We answer who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident

who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident

Managing the on-scene incident in a business setting relies on different personnel for different situations and conditions. However, the overall responsibility rests on Incident Command System (ICS) that detects the incident on the spot and takes the relative measures to handle it.

Hence, to answer the question of who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident, the ICS officer holds the highest-ranking position and, thus, responsibility for managing the on-scene incident.

For this reason, the ICS monitors and operates the frontlines since an unprecedented and unpredictable incident can happen anytime.

The on-scene incident commander oversees the resources, equipment, and personnel required to handle any on-scene incident. However, let us look at this aspect in detail and see how the ICS officers or commanders take a given situation.

1. Liaison Officer

A liaison officer is someone who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident within the ICS domain. This person is responsible for liaising between the command center and other agencies, including the public, for ensuring safe activities and suspending unsafe operations.

 The LO is then required to create reports on incident-related data based on the progress and ongoing activities evaluating changing conditions.

The liaison officers organize themselves into groups to divide the incidents between a functional basis and areas of operations. It is an effective and quick way to deal with on-scene incidents and divides the responsibilities among the officers into equal parts.

 These groups may be geographical or functional depending on incident complexity. A supervisor supervises each group and acts as someone who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident or a part of it.

The supervisors monitor particular operations and report to the Chief of Operations, the branch director, or the incident commander.

2. Safety Officer

A Safety officer is also someone who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident by advising the Incident Command Center regarding operational safety. They collaborate with the Incident Commander to establish safety protocols and procedures. Before executing plans, they must be aware of public safety, health, and the environment.

They are responsible for operating within the public interest and supporting the Commander in charge. In addition, they have the authority to stop unsafe procedures and operations that could lead to an incident.

Safety officers report directly to the Incident Command Officer and are staff members of the Command Center. Their main priority is to ensure the safety of all respondents and those involved in the on-scene incident. They use the resources procured by the Command Center to keep everyone on the scene safe.

Moreover, they can make on-scene decisions without management intervention and red tape. Since unforeseen incidents require immediate action, a Safety Officer is someone who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident in emergencies.

3. First Responder

The First Responder is technically the first person to take notice of an on-scene incident and the one who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident.

Their duty begins once they arrive at the incident scene wearing a distinctive vest that sets them apart as First Responders on-scene. However, they must follow agency policies and protocols while responding to the on-scene incident and prioritize actions within the available resources.

First Responders are also able to identify a situation before it escalates. If that happens, they set up a command post near the potential emergency area and must not move until the situation calls for immediate action. It is because there are chances that the problem may not escalate, and acting before time could lead to a disaster.

They must manage their team while monitoring critical incidents to be efficient at their jobs. It involves remaining calm under stressful situations and ensuring proper coordination with the team.

4. Public Information Officer

A Public Information Officer (PIO) is responsible for public correspondents, releasing press statements, and keeping people calm during stressful situations. They must decide what information goes to which agency and how to deliver new information without instilling panic.

They are vital in communicating locally, nationally, and internationally and act as focal persons for the organization. They can withhold information that could create panic or prove harmful to specific individuals, agencies, or groups.

It is because they are responsible for keeping everyone on-scene safe. They report directly to the Incident Command Center, are responsible for recording the information, and create reports analyzing their communication.

It helps them maintain records of on-scene incidents in case they need to refer back to similar incidents to analyze the right action plan. It helps them make better decisions at the right time.


What Are the Responsibilities of An On-Scene Incident Commander?

The on-scene Incident Commander is someone who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident. The Commander’s duties include allocating resources to the required personnel, assigning tasks to First Responders, and coordinating with other agencies during response efforts to gather intelligence and handle the situation better.

What Is the Purpose of An On-Scene Incident Command Post?

A Command Post is a temporary setup safe from the emergency area and acts as a hub for team coordination.
 It involves a critical individual who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident. The Incident Command Post keeps responders organized and ready to act when required.

What is the Role of the Rapid Intervention Crew Group Supervisor during an On-Scene Incident?

The supervisor of a Rapid Intervention Crew Group supervises the team and is someone who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident. They are responsible for arranging evacuation and sending rescue teams if required to mitigate a dire situation. They work under the command structure and report to the Incident Commander.


To answer the question, ‘who has overall responsibility for managing the on-scene incident?’ we must examine the roles of different operatives specializing in their field to manage the on-scene incident within their capacity.

At the top of the hierarchy is the Incident Command Center, with the Incident Commander in charge. The Commander handles the overall on-scene situation and oversees the operations.

The Liaison Officer liaises between the Command Center and other agencies to ensure public safety and mitigate a critical situation. A Safety Officer is also responsible for public safety. However, they are also responsible for introducing and implementing safety protocols and procedures and providing necessary support to the Commander in charge.

Similarly, First Responders are the first ones to arrive at an on-scene incident and the first ones to handle the situation.

Lastly, a Public Information Officer releases to press and public statements regarding an on-scene incident. They communicate on all levels and act as a spokesperson for the on-scene incident.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here