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NIMS version: March 1, 2004
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Tab 2 - THE OPERATIONS SECTION >>

Tab 1
NIMS - ICS Organization

A. Functional Structure

B. Modular Extension



A. FUNCTIONAL STRUCTURE.

The ICS organization comprises five major functional areas (Figure A-1): command, operations, planning, logistics, and finance and administration. (A sixth area, intelligence, may be established if required.) rx-med.net


Figure A-1

B. MODULAR EXTENSION.

The ICS organizational structure is modular, extending to incorporate all elements necessary for the type, size, scope, and complexity of a given incident. The IC structural organization builds from the top down; responsibility and performance begin with the incident command element and the IC. When the need arises, four separate sections can be used to organize the staff. Each of these may have several subordinate units, or branches, depending on the management requirements of the incident. If one individual can simultaneously manage all major functional areas, no further organization is required. If one or more of the functions requires independent management, an individual is assigned responsibility for that function.

The responding IC’s initial management assignments will normally be one or more Section Chiefs to manage the major ICS functional areas (operations, planning, logistics, and finance and administration). The Section Chiefs will further delegate management authority for their areas as required. If a Section Chief sees the need, he or she may establish branches or units (depending on the section). Similarly, each functional unit leader will further assign individual tasks within the unit as needed.

The modular concept described above is based on the following considerations:

developing the form of the organization to match the function or task to be performed;

staffing only the functional elements that are required to perform the task;

observing recommended span-of-control guidelines;

performing the function of any nonactivated organizational element at the next highest level; and
deactivating organizational elements no longer required.

For reference, Table A-1 describes the distinctive title assigned to each element of the ICS organization at each corresponding level, as well as the leadership title corresponding to each individual element.


Organizational Element
Leadership Position

Incident Command
Incident Commander (IC)
Command Staff
Officer
Section
Section Chief
Branch
Branch Director
Division and Groups*
Supervisors
Unit**
Unit Leader

*The hierarchical term supervisor is only used in the Operations Section.
**Unit leader designations apply to the subunits of the Planning, Logistics, and Finance/Administration Sections.

Table A-1: ICS Organization


Tab 2 - THE OPERATIONS SECTION >>

 

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