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The individual responsible for the command of all functions at the field response level. This person must be fully trained and knowledgeable in the Incident Command System.


A management tool designed so that diverse agencies can work together effectively during an emergency response. The system provides a structure for controlling personnel, facilities, equipment and communications. The Incident Command system can be established and expanded depending upon the changing conditions of an incident.


The location from which the Incident Commander oversees all incident operations. There is only one ICP for each incident or event. Every incident or event must have some form of an ICP.

Some of my Responstabilities would be:

  • As the incident grows and several agencies become involved communications can become complicated. It is the Incident Commander's responsibility to ensure that everyone has common communications.

  • To ensure firefighter safety, it is critical that all personnel are informed of the name of the Incident Commander, especially when there is a change in command. The Incident Commander can be of any agency (usually the first to respond would elect an Incident Commander).

  • The Incident Commander (IC) will immediately assess the situation and report information to the appropriate dispatch center. The IC should consider the following:
i. Size-up (evaluate factors, weather probabilities)
ii. Exposures (wildland fuel bed and structures)
iii. Confinement (topography factors and access)
iv. Extinguishment (resources and personnel available)
When the above items have been evaluated the Incident Commander can select the most appropriate attack method or combination of methods.

  • The IC will set up an Incident Command Post (ICP). Displaying a flashing green light, or a fluorescent orange flag or traffic cone will signify the ICP. The ICP may be located in the county Emergency Communications Van.

  • The IC will establish appropriate communications. Wildfire communications networks may include: Command, Tactical, Support, and others, as the situation demands.

  • The Incident Commander will request and obtain authority for road closures from the responsible agencies, as necessary.

  • The Incident Commander will determine perimeters to control access.

  • The Incident Commander will determine if evacuation of threatened areas should be recommended.

  • The use of aerial resources is a tactical decision that is made by the Incident Commander.

  • The Incident Commander may request EMS (Emergency Medical Services) through 911 Dispatch.

  • The Incident Commander will determine when search and rescue operations are required.

Title: Incident Commander Checklist


[Review draft Wildfire Incident Organizer, IP-2.9]

1. Ensure that documentation is maintained.

2. Don identification vest, if available.

3. Report to fire scene and assess situation. Review Fire Incident Complexity Guide, IP-2.6.

4. Gather initial data about the fire:

a. Location - Range, Township & Section, if possible.

b. Land ownership

c. Access routes

d. Size

e. Fire behavior

f. Fuels

g. Terrain

h. Weather

i. Hazards

j. Values at risk

k. Local resources

5. Initiate ICS:

a. Establish & identify Command Post.

b. Appoint Incident Command staff, as required.

c. Establish appropriate communications. Use no codes.

d. Request command level agency representatives with communications capability report to ICP.

e. Conduct initial briefing with command staff.

f. Establish other ICS features, (Staging, Base, etc.) as required.

g. Use ICS Forms as required. See IP-2.1

6. If more than one fire jurisdiction is involved establish Unified Command (see IP-1.5) and request Emergency Communications Van from Dispatch.

7. Pinpoint and report locations on maps using coordinates

8. Determine acreage involved.

9. Observe and record data concerning the cause of the fire. If possible protect general area of origin. Treat this area as a crime scene.

10. Use an eight step process to develop wildfire tactics and strategy.

a. Evaluate data (size-up) factors.

b. Develop and communicate objectives - complete Incident Objectives Form at end of this checklist.

c. Develop an alternative plan.

d. Anticipate the unexpected (fire behavior forecast, equipment breakdowns, etc.).

e. Select a tactical plan that ensures highest probability of success, consistent with personnel safety.

f. Implement the decision (incident action plan).

g. Monitor progress (get feedback, hold briefings and meetings).

h. Take corrective action, if needed.

11. Report to dispatch the existing situation, plan of attack, and the need for any additional resources. Request Air operations through
BILC at 384-3400.

12. Determine whether any structures are at risk.

13. Determine if evacuation is needed, take appropriate actions.

14. Recognize and protect local resources of natural and cultural significance.

15. Direct the initial attack forces to gain control of the fire with as little damage to the area as possible. All fire fighters should know the 10 Standing Orders, IP-2.4; and the 18 Situations that Shout Watch Out, IP-2.5. Also ensure that all personnel know the name of the Incident Commander, especially when command changes.

16. Brief personnel on the tactical actions, hazards and other factors affecting fire suppression.

17. Monitor weather and other environmental factors to anticipate changes in fire behavior.

18. Immediately inform all personnel of any Red Flag Warnings.

19. Make adjustments in tactics and deployment to meet changing conditions.

20. Take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of control lines and containment of the fire.

21. Provide for the welfare of fire personnel during the entire period of command.

22. Determine when the fire is out and/or it is safe to leave.

23. Ensure the fire area is clear of tools, equipment, and garbage.

24. Maintain adequate records of events, use of personnel, equipment and supplies, and other data for fire management needs. Provide safety briefings to crews when fire, or weather conditions, change significantly.

25. Demobilization.

26. Account for all resources.

27. Complete time reports, accident forms, fire reports and other pertinent reporting forms.

28. Advise fire management personnel as to resources threatened during the fire and rehabilitation needs to the fire area after the fire.

29. Participate in group critiques (AAR/PIA) as needed.

30. Consider further training needs.

31. If Fire Escapes Initial Attack:

a. Recognize the need for extended attack organization and make appropriate recommendation/requests for an Incident Management Team.

b. Arrange for, incorporate/deploy incoming personnel.

c. Establish priorities of fire actions for interim period for an extended attack.

32. If necessary, request a MAC Group convene.

33. Transfer of Incident Command should include the following.

a. The arriving IC will communicate with the person being relieved by radio, or preferably face-to-face on arrival.

b. The person being relieved will brief the new IC with the following information.

i. General situation status: fire location, extent, conditions.

ii. Effectiveness of control efforts.

iii. Safety considerations including name of safety officer.

c. Deployment and assignments of operating resources.

d. Appraisal of needs for additional resources at that time.

e. The person being relieved should review the Tactical Worksheet with the command officer.

f. Broadcast name of new IC over radio to all personnel.

BILC = Boise Interagency Logistics Center

ECV = Emergency Communications Van

IC = Incident Commander

ICP = Incident Command Post

ICS = Incident Command System

IP = Implementing Procedure

MAC = Multi-Agency Coordination (Group)

NWS = National Weather Service

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