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Engineering the Incident Command and Multiagency Coordination Systems
1George Washington University
2George Washington University
Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Volume 8, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, DOI: 10.2202/1547-7355.1838, August 2011
- Published Online:
The initial development of the Incident Command System (ICS) and the Multiagency Coordination System (MACS) was conducted through an extensive research, development, and application program initiated by the United States Forest Service in the 1970s and 1980s. Known as FIRESCOPE (Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies), the complex development process produced these two major management systems that are now central to the Department of Homeland Security’s National Incident Management System (NIMS). Despite the prominence of NIMS, very little information is widely available regarding the original research and development of ICS and MACS. This paper explores the extensive product development and consensus process used to create ICS and MACS, plus the implementation process that propagated these landmark systems that continue to expand in prominence for incident management and coordination during emergencies and disasters. Through analysis of historical documents and interviews with professionals centrally involved in FIRESCOPE, this paper chronicles the evolution of ICS and MACS, including a summary of their varied courses following the end of the original 10-year FIRESCOPE Program initiative.