Incident Command System by OZm3HLo6


									Environmental Protection Agency
  Incident Command System

 Incident Commander Job Aid

            January 2009
           Questions or comments about this Job Aid?
      Please contact Roberta Runge at

EPA                                                             IC Job Aid
                                                              January 2009
                                         Environmental Protection Agency
                                            Incident Command System
                                          Incident Commander Job Aid

                                                                  Table of Contents

User ................................................................................................................................................................. 3
Scope ............................................................................................................................................................... 3
Reference Materials ........................................................................................................................................ 3
Primary Goals of the Incident Commander .................................................................................................... 4
Key Roles and Responsibilities of the Incident Commander.......................................................................... 5

Notification Phase ........................................................................................................................................... 7
Initial Response and Assessment .................................................................................................................... 8
Incident Brief .................................................................................................................................................. 9
Initial Unified Command Meeting .................................................................................................................. 10
Incident Command/Unified Command Objectives Meeting........................................................................... 11
Command and General Staff Meeting ............................................................................................................ 12
Tactics Meeting............................................................................................................................................... 13
Preparing for the Planning Meeting ................................................................................................................ 14
Planning Meeting ............................................................................................................................................ 14
IAP Preparation and Approval ........................................................................................................................ 15
Operations Briefing......................................................................................................................................... 16
Execute Plan and Assess Progress .................................................................................................................. 16

Supervise Organization ................................................................................................................................... 17

Press Conference Preparation ......................................................................................................................... 18

INFORMATION EXCHANGE MATRIX ................................................................................................. 19

Appendix A: Example Incident Objectives and Strategies ............................................................................. 22
Appendix B: Delegation of Assignments........................................................................................................ 25
Appendix C: The Unified Command .............................................................................................................. 26

EPA                                                                            -1-                                                               IC Job Aid
                                                                                                                                               January 2009

EPA                   -2-                      IC Job Aid
                                             January 2009
This Job Aid is designed for Incident Commanders (ICs) and/or Deputy ICs functioning within the
National Incident Management System (NIMS) Incident Command System (ICS).

Components of this Job Aid are appropriate for use by ICs during any type of response or planned event.
This Job Aid is intended to assist the IC:

       Focus on the performance of the Command function within ICS;
       Establish effective incident objectives and strategies for the incident;
       Ensure effective communication and productive function throughout the ICS organization; and
       Achieve maximum success.

This Job Aid is intended to be used by any IC in conjunction with EPA’s Incident Management
Handbook (IMH). The Job Aid is consistent with EPA’s National Approach to Response (NAR), the
National Incident Management System (NIMS), and EPA’s ICS training for ICs.

Reference Materials
    EPA’s IMH, 2007, is a key guide for implementing ICS processes and is available at
    National Response Team (NRT) Incident Command System/Unified Command (ICS/UC)
       Technical Assistance Document, 2000, is a key guide for implementing ICS and UC processes
       amongst multiple agencies and organizations.
    Department of Homeland Security (DHS) NIMS, 2008, is the key document defining the
       implementation of ICS.
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)1910.120 contains requirements that
       address the health and safety of response personnel.
    ICS forms are available at
    Information on specific response sites and other reference materials are also available at

EPA                                               -3-                                       IC Job Aid
                                                                                          January 2009
Primary Goals of the IC                                          Core Competencies of the IC
 Ensure the safety of the public and responders         Significant experience in incident management
  during the execution of the mission;                    and multi-jurisdiction response;
 Properly implement the Incident Command                Experience establishing strategy and tactics at
  System to resolve the incident;                         emergency responses;
 Ensure appropriate adherence to ICS processes          Excellent Interpersonal Skills and ability to
  and that an effective and suitable Incident             work with others;
  Action Plan (IAP) is produced to mitigate the          Solid grasp of political, social, environmental,
  incident circumstances;                                 and economic issues;
                                                         Extensive experience in field operations and
 Acquire and maintain a high level of public
                                                          risk-based decision making;
  stakeholder confidence;
                                                         Substantive working knowledge of the
 Prevent and mitigate harm to human health,              National Response Framework (NRF), the
  national security, environment and the economy;         National Oil and Hazardous Substances
 Ensure that the incident response organization          Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), and
  assists in the recovery process as appropriate;         Agency Mission;
 Develop and maintain an effective incident             Substantive knowledge of appropriate statues,
  management organization and a productive                regulations, and procedures governing
  working environment;                                    environmental response;
 Ensure effective communication throughout the          Substantive knowledge of EPA policies,
  incident organization and to/from senior agency         authorities, and constraints;
  officials;                                             Ability to lead assigned personnel and
 Establish and maintain a unified approach with          influence, guide, and direct assigned personnel
                                                          to accomplish objectives and desired outcomes
  response partners when needed.
                                                          in a rapidly changing, high risk environment;
                                                         Ability to communicate effectively using
                                                          suitable communication techniques to share
            Assigning a Deputy                            relevant information with appropriate
 An IC should recognize when a deputy                     personnel on a timely basis to accomplish
 may be needed in order to maintain                       objectives in a rapidly changing, high risk
 organizational productivity. A Deputy                    environment;
 can be assigned to handle special plans,                Ability to successfully assume the role of IC
 human resource issues, extended shifts,                  and initiate position activities at the appropriate
 and special projects.                                    time including gathering & applying situational
                                                          information and establishing organization
                                                          structure and reporting procedures employing
                                                          ICS concepts and principles;
The key roles and responsibilities of the IC             Ability to ensure the completion of assigned
are outlined in the EPA IMH. Unless                       actions to meet identified objectives by
delegated, the IC is also responsible for all             analyzing and applying relevant situational
Command and General Staff functions.                      information, evaluating actions to complete
                                                          assignments safely, and meeting identified
                                                          objectives within an established timeframe;
                                                         Ability to work 12-14 hour days under physical
                                                          and emotional stress for sustained periods.

EPA                                                 -4-                                         IC Job Aid
                                                                                              January 2009
Key IC Roles and Responsibilities
 a. Review Common Responsibilities outlined in the EPA IMH;
 b. Assess the situation and/or obtain a briefing from the prior IC;
 c. Determine incident objectives and strategies;
 d. Establish the immediate priorities;
 e. Establish an Incident Command Post (ICP);
 f. Establish an appropriate organizational structure;
 g. Ensure planning meetings are scheduled as required;
 h. Approve and authorize the implementation of the IAP;
 i. Ensure that adequate safety measures are in place, including a Health and Safety Plan (HASP);
 j. Coordinate activity for all Command and General Staff;
 k. Coordinate with key people and officials;
 l. Approve requests for additional resources or for the release of resources;
 m. Keep management (e.g., Region, Regional Incident Coordinator) informed of incident status;
 n. Authorize release of information to the news media;
 o. Ensure Situation Report is completed and forwarded to appropriate higher authority; and
 p. Order the demobilization of the incident when appropriate.

