ICS and SEMS
ICS and SEMS
Incident Command System is a standardized system, which is used to control and coordinate emergence response activities. This provides a common platform to emergency teams from different organizations that have a common objective of addressing emergency issues (White, 2016). This system was developed as part of the FIRESCOPE program as an emergency response plan in addressing forest fires in California in the year 1970 where fires consumed people and caused a huge destruction on property. To address this issue adequately, this system was implemented to coordinate fire assets all over the California state leading to a quick response of emergencies in the state (White, 2016). The Standardized Emergency Management System constitutes key elements of the Incident Command System but is specifically focused on features and functions based on a particular region as different localities experience different emergencies. This system integrates all emergency management elements into a single system, which is efficient in managing emergency functions (White, 2016).
The Role of the ICS and SEMS. What Was The Rationale For The Creation Of Each? What Benefits Do They Provide?
The ICS was mainly developed as a standard response system for emergency fires and has been adopted nationally to help in responding to wild land fires. This is achieved by commanding, controlling, and coordinating the necessary resources and personnel required in addressing an emergency (Gaines & Kappeler, 2018). Due to the complexity and diverse resources required in addressing emergencies, this system is responsible for developing and implementing strategic decisions which include approving and releasing resources (Gaines & Kappeler, 2018). This system has also been integrated to address hazard situations by providing administrative and operational support to emergency workers and providing a centralized emergency system (Gaines & Kappeler, 2018). SEMS has the same functions as the ICS, which include creating emergency policies, coordination of emergency operations, and provision of facilities, material, and personnel necessary in addressing emergencies.
The SEMS system also performs administrative functions, which include financing, management, and logistic functions (Gaines & Kappeler, 2018). These include directing, distribution, and controlling of resources. The SEMS acts as a link between the government and the local response agencies by facilitating the flow of information and resources between the government and emergency agencies. The Standardized Emergency Management System was developed in 1991 following forest fires in Oakland Hills (Gaines & Kappeler, 2018). This system was meant to improve coordination in addressing emergencies between the federal, state, and local level. The ICS and SEMS are beneficial by preparing emergency response units in readiness to address emergencies through an effective information flow system and enhancing coordination between all those involved in the process. These systems will also identify and fill any gaps in the emergency response management system (Gaines & Kappeler, 2018).
The Relationship between SEMS and the ICS Using a Real-World Example. What Features of SEMS Are Based On the ICS
The SEMS and ICS system are both focused on improving public safety across the nation by improving the communication process, coordination, and corporation between all those involved in addressing emergencies in the different states of the United States (Ward & Informed, 2017). These systems have been implemented to improve the emergency response operation in the United States. The systems perform the functions of integrating facilities, personnel, and other resources in a centralized organizational structure. These systems have been implemented to assist those responsible for the planning and implementing of emergency response operations (Ward & Informed, 2017). An example of the relationship between SEMS and ICS is in addressing a fire emergency is by enhancing the preparedness for the emergency response. SEMS and ICS are used in emergency planning by accessing the emergency agencies’ ability in performing the basic functions required in addressing an emergency (Ward ; Informed, 2017).
These systems are used concurrently in assessing an emergency, identifying the necessary operations, and managing the situation through management and resource allocation. The systems also allow other stakeholders to participate in the process through adequate planning and implementation of the best strategies (Ward ; Informed, 2017). In case of a fire incident, the ICS is used to gather information about the incident and what measures to implement with the SEMS identifying the available resources in a particular region necessary to address the situation (Ward ; Informed, 2017). SEMS focuses on a particular situation in relation to the states resources. Some of the features of SEMS based on the ICS include the function principles, which determine the different functions between the different levels, which include the state level, the federal level, and the local level. These features are important in providing guidance and important management functions (Ward ; Informed, 2017).
If SEMS is based so heavily On the ICS, Why Not Abolish SEMS and Just Use the ICS?
Due to the nature of emergencies, it is important for certain functions and roles to be identified and distributed. The ICS is meant to address emergencies on a wider scale where SEMS focuses on specific localities (Alexander, 2014). Different localities experience different emergencies, which can all use ICS. However, due to certain emergencies being common in certain states, it is important that these states adopt the SEMS to focus on the particular emergencies (Alexander, 2014). SEMS also takes into consideration the available resources and structures in a particular state and how these can be effectively allocated in addressing certain emergencies. Abolishing SEMS would leave some gaps and functions unmet since ICS is not specific to certain emergencies in certain localities (Alexander, 2014).
An example would be in addressing a fire emergency in a state without adequate infrastructure where the ICS would provide guidelines based on the federal resources. However, SEMS would be specific on how to address the fire incident based on the States’ resources and management functions without heavily relying on other external resources (Alexander, 2014). ICS is used at the field level of an incident, which involves taking action under the command of an appropriate authority to address an incident where else SEMS follows set guidelines under the State’s policies. This is better as a state is better placed to identify the available resources effective in addressing a certain emergency (Alexander, 2014).
Alexander, D. (2014). Principles of emergency planning and management. Edinburgh. Scotland: Dunedin Academic Press Ltd.
Gaines, L. K., ; Kappeler, V. E. (2018). Homeland security. Boston: Prentice Hall.
Ward, M., ; Informed. (2017). NIMS: Incident command system field guide. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
White, J. (2016). Terrorism and homeland security. Centage Learning, Inc.