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NCJ Number: NCJ 224936     Find in a Library
Title: Issue Brief 2 - Communications in the Incident Command System
  Document URL: Text PDF 
  Agency Summary: Agency Summary 
Author(s): Dan Hawkins
Corporate Author: SEARCH - National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics
United States of America
Date Published: 05/2007
Page Count: 12
  Annotation: In presenting background information on communications within the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and its Incident Command System (ICS), this report examines the role of communications within these constructs and the context of multiagency response to disasters and emergencies, concluding with a review of operational best practices for the use of incident communications units.
Abstract: The report first reviews the two presidential directives issued in 2003 that have had a profound impact on emergency response and management in the United States: (Homeland Security Presidential Directive) HSPD-5 and HSPD-8. HSPD-5 established single, comprehensive NIMS to be developed and administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for use by all levels of government. HSPD-5 also required the Secretary of DHS to develop, submit for approval, and administer a National Response Plan that would use NIMS for the provision of Federal support to State and local agencies during domestic incidents. HSPD-8 provided further delineation of requirements affecting agencies receiving Federal assistance. It required development of a National Preparedness Goal that includes measures of readiness and the full implementation of an interagency grant process for first-responder preparedness assistance. After reviewing the effects of HSPD-5 and HSPD-8 on local agencies, this report presents the principles of the NIMS and its ICS. This is followed by a discussion of operational best practices to be implemented in the ICS. One of the best practices is hierarchical communications. This means that each person fulfilling an assigned role has a clear route of communication up and down the chain of command. Another category of best practices ICS incorporates pertains to communication procedures. These involve emergency traffic, channel span of control, standard language, a communications-order model, and operational unit reporting. Other ICS best practices address communications positions, communications unit staffing, and an incident communications plan.
Main Term(s): Police emergency planning
Index Term(s): Emergency communications ; Police command and control ; Interagency cooperation ; Police emergency procedures
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Grant Number: 2004-IN-WX-K002
Sale Source: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
US Dept of Justice
Two Constitutional Square
145 N Street, N.E.
Washington, DC 20530
United States of America
Type: Report (Technical)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Issue Brief of the COPS Interoperable Communications Technology Program, N 2, May 2007; downloaded November 26, 2008.
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