The ICS, Incident Command System, is a well-defined and standardized management strategy for all incidents related to hazards. These strategies are in form of management approaches aimed at the allowance for integration of all equipment, facilities, procedures, and communications. Such operations are organized in such a way that they are within the same organizational structure (Brian, 2007). ICS is also known to coordinate basic responses within various functional structures and jurisdictions for both private and public agencies. Such systems also establish some common strategies aimed at planning, managing, and monitoring all resources. Another thing with ICS Systems is that they are flexible and are quite applicable when different incidents of any scope or type occur. In that case, ICS has been able to allow all users to adopt integrated operational structures that will make it possible to match all the demands as well as the complexities of multiple incidents or disasters (Stilp, 2009). ICS is hence intelligently structured in a way that enables activities in all the major five areas of function: Operations, Command, Logistics, Planning, and Administration. All these functional areas can be used depending on the major needs or requirements of that particular incident (Ronald & Robert, 2009). In order to understand the application and use of ICS better, it would be necessary to look at its application and use in and after the Oklahoma City Bombing.
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Application of ICS after the Oklahoma City Bombing
As a system, we should see that ICS is an extremely powerful and useful mechanism for managing any sort of WMS, Weapons of Mass Destruction that may be launched against any group of people. The ICS system does not only provide operational and organizational procedures that are useful in the management of any abrupt disaster or event (Simonsen, 2009), but also gives guidelines on the processes that would be involved in building, adapting, and managing an ICS strategy. The use of ICS for any kind of incident or a given event will help in maintaining the necessary skills which would be useful whenever a grand incident or event, especially of terrorism and other similar attack occurs (Simonsen, 2009).
According to the World Disasters Report (2003), the Oklahoma City Bombing occurred in the year 1995, April 19. It has been recorded that the attack was from a massive bomb, homemade, that had been concealed inside a truck. The homemade bomb exploded heavily, and as a result damaging the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building (Ronald & Robert, 2009). After this bombing attack, it was later reported that a total number of 168 persons lost their lives, and this included a total of nineteen children. Also, more than five hundred people ended up being seriously injured (Simonsen, 2009). Later, the entire building was razed, and then a memorial park was constructed on the exact spot where the explosion took place. Until this day, the bombing has been in the records as one of the deadliest assaults of terrorism in the United States, together with the September 11 attacks that collapsed the WTC, the World Trade Center, New York City as well as the Pentagon. The September 11 attack would end up being the deadliest terrorist attack of all times on American soil (Stilp, 2009).
Since then there have been controversies about whether this was a terrorist attack or was an attack from the Americans themselves. In the beginning, suspicion was mainly focused on the Arabs in the Middle East, but all of a sudden the entire attention was quickly focused on McVeigh Timothy who was arrested immediately after this bombing after violating traffic rules. It was later alleged that Timothy and Nichols Terry, both of which were ex-U.S. soldiers, were involved in the bombing since they entirely supported the right-wing and the Patriot movement by the militants (Simonsen, 2009). Two days later after his arrest, Timothy was freed of his charges of violating traffic rules, but he was later identified to be a key suspect and was charged. Nichols, Timothy’s alleged accomplice, voluntarily surrendered himself later to the police department (Simonsen, 2009). Timothy was convicted for about 11 counts of conspiracy, murder, conspiracy, and the use of WMD, and was later executed in the year 2001. Nichols was lucky to avoid his death penalty, but he was later convicted for 8 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy, and in that case sentenced to lifetime imprisonment (Simonsen, 2009).
After this Oklahoma City Bombing Attack, the media and even the law enforcement individuals in the country began intense federal investigations. Such investigations were mainly directed at the militants and any other extremist group that was armed (Stilp, 2009). By 1999, it was recorded that the rates of membership in these militia organizations in the country had dropped by a very large margin. It would also be a very key thing to put the necessary ICS measures that would be useful in ensuring that any other similar bombing attack was prevented before it could happen, and should it happen, it would be necessary that all the mechanisms are already set to ensure that not even a single soul is lost.
Structure of the ICS
This attack was one of the historical catalysts which led to the strengthening of the old ICS Systems that had been applied in the United States. What was created as an intelligent ICS was the creation of three key axioms for command in case of any grand bombing attack. Such commands were: the Unity of Command, the Span of Control, and Delegation of Authority (Stilp, 2009). This was a complex structure that would ensure that any related attack would be dealt with in the shortest time possible. Such a command would constitute hundreds of policemen, medical experts, and even firefighters, and such a person would require a commandant who has both empirical understanding as well as training in coordinating all the three axioms in the rescue mission.
