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Incident Command System

Purdue University’s Integrated Emergency Management Plan (IEMP) uses a management system widely known as the Incident Command System (ICS). The ICS provides an organizational structure capable of responding to all levels of emergencies from simple to complex. It also provides the flexibility to respond to an incident as it escalates in severity.

The purpose of the ICS is to:

  • Provide a common language for all emergency responders.
  • Provide an organizational structure that can grow rapidly in response to the requirements of the emergency.
  • Assign employees with reasonable expertise and training to critical functions without loss of precious time.
  • Activate only those positions needed to manage a particular incident or level of incident.
  • Promote proper span of control and unity of command.
  • Provide a system for information coordination to internal/external audiences.
  • Provide the Emergency Operations Center director with the control necessary to support all operations and all agencies responding to the incident.

Normally, the incident commander will be the fire department chief (or designated representative) or the police department chief (or designated representative), dependent on the level of emergency. Prior to the opening of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the designated incident commander will make a recommendation to the EOC director, who will determine whether the EOC requires activation. 

The incident commander will also:

  • Notify Purdue dispatch of the emergency
  • Assist the EOC director with assessing the emergency
  • Direct the overall University emergency response
  • Serve as the primary link to the external resources until the EOC is activated

NOTE: The organizational structure of the ICS may not resemble the day-to-day organization of the University. Employees may have a different reporting relationship under the ICS than their normal reporting relationship. As the severity of the incident increases, assignments may change in the ICS organizational structure. This means that an employee’s position in the ICS may change during the course of a single incident