Hospital Incident Command

Hospital Incident Command System in Action

During an emergency, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have the option of activating the Incident Command System and hospitals specifically can use the Hospital Incident Command System (HICS). This is a federally recognized system that provides a common structure for managing emergencies, such as COVID-19, earthquakes, tsunamis, and hazardous spills. It outlines positions, such as the incident commander, safety officer, operations section chief, and public information officer, and the roles they perform, as well as reporting structure.

On March 13, 2020, Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital activated the HICS to help us coordinate our response to the COVID-19 crisis. Using this common, nationally recognized structure, we coordinate with our community partners, prioritize objectives, and problem solve issues that arise.

Throughout the years, we have conducted Incident Command System trainings within the hospital and with our community partners, such as Lincoln County and the Newport Police Department. These drills have prepared us to move into action as we anticipate the potential surge of COVID-19 patients.

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit

Stay safe and stay home!



Lesley Ogden, MD, CEO                                                            Ralph Breitenstein, MD, Chair

Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital                              Pacific Communities Health District

and Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital