A common emergency response model will allow for agencies to work together more effectively during a response. The incident command system (ICS), which was originally developed as a fire response management system in the United States, has been adopted by many jurisdictions and response agencies in North America as their incident site response model (JIBC, 2011).
This common response model was a new approach to resolving a number of problems when managing rapidly moving wildfires in California in the early 1970’s, which included (JIBC, 2015):
- Unclear lines of authority
- Too many people reporting to one supervisor
- Unclear or unspecified incident objectives
- Absence of consolidated action plans
- Different emergency response organizational structures
- Lack of reliable incident information
- Inadequate and incompatible communications
- Terminology differences between agencies
- Lack of capability to expand and contract the organization as required by the situation
- Lack of a structure for coordinated planning among agencies
- Lack of designated facilities
In BC, all provincial government ministries, crown corporations, and most municipalities and regional districts use the BCEMS model for their emergency operations. All training developed by the JIBC on behalf of EMBC is based on BCEMS principles.