Weapon of mass destruction is any weapon capable of destroying and causing too much harm to human life. It involves the killings of large number of people, cause much damage to man made structure, destruction of natural resources and the contamination of the atmosphere. The weapons of mass destruction include any explosive, missile having an explosive, a mine, grenade, poisonous gas and any weapon that is designed to release radiation that is dangerous to human life. Weapons of mass destruction have been used in several wars and have caused much damage to human existence. Example is the atomic bomb used in Nagasaki and Hiroshima by the USA when they invaded Japan. This led to death of many people and its effect can be felt till now where radiations are causing the birth of children with disabilities.. Harry j Cargas (1984).
Incident command system provides an organization structure of all the activities that may be needed to cover an emergency situation. It provides people to provide finance to cover the expenses needed in the operation, provide the people who are involved in the real emergency operation (ground forces) and those who are in charge of the ground forces; it provides people who are concerned with the planning for the needed resources. It is a standardized system which operates on the scene and it involves the management of the entire hazardous incident in the United States of America. It provides a common framework in which people work together efficiently.
The incident command system is designed to give a standard response to people drawn from different agencies and this enhances the communication between the people carrying out the emergency operation. It is a structure that involve first on the scene response by providing people who take charge of the incident until a more qualified people take over. Harry j Cargas (1984).
Incident command system in the United States of America was developed in the 1970s when a tremendous fire fighting operation in California following a wildfire which also affected some urban interfaces in California. Lack of orderly planning system, poor communication system due to inefficient use of communication systems, unclear chains of command and lack of methods of coordinating inter agency requirements into an effective planning process and management structure. As a result, it led to the development of incident command system. The situation that require the intervention of incident command system include attack by the terrorists, emergency medical situation, natural disasters such as earth quakes, search and rescue operations, and man made situation such as car crash. James C F Wang (1991)
To execute the incident command system, several principles were set up. These include incidence action plan which involve the objective to be achieved and are prepared at the material time which the operation is to take place. It involve the direction of action to be taken in the operation time and provide proper means of communication.Onother principle is the comprehensive resource management where the personnel and the assets are tracked and are accounted for during the occurrence of an event. It ensures well management of the resources. Ben net, John m.sendero (1994)
Incident command system as apply to weapon of mass destruction in terrorism
Terrorism is a global problem. It involves violence against civilians to achieve political objective by creating fear. The terrorists hide under the cover of the civilians to execute their violence. The terrorists commit their unlawful acts using weapons of mass destruction such as suicide bombing, use of rockets as in case of Palestine militants attack on Israel, use of bombs fitted on vehicles as in case of market bombings in Iraq and a case of use of other inflammatory material such as jet fuel as in the attack of world trade centre. Ben net, John m.sendero (1994)
The world trade centre in the United States of America was attacked in 11th September, 2001 in a series of well planned terrorist attack by the al-Qaeda. It involved the hijacking of passenger planes by the hijackers who had undergone some pilot training and crashed two planes into the world trade centre which consisted of twin towers. Here the planes were used as the weapon of mass destruction since it involved the death of many people and the destruction of the twin towers.2974 people died immediately as the result of the attack, death of some people from lung diseases due to dust and the loss of billions of dollars worth property. Most of the victims were civilians. Ben net, John m.sendero (1994)
All incidents have an incident commander. The world trade centre terrorist attack was basically an aircraft attack and due to this, the incident commander came from the fire department of the New York. In an incident there is a single incident commander whose duty is to ensure the coordination of all the incident response and is the final decision maker on the scene operation. In the execution of the incident command plan, the incident commander splits down the operation into branches performing specific tasks. The tasks include logistical tasks, communication modes, setting up of a morgue, safety, transportation, and treatment. The objective is to ensure that each branch operates vigorously and can expand if the level of the incident expands and can reduce if the level of the incident reduces. Biomed central (1999).
Mass casualty triage in New York City is accomplished through the simple triage and rapid treatment system. The method is designed to identify the life threatening problems, the means of correcting the problem and to assign the patients the priority such as correction of respiratory, mental, and circulatory problem. Biomed central (1999)
When an aircraft struck the building, the fire department of New York hastily went to the site. The New York police cleared the major roads to ensure that the rescue team movement was at ease. The command system was set up and was staffed by the fire department of New York, the New York police department, and the port authority police department of New York and New Jersey. Biomed central (1999)
A triage area on the floor of the first tower was set and a safe way for the self evacuating civilians was created. But after a short while, the second aircraft hit the second tower which also collapsed. New York times magazine; April 19 ,1998,page 22
The going down of the second tower caused a tremendous damage to the command and control structure, loss of life among the emergency staff, and caused interference to the operations of the radio frequency which in turn affected communication. There was rapid re-establishment of the temporary medical command post to the nearest hotels which had not been damaged. The operation was restarted and broken down into branches with specific tasks. This time, the operations were not smooth because of damage of local telephone services and the psychological impact of the event on the command staff and due to the fact that they were unprepared, untrained and lack of adequate equipment to perform the task. New York times magazine; April 19, 1998, page 22
The fire fighting department took the most challenging response which resulted to the death of 343 firefighters and many personnel dying. This was the risk that occurred as they tried to save the civilians lives in the trade centre. The fire departments of New York commanders were aiming at rescuing the occupants of the building and assist in the evacuation. New York times magazine; April 19, 1998, page 22
The attack on the world trade centre played a significant and frightening and significant role in the American history that anything can be a weapon of mass destruction. It also shows that the world is not a safe place and due to this, there is a need to put a considerable priority to public safety as long as terrorism is concerned since anything can be a weapon of mass destruction.
Harry j Cargas (1984): The Holocaust: Oxford University press.
James C F Wang (1991): ocean politics and law: Macmillan
Gert G Harigel (2001): Chemical and the biological weapons use in warfare and impact on the society: Macmillan.
Bennet, John m.sendero (1994): National strategy to combat mass destructon: oxford university pres.
Biomed central (1999): civil defence: The open access publisher.
New York times magazine; April 19 ,1998,page 22