- First, the two ARFF units were onsite so, if figures that one of the two ARFF drivers, both Lieutenants, was the onsite incident commander.
- One question, is how can an ARFF driver be both an equipment operator and an incident commander? Fire experts I discussed this with make the comparison of either:
- The conductor of the symphony also playing Violin at the same time or
- The pitcher on a baseball team also playing shortstop while pitching
- The time stamps on the incident report clearly indicate: 8/27/2016 9:37:39 BTC1 ASSUMING COMMAND
- The time stamps of the vehicle logs for BC1 (Edler) clearly indicate: ARRIVED 8/27/2016 9:41:13
Below is a detail of the transfer of command process from standard fire operating procedures:
Transfer of Command process
A. The first fire department member arriving on the scene will automatically assume Command. This will normally be a Company Officer, but could be any fire department member up to and including the Fire Chief.
B. The first arriving Company Officer will assume Command after the Transfer of Command procedures have been completed (assuming an equal or higher ranking officer has not already assumed Command). IC #1 is usually a Company Officer.
C. The first arriving Command Officer should assume Command of the incident following Transfer of Command procedures and becomes IC #2.
D. Subsequent arriving Command Officers should report their location to the IC, and wait for an assignment. The first arriving Shift Commander ( preferably from the appropriate city that the incident is located in if available) will assume the roll of Senior Advisor and assist the IC. The second arriving Shift Commander sets up the Command Van (CV) and manages the movement of Command to the CV. The Senior Advisor, IC and Support Officer become the Command Team (Incident Advisory Team). The Command Team may assign additional staff such as a Safety Officer (relieves the Support Officer’s ISO responsibility) and a Staging Officer.
E. Assumption of Command is discretionary for Assistant Chiefs and the Fire Chief.
All of the above transfer procedures use the term ARRIVING.
Not four minutes away.
National Incident Management System Training materials are clear on Transfer of Command.
Lesson 7: Transfer of Command
Lesson OverviewThe Transfer of Command lesson introduces you to transfer of command briefings and procedures.
At the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
- Describe the process of transfer of command.
- List the essential elements of information involved in transfer of command.
Transfer of command is the process of moving the responsibility for incident command from one
Incident Commander to another.
When Command Is Transferred
Transfer of command may take place for many reasons, including when:
- A jurisdiction or agency is legally required to take command.
- Change of command is necessary for effectiveness or efficiency.
- Incident complexity changes.
- There is a need to relieve personnel on incidents of extended duration.
- Personal emergencies arise (e.g., Incident Commander has a family emergency).
- Agency administrator directs a change in command.
The arrival of a more qualified person does NOT necessarily mean a change in incident command.
The more qualified individual may:
- Assume command according to agency guidelines.
- Maintain command as it is and monitor command activity and effectiveness.
- Request a more qualified Incident Commander from the agency with a higher level of jurisdictional responsibility.
One of the main features of ICS is a procedure to transfer command with minimal disruption to the incident. This procedure may be used any time personnel in supervisory positions change.
Whenever possible, transfer of command should:
- Take place face-to-face.
- Include a complete briefing.
Transfer of Command Briefing Elements
A transfer of command briefing should always take place. The briefing should include:
- Situation status.
- Incident objectives and priorities.
- Current organization.
- Resource assignments.
- Resources ordered and en route.
- Incident facilities.
- Incident communications plan.
- Incident prognosis, concerns, and other issues.
- Introduction of Command and General Staff members.
- A child's birthday party at Chuckie Cheese.
- Conductor of an orchestra.
- Umpiring a baseball game.
- Singing the National Anthem
- Dropping the Green Flag at a race.
- Directing traffic when a stop light is out
- Drawing bingo numbers
- Being a Judge.
- Delivering babies.
- BEING INCIDENT COMMANDER AT A POTENTIAL CATASTROPHE
- Taking command must be done onsite and has a specific process and procedure.
- You can not under any circumstance assume Incident Command 4 minutes away from the incident.
- Key decisions must be made regarding preparation and response ONSITE as the Incident unfolds.
- Incident Commanders can't make the proper decisions while still driving to the Incident from breakfast.
- Nathan Edler made a serious mistake in assuming command offsite in this emergency.
Date: Sep 27, 2016 9:45 AM
Subject: RE: Article on Southwest Airline Response
To: "Maren DeWeese" <email@example.com>