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Organization Out of Chaos: Using ICS to Manage Major Projects Finalizing major construction projects before issuing the certificate of occupancy can be a significant headache for code officials. Assuring all sub-systems are integrated, all required inspections have been done, fire and life safety features are in place and requirements from all concerned agencies have been addressed can be a daunting task. Sometimes, these duties become even more complicated by pressure from the owner—or the community’s needs—to get the project approved quickly. This makes crucial work that requires diligence seem like an emergency. To manage this pressurized workload and assure all work is accomplished according to all applicable regulations, code officials may consider adopting a proven tool used by the fire service for decades: the Incident Command System (ICS). Developed as a means to manage large incidents in a safe and organized fashion, ICS can be adapted to a variety of circumstances, even when they aren’t emergencies. WHAT IS ICS? ICS is nothing more than a modular, scalable command and control structure that assigns duties and responsibilities in an organized fashion. It improves project management and communications by creating a structure where every employee knows his or her By Rob Neale, Vice President, National Fire Service Activities, International Code Council Permit and certificate of occupancy closeout on a highrise office building may require hundreds of hours and thousands of documents. OCTOBER 2016 | 31


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