The IC must also understand their role within the bigger response picture and must ensure effective
communication with senior agency officials, other response partners in a UC, and any Command (e.g.,
Area Command) or coordination/support entities (e.g., Joint Field Office (JFO)) established during a large
incident. Refer to the NRF for additional information. Figure 1 depicts the flow of information and
identifies key roles and responsibilities outlined in EPA’s NAR.

EPA                                                -5-                                        IC Job Aid
                                                                                            January 2009
                                                    Level of      Organizational      Organizational         Roles &
                                                  Coordination      Structure            Position         Responsibilities

                                                National         Policy              Administrator,      National
                                                Coordination     Coordinating        Deputy              Coordination,
                                                                 Executive           Administrator,      Policy, Politics
                                                                 Committee           Regional
                                                                 HQ Emergency        Assistant
                         Policy and Guidance
  Incident Information

                                                                 Operations Center   Administrators

                                                                 National Incident   National Incident
                                                                 Coordination Team   Coordinator


                                                Regional         Regional Incident   Regional Senior     Regional
                                                Management and   Coordination Team   Management          Coordination &
                                                Support                                                  Oversight
                                                                 Regional            Regional Incident
                                                                 Emergency           Coordinator
                                                                 Operations Center

                                                Tactical         Incident Command    Incident or Area    Operational
                                                Management       System              Commander           Decision Making

        FIGURE 1                               INFORMATION FLOW WITHIN EPA DURING A RESPONSE

EPA                                                                -6-                                        IC Job Aid
                                                                                                            January 2009

    Notification Phase
    Once notified of an incident, the initial IC gathers, evaluates, and assesses information prior to
    determining that an Agency response is required and reporting on scene.
                                        ACTION                                                                 
                                        Gather information and obtain situational awareness.
                                        Determine what happened, what is happening, and what could             
                                        happen. Determine what resources are on scene.
                                        Determine potential threats to human health and/or the
                                        Determine potential threats to responders. Conduct pre-
                                        deployment operational risk assessment. Consider using ICS             
                                        Form 215A-EPA.
                                        Verify response authorities and determine potential Agency
                                        mission, limitations, and constraints.
                                        Determine likely Incident priorities, objectives, and strategy.
                                        Consult with Agency management as needed.
                                        Identify potential hazard, exclusion and safety zones.
                                        Determine areas of safe refuge and evacuation routes.
                                        Initiate notification and coordination requirements in
                                        accordance with approved contingency plans and Agency                  
         Response Priorities            Document activities and information on ICS Form 201-EPA.               
Establish and agree on response         Determine readiness of EPA response assets.                            
priorities. Example priorities from
the National Response Framework
                                                               Available Resources/Assets
        Protect safety and health of
         the public and responders;       National Response System:           Other Resources:
        Prevent an imminent              National Response Team              Technical/Response Contractors
         incident;                        Regional Response Team              IAGs w/ other Agencies
        Protect and restore critical
                                          NCP Special Teams:                  Other EPA Teams/Assets:
         infrastructure and key
                                          National Strike Force               National Decontamination Team
                                          Environmental Response Team         Incident Management Teams
        Conduct law enforcement          Radiological Emergency              ASPECT
         actions to resolve incident        Response Team                     Scientific Support Coordinator
         & collect evidence;              Navy SupSalv
        Mitigate damage to the
         environment and property;
        Facilitate recovery of
         individuals, families,
         businesses, governments
         and the environment.
Arrange all priorities in order of

    EPA                                                  -7-                                         IC Job Aid
                                                                                                   January 2009
Initial Response and Assessment
The initial actions of an on-scene IC focus on verifying information and initiating an appropriate
response. The IC also continues to evaluate the potential for the incident to escalate.

                                   ACTION                                                             
                                   “Size up” the incident and response. Verify and confirm the
                                   information and your evaluation based upon the                    
                                   Notification. Verify response resources/assets on scene.
                                   Modify safety factors (e.g., exclusion zones) based upon
                                   confirmed information.
                                   Confirm response authorities and constraints.                     
                                   Determine additional threats and factors that may cause
                                   incident to escalate.
                                   Identify critical infrastructure and natural or cultural
                                   resources at risk.
                                   Determine incident priorities, objectives, and strategy.
                                   Consider newly additional threats, escalation factors and
                                   risks. Consult with Agency management as needed. See
                                   Appendix A.
                                   Conduct an analysis of needs by reviewing priorities and
                                   identifying resource shortfalls.
                                   Integrate into existing ICS or recommend an ICS structure.
                                   Organize existing on-scene resources to address mission
                                   priorities. Determine potential need for additional ICS           
                                   organization positions (and need to delegate functional
                                   responsibilities – see Appendix B).
                                   Order, arrange for, or deploy resources to fill gaps
                                   identified in needs analysis and address incident priorities
                                   and objectives. Coordinate with response organizations and
                                   ensure safety.
                                   Ensure ability for organization to communicate and
                                   coordinate amongst various functions.
                                   Review existing and potential resource demands, both
                                   operational and support.
                                   Determine most probable incident duration.                        
                                   Determine potential for incident escalation, secondary
                                   impacts and potential for development of additional               
                                   emergencies within the response
                                   Determine cross-jurisdictional issues and the need for A
                                   UC. If A UC is needed, recommend list of participants.
                                   Determine capacity for response structure to manage,
                                   support and meet resource demands for the probable
                                   duration of the incident and to address secondary impacts
                                   and site-specific emergencies.

EPA                                                -8-                                           IC Job Aid
                                                                                               January 2009
                                  Complete ICS 201 Form and prepare for or initiate a
                                  briefing for an incoming IC or an initial UC Meeting.
                                  Ensure that information and evaluation completed through
                                  the initial response phase is ready to be communicated to
                                  The UC. Ensure that appropriate steps will be taken to
                                  remedy resource or capacity shortfalls.
                                  Evaluate need to expand ICS and relegate Command to
                                  person of greater jurisdictional authority, experience and/or     
                                  resource capability.

Incident Brief 201
The initial IC may determine a need to relegate Command to a more experienced IC. The initial IC may
also determine a need for a UC or the need to communicate critical information to arriving key personnel.
The IC can use ICS form 201 to conduct briefings and pass information.

                                  ACTION                                                             
                                  Prepare copies of the ICS Form 201-EPA for new IC if
                                  Conduct ICS Form 201-EPA briefing, following the ICS
                                  Form 201-EPA format.
                                      Initial Actions
                                      Initial Objectives
                                      Current Actions                                              
                                      Planned Actions
                                      Potential of Incident
                                      Current Organization
                                      Resource Summary
                                  Ensure communication of critical decisions, required
                                  actions, and needs. Ensure that recipients understand the         

                                                   Transfer of Command

                        The following is a list of important information to be shared between
                        ICs during the transfer of command:
                                The different agencies involved;
                                Technical specialists on scene and the need for additional ones;
                                The level of media interest;
                                The level of political interest;
                                The level of community interest;
                                The level of interests of senior representatives from
                                 participating agencies;
                                New assignments (e.g., initial IC may be Operations Section Chief or
                                 Confirm assumption of Command and understanding of information.

EPA                                               -9-                                           IC Job Aid
                                                                                              January 2009
Initial UC Meeting
This meeting is for assembling the UC, if needed, identifying jurisdictional roles, responsibilities, and
limitations; setting unified incident priorities and building the response organization. The Planning
Section Chief facilitates this meeting.
                                    ACTION                                                              
                                    Review and consider information in Appendix C: The UC.             
                                    Validate makeup of the UC. Ensure UC composition is
                                    UC members identify and document jurisdictional
                                    responsibilities and individual agency priorities.
                                    Agree on UC Area of Responsibility.                                
                                    Make critical decisions with high immediacy (i.e. no fly
                                    zone) and document these decisions. Other critical
                                    decisions that may be discussed include:
                                          Name of the Incident;
                                          Location of Incident Command Post (ICP);
                                          Location of other support facilities.
                                    Summon appropriate persons to execute the most time-
                                    critical decisions.
                                    Define and document the operational period and Work
                                    Shifts. For emergencies, 12 or 24 hour operational periods
                                    are suggested, however, 12 hour operational periods should
                                    be reserved only for the most experienced management
                                    teams. The UC should consult with the Operations Section
 An ICS Technical                   Establish UC operating procedures (e.g., review of press
 Specialist can help                release or resolution of disagreements) and select a               
 facilitate the UC, move            spokesperson for meetings and briefings.
 the meetings along and             Identify best qualified Operations Section Chief (OPS) and
 keep them on schedule!             deputy(s).
                                         The Operations Section Chief will provide input for
 Deputy ICs can also                      tactical planning and directing of resources. The OPS
 perform this role and
 also provide the added
                                          should work in the ICP with the Planning Section.            
 advantage of ensuring                   A Deputy OPS may be utilized to supervise on-scene
 compliance with ICS                      operations.
 processes at all levels.           Identify and document personnel for other Command and
                                    General Staff positions.
 See Appendix C for                 Agree on and document need for technical specialists and
 more information on                support.
 UC, documenting                    Decide on and document Operations and Situation Unit
 decisions, and how to              briefing schedule (e.g., n hour intervals). Notify OPS and
 set up a UC Room                   SITL of next briefing. Operations will brief out on the            
                                    world of work and Situation will brief out on the operating
                                    Begin to document “Open Actions Item Log”. This log is
                                    designed to list tasks from the UC to other staff.

EPA                                                - 10 -                                        IC Job Aid
                                                                                               January 2009
  IC/UC Objectives Meeting
  The IC/UC will identify/review response priorities, constraints, and incident objectives. For reoccurring
  meetings, objectives are reviewed and revised as needed. The Planning Section Chief facilitates this
  meeting and may present draft objectives for IC/UC consideration.

                                     ACTION                                                            
                                     Establish and agree on response priorities. Use the 201 as a
                                     starting point. Arrange all priorities in order of importance.
                                     Identify incident limitations or constraints, such as:
                                          Weather
                                          Size, complexity, and location
                                          Communication difficulties
                                          Financial                                                  
                                          Jurisdictional or Political
                                          Capacity of infrastructure
                                          Available resources (personnel and equipment)
                                          Sensitive Areas
                                     From the existing list of priorities on ICS Form 201-EPA,
                                     begin developing objectives for the next operational period.
                                     Prioritize objectives.                                           
                                     Discuss and agree on processes to follow and identify or
                                     update Incident Management Team Operating Procedures,
Notes on writing Objectives:         such as:
                                           Secure information handling
It is beyond the scope of this             Intelligence management procedures
Job Aid to train ICs on how
to draft objectives. Sample                Press release clearance and review procedures
objectives are found in                    Resource ordering review and clearance procedures
Appendix A of this job aid                 Interagency cost tracking and accounting
and in the U.S. EPA Incident               Critical information reporting
Management Handbook –                      Information management flow
ICs are encouraged to use
them. Nevertheless, always                 Human relations infraction handling procedures.
keep in mind that objectives               Accident reporting and documentation procedures.
are crucial UC directives            The development of these procedures should be tasked out
that steer the operation             to the appropriate Command and General Staff element.
toward addressing an                 Continue to develop tasks for the Command and General
incident priority, without                                                                            
                                     Staff using the Open Actions Log.
describing what specific
                                     Agree on division of UC Workload. For example; press
resources and actions are                                                                             
needed. Always keep the              briefings, agency briefings, etc.
primary user, the                    Review priorities, constraints, decisions and objectives in
Command and General                  preparation for the Command and General Staff meeting
Staff, in mind!

  EPA                                               - 11 -                                       IC Job Aid
                                                                                               January 2009
Command and General Staff Meeting
The IC/UC presents decisions, priorities and objectives to the Command and General Staff. The IC/UC
also uses this time segment to provide the staff with general direction, receive feedback, and ensure
effective coordination among the team. Ensure the support elements of the organization are fully
functional and supporting the operational activities effectively. The Planning Section Chief facilitates this
                                    ACTION                                                                
                                    Following the opening of the meeting by the Planning Section
                                    Chief, Command and General Staff members should                      
                                    introduce themselves.
                                    Following the Situation Unit Leader brief, the IC/UC should
                                    provide opening remarks. Emphasize safety and teamwork.
                                    IC/UC comments on critical decisions made.                           
                                    Review staffing of ICS positions if not communicated earlier.        
                                    Review Incident Priorities.                                          
                                    Review Constraints and Limitations.                                  
                                    Review Objectives. Solicit questions from the Command and
                                    General Staff. Verify they understand and begin planning to          
                                    support these objectives.
                                    Review IMT Operating Procedures.                                     
                                    Review Open Action Items tasking and ensure progress is
                                    being made.
                                    Provide closing remarks. Thank the team for their hard work.         

EPA                                                - 12 -                                       IC Job Aid
                                                                                              January 2009
       The Tactics Meeting
      The IC/UC now allows the Incident Management Team to begin formulating the Incident Action Plan.
      During this time, the IC/UC can complete any unfinished business from the previous meetings and begin
      addressing any new challenges. The IC/UC does not attend the Tactics meeting.

