Key Personnel/Identification of Roles and Responsibilities
A Liaison Officer is the point of contact for assisting or coordinating agencies.
This function is assigned to prevent the IC from becoming overloaded by questions
from the numerous assisting agencies that some incidents involve.
Liaison management provides lines of authority, responsibility,
and communication with outside agencies.
The Liaison Officer position is usually implemented at large or complex
One of the most important responsibilities of the Liaison Officer is
to coordinate the management of the participating agencies. This coordination
is essential; it prevents duplication of efforts and allows each
agency to do what it does best.
In addition, there are sometimes special demands on the Liaison Officer:
The Liaison Officer may act as diplomat when
needed, such as when an agency is unfamiliar with ICS, when there is
a lack of joint training among agencies, or when multiple agencies wish
to establish their own Command Posts, which would result in lack of coordination
and potentially unsafe operations.
The Liaison Officer may occasionally need
to give strong direction to help an agency fit into the system.
This means “telling,” not requesting.
Liaison Officers need to have a specifically identified place for agencies
to report in, work, and communicate with each other.