Which Incident Type Requires Regional or National Resources?

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Preparing for the FEMA final exam can be a daunting task, especially when you consider the range of topics that could be covered. One question that you might encounter is, “Which incident type requires regional or national resources?” The answer lies in understanding the Incident Command System (ICS) and the different types of incidents it has classified.

The ICS categorizes incidents into five different types, each representing a unique level of incident and requiring a specific level of response. However, not all incident types require regional or national resources.

In this post, we will explore the answer to this question and also provide a comprehensive overview of the different incident types. By the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of the Incident Command System and the various levels of incidents, empowering you to tackle the final exam with greater confidence.

Which Incident Type Requires Regional or National Resources?

In the Incident Command System (ICS), incidents are classified into five different types based on their complexity and how much effort is needed to manage them. The structure has put all incidents into one of these categories; type 1 incident, type 2 incident, type 3 incident, type 4 incident, or type 5 incident.

But the incident type that requires regional or national resources is Type 1 incident. This is the most complex and severe type of incident that requires the highest level of response. It typically involves a significant threat to life or property and so requires a multi-agency, large-scale response.

Type 1 incidents often exceed the capacity of local response agencies and require significant logistical and operational support from outside the affected area, including regional or national resources.

Examples of incidents that may be classified as Type 1 include large-scale natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or major transportation accidents that have a significant impact on the community.

The Five Different Types of Incidents in ICS

The Incident Command System (ICS) of the United States has established a system of incident types to categorize emergencies based on their complexity and resource requirements. These incident types help emergency responders quickly and efficiently allocate the appropriate level of resources and coordinate their efforts to manage the incident.

There are five incident types in total, each with its own characteristics and resource needs. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Type 1 incidents

These types of incidents are the most complex and challenging to manage. They typically require a large number of personnel and resources to bring under control. These incidents often have the ability to cause significant damage and loss of life. Therefore, they often require regional or national resources to manage effectively.

Type 2 incidents

Type 2 incidents are also complex, but they don’t require as much resources as Type 1 incidents. But they may still require multiple agencies to coordinate their efforts to bring the situation under control. Examples of Type 2 incidents include floods, large wildfires, and other emergencies that are too difficult for a single agency to manage effectively.

Type 3 incidents

They are smaller in scale and so can be effectively controlled by a single agency or organization. These incidents are localized and pose a limited threat to life and property. An example of Type 3 incident includes a small wildfire that can be contained with limited resources.

Type 4 incidents

These types of incidents are usually small and so can be handled by a single agency or a few personnel. Even with minimal resources, these incidents can be resolved quickly. Small bush fires or medical emergencies are examples of Type 4 incidents – they don’t pose a significant threat to the public.

Type 5 incidents

They are the simplest and smallest type of incidents. They don’t pose any significant threat, making them easy to be controlled even by a single individual or resource. Examples of such incidents include minor traffic accidents, small spills, or other incidents that are quickly resolved with minimal resources.

Why Did ICS Categorize Incidents by Types – Why Is It Important?

Now that we have explained all the five incident types to help you know which incident type requires regional or national resources, let’s take a step further to see the reason for the classification in the first place.

ICS categorizes incidents by type to help emergency responders determine the appropriate level of response and resource allocation needed to manage each incident. By classifying incidents based on their complexity and resource needs, emergency responders can quickly and effectively coordinate their efforts to ensure the most efficient response possible.

Also, categorizing incidents by type enables responders to maintain consistency in their response to similar incidents, regardless of location or the responding agency. It also helps to ensure that the appropriate resources are allocated to each incident, minimizing the risk of either under or over-resourcing an incident.

What Determines Which Incident Type An Incident Will Belong to?

The incident type of an emergency is determined by evaluating the complexity and size of the incident, as well as the amount and types of resources needed to manage it. ICS provides a framework for evaluating the incident and making this determination.

Factors that are considered include the number of personnel needed, the amount and types of equipment required, the degree of organization and planning needed, and the potential impact of the incident on public health, safety, and the environment.

Once these factors are evaluated, the incident is categorized into one of the five ICS incident types, which helps emergency responders determine the most effective way to manage the incident.

What Are Some Examples of Incidents That May Require Regional or National Resources?

These types of Incidents can vary greatly in nature, but they tend to be large-scale, complex events that pose significant threats to public safety and property. And that’s the reason for FEMA asks which incident type requires regional or national resources in their exam. Some examples of these types of incidents include:

  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and wildfires
  • Terrorist attacks or acts of mass violence
  • Major transportation accidents, such as plane crashes or train derailments
  • Pandemics or disease outbreaks that require a coordinated response from multiple agencies and organizations
  • Cybersecurity threats or large-scale cyberattacks that affect critical infrastructure
  • Chemical spills or hazardous material incidents that require specialized training and equipment to manage
  • Large-scale search and rescue operations, such as after a building collapse or major flooding event.


What is the Incident Command System (ICS)?

The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazard incident management approach developed by the United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It provides a flexible framework for personnel from multiple agencies or organizations to work together to manage a wide range of incidents, including natural disasters, hazardous material spills, and terrorist attacks.

ICS emphasizes a modular organization structure, clear communication, and unity of command to ensure a coordinated and effective response. The system is designed to be scalable and can be adapted to any incident, regardless of size or complexity.

Why are Terrorist Attacks Classified as Type Incidents?

Terrorist attacks are classified as Type 1 incidents because they often require a large-scale response from regional or national resources. Terrorist attacks can be complex and involve multiple agencies and jurisdictions, requiring a coordinated effort to effectively manage the incident.

Due to the potential for significant damage and loss of life, a Type 1 response is typically necessary to ensure an efficient and effective response. Apart from that, terrorist attacks can have a significant impact on national security, which can further require a response from regional or national resources.

How Many Personnel are Needed for a Type 1 Incident?

Type 1 incidents are the most complex and require a significant amount of resources and personnel to control. The exact number of personnel needed for this type of incident varies depending on the nature of the incident and its scope.

However, Type 1 incidents generally require large numbers of personnel and resources from multiple agencies, including federal, state, and local responders.

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