                                       ACTION                                                               
                                       Complete any unfinished actions from previous meetings.             
                                       Consider briefing other incident entities. Make a list of
                                       entities that may require IC/UC briefings (i.e. State EOCs,
                                       Principal Federal Official (PFO), Mayor's or Governors              
                                       Office, etc.). Develop briefing schedule for today and
                                       future days where recurring briefings are required.
                                       Consider touring the incident scene, if safe. If unable to do
                                       so, schedule a trip in the near future.
                                       Consider walking around the ICP spaces to gauge intensity
                                       and control of the incident. Provide encouraging remarks            
                                       to ICP personnel along the way.
                                       Consider scheduling a press briefing or requesting the
                                       Public Information Officer to develop press releases. Use           
                                       this time to prepare for the briefing.
                                       Schedule Technical Specialists briefings: i.e. chemical
                                       hazards, human health impact assessment, drinking water             
                                       impact, etc.
          Other Plans
                                       Discuss and review potential emergencies within the
 Information Dissemination            incident and contingency or other plans that may be
 Debris Management                    required. Communicate planning needs to the PSC or
 Evidence Collection and              Deputy IC.
 Processing                            Continue to update the Open Action Log as the UC
 Security                             identifies tasks.
 Shoreline Cleanup                    Discuss funding issues: sources, limits of liability, cost-
 Evacuation                                                                                               
                                       sharing, and cost tracking.
 Disposal                             Discuss legal issues, documentation control, and handling
 Wildlife Recovery and                of investigation information.
 Infrastructure Recovery              Consider drafting and signing decision memos and position
 Sampling and Analysis                papers as necessary to assure the IC/UC contribution to the         
                                       incident historical record.
                                       Discuss collection of lessons learned and debrief
                                       Continue to review decisions, priorities, objectives and
                                       open actions.
                                       Review documents, other than the IAP, requiring IC/UC
                                       approval. Examples of these include press releases and              
                                       Situation Reports.

      EPA                                             - 13 -                                           IC Job Aid
                                                                                                     January 2009
Preparing for the Planning Meeting and the Planning Meeting
The IC/UC prepares for the planning meeting, where the Planning Section Chief will seek verbal approval
to complete the Incident Action Plan. The UC should meet between 30 minutes and 1 hour before the
Planning Meeting to prepare. This meeting provides an overview of the tactical plan to achieve the IC/UC
direction, priorities and objectives
                                   ACTION PRIOR TO THE MEETING                                       
                                   Review and update incident objectives and priorities.            
                                   Review Decisions, Constraints and Limitations.                   
                                   Review Open Action Items tasking.                                
                                   Decide how much time the IC/UC needs for reviewing the
                                   IAP prior to publication time. If possible, communicate
                                   this before the Planning Meeting. If not, be prepared to
                                   vocalize at the Planning Meeting.
                                   Decide which UC members will speak to the Decisions,
                                   Priorities, Open Actions, Constraints and Objectives.            
                                   (teamwork may be preferable to a single spokesperson)
                                   ACTION DURING THE MEETING                                         
                                   After the PSC opens the meeting, provide opening remarks
                                   from the IC/UC. Emphasize safety and teamwork.
                                   Listen carefully at the situation briefing to ensure incident
                                   priorities are being addressed.
                                   Following the PSC's review of IC/UC objectives, priorities
                                   and decisions, add new information as necessary.
                                   During the OPS discussion of tactics, listen carefully to
                                   ensure IC/UC objectives are being addressed.
                                   Add any new tasks to the Open Action Log when reviewed
                                   by the PSC.
                                   When asked to provide tacit approval of the plan by the
                                   PSC, each member of the UC should agree or provide any           
                                   input necessary for the satisfaction of all UC members.
                                   Prior to closing the meeting, reemphasize the time needed
                                   to conduct an adequate review of the IAP in advance of the       
                                   Operations briefing.

                                                 Time for Reviewing IAP
                 The quality of the IAP will depend largely on the experience of the Incident Management
                 Team. For the more experienced team, the IC/UC should allow 1 hour for review, for less
                 experienced, 1.5 to 2 hours. This time is used to determine how much time in advance of
                 the Operations Briefing the IC/UC will need the plan for review.

EPA                                              - 14 -                                        IC Job Aid
                                                                                             January 2009
IAP Preparation and Approval
Once the Incident Action Plan is prepared, it is submitted to the IC/UC for approval. Once approved it is
reproduced and distributed to supervisory personnel.

                                   ACTION                                                             
                                   The IC/UC should always be accessible to the IAP
                                   development team to provide clarification.
                                   Ensure the IAP cover page is professional and appropriate.
                                   Ensure signature blocks for all members of the UC (ensure          
                                   proper titles and spelling of names)
                                   Verify that all the proper forms are included in the IAP.
                                   The cover sheet usually contains a checklist.
                                   Ensure the incident title is correct throughout the IAP.           
                                   Ensure the Operational Period is correct throughout the
                                   Ensure appropriate personnel sign all forms.                       
                                   Ensure the incident priorities and objectives are on ICS
                                   Form 202-EPA.
                                   Ensure ICS Form 202-EPA includes a Safety Message.                 
                                   Ensure the organizational chart in ICS Form 203-EPA or
                                   207-EPA accurately reflects the intended organization for          
                                   the specified Operational Period.
      Reviewing the IAP            Ensure proper span of control on ICS Form 203-EPA and
The primary objective is to        Ensure the resources assigned on the ICS Form 204-EPA
ensure that the IAP covers         are clear and the work assignments are comprehensive.
what was presented at the          Ensure ICS Form 204-EPA aligns with, and expands on the
planning meeting. IC/UCs           work documented on ICS Form 215-EPA and briefing from
may want to get a paper            the Planning meeting. Encourage attachment of maps,                
copy of ICS form 215 and           diagrams, detailed procedures or any other job specific
other documentation to help        information to ICS 204 forms.
ensure this is the case.           Ensure ICS Form 204-EPA has a safety message from the
                                   Safety Officer. Ensure emergency reporting procedures are          
                                   Ensure the special instructions section of ICS Form 204-
Special Instructions for the                                                                          
ICS 204 may include:               EPA is completed.
                                   Ensure the communications block on ICS Form 204-EPA is
 Communications schedule          consistent with the communications plan (ICS Form 206-             
    with Operations                EPA).
   Evidence handling protocols    Ensure ICS Form 204A-EPA is included if indicated.                 
   Special material handling
    practices                      Ensure the Site Safety Plan addresses incident hazards as
   Important phone numbers        determined by the Safety Officers Safety Hazard Analysis           
   Sampling procedures            documented on ICS Form 215A.
                                   Ensure additional plans discussed during the Planning
                                   Meeting are included (i.e. Disposal Plan, Security Plan).

EPA                                               - 15 -                                         IC Job Aid
                                                                                               January 2009
Operations Briefing
This 30-minute or less briefing presents the Incident Action Plan to the Operations Section Chief

                                   ACTION                                                   
                                   After the PSC cues the IC/UC for opening remarks,        
                                   comment on important UC priorities. Continue to
                                   emphasize safety and teamwork. Ensure all members of the
                                   UC are invited to comment.
                                   The UC should listen closely to ensure nothing important is      

Execute Plan & Assess Progress
During this phase the UC/IC is monitoring operations closely to ensure their Incident Action Plan is being
carried out, is well supported, and changes are being made as needed.

