Special Considerations - Incident Command/Management System

Initial scene evaluation or size up includes establishment and activation of: an incident command/management system, scene security via perimeter and crowd control, and activation of appropriate protocols for a terrorist incident response. Special additional considerations should address establishing contamination zones including Hot, Warm and Cold zones as distance increases and exposure or threat decreases from the initial site.

The Hot zone is where the incident occurs or "ground zero".

The Warm zone further out is where decontamination and initial triage can occur

The Cold Zone is where treatment and transportation assets are located.


The designation of these areas will depend upon the type and physical property of agent/threat, weather, wind conditions and direction. Typical zones and patient care sectors are shown.


  • Designating contamination zones
  • Establishing zones or sectors
    • Casualty collection
    • Decontamination
    • Triage
    • Treatment
    • Transportation
  • Controlling inbound resources and staging

Planned coordination of traffic and staging of inbound and outbound transportation will assist in traffic flow patterns and expedited transfers. Controlling ingress and egress will minimize further contamination by responders or bystanders.

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