Many agencies have switched from pen and paper-based incident action plans (IAPs) to ICS form 201. This is a very bold move as many agencies now rely on this single document to organize their response to incidents.
ICS form 201 was developed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) under the auspice of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The goal was to create a universal system for organizing incident responses.
Unfortunately, in its current state, ICS form 201 is not suitable for use as an initial incident action plan (IAP). It was designed with longer-term incidents in mind and does not adequately address the needs of short-term incidents such as active shooter situations or natural disasters.
This article will discuss some of the limitations of ICS form 201 and offer some suggestions for improving it.
Inconsistencies in content
Another issue with the ICS Form 201 is that some sections do not have a corresponding section in the IAP. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to some confusion.
For example, the Situation section of the ICS Form does not directly correlate to the Situation section of the IAP. Instead, this information is gathered and presented in the Initial Response section of the IAP.
This means that some of the information presented in the Situation section of the ICS Form may be outdated by the time an incident response begins. Additionally, responders may have to search for this information since it is not all collected in one place.
Formatting should be standardized
While ICS forms have been around for several decades, the way that forms are completed has changed several times.
The latest change occurred in 2018 when the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) updated the ICS form format. This included changes to position titles, response sector assignment, and incident action plan (IAP) components.
While most fire departments in the US use some version of the latest IAFC ICS form, there are some that still use older forms or create their own local versions.
This can lead to confusion when completing an exchange of information as to what resources are available and how they are arranged. This can also lead to wasted time when arriving on scene and trying to coordinate with unfamiliar resources.
It is important for agencies to keep their ICS form up to date and use the most recent version to facilitate communication.
Content should be standardized
While ICS forms are a great tool, using them as the only tool can be problematic. The content that needs to be conveyed needs to be standardized so that all agencies have the same information.
ICS forms are great for organizing response activities and tracking progress, but they do not provide enough detail for logistics such as resources needed, safety precautions, and communication methods.
Since ICS forms are organized by hierarchy, adding in additional sections can prove difficult. Adding in additional sections would require reorganization of the form which would take a significant amount of time.
There are different ICS forms depending on the level of response. An Initial Incident Action Plan (IAP) is used during initial response activities. An Incident Command Post (ICCP) is used when the incident reaches full response and there is a need for leadership.
Ics form 201 is not suitable for use as an initial incident action plan (iap)
ICS Form 201 is a general incident form that can be used for a variety of incidents, including officer incidents. It was created for general incidents and does not have a specific order of events for managing an incident.
This form was not made for officer involved shootings and does not have the appropriate sections to include in an IAP. Although it has the section name of “Plan”, there is no detailed plan included.
There are several reasons why ICS Form 201 is not suitable for use as an initial incident action plan (IAP). The first reason is that there are no direct links to any other forms in the form bundle. This makes it difficult to find other appropriate forms to include in your IAP.
The second reason is that there are no checklists in the form, making it difficult to keep track of what needs to be done.
A iap should contain more detail than the ics form 201
The Incident Command System (ICS) Form 201 is a generic form that can be used for any incident, including incidents involving cybercrime.
However, this form is not suitable for use as an Initial Incident Action Plan (IAP). This is the form most agencies refer to when they say to create an ICS Form.
The problem with using the ICS 201 as an IAP is that it only has three sections: Operations, Administration, and Communications. These sections do not provide enough detail for responders to act quickly and effectively.
ICS forms can be very useful when responding to a cyber incident but only if they are filled out completely. Some forms may need to be re-done after the incident is under control so that there is more detail.
The iap should address personnel, equipment, and resource deployment
The ICS Form 201 is a form that requires specific information, which can be difficult to gather in the midst of an emergency.
The form requires information such as the nature of the incident, whether it’s a fire, hazardous material incident, natural disaster, active shooter or other type of emergency, and if there are any reported injuries or fatalities.
However, this information may not be known at the time of the emergency. In the case of a cyber attack that causes a widespread power outage and disruption to other systems like security cameras and alarms, the only information that may be known is that it is a cyber attack.
The same goes for instances of natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes: there may be early warning signs before they strike, but not during the actual event.