ICS 100 Introduction Course - Outline

1.0 Course Overview & Objectives
2.0 Introduction to the Incident Command (management) System
3.0 Main Components of ICS
4.0 IC Roles and Command Functions
5.0 General Section Staff Functions
6.0 ICS Facilities and Identification
7.0 Common Responsibilities
8.0 Short Quiz


You may see this and other "blackboard diagrams" often.  Consider you have begun your review the second time you see them ... 


A Small Incident - Command Chart

Incident Management Team

- five main components.           

  1. Incident Command
  2. Operations
  3. Logistics
  4. Planning
  5. Finance and Administration (Admin)

Incident Management Team - the basics

If it helps you to get a clearer "picture" of this chart, think of the "boxes" as being "functions" or dutiesA defined group of tasks that must be done as part of the whole.

... And keep in mind that an Incident Management Team may consist of less than five people because a person may be responsible for more than one “function”.  For example, one person could be the I.C., and also fill one or more of the other “functions”.  This could apply with a small incident and a small response team.  (Maybe three persons in total)


When the Incident Command Team is in place (they assume / take  "command" and "control"), the four functions that are subordinate to the Incident Command are referred to as Sections and each section is supervised by a Section Chief.

These four sections are called the "General Staff or Command"


Component #1 - Incident Command

This is the top command function or unit.  Every incident MUST have an Incident Commander.

If the incident or event is large and has many values at risk, a UNIFIED COMMAND may be created.  A UNIFIED COMMAND may consist of two, three or more representatives from different involved jurisdictions.

Incident Commander (IC)


This is a function of command.  Once an Incident Management Team is on the scene of the incident,  they declare they are on scene and have taken command.  (This "Team" may only consist of two or three persons in the beginning)

The IC is in control and accountable for all activities involved with the incident.

The IC must make all decisions pertaining to the Incident.


Under normal circumstances  there is one person as the Incident Commander (I.C.)  However, in a more complex incident, it is possible to have what is called a Unified Command.

Unified Command


This is when more than one agency is represented and are all in command.  An example could be a     major disaster to a community and members of the local police, fire, and medical services may all be     in the Incident Commander Function - and they would be located physically at the Command Centre which is close to the scene of the incident.  (safety considerations being priority)


Component #2 - Operations

This is the active, field operational side of the incident.

Some may describe this unit as the one where the "boots hit the ground"or the "front line" of the operation.  


Component #3 - Planning

Looks after and oversees the planning   This is mainly “paperwork” activities.  


Component #4 - Logistics

Provides for all Support Services


Component #5 - Finance & Administration (Admin)

looks after all aspects of the financial requirements for the incident  


Span of Control
You will note above that the Incident Command has only four “boxes” or Sections to be directly responsible for.  The IC is overseeing or “controlling” these Sections.
It is therefore stated that there is a “Span of Control”.  ... and in the above diagram , the “Span of Control” is four.
The standard Span of Control is three and it can extend to a maximum of seven.  Therefore we say the Span of Control within the Incident Command System is three to a maximum of seven. 
Five is the preferred Span of Control.  (Note the Span of Control in diagram below)

What do you see is the SPAN OF CONTROL below?

(more diagrams of examples are in Section 7.0)



What is the minimum and maximum number of people a supervisor may supervise?
A. No minimum, maximum of 10
B. No minimum, maximum of 7
C. Must have at least 3 to supervise and no more than 5
In regards to the above question - What is this supervision criteria called?
A. Best Practices of Supervising
B. Common Sense
C. Span-Of-Control
What does the IC Team assume when they first arrive on the scene of the incident?
A. Command
B. Control
C. Both, Command and Control
What must be present on every incident, no matter how small?(Best Answer)
A. Ground Transport
B. Incident Command
C. Aircraft
What are the five main components or functions of the ICS?
A. Command; Liaison; Deputy IC; Safety; Information
B. I.C.(Command); Operations; Logistics; Planning; Finance (& Administration)
C. Command; General Staff; Branch; Divisions; Groups


Go To Section 4.0

Return To Section 2.0


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