Incident Command System Implementation in Ghana: A Case Study of Sunyani Municipality
The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized, on-scene, all-risk incident management approach, which has been globally accepted as a proactive measure for rapid response to all forms of natural and man-made disasters, with a great level of success. It coordinates all the agencies responsible for disaster management of the nation which include: Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Ghana Ambulance Service (GAS), the Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, etc. This study was conducted to assess ICS implementation in Ghana among key emergency management agencies in the Sunyani Municipality. The study was based on three core variables which included: status of the ICS in disaster management, challenges and issues associated with the implementation of ICS, and the capabilities of emergency responders. This study employed a survey study design with a sample size of 80. Stratified sampling technique was applied. Questionnaires were administered as the main data collection instrument. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0. The study revealed that the major challenges that militate against the effective functioning of ICS include limited ICS training, inadequate staff specialization, lack of succession planning, inadequate funding, poor logistical support, inappropriate structures to fully support ICS implementation, absence of collaboration among key agencies, and inadequate law enforcement processes. The study recommended a thorough review the existing policy framework on the Incident Command System and emergency management in Ghana.