ARTICLE BY: 1Lt. Wilmer Sosa, CAP

Katy, TX – Feb 28-Mar 01 2015 – Fourteen members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP): Thunderbird Composite Squadron, Sabre Senior Squadron, and Delta Composite Squadron, along with 2 members of the local community, completed the advanced ICS-300 – Intermediate Incident Command System (ICS) for Expanding Incidents. The course was hosted by the Texas Division of Emergency Management and lead by Michael D. Chance. It is intended to serve as a vehicle to share proven incident management strategies and practices as well as to enhance teamwork and coordination among those agency’s mid-level managers and command staff directly responsible for emergency response to incidents of all types of hazards in which the ICS will be employed.

This ICS course covered proper staffing and organization of the command structure, information flow, working relationships, transfer of command, and unified command functions in multi-jurisdictional or multi-agency incidents, managing resources, inter-agency mission planning, and how to complete several ICS forms. The content was presented primarily in lecture format; however several group exercises were conducted throughout the course to demonstrate the skills taught.

“This class taught me about ICS staffing, transfer of command, proper form documentation, unified command, resource management and inter-agency mission planning,” said Captain Amanda Followell.

The class was visited by Major Ric Walters, Group IV Commander, CAP.” It’s amazing to see all the hard work our members are doing here. Y’all are making a great impact on our communities which are very receptive and appreciative of the Civil Air Patrol. I want to say thank you.”

ICS is a proven, adaptable management system that allows the participants to manage confidently and consistently in any incident regardless of the nature or scale. The aim of the course is to introduce students to ICS at the supervisory/management level and to demonstrate the effectiveness of ICS. Using a natural disaster scenario, this management level training course provides a practical demonstration of ICS and it is recommended for all Incident Command Team (ICT) supervisors and managers.

A useful overview of the Emerald City scenario was incorporated into the course and a flood scenario was used for the classroom exercises. Having prior experience in flooding incidents is not essential. This course is not purely flood emergency training. This course delivers ICS in a fresh and unique way incorporating a mix of presentations, quizzes, demonstrations and table top exercises to reveal how ICS can be effectively used in a variety of emergency incidents.

An Incident Action Plan (IAP) was produced during the course and participants were able to take this knowledge forward to replicate the process during an emergency event. Being an effective member of a flood, oil spill or disaster response ICT requires specialized training and the ICS 300 course for Expanding Incidents is an excellent knowledge-builder, whatever the delegate role or experience within the ICT.

“I took the course because I want to be able to lead a team into incidents with the mental tools to handle what is needed.” said 1st Lieutenant Richard Bonica. “This is achieved by being able to build teams to handle tasks needed to be completed. It also assisted in seeing what is needed to communicate to the resources not only the actual incident but also the tasks and objectives needed to resolve it. The exercises were instrumental to me by showing how to allow teams to work together now get involved in micromanaging the situations. The class itself was given in great detail. The information was easy to understand the way the instructors presented it. I also enjoyed playing out a command post it see what is really to be done during an incident”

The course utilizes scenarios and application exercises to highlight key issues and facilitate discussion. The concluding IAP exercise allowed participants to apply the information provided during the course in a controlled, supervised environment.

A special thanks to the Katy Commerce Center for hosting this class and for the outstanding hospitality.

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TX-179 Thunderbird Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol

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