What is the difference between incident command and unified command?

Asked By: Suk Rebollido | Last Updated: 27th May, 2020
Category: business and finance executive leadership and management
4.3/5 (1,254 Views . 15 Votes)
In the Incident Command System, a Unified Command is an authority structure in which the role of incident commander is shared by two or more individuals, each already having authority in a different responding agency. Under a Unified Command, a single, coordinated Incident Action Plan will direct all activities.

Click to see full answer


Similarly one may ask, what is the difference between single and unified command?

The primary differences between the single command structure and the Unified Command structure are that: In a single command structure, the Incident Commander is solely responsible (within the confines of his or her authority) for establishing incident management objectives and strategies.

Also Know, what does Incident Command mean? The Incident Command System (ICS) is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient domestic incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure.

Hereof, what is meant by having a unified command and why is it so important in the incident command structure?

The Unified Command is a structure that brings together the Incident Commanders of the major organizations involved in the incident in order to coordinate an effective response, while at the same time allowing each to carry out their own jurisdictional, legal, and functional responsibilities.

What are advantages of using unified command?

Advantages of using Unified Command include: A single set of objectives guides incident response. A collective approach is used to develop strategies to achieve incident objectives. Information flow and coordination are improved between all involved in the incident.

27 Related Question Answers Found

What does unified command mean?

In the Incident Command System, a Unified Command is an authority structure in which the role of incident commander is shared by two or more individuals, each already having authority in a different responding agency. A Unified Command may be needed for incidents involving multiple jurisdictions or agencies.

What are the essential elements of unified command?

There are four basic elements to consider in applying Unified Command in ICS: 1. Policy, Objectives, and Strategy: Jurisdictional and agency administrators set policy. The Unified Command sets objectives and strategy.

What is an area command?

AREA COMMAND Area Command is an organization mechanism used, when necessary, to provide overall command and authority for two or more events or incidents, usually in close proximity to each other.

What is the incident commander responsible for?

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. The incident commander is the person responsible for all aspects of an emergency response; including quickly developing incident objectives, managing all incident operations, application of resources as well as responsibility for all persons involved.

What is an incident action plan?


An Incident Action Plan (IAP) is an organized course of events that addresses all phases of incident control within a specified time. An IAP is necessary to effect successful outcomes in any situation, especially emergency operations, in a timely manner.

What is the incident operational period?

The Incident Operational Period (IOP) is the period of time scheduled for execution of a given set of operational actions that are specifically specified in the Incident Action Plan (IAP). Operational Periods can vary in lengths, although not normally to exceed over 24 hours.

Who is responsible for establishing the incident operational period?

A planning cycle is typically established by the Incident Commander and Planning Section Chief, and an IAP is then developed by the Planning Section for the next operational period (usually 12- or 24-hours in length) and submitted to the Incident Commander for approval.

What is the purpose of the National Response Framework?

National Response Framework (NRF) The National Response Framework (NRF) establishes a single, comprehensive approach to domestic incident management. The NRF is used to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

What are incident management personnel that the incident commander or unified command assign to directly support the command function?

Command Staff. The Command Staff are incident management personnel that the Incident Commander or Unified Command assign to directly support the command function.

What type of command structure may be used for managing an incident when the incident crosses political boundaries and involves multiple functional authorities?


Unified Command is an application of ICS used when: There is more than one responding agency with responsibility for the incident. Incidents cross political jurisdictions. management personnel from key response agencies from each community may participate in a Unified Command.

Why is the National Incident Management System NIMS important?

NIMS aims to better improve the nation's response to emergencies. Its goal is a better system that can more efficiently allocate resources in the event of a disaster and facilitate cooperation among diverse entities and agencies.

What is command in FEMA?

Command: The act of directing, ordering, or controlling by virtue of explicit statutory, regulatory, or delegated authority. Command Staff: The staff who report directly to the Incident Commander, including the Public Information Officer, Safety Officer, Liaison Officer, and other positions as required.

What does the operations section chief do?

THE OPERATIONS SECTION CHIEF, A MEMBER OF THE ICS GENERAL STAFF IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRIMARY MISSION. THE OPERATIONS SECTION CHIEF SUPERVISES ORGANIZATION ELEMENTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INCIDENT ACTION PLAN AND DIRECTS ITS EXECUTION.

What does the liaison officer do FEMA?

THE LIAISON OFFICER IS A MEMBER OF THE COMMAND STAFF, AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FACILITATING THE UNTEGRATION OF LOCAL AND STATE WIDE AGENCY RESOURCES INTO THE INCIDENT ORGANIZATION. THE LIAISON OFFICER'S FUNCTION IS TO BE A POINT OF CONTACT FOR REPRESENTATIVES FROM ASSISTING AND COOPERATING AGENCIES.

What are the five major organizational functions of ICS?


All response assets are organized into five functional areas: Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics, and Administration/Finance. Figure 1-3 highlights the five functional areas of ICS and their primary responsibilities.

What are the main objectives of the ICS system?

ICS is widespread in use from law enforcement to every-day business, as the basic goals of clear communication, accountability, and the efficient use of resources are common to incident and emergency management as well as daily operations.