The incident action planning process should synchronize site-specific incident response operations and objectives based on the Incident Command System (ICS). The Incident Action Plan (IAP) should include predetermined activities or processes, repeated in each operational period, that provide a consistent rhythm and structure to the required incident management at the scene. With a detailed plan in place, response objectives can be met with the appropriate integrated incident response and coordinated operational support.
An incident is “an occurrence, natural or manmade, that requires a response to protect life or property.” - The National Incident Management System Glossary
The Incident Management Team must ensure that the IAP being developed meets the needs of the incident and the response objectives. Included in the IAP are ICS forms, a valuable resource for advancing a response to controlled conditions. However, leaders must be vigilant that these forms do not become the primary focus of the planning process, but rather a support tool that furthers the integration of a rational and effective planning process.
ICS forms are intended for developing IAPs, incident management activities, and for support and documentation of ICS activities. ICS forms are utilized to document many primary response components and provide the site-specific information utilized during a response. Personnel using the forms should have a basic understanding of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), including ICS, through training and/or experience to ensure they can effectively use and understand these forms.
ICS Forms used with IAP
The following ICS forms are typically included with an IAP. The information below includes the form identification number, the position responsible for form completion, and a summary of the form's objectives.
ICS Form-200: Action Plan Cover Page completed by Resource Status Unit Leader:
- Identifies the ICS forms used in the IAP.
- Incident Name
- Date and time of operational period
- Approval signature
ICS Form-202: Incident Objectives completed by the Incident Planning Chief:
- Identifies overall general control objectives for the incident
- May include general weather forecast for the specific operational period
- Identifies list of assigned personnel for the following
- Incident Command Staff
- Agency representative
- Planning Section
- Logistics Section
- Operations Section
- Financial Section
- Additional Divisions/Groups
- Possible Air Operations
ICS Form-204: Assignment list completed by the Resource Unit Leader or Section Chief and Operations Section Chief:
- Location of Assignments for current operational period
- Operation Personnel Assigned
- Nature of Operations
- Special instructions
- Group communications summary
ICS Form-205: Incident Radio Communication Plan completed by the Communications Unit Leader:
- Basic radio channel utilization
ICS Form-206: Medical Plan completed by the Medical Unit Leader:
- Incident Medical Aid Station
- Ambulance service
- Paramedic availability
- Medical emergency procedures
Other ICS Forms are utilized in the ICS process for incident management activities, but may not be included in the IAP.
Once the IAP is complete with appropriate ICS form attachments, the plan should:
- Specify the objectives for the next operational period
- Define the work assignments for the next operational period, including extracts of site-specific safety messages (Note: the Site Safety Plan, ICS Form-208, is generally a stand-alone document which may or may not be included in the IAP)
- Define the resources needed for each operational period to reach objectives
- Depict organization of response personnel
- List radio and telephone communications for all incident personnel
- Specify a medical plan to follow in case of a responder emergency
Identify resources at risk: Possibly include a sketch or other graphics of situational and response status that may include trajectories, shorelines, or aerial view results
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