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Incident Command System (ICS) - TERCOM Recommendation Nr. 10

22 Aug 2022

Incident Command System

1. Introduction


A suitable command structure is required in every rescue operation. Most rescues in an alpine environment are done by one or a few local rescue teams who have a good understanding of each team‘s systems and capabilities. They often train together and coordinate with each other. In such situations, often the command structure is informal, simple and based upon the needs of the situation. This is normal and understandable, but still a structure exists.


Although most alpine operations are small in scale, larger incidents are possible, with many moving parts both at and away from the rescue site. This type of incident may even involve more than one country. This calls for a more complex command structure, which rescue teams have to be able to adapt to.


It is important to use a command system that is flexible, cabable of scaling from the smallest size to larger multi-agency incidents.


2. Recommendation


Incident command system should be:


  1. Scalable and modular: easily support the incident command team from 1 person to a large group.
  2. Usable for small scale local incidents to a large disaster stretching between communities or countries without the need to change the system.
  3. Standardized structure and terms.
  4. Workable in all environments.
  5. Integrated into national incident command system.
  6. Able to allow timely transmission of data and personal information under the laws of each country.



3. Explanatory notes


  1. Scalable and Modular: It is very important not to change the system due expanded incident needs.
  2. Usable for all scenarios: As features expand, it is important that everyone understands the system and can merge directly into it.
  3. Standardized: Structure and terms that everyone is familiar with and trained in.
  4. Workable in all environments: On land, at sea and in the air.
  5. Integrated: Into national incident command system.
  6. Integrated Communications: Able to allow timely transmission of data and personal information under the laws of each country.

5. Glossary

For the glossary please download the file!