                                   ACTION                                                           
                                   IC/UC continues to receive periodic updates from                 
                                   Operations and Situation and monitors field activities to
                                   ensure compliance with the IAP.
                                   Consider an overflight, boat tour or vehicle recon of the        
                                   incident to assess progress.
                                   Tour the ICP and gauge progress and effectiveness by             
                                   talking with members on the Incident Management Team.
                                   Provide words of encouragement and thanks.
                                   Review outstanding actions required by the UC and                
                                   consider those actions outlined in the “Preparing for and
                                   Conducting the Tactics Meeting” section.
                                   Prepare for IC/UC Objectives Meeting.                            

EPA                                               - 16 -                                         IC Job Aid
                                                                                               January 2009

Supervise Organization
These brief checklists can assist in achieving overall effectiveness and efficiency of the organization. The
IC should routinely interact with functional areas of your staff.

  ACTION                                                                                                  
  Observe operations tempo of Command and General Staff. If the section is overwhelmed,
  consider the following:
      Span of Control variations                                                                        
      Need for Deputies and/or Assistants
      Need for new Unit, Group or Branch
  Observe information flow patterns. Ensure information is flowing continuously between units
  and sections. One key measure is the accuracy of the Situation and Resource Status boards and
  whether Operations is using them effectively. For deficiencies consider the following:
       More field observers to collect information                                                      
       Recommend more or better communications equipment
       Consider development of an Information Management Plan
       Recommend more information collection staff within the ICP (watchstanders).
  Observe for a respectful work environment. To address potential issues, consider:
      During tours, gauge response climate and offer preventative measures where necessary;             
      Continually emphasize respect at meetings.
  Ensure responder mental health is a priority. Conduct field and ICP tours to measure mental
             health. Consider the following actions to address mental well-being:
     Ensure fatigued members are relieved;                                                              
     Consider a Critical Incident Stress Manager as a Technical Specialist;
     Take VIPs and dignitaries around to meet field responders and ICP personnel.

  IMT Evaluation Checklist                                                                                
  Are members prepared for meetings, interacting, and following meeting procedures?                      
  Are open actions being tracked and completed?                                                          
  Is information timely, accurate and being shared across the sections and externally ?                  
  Is the IAP effective and being followed?                                                               
  Are supervisors pleased with team effectiveness?                                                       
  Are interagency differences effectively resolved and communicated to Command?                          
  Does the Operations Section provide valuable and meaningful feedback on the IAP?                       
  Is the injury, accident and near miss rate low?                                                        
  Is Operations adequately supported by other staff ?                                                    
  Is the Operations Section Chief effectively using a deputy and are duties identified ?                 
  Does Plans clearly understand resource status?                                                         

EPA                                                 - 17 -                                     IC Job Aid
                                                                                             January 2009

Press Conference Preparations
Prepare for holding a press conference by having the Information Officer develop the necessary briefing
materials or by completing the Speaker Preparation checklist below. Ensure coordination with the
regional PAD, the JIC (if established), and HQ OPA if necessary.

  IMT Evaluation Checklist                                                                                
  Develop a statement of commitment, empathy or concern to use as an introduction.
  Put yourself into the shoes of your audience and address what they are most concerned with.
  Example: “As you know we are faced with a challenging safety, environmental, economic event.
  All the involved agencies, under the coordination of the U.S. EPA are committed to working              
  together to expeditiously resolve this incident. Public safety for both the local citizens as well as
  the responders ...”
  NOTE: From this point on, sentences should be short - 7 to 12 words in length.
  Prepare one to three key messages you want to address. Use the messages as a bridge between
  step one and the body of your statement.                                                                
  Example: “We are “removing oil from the environment”.
  State two to four facts to support your key message.
  Example: “We have removed all oil from the sensitive wetlands and to date have successfully             
  removed nearly 75% of the entire spill….
  Repeat for other key messages you developed.                                                            
  State future actions as a conclusion.                                                                   

EPA                                                 - 18 -                                        IC Job Aid
                                                                                                January 2009
Below is an example of an input/output matrix to assist the IC with obtaining and providing information
to ICS positions.
MEET With:           WHEN:                IC OBTAINS:                    IC PROVIDES:
Initial IC             Upon arrival         ICS Form 201-EPA brief      Next Assignment
Other UCs              Check-in brief       Commitment for:             ICS-201 brief
                                            equipment, funding
                       ICS Meetings         Consensus on decision       Cooperative leadership
Regional               Various              Agency senior               Briefing on situation and IMT
Incident                                    management objectives       objectives
Stakeholders           Various              Special concerns,           Briefings on situation, progress
                                            expectations.               and planned actions.
                                            Commitments for
Trustees               Various              Identification of lead      Briefing on current situation
                                            trustee.                    cleanup strategy.
                                            Pledge of cooperation       Resource commitment.
                                            with response.
Operations Section     Check-in brief       Recommended strategies      ICS Form 201-EPA information
Chief                                       and tactics to meet the     IC expectations
                                            objectives.                 Immediate response objectives.

                       Planning Meeting     Briefings on:               Response objectives.
                                               Strategies              Commitment.
                                               Tactics
                                               Resource needs
                                               ICS Form 215-EPA
                                               Ops Facilities
                       OPS Brief                                        Motivational remarks
Planning Section       Check-in brief                                   ICS Form 201-EPA information
Chief                                                                   PagePlanning Section Chief
                                                                        IC expectations
                       Once each ops                                    Response objectives for
                       cycle                                            ICS Form 201-EPA or IAP
                       Planning meeting     Briefs on:                  ICS Form 201-EPA/
                                            Overall situation.          IAP approval
                                            Alternate strategies
                       As needed            Recommendation for          Approval
                                            ICS-201/IAP transition.
                                            Proposed resource demob

 EPA                                              - 19 -                                     IC Job Aid
                                                                                           January 2009
MEET With:           WHEN:              IC OBTAINS:                 IC PROVIDES:
Planning Section     Status change      Update on incident.         New objectives if necessary
Chief (cont.)
                     OPS brief          Update on incident.         Motivational remarks
Logistics Section    Check-in brief                                 ICS Form 201-EPA information
Chief                                                               IC expectations
                     Planning meeting   Briefs on:                  Response objectives
                                           Communication
                                           Traffic
                                           Safety
                                           Medical
                                           Facilities
                                           Resources
                     OPS brief                                      Motivational remarks
Finance/Admin        Check-in brief                                 ICS Form 201-EPA information
Section Chief                                                       IC expectations
                     Planning meeting                               Response objectives
                     OPS brief          Financial report            Motivational remarks
Liaison Officer      Check-in brief                                 ICS Form 201-EPA information
                                                                    IC expectations
                     Planning Meeting   Concerns and issues.        Response objectives
                     Ops Brief                                      Motivational Remarks
Public Information   Check-in brief     Media considerations        ICS Form 201-EPA information
Officer                                 regarding work plan         IC expectations

                     Planning Meeting   Media considerations        Response objectives
                     As needed          Speaker preparations,       Commitment to provide input
                                        briefings, releases.        needed to stem media interest.
                     Ops Brief                                      Motivational Remarks
Safety Officer       Check-in brief                                 ICS Form 201-EPA information
                                                                    IC expectations
                     Planning Meeting   Safety concerns regarding   ICS Form 201-EPA information
                                        IAP                         IC expectations.
                     Command/ Staff     Status of Safety Plan and   IC expectations and concerns.
                     Meeting            measures
                     Ops Brief                                      Motivational remarks.
Documentation Unit   Planning meeting   Feedback on state of        Response objectives
Leader                                  documentation
                     Command Staff                                  Policy on role and
                     Meetings                                       responsibilities.

