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About the ICS Chart

The ICS chart is the list of positions associated with an incident type. The chart is created during the Planning phase and referenced during the Response phase to verify positions, assignments, and contact information.

Developing and maintaining a plan's ICS chart involves defining where positions fit in the hierarchy (chain of command), specifying the individuals who are qualified for and may be asked to fill each position when an incident occurs (depth chart), and indicating how files and IRGs relate to each position.


The top portion of the chart tree shows the incident commander position and all subordinates. Positions in the chart appear darker when active and lighter when inactive. During an incident, when a contact has been assigned to a position, their name appears below the position in the chart tree. The incident Labor Pool and Other Contacts to Notify groups appear at the bottom of the chart.

Administrators at your facility may be authorized to edit the plan's ICS chart. As an administrator, you can add a position, change a position's name, change the chain of command, develop depth charts, and more.

Potential Incident Participants

Other entities and individuals may be involved at some level with your Incident Command System. Participants may include:

  • State Hospital Associations

  • Public Health departments

  • Local, regional, state emergency preparedness

  • Hospital Emergency Management and administrators

  • Physicians and nurses

  • Security and loss prevention staff

  • IT staff

  • Police, EMS, Fire departments

  • Suppliers and vendors

eICS offers various levels of incident participation, from participating in the actual response efforts to simply being kept informed of an incident's progress.

Positions and Depth Charts

Every plan includes an incident commander/manager position and is likely to involve a number of other positions. These positions are available in various areas of Planning, including the plan summary, depth charts, and Incident Response Guides (IRGs).

Within the context of your system, the Labor Pool and other contacts are External Contacts who generally do not require access to eICS. Members of these groups are available to be included for any type of incident. Your organization decides for each type of incident (and IRG) whether to make a labor pool and/or other contacts available during that type of incident.

Depth charts are key components of an effective Incident Command System. Creating depth charts identifies a succession plan for every ICS position. A comprehensive (or "deep") chart identifies multiple individuals for each position in incident command. Most organizations create a depth chart for each active position in their plans.

Establishing an ICS depth chart consists of identifying:

  • Key ICS positions that need to be activated when an incident occurs.

  • Individuals within the organization (domain or facility) who are candidates to fill the position during an incident.

For example, a fire incident occurs. John Doe is one of the individuals identified for the position Safety Officer. However, John Doe is currently on short-term leave due to a medical situation. Therefore, another individual in the depth chart, Jane Smith, steps into this position.

Labor Pool and Other Contacts to Notify

The labor pool is a non-IC chart position within an incident. It consists of all staff from an organization who are not directly involved in the incident by taking care of incident victims in the ED or directly giving care to existing patients in a facility. The pool is comprised of clinical and nonclinical staff members, such as Human Resources, administration, and food service. As resources are requested from the Incident Command (IC) Team to manage situations, the IC team can dispatch appropriately qualified individuals from the labor pool to the area of need.

For example, the ED has 50 victims from a school bus crash, each of whom needs X-rays. Transporting patients to and from the Radiology Department becomes an issue due to lack of available staff. The ED calls the IC team and requests additional transporters. The IC team engages support personnel from the labor pool to assist with this need.

Other Contacts to Notify refers to individuals who are not directly associated with an incident, and yet should be made aware of an incident occurring at the facility. Examples of other contacts include Regional Emergency Planners, Emergency Planners or administrators at partner hospitals within the health system, the hospital CEO, and a media-facing Corporate Public Relations staff member.

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