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Missing the Mark: Is ICS Training Achieving Its Goal

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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The Incident Command System ICS was originally adopted in the 1970s as a fire service emergency management system. Following the events on September 11, 2001, the National Response Plan adopted ICS across all hazards and disciplines in order to unite responders under the same management system during emergencies. However, creating one system to service so many disparate agencies and response types was a massive undertaking, and the systems effectiveness has since been questioned. To operate in ICS, responders must engage in the adult learning process, which requires social interaction with an engaged instructor and active peers. Before the system can be judged properly, we must ensure personnel have been trained and are implementing the system adequately. This thesis examines the adult learning process and the keys to ensuring that learning and behavior change actually occur. It further examines ICS courses current online delivery system and recommends evaluating this system to engage the social learning required for successful cultural change. The thesis also critiques the ICS training measurement method and recommends changes to better measure system learning and utilization.

Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Escape, Rescue and Survival

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