Selection of Incident Commanders is done by the jurisdiction or organization with primary responsibility for the incident.
As stated in the FEMA IS-100.C Instructor Guide, “The jurisdiction or organization with primary responsibility for an incident designates the individual at the scene who is responsible for establishing command and the protocol for transferring command.”
For instance, in a wildfire incident, the local fire department, as the primary responsible organization, would designate the Incident Commander. Similarly, the local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) might set the Incident Commander in a public health emergency.
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