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Volume 29, Issue 2

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The Key to Disaster Response

Written by  Peter W. Blaich Thursday, 22 November 2007 02:48

The fire service is confronted with firefighting as well as rescue operations on a day-to-day basis. Less frequently, the fire service may be confronted with a large-scale emergency such as a widespread, wild-land fire; a conflagration in an urban area; a damaging earthquake; a mass casualty accident; or some other catastrophic incident. Subsequently, at times like this the emergency services of a community are really tested. This article will examine the key to disaster response, which is the incident command system. The behavioral responses of both disaster victim and first responder are also discussed, as are the six generic response functions of the incident command system (ICS) and the recent evolution of the role of the emergency manager during response. Of significance, this essay will go beyond just describing the incident command system by explaining why it is likely to work well and what are some of the obstacles to its


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