ON A CLEAR DAY, YOU CAN SEE ICS: THE DYING ART OF INCIDENT COMMAND AND THE NORMAL ACCIDENT OF NIMS--A POLICY ANALYSIS
Teeter, Andrew C.
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One basic expectation that citizens have of government is to restore order in the face of devastation. With each catastrophic incident, politicians and administrators step under the public microscope, as they attempt to bring order out of chaos. Failure to perform such a basic governmental function subjects officials and agencies to immense scrutiny with personal and organizational repercussions. In the quest for the answers to What can be done better next time and How do we prevent this from happening again elected officials and bureaucrats seek various policies. A recent example of this is the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS is a fusion of Incident Command Systems (ICS) and broad governmental policy aimed at providing a systematic response to incidents. The fact that NIMS became policy was quite possibly a predictable event in an incremental series of events that began in the early 1970s. This thesis reveals how these predictable and incremental efforts have pushed our national frameworks into an increasing state of complexity with the potential of catastrophic failure. Further, this thesis recommends ways that will harvest success in the face of a catastrophic or disastrous incident without increasing complexity.
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