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What is the ICS 100?

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ICS 100 refers to the basic training course for the Incident Command System, a standardized emergency response management system designed to allow responders to organize an integrated response, even when multiple agencies are on the scene. Many federal agencies and other government organizations now mandate that their employees learn the ICS, as of 2015. Other institutions, such as the University of Oregon, also strongly encourage their employees to learn the ICS.

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The FEMA Emergency Management Institute also offers online versions of the course, including specialized versions for various government departments and careers, such as the Food and Drug Administration, federal workers, hospital workers and law enforcement.

ICS 100 covers the features, principles and organizational structure of the ICS, as well as its history and relationship to the National Incident Management System. The Emergency Management Institute released the first version of ICS 100 in 2006 and has updated it since, with the general course called IS-100.b as of 2015.

After developing it in the 1970s, the federal government combined the ICS with the National Interagency Incident Management System in the 1980s and promoted the use of the ICS nationally. ICS sought to create a manageable command structure during emergencies and address a number of problems found in previous incidents, such as different response structures among agencies, lack of reliable information and confused authority structures.

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