 EPA                                          - 20 -                                       IC Job Aid
                                                                                         January 2009
MEET With:            WHEN:              IC OBTAINS:              IC PROVIDES:
Resources Unit        Planning meeting   Brief on resources       Response objectives
Leader                                   available
                      Ops Brief                                   Motivational remarks
Situation Unit        Planning meeting   Weather forecast         Response objectives
Leader                                   Future projections for
                      Ops Brief                                   Motivational remarks
Demobilization Unit   Planning meeting   Demobilization Plan      Response objectives
Division/ Group       OPS brief                                   Motivational remarks
Task Force Leaders
Strike team Leaders
Media                 Press conference   Media concerns           Briefing on incident status and

 EPA                                           - 21 -                                  IC Job Aid
                                                                                     January 2009
Appendix A: Example Incident Objectives and Strategies

The IC is responsible for determining the Incident Objectives and the Strategy for accomplishing those
objectives. The Incident Objectives are the basic goals of the response to the Incident and are essential
prerequisites to any written or oral Incident Action Plan (IAP). The Incident Objectives are refined from
higher level objectives (i.e., management objectives or strategic objectives) typically determined by the
Agency’s senior officials and provided to the IC. The higher level objectives usually stem from law,
Agency policy, and existing plans and do not often change during the course of the incident response.

In NIMS ICS, Incident Objectives, strategies, and tactics are considered as follows:

         INCIDENT OBJECTIVE - Statement of guidance and direction necessary for the selection of
         appropriate strategies, and the tactical direction of resources. Incident objectives are based on
         realistic expectations of what can be accomplished when all allocated resources have been
         effectively deployed. Incident objectives must be achievable and measurable, yet flexible enough
         to allow for strategic and tactical alternatives.

         STRATEGY - The general plan or direction selected to accomplish incident objectives.

         TACTICS - Actual deployment and direction of resources during an incident to accomplish the
         desired objective. The tactics are the actual what, where, and when components of the strategy.

Simply put, the IC receives management objectives from the Agency and uses this high-level direction to
develop more specific Incident Objectives. The Incident Objectives need to be attainable, flexible, and
measurable. The IC should confer with Operations to determine the appropriate strategy for achieving the
Incident Objectives. Finally, the Operations Section Chief determines the tactics necessary to achieve the
Incident Objectives.

Management Objective:            Protect Wild and Scenic Rivers
Incident Objective:              Keep oil from entering the River
Strategy:                        Stop migrating oil from entering the storm drains
Tactic:                          Deploy booms at storm drains and construct collection trench along
                                 Avenue A

The EPA Incident Management Handbook contains some examples of potential incident objectives.
Since unique priorities will develop in any response, the objectives will always be specific and subject to
review and change.

The following examples of typical objectives and strategies may be a helpful guide:

Typical Objective(s):
    Ensure the Safety of Citizens and Response Personnel;
    Ensure the safety and security of responders as well as maximize the protection of public health
       and welfare;
    Continue to place a high priority on safety, risk management and monitor for compliance for both
       responders and public;
    Provide for the safety and welfare of the passengers and non-essential crew.

EPA                                                - 22 -                                      IC Job Aid
                                                                                             January 2009
Example Strategies:
    Identify hazard(s) of spilled material;
    Establish site control (hot zone, warm zone, cold zone, and security);
    Consider evacuations, as needed;
    Establish vessel and/or aircraft restrictions;
    Monitor air in impacted areas;
    Develop site safety and health plan for response personnel;
    Ensure safety briefings are conducted;
    Conduct a risk hazard analysis and develop an appropriate Site Safety Plan for inclusion in the

Oil/HAZMAT Spill
Typical Objective(s):
    Control the Source of the Spill;
    Determine oil/HAZMAT fate and effect (trajectories), identify sensitive areas, develop strategies
       for protection and conduct pre-impact shore debris removal;
    Contain and recover spilled oil/HAZMAT;
    Contain and Recover Spilled Material;
    Ensure actions are underway to control the source and minimize the volume released;
    Conduct appropriate shoreline cleanup efforts;
    Remove Oil from Impacted Areas.

Example Strategies:
    Complete emergency shutdown;
    Conduct firefighting;
    Initiate temporary repairs;
    Transfer and/or lighter product;
    Conduct salvage operations, as necessary;
    Contain/control the source of the spill;
    Deploy oil containment boom at the spill source;
    Deploy containment boom at appropriate collection areas;
    Conduct skimming with drum skimmers;
    Evaluate time-sensitive response technologies (e.g., dispersants, in-situ burning);
    Develop disposal plan;
    Clean oiled structures (piers, docks, etc.);
    Clean oiled vessels.

Typical Objective(s):
    Safeguard human health and the environment;
    Identify and protect sensitive areas;
    Ensure effective containment, cleanup, recovery, and disposal of spilled product;
    Investigate the potential for and if feasible, utilize alternative technologies to support response

EPA                                               - 23 -                                       IC Job Aid
                                                                                             January 2009
Example Strategies:
    HAZMAT chemicals;
    Consolidate waste streams;
    Identify disposal options;
    Identify on site treatment technologies;
    Develop sampling plan;
    Identify appropriate containment;
    Identify collection locations;

Typical Objective(s):
    Manage Coordinated Response Effort;
    Keep the Regional Incident Coordinator informed of response status;
    Manage a coordinated interagency response effort that reflects the makeup of UC;
    Establish an appropriate IMT organization that can affectively meet the initial and long term
       challenges required to mitigate the incident;
    Ensure that all appropriate agency/organization mandates, practices, and protocols are considered
       in the overall response effort;
    Minimize social, political, and economic adverse impacts;
    Ensure that competing response activities are closely coordinated;
    Facilitate commerce;
    Minimize economic impacts;
    Keep the public, stakeholders and the media informed of response activities;
    Keep stakeholders informed of response activities;
    Keep the public informed of response activities;
    Ensure that appropriate facilities are identified and established to support response efforts;
    Ensure that appropriate financial accounting practices are established and adhered to;
    Ensure that an appropriate internal resource request and off incident resource ordering system is
       established and followed.

Example Strategies:
    Establish a UC organization and facilities (command post, etc.);
    Ensure local and tribal officials are included in response organization;
    Initiate spill response Incident Action Plans (IAP);
    Ensure mobilization and tracking of response resources;
    Account for personnel and equipment;
    Complete documentation;
    Evaluate planned response objectives vs. actual response (debrief);
    Provide forum to obtain stakeholder input and concerns;
    Provide stakeholders with details of response actions;
    Identify stakeholder concerns and issues, and address as practical;
    Provide elected officials details of response actions;
    Provide timely safety announcements;
    Establish a Joint Information Center (JIC);
    Conduct regular news briefings;
    Manage news media access to spill response activities;
    Conduct public meetings, as appropriate.

