High Street no outward signs, investigating

    A change in strategic mode of operation would include, as an example for structural fire fighting, the switch

    from offensive strategy (interior fire attack with hand lines) to defensive strategy (exterior operation with

    master streams and hand lines) or establishing a perimeter around an active crime scene. In such an

    instance, it is essential to notify all affected personnel of the change in strategic modes, to ensure that all

    personnel withdraw from the area, and to account for all personnel.

  • BVFD/MPr/ICS/ Issue 1 Page 4 of 22

    A.1.4.2 ATTACK MODE Situations which obviously require quick and immediate action to stabilize the situation such as a small or medium size interior fires in residences or commercial occupancies, which requires that the IC quickly decide how to commit his/her firefighters and equipment. A fast interior attack is critical in order to keep the fire from spreading. If in the first few minutes of a fire the IC must be directly involved, utilization of a portable radio will permit the necessary personal involvement in the attack by the IC without neglecting Command responsibilities. This mode should not last more than several minutes and will end with one of the following situations: 4.2.1 Situation is stabilized (Fire is under control) 4.2.2. Situation is not stabilized and the IC must withdraw to the exterior, establish a Command Post and implement the ICS SOP in order to handle the incident in an organized manner. At some time the Officer must decide whether or not to withdraw the remainder of the crew, based on the crew's capabilities and experience, safety issues, and the ability to communicate with the crew. No crew should remain in a hazardous area without radio communication capabilities.

    A.1.4.3. STATIONARY COMMAND MODE Certain incidents, by virtue of their size, complexity, or potential for rapid expansion, require immediate strong, direct, overall Command. In such cases, the Officer will initially assume an exterior, safe, and effective command position and will immediately establish overall command, set up a Command Post, and implement the ICS SOP and maintain that position until relieved by the Chief Officer or Senior Officer. The tactical worksheet shall be initiated and utilized to assist in managing these types of incidents. The IC has a choice of the previous modes and degrees of personal involvement in the initial operation but continues to be fully responsible for the tasks assigned to the Command function. When in Command Mode, the following options are available with regards to th