This paper will briefly discuss the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With every government program or agency comes an alphabet soup of acronyms and DHS is no different from the rest. To better understand the agency and concepts that comprise DHS, this paper will also examine acronyms associated with DHS. They are QHSR, HSE, NRF, NIMS, ICS, and UC. Each will get a description while highlighting and discussing core elements or requirements that each acronym calls for or offers.
Department of Homeland Security
September 11, 2001 is a day in American history that no one old enough to remember the day will ever forget. Terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania were the events that led to the creation of the DHS. DHS began as the Office of Homeland Security under the direction of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge in the White House just eleven days after the September 11 attacks. Safeguarding the country from future terrorist attacks by strategizing at a national level was the first responsibility of the newly created office.
In 2002, DHS, “with the passage of the Homeland Security Act by Congress in November, DHS formally came into being as a stand-alone, Cabinet-level department to further coordinate and unify national homeland security efforts” (DHS, n.d.). Not since President Harry Truman consolidated the armed forces into the Department of Defense had the government undergone such a large reorganization. Twenty-two agencies came together to form DHS with tasks that include border patrol, disaster recovery and transportation safety just to name a few.
Incident Command System
The Incident Command System (ICS) is the result of an after-incident analysis of a California wildfire in 1970. This wildfire and its devastating effects killed sixteen, destroyed hundreds of homes and cost millions of dollars both to fight and in overall damage. Because “problems with communications and coordination between different agencies made operations less effective” (Bullock, Haddow & Coppola, 2012), Congress requested the development of a system to address problems faced by the various agencies in California. The resulting system, Firescope ICS, standardized the methodology for incident response that soon afterward other agencies saw the benefits of the system and began to apply the Firescope ICS to respond to a wide array of events including floods and earthquakes.
Regardless if the event is single or multiple jurisdictions, ICS dictates the five management systems used to maintain management of the incident. Command ensures proper communications between agencies to keep accurate information available to the agencies themselves as well as local officials, media and the public. Operations develops the tactical plan necessary to direct necessary resources involved with the incident. Planning...