EPA                                              - 24 -                                   IC Job Aid
                                                                                        January 2009
Appendix B: Delegation of Assignments
Unless delegated, the IC is responsible for all Command and General Staff functions. The IC needs to
recognize when functions should be delegated.

Only one person is designated for each position, but Assistants, including qualified persons from other
agencies, may be appropriate. The members of the Command Staff may interact with any position in the
ICS to exchange information.

SAFETY OFFICER– The Safety Officer is your subject matter expert and your eyes and ears in the field
with respect to safety. Safety is the number one priority. Staff this position early and be sure that the
expertise exists to address all risks and disciplines at the incident. OSHA 1910.120 requires the
individual in charge of incident management to designate the Safety Officer function.

LIAISON OFFICER – The Liaison Officer is the best means to coordinate and communicate with large
numbers of cooperating and assisting agencies and public officials. This position can relieve the IC of the
time commitment required to stay in touch with the status of a large number of organizations at the
incident and will allow you to focus on key needs.

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER – The Information Office provides communication throughout the
response, the affected community, and the media. This task can be very time consuming and assigning a
Public Information Officer and an appropriate staff will improve effective communication about urgent
issues and progress relating to the incident. Designate a Public Information Officer on any high visibility
incident or whenever the media requires a great deal of your time or if they are getting their information
anyway from various sources.

SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT COORDINATOR– The Scientific Support Coordinator is charged with gaining a
consensus on scientific issues affecting the response, but also ensuring that differing opinion within the
scientific community are communicated to the IC.

The IC should delegate General Staff functions whenever the time required to successfully perform the
General Staff functions becomes too great. Issues surrounding the complexity of the incident, experience,
and time will help the IC determine when to designate General Staff positions.

OPERATIONS SECTION CHIEF– The Operations Chief will assist you in developing strategy and will
develop and implement the tactics to meet the objectives. If the IC remains focused on operations, many
other aspects of incident management may suffer.

PLANNING SECTION CHIEF– The Planning Section provides the means to obtain current resource and
situational information and, importantly, to look ahead. The Planning Section Chief will facilitate the
meetings and will be responsible for providing you the information you need in a useful format.

LOGISTICS SECTION CHIEF– The Logistics Section Chief will take the responsibility for finding the
resources needed to meet the incident objectives. Additionally, the Logistics Section will take on a great
deal of responsibility for management and maintenance of the incident facilities and services.

FINANCE SECTION CHIEF– The Finance Section Chief can take the responsibility to manage all
financial issues and can have the resources to conduct cost and risk-benefit comparisons.

EPA                                               - 25 -                                       IC Job Aid
                                                                                             January 2009
Appendix C: The UC
What is UC?
The UC is an expansion of the ICS organization beyond a single IC. Many incidents involve several
different functions and jurisdictions, for example; security, criminal apprehension, hazardous materials
response, firefighting, evacuation, and search and rescue. Within the United States there are few ICs that
have full functional jurisdiction, resource capability or expertise to cover all the response functions and
geographical venues involved in a major incident.

The UC is a structure that brings together the “ICs” of all major organizations that have jurisdictional or
functional responsibility, for the purposes of organizing and executing a coordinated response.

When is a UC Needed?
The need for a UC may arise when incidents:
    Cross boundaries (e.g., two states or response over both land and water);
    Involve various governmental levels (e.g., Federal, state, local,);
    Involved multiple functional responsibilities, not belonging to a single agency (e.g., Search and
       Rescue, fire, oil spill, EMS); or
    Some combination of the above.

What is the Makeup of the UC?
The UC is a team effort, but to be effective, the number of personnel should be kept as small as possible.
Actual UC makeup for a specific incident will be determined on a case-by-case basis taking into account:
   1. Specifics of the incident;
   2. Predetermination within existing response plans; or
   3. Decision reached during the initial meeting of the UC.

The makeup of the UC may change as the incident changes, especially when new priorities and response
functions arise.

To be considered as a member of the UC you should:
    1. Have jurisdictional authority or functional responsibility under a law or ordinance for the incident;
    2. The incident or response operations must have impact on your organization’s Area Of
       Responsibility (AOR);
    3. Have the resources to support participation in the response organization; and,
    4. Have full decision-making authority for the incident on behalf of your agency.

As a UC representative you must be able to:
     Agree on incident objectives and priorities;
     Have the capability to sustain a 24-hour-7-day-a-week commitment to the incident;
     Have the authority to commit agency or company resources to the incident;
     Have the authority to spend agency or company funds;
     Agree on an incident response organization;
     Agree on the appropriate Command and General Staff position assignments to ensure clear
       direction for on-scene tactical resources;
     Commit to speak with “one voice” through the Public Information Officer or Joint Information
       Center, if established;
     Agree on logistical support procedures; and
     Agree on cost-sharing procedures, as appropriate.

EPA                                                - 26 -                                       IC Job Aid
                                                                                              January 2009
It is important to note that you do not lose your jurisdictional authority when participating as a
member of the UC.

How does the UC work?
The UC is responsible for the overall management of the incident. The UC directs incident responders
toward completion of critical incident objectives that are key success elements of successful response.

The UC brings the key decision makers of an incident together. Decisions are made by consensus.
Because the ICs do not all have the same jurisdiction, authority, resources and expertise, the decision
making process is not prolonged as seen in other venues where participants have equal background,
responsibility and skill sets (Congressional Committees, Board of Trustees, Quality Action Workgroups).
In this way, the UC is not a “decision by committee” entity.

Typically, the ICs will rely on the IC having the most jurisdiction, authority, expertise or resources during
a particular time of the incident to take the lead on initiating or proposing a decision.

In cases where there is disagreement on a decision, the UC member representing the agency with the most
jurisdictional responsibility would make the final decision. It is important to note that in many large
incidents, the agency having most jurisdictional responsibility will change as the incident changes.

The ICs certainly have one thing in common: they are there to command the response to an incident.
They also realize time is of the essence. Therefore, the UC should develop synergy and recognize the
strength in marshalling the significant capabilities brought by the various representatives. There should
be personal acknowledgement of each representative’s unique capabilities. A cooperative attitude is
absolutely essential. Also key is complete buy-in into the ICS process.

Uncooperative attitudes, unnecessary disagreements and lack of proper implementation of ICS can result
in poor objectives and response direction. Failure to provide clear incident objectives and response
direction means that the UC has failed. While the UC structure is an excellent vehicle (and the only
nationally recognized vehicle) for coordination, cooperation, and communication, the duly authorized
representatives must make the system work successfully. A strong Command – a single IC or UC – is
essential to an effective response.

