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The Incident Command System was developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide first responders such as police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) with a guide to managing an incident and establishing cooperation and coordination of all agencies involved.

The Incident Command Post, often a vehicle, is the on scene location where efforts are planned and coordinated. There is only one incident command post, however other vehicles may be used as satellite support centers. As a first responder speed and efficiency are obviously critical. One of the biggest challenges for many departments has been the inability to clearly distinguish which responder units are satellite and which vehicle is the command vehicle. Because first responders usually arrive in vehicles of all shapes and sizes they need to be able to make the most out of what they have and often this can become confusing.

This is where personalizing your vehicle with the right equipment for incident response pays off. For a minimal price ranging falling between $175 and $375 emergency departments can furnish a vehicle with an easy up vehicle canopy or complete response kit including command post Flag and lighting. This equipment is compact and easy to stow, allowing emergency responders to quickly set up clearly marked positions with shelter that extends 3 to 4 feet beyond the rear of the vehicle. The center of command is also identified using a flag and lighting that is clearly visible above any other vehicle.
Yes, Command Vehicles Come in All Shapes, Sizes
A mobile command unit could come from any response agency ranging from the trunk of a police car to a specially equipped SUV worth a quarter-of-a-million-dollars. Most everything that needs to be done could be done from the trunk of a police vehicle. An emergency SUV could be housing additional radios, computer equipment and, in many cases, a fax machine and copier. The common denominator is that they all carry equipment essential to managing an emergency situation such as forms, administrative supplies, tactical equipment, barrier tape and checklists.

Because first responders will be arriving in vehicles of all shapes and sizes they need to be able to make the most out of what they have to work with and the elements are rarely on your side. That's why when responding to an emergency, having a system that provides additional shelter to provide a working area and protect equipment is a must.

Over time incidents have become bigger affecting more people across many regions translating into a need for specialized command units. Over the past 10 years fire departments, specifically, have shown an increased interest in using specialized command units to deal with major incidents and weather conditions.

Chief Craig Long of the Allentown Fire Department, knows all too well the challenges of setting up a mobile command post with the changing seasons of Eastern Pennsylvania that include winter snow and ice to summer heat and rain. Purchasing this type of tailgate truck tent has proven to be the perfect solution for their command vehicle, an SUV where the rear area of the vehicle was designed as a mobile command center. Since the command area required opening the rear doors, it was necessary for their department to find a protective device not only for the command area but for the personnel operating it.

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