The geography of the WISAR operational area includes hundreds of kilometres of coastline in the traditional territories of several First Nations. In the course of various SAR responses, WISAR interacts with 16 other agencies: two RCMP detachments; one neighbouring GSAR Group; two volunteer fire departments, national and provincial parks; Canadian Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary; BC Ambulance Service; emergency coordinators in two municipalities and four First Nations Bands; and the Department of National Defence. Debriefings from SAR incidents indicate the need for better co-ordination of SAR responses between agencies.
The Incident Command System (ICS), co-ordinates multiple agencies to make a combined response more effective, safe, and efficient. In order for ICS to work well, agencies must both understand ICS theory, and have practised working with each other before an incident happens. With funding from NIF WISAR has taken a leadership role by co-ordinating local multi-agency ICS training and hosting ICS related SAR exercises which will take place through the fall and winter of 2004.