Incident Command System as a Response Model Within Emergency Operation Centers during Hurricane Rita



This study examines the degree to which the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) influenced the performance of Texas emergency operations centers (EOCs) during Hurricane Rita. Staff in evacuation, transition, and host county EOCs completed a questionnaire that assessed demographic variables, EOC physical environment, ICS experience, ICS implementation, and team climate. The results indicated that the duties each ICS section performed varied substantially from one EOC to another. Moreover, ICS experience and ICS implementation lacked statistically significant correlations with team climate, even though EOCs' physical environments did. Finally, staff from emergency relevant agencies (e.g., public works and social services) seemed to have more problems with ICS than did staff from emergency mission agencies (e.g., fire and police departments). Thus, there needs to be further study of ICS application in emergencies other than structural and wildland fires, as well as the development of new ICS training materials for emergency relevant agencies to supplement the current ICS training materials for emergency mission agencies.