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Street-Level Incident Command for Law Enforcement Officers

The first 15 minutes at an emergency scene is the most pivotal time in operations. The initial tactical decisions made by the incident commander dictate the success (or failure) of the emergency. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) gives structure to bringing order to chaos at emergency scenes. However, the NIMS system is designed to train responders to handle complex events, typically lasting hours to days. Classes in the NIMS system are beneficial to high-level agency commanders but often fail to train responders on the streets how to manage most typical incidents.

There are certain nuances that allow an initial incident commander to gain control of the situation. This class will explore what happens in dynamic incidents at the street-level that prevent an initial incident commander from gaining control of the chaotic scene. By gaining control of himself/herself, the incident commander can gain control of the situation. 

  1. Events that unfold in front of you are different from events that place you in danger. Understanding the difference between dynamic situations and dangerous situations will give the initial incident commander a better understanding of steps to take to gain control.

  2. The body’s reaction to stress is no different in dynamic situations than it is in dangerous situations. Knowing how the body will react will help the initial incident commander to gain situational awareness. Understanding a human’s weakness from the body’s reaction to stress will allow the initial incident commander to look past what the body sees and recognize what is actually happening.

  3. The initial incident commander must step into chaos that has been developing over time while immediately absorbing enough information to begin bringing order to the chaos. The concept of operational equilibrium explores the initial incident commander’s ability to absorb information at a high rate of speed while establishing operational objectives for incoming resources.

  4.  The ultimate goal of every initial incident commander is to bring order to chaos. This order looks very different to individual agencies. Knowing how order appears to law enforcement, fire service, and EMS agencies will allow each responder to have a better effect on the outcome of an incident.

Topics Discussed:

  •  Establishing “hasty command”

  • Unified command and the critical role with Fire and EMS

  • The role of the Tactical Dispatcher

  • Transport and priority of the wounded

  • Tactical Emergency Casualty Care and responder equipment/training concerns

  • Asymmetric counterassault considerations

  • Hot, Warm, Cold and Offsite Operations zone considerations

  • When the 5Cs pertain; “Contain, Control, Communicate, Call Negotiators, and Call SWAT”

  • Command of fire-as-a-weapon events

  • Use of aerial reconnaissance equipment by patrol officers

  • Use of Public Information and the flow of social media

  • Use of available assets unknown by street level command

Integrated responses are a necessity in for successful mitigation of most complex emergency responses. Initial incident commanders must understand how to implement unified command and effectively coordinate integrated operations. Understanding this concept will prepare the initial incident to manage dynamic, emergency incidents.

This class is for active law enforcement, military law enforcement, and government officials only. This class is not available to the general public. To download a PDF description of this course, please click here. If you would like more information on booking this course, please email, or call 1-800-231-9106.


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