National Incident Management System (NIMS)
What is the National Incident Management System?
- Comprehensive, nationwide systematic approach to incident management
- Core set of doctrine, concepts, principles, terminology and organizational processes for all hazards
- Essential principles for a common operating picture and interoperability of communications and information management
- Standardized resource management procedures for coordination among different jurisdictions and organizations
- Scalable and applicable for all incidents
Key benefits of NIMS
- Enhances organizational and technological interoperability and cooperation
- Provides a scalable and flexible framework with universal applicability
- Promotes all-hazards preparedness
- Enables a wide variety of organizations to participate effectively in emergency management/incident response
- Institutionalizes professional emergency management/incident response practices
NIMS is applicable to all incidents and all levels of stakeholders, including levels of government, private sector organizations, critical infrastructure owners and operators, nongovernmental organizations and all other organizations who assume a role in emergency management. Elected and appointed officials and policy makers, who are responsible for jurisdictional policy decisions, must also have a clear understanding of NIMS to better serve their constituency.
Built on existing structures, such as the Incident Command System (ICS), NIMS creates a proactive system to assist those responding to incidents or planned events. To unite the practice of emergency management and incident response throughout the country, NIMS focuses on five key areas, or components. These components link together and work in unison to form a larger and comprehensive incident management system.
NIMS Components include:
- Communications and Information Management
- Resource Management
- Command and Management
- Ongoing Management and Maintenance
NIMS Compliance Assistance Support Tool (NIMSCAST)
The NIMS Compliance Assistance Support Tool (NIMSCAST) was designed as the premier, web-based self-assessment instrument for Federal Departments and agencies as well as State, territorial, tribal, local governments to evaluate and report their jurisdiction's progress and achievement of NIMS implementation activities released since 2004.
The NIMSCAST was designed for the emergency management community as a comprehensive self-assessment support tool. Using the NIMSCAST will assist the nation's emergency management community to meet NIMS requirements, as determined by the National Integration Center.
Additionally, HSPD-5 requires Federal Departments and agencies to make adoption of the NIMS by State and local organizations a condition for Federal preparedness assistance. The NIMSCAST facilitates the adoption of the NIMS by State, local, and tribal governments in order to meet the requirement established in HSPD-5.
NIMSCAST was required to be updated each year by those Franklin County jurisdictions that were designated back in 2004. The update was usually around August; information was forwarded out to all required jurisdictions upon release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The requirement for a jurisdiction is to have a central location to track and store certificates of completion. The requirement is to have a program in place to ensure the appropriate personnel in the jurisdiction/sub division/department are receiving NIMS training commensurate with their roles. Training records should be held at the department level (by human resources, the entity’s training officer or an assigned staff member). Each department should be able to report their required data. The most important part of this requirement is each agency/department has a sustainable, integrated program (policies, availability of training, etc.) to ensure personnel are getting the required training. It is recommended the policy stipulate NIMS training courses must be completed within a certain time period of hire, promotion, etc.
In 2013, the NIMSCAST platform was closed by the Federal Government. In it's place, a survey was sent out requesting information from the state and required jurisdictions.
In 2014 a questionnaire to report NIMS activities was provided to all of the required jurisdictions and was more about FEMA finding out how they can focus their efforts to support implementation.
The 2015 NIMSCAST Metrics was the same questionnaire as in 2014 and was distributed to all of the required jurisdictions to be completed and returned to FCEM&HS by October 20, 2015 for submittal to Ohio EMA.
For more information about NIMS go to: https://www.fema.gov/nimscast/
The NIMS Training Program defines the national NIMS training program as it relates to the NIMS components of Preparedness, Communications and Information Management, Resource Management and Command and Management. It specifies NIC and stakeholder responsibilities and activities for developing, maintaining and sustaining NIMS training. The NIMS Training Program outlines responsibilities and activities that are consistent with the National Training Program, as mandated by the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006. This program integrates with FEMA training offered through the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and United States Fire Administration (USFA).
The NIMS Training Program is intended for emergency management officials and administrators responsible for budgets, planning and procurement, who require guidance on the development and provision of NIMS training. The NIMS Training Program informs federal, state, tribal, territorial and local policy-makers; elected and appointed officials; government emergency management agencies and trainers (i.e. state, tribal, territorial and local NIMS Coordinators); managers overseeing those in mission-critical positions and organizations and professional development; human resource managers setting and overseeing personnel policies and personnel with responsibility to develop NIMS-related guidance or training, credentialing, or personnel qualifications information.
Everyone involved in emergency management (to include emergency operation center personnel in support of the field), regardless of discipline or level of government, should take the NIMS baseline curriculum courses (Independent Study-700 and ICS-100). Incident command occurs in the field; therefore, the NIC recommends that only individuals with a command and general staff role take advanced ICS courses. Fulfilling the training associated with this plan helps emergency management organizations, departments and agencies to develop preparedness capabilities for effective and efficient incident management. As a result, trained emergency responders are available as mutual aid to support incident management in other jurisdictions, if requested. The NIMS Training Program should sustain a personnel qualification system that is coordinated, maintained and meets the needs of the emergency management community.
Elected and appointed officials should have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities for successful emergency management and incident response. To that end, it is vital that elected and appointed officials understand and receive NIMS training. Therefore, FEMA recommends the following training for senior elected and appointed officials:
- G-402 Incident Command System (ICS) Overview for Executives/Senior Officials
- G-191 Incident Command System/Emergency Operations Center Interface
- Additional training based on jurisdiction risk and/or specific interest
To view a copy of the NIMS Training Program document, which contains a list of all the required training classes, access this link: http://training.fema.gov/IS/crslist.asp
NIMS Website: http://www.fema.gov/national-preparedness/national-incident-management-system
Most of the ICS/NIMS classes, with the exception of ICS-300 and ICS-400, can be taken on-line at FEMA's Independent Study Website FEMA Independent Study
Registration for ICS-300 and ICS-400 classes is via the Ohio Public Safety Training Campus Website Ohio EMA Training