The rate at which a response to an incident proceeds should vary as the incident progresses. Certain factors contribute to the rate of escalation (and, eventually, demobilization) of response resources, personnel, and formation of a response organization. The rate at which a response organization grows, organizes, functions, and mobilizes resources can be described as an incident's “response velocity”. Often, the time of the arrival of equipment to the incident scene is considered the sole measure of whether the response was quick. However, a single metric such as time to arrive on scene does not speak to the speed with which the incident command is established or the sustained velocity of the response. Examination of the spending patterns, staging area volume, established encounter rate of clean up equipment and other indicators can build a better assessment of the velocity of the response. A discussion of the concept, which adapts the “best response” idea and offers metrics for measuring velocity, is presented.

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