ICS Forms Modification Is Allowed - Adapted For Radio Delivery

Winlink Express ICS Forms are as close as possible to the print-version ICS forms as used in the (USA) National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Notes on making modifications of ICS forms: (Excerpt from NIMS FEMA ICS 2010 booklet)

The ICS Forms in this booklet are designed to serve all-hazards, cross-discipline needs for incident management across the Nation. These forms include the essential data elements for the ICS process they address, and create a foundation within ICS for complex incident management activities. However, the flexibility and scalability of NIMS should allow for needs outside this foundation, so the following are possible mechanisms to add to, extend, or adapt ICS Forms when needed.

Because the goal of NIMS is to have a consistent nationwide approach to incident management, jurisdictions and disciplines are encouraged to use the ICS Forms as they are presented here – unless these forms do not meet an organization’s particular incident management needs for some unique reason. If changes are needed, the focus on essential information elements should remain, and as such the spirit and intent of particular fields or “information elements” on the ICS Forms should remain intact to maintain consistency if the forms are altered. Modifications should be clearly indicated as deviations from or additions to the ICS Forms. The following approaches may be used to meet any unique needs.

ICS Form Adaptation
When agencies and organizations require specialized forms or information for particular kinds of incidents, events, or disciplines, it may be beneficial to utilize the essential data elements from a particular ICS Form to create a more localized or field-specific form. When this occurs, organizations are encouraged to use the relevant essential data elements and ICS Form number, but to clarify that the altered form is a specific organizational adaptation of the form. For example, an altered form should clearly indicate in the title that it has been changed to meet a specific need, such as “ICS 215A, Hazard Risk Analysis Worksheet, Adapted for Story County Hazmat Program.”

Extending ICS Form Fields
Particular fields on an ICS Form may need to include further breakouts or additional related elements. If such additions are needed, the form itself should be clearly labeled as an adapted form (see above), and the additional sub-field numbers should be clearly labeled as unique to the adapted form. Letters or other indicators may be used to label the new sub-fields (if the block does not already include sub-fields).

Modifications are done not only to meet an agency or group need, but to operate within the constraints of radio delivery and Winlink Express. All Winlink HTML forms are designed for HTML rendering from one Express user to another.

--Mike Burton, xe2/n6kzb, Express Forms Manager

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