UC members must not get overwhelmed. Each UC member may assign Deputy IC(s) to assist in carrying
out IC responsibilities. UC members may also be assigned individual legal and administrative support
from their own organizations.

What if an agency is not represented in the UC but wants to be involved in the response
Here is how to ensure an agency's concerns or issues can be addressed:
       Serve as an agency or company representative who has direct contact with the Liaison Officer
       Provide stakeholder input to the LNO (for environmental, economic, social, or political issues);
       Serve as a Technical Specialist in the Planning Section;
       Provide input directly to a member of the UC.

The Importance of Setting up a Proper UC Room
The UC room is the space for the key decision makers for the incident. Therefore, the space must be
designed to be conducive for making decisions. It needs to be quiet and free of interruptions and
distractions that detract from the UC's ability to make decisions. It is for this reason that the UC space
needs to have sufficient staff assistance and supplies to enable the UC members to make focused

EPA                                                - 27 -                                       IC Job Aid
                                                                                              January 2009

UC personnel can become easily overwhelmed by all the many administrative and documentation tasks
required within the UC spaces. Below is a list of personnel that can be used to offset these and many
more heavy burdens. This list was derived from actual experience on real incidents and exercises. As
with all other positions within ICS, it is best not to assign all the functions below to one person, but rather
start with the positions needed and combine functions once the pace of UC operations allow.

ICS Facilitator (Technical Specialists or Deputy IC)
Not all response agency personnel are at the same level of ICS training. Consequently in order to level
the playing field, an ICS facilitator can be used. The advantage of an ICS facilitator is that they can coach
the UC through the ICS planning process. Having a facilitator to move things along also creates a sense
of equality amongst the UC members, since it is not the most experienced IC speaking the loudest and
driving the process. One other beneficial activity of having an ICS facilitator is to be able to prioritize
phone calls, requests for IC time and other demands placed on the UC. An ICS facilitator will be able to
discern whether such requests are a priority and if it is worth delaying the planning process. The ICS
facilitator can also assist the UC in the review of the Incident Action Plan.

A Technical Specialist or a Deputy IC can perform the ICS facilitator role. There are advantages and
disadvantages to each approach. The advantage of using a Technical Specialists is that the person is
typically dedicated to the ICS/UC process and cannot be tapped for other UC duties. The disadvantage is
that a technical specialist may have difficulty in encouraging players in the organization to attend
meetings, briefings etc., due to a lack of authority. The Deputy IC does have the authority and the added
benefit of being able to ensure that other ICS processes are followed in the sections below the UC. The
disadvantage of using a Deputy IC is they can be easily tasked to perform some other high profile
function. In situations where the UC has strong familiarization with ICS, a technical specialist is
preferable, if the opposite is true, the Deputy IC is best.

UC Administrative Specialist
Many tasks are performed within the UC room that is best done by a member other than the UC or the
ICS facilitator, in order that the UC can focus on making decisions. One example, is writing on poster
paper to capture UC key decisions and points of information. Additionally a UC Administrative
Specialist can perform the following functions:
       Control access into the UC room;
       Ensure UC room and ICs are properly supplied;
       Gather or remind UC members of important meetings and briefings;
       Be a "runner" or "go-for" for the UC;
       Keep the UC space tidy and organized;
       Complete other aide-de-camp type duties.

EPA                                                 - 28 -                                        IC Job Aid
                                                                                                January 2009
Documentation Unit Leader Assistant
The UC makes many important decisions and performs actions, sometimes at a very rapid pace. A
Documentation Unit Leader Assistant (ADUL) can be used to document all key decisions, actions taken
and keep a running chronology of UC activities. Since the UC makes collective decisions and takes
uniform actions, the activities of the UC can be documented on a single ICS Form 214. In many cases,
the UC may need to draft a decision memo or a position paper on a particular subject in order to fully
document their actions during the course of the response. Many documents are produced by the UC and
the ADUL can ensure they are collected and filed. The ADUL should be outfitted with a portable
computer laptop, containing ICS Form 214 and a printer.

UC Phone Watch
Perhaps the worst interruptions come from continuous phone calls within the UC spaces. It should not be
the practice of the UC to answer every phone call made into the UC. There should be a filter mechanism
between the caller and the UC. A dedicated person standing phone watch can answer the caller, place
them on hold, and then query the UC, or preferably, the ICS facilitator, as to whether the call should be
answered now or at a later time.


The UC table should be round and have enough room to seat all the members of the UC, their deputies
and Technical Specialists. The round table signifies a unified effort with no one at the head. If the only
table available is square or rectangle, UC members should leave the ends vacant as a gesture of equality.

Easels and Wall Space for Posting UC Products
The room should include wall space for hanging charts, maps and poster-size paper for all UC members
to review and consult their written products. Remember, all charts, maps, or other situational display
information placed in the UC room is the responsibility of the Planning Section Chief, supported by the
Situation Unit. An easel should be available with poster size paper (preferably the stick-on variety) with
multi-colored markers. A good UC Assistant (UCA) will post large sheets of paper around the room,
starting from the left to the right with the following headers, before the UC meets.

   Critical       Priorities     Constraints     Objectives        IMT           Open          Chart/Map
  Decisions                          &                          Operating      Action Log
                                 Limitations                    Procedures

  Org Chart

Each poster has significant importance and is used for communicating information from the UC to the
Command and General Staff. Here is a brief explanation of each poster:

Critical Decisions:    Lists the critical decisions of the UC and for communicating down to the
                       Command and General Staff.

Priorities             These are incident priorities established by the UC for communication to the
                       Command and General Staff.

Constraints &          These are the factors that constrain or limit the Incident Command
Limitations            System's ability to accomplish objectives.

Objectives             These are the objectives developed for the Command and General Staff.
EPA                                               - 29 -                                       IC Job Aid
                                                                                             January 2009
IMT Operating         These are a list of procedures that the IC/UC desires to implement
Procedures            for the Incident Management Team (IMT) to ensure standardized processes: i.e.,
                      media release policy, sensitive security information handling, resource ordering etc.

Open Action Log:      A log to keep track of all the tasks the UC would like completed by the Command
                      and General Staff.

A conference call phone should be accessible in the UC space that is large enough to allow all UC
members to hear and use. The conference call should be limited for use for calls to and from the UC and
not any single individual.

All calls going into the UC space should be filtered by a phone watchstander, therefore, it might be
preferable to have a second phone in the space for a watchstander to answer, but have the capability of
transferring the call to the conference phone if necessary.

Other Equipment
Some other equipment that may be useful for outfitting a UC space includes:
    Contingency Plans;
    Current IAP, Safety Plan;
    Television for monitoring media activities;
    Phone jacks to allow for internet access;
    Trash cans and shredders;
    Projector and screens for briefings;
    Coffee pot and supplies;
    Posted meeting agendas;
    ICS Meeting Schedule, ICS 230;
    Clock.

EPA                                               - 30 -                                      IC Job Aid
                                                                                            January 2009

To top