Successful emergency scene operations require the application of an effective command system.

An effective incident command system has a dramatic effect on efficiency, effectiveness of response and firefighter safety in all situations.


The lack of a strong, clear and identifiable incident command system may adversely affect the outcome of emergency scene operations and place firefighters in needless danger.

Actions for employers

Employers should:

  • train all personnel in incident command
  • develop and implement an incident command system supported by operational guidelines, training, post incident analyses and regular review and revision
  • implement the key concepts of crew accountability, safety officers, sectoring and crew rotation to increase firefighter safety
  • require use of an incident command system during all incidents

Applicable regulations and acts


  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
    • clause 25(2)(a) for providing information and instruction to a worker
    • clause 25(2)(h) for taking every precaution reasonable to protect workers