The Unity of Command axiom would be very useful for large disasters such as bombings that would not be easy to manage. It would also be necessary to incorporate a number of media houses so that information can be spread fast to people, and in that case, give the civilians a chance in giving a hand whenever it comes to such attacks. The newly created ICS required that all the police, emergency groups, and fire department would be available in all major cities in the country as a way of responding quickly after a similar attack. The other thing was the creation of an inter-service group that would be useful in case of an emergency. In that case, there was the need to recruit some person who would be coordinating the major groups involved in all rescue missions. This would be so because human beings will tend to disagree over small issues and therefore such disagreements cannot be healthy during any rescue operation (Stilp, 2009). Immediately after a disaster has occurred, it would be necessary for the convergent responders to be the first to arrive at the scene, then start to coordinate the necessary rescue operations (Stilp, 2009). It would be necessary to note that such people would not be from the Police Department, Medical Experts, or even the Firefighters. These Convergent responders would be the security people or even key persons in the Public Service near that area of attack. Such people may also be co-workers, and in that case, they would help render first-aid to those involved in the tragedy. This would be so because such people would give the greatest assistance to the victims of the attack than even the police or firefighters.
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There was also the creation of an Office of Emergency Management, abbreviated as OEM. Such an office would be useful in the recognition of all the key problems or issues that may have plagued all the emergency operations and services after any serious attack in the country (Ronald & Robert, 2009). Over the years the U.S. government has been able to cope with some of these problems and by so doing coming up with solutions that would be useful in the management of any other attack from Weapons of Mass Destruction. In that case, the Incident Command System in the country was seen to grow out of the fire fighting agenda to a system well-coordinated so that all the people may be rescued while at the same time ensuring that similar attacks are prevented whenever possible (Ronald & Robert, 2009).
According to the World Disasters Report (2003), there were a number of measures that were found necessary in achieving the ICS requirements after the bombing attack. The first thing involved laying down Counter-Measures as well as Preparedness response systems in the entire States. This would be useful in the coordination of all the useful information. Such a plan hence integrated a WMD Strategy plan and Preparedness Programs which incorporated all the necessary initiatives and measurements. Such a strategy involved the use of multi-layered and pro-active plans that would work in harmony with operations of the FBI, security organizations, government arms, learning institutions, industries, and even foreign players in the intelligence service (Ronald & Robert, 2009).
Other mechanisms have up to this day been applied in the ICS and are aimed at controlling any possible attacks, and this is something that has been achieved through putting Preparedness measures. What happens is that there is a fast response strategy that integrates the law enforcement authority, the health care agencies as well as government arms, and the central bank when a suspicious gadget or component has been reported. This has hence ensured that there is a high mechanism inter-play that is always ready in testing the country’s ICS ability when it comes to investigating and responding to a reported WMD attack. There has also been the use of Drills that have been aimed at ensuring that the competence and viability of the ICS system are ever uncompromised.
It would be necessary for any Government to apply an intelligent ICS System which would be effective in the monitoring of any event related to a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Such attacks are known to be very devastating and hence it would be necessary that such occurrences are monitored in the best way possible (Ronald & Robert, 2009). That being the case, there should be a number of EOC and ICS principles that should be put in place in ensuring that any similar occurrence of WMD related to Bombing Attack is contained in the shortest time possible, and by so doing be able to save all the people involved in such a tragedy. It would also be necessary that the right ICS measures are put in place to ensure all operations are monitored so that no suspicious materials can pose threat to any given country. After the Oklahoma City Bombing, there have been a number of principles have been developed in the country. This has involved the creation of an effective interface in the Emergency Operations as well as the Incident Command, and both would bring about a quick response in containing a similar attack. Some of these principles have included all the public officials as well as emergency coordinators and managers for responsive in order to understand the nature and complexity in the already existing preparedness to similar bombings, or any other sort of similar attack. Other measures involve quick response to treatment and recovery of the victims. In that case, all the survivors are rescued in the shortest time possible. Another aspect that can be effectively used is the installation of surveillance cameras to ensure that all movements around key buildings are monitored, and this will help in investigation whenever a similar attack occurs. In conclusion, we can say that the applied ICS System has integrated all measures that would see that affected people are treated as soon as possible, and also given life-saving plans. It would therefore be necessary to accept, initiate, and apply an Incident Command System (ICS) so as to help in improving the strength of preparedness in controlling any life-threatening attacks. It would also be necessary that Support Functions are integrated into the existing ICS.
Brian, J. (2007). Terrorism and Preparedness: Oxford: Oxford University Press.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. (2003). World Disasters Report 2003. Web.
Ronald, B. & Robert, M. (2009). Multiculturalism in the Criminal Justice System: New York: McGraw Hill Higher Education.
Simonsen, C. (2009). Terrorism Today: The Past, The Players, The Future: New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Stilp, B. (2009). Terrorism Handbook for Operational Responders: Delmar: Cengage Learning.