To ensure efficient, clear, communication, the National Incident Management System Characteristics recommend the use of Common Terminology and Integrated Communications.
As the FEMA IS-100.C Instructor Guide explains, “the Incident Command System (ICS) establishes Common Terminology that allows diverse incident management and support organizations to work together across a wide variety of emergency functions and hazard scenarios. This common terminology covers the following:
- Organizational Functions: Major functions and functional units with incident management responsibilities are named and defined. They remain standard and consistent.
- Resource Descriptions: Major resources – including personnel, equipment, teams, and facilities – are given common names and are ‘typed’ with respect to their capabilities“. The guide also mentions that “Incident communications are facilitated through the development and use of a common communications plan and interoperable communication processes and systems that include voice and data links”
Effective communication during an incident is made possible by creating and implementing a unified communications strategy. This strategy includes interoperable processes and systems, meaning they can work together seamlessly and encompass voice and data connections.
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