The Importance of NIMS and ICS

What is the National Incident Management System (NIMS)?

NIMS is a comprehensive, national approach to incident management that is applicable at all jurisdictional levels and across functional disciplines.

It is intended to:
• Be applicable across a full spectrum of potential incidents, hazards, and impacts, regardless of size, location or complexity.
• Improve coordination and cooperation between public and private entities in a variety of incident management activities.
• Provide a common standard for overall incident management.

NIMS Faqs:

Incident Command System (ICS)

The Incident Command System (ICS), a component of NIMS, is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazards incident management approach that:

  • Allows for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure.
  • Enables a coordinated response among various jurisdictions and functional agencies, both public and private.
  • Establishes common processes for planning and managing resources.

Online courses available from FEMA (Certificates available at end and course history maintained by FEMA)

Submit pdf copies of ICS forms to Trey Spain, KI4ZIN, so that completion can be logged in member database.

Other courses, such as IS-802, which describes the communications support role, can be found here:

Why is ICS, and these courses in particular, important to me?

  • ICS is the standard incident management approach by our governmental and ngo served agencies
  • Being familiar with the terms and approach of ICS, helps us “speak our partner’s language”
  • ICS can be used by any person or organization to manage incidents
  • For our governmental partner to receive funding, all ESF #2 volunteers MUST have taken courses (ESF – Emergency Support Function…#2 communications
  • )

  • Our primary served agency Williamson County EMA requires communications volunteers to have successfully passed all ICS-100, 200, 700, and 800 to take part in operations. (That’s right… if you have not taken these, you cannot deploy in direct aid of the county without being accompanied by someone who has completed them.)
  • WCARES resources without these four courses will not be deployed to support a served agency without being accompanied by a resource that has completed the coursework.

WCARES is an emergency communications organization, besides communications skills, we also need to have the certifiations our served agencies expect us to have.  These courses do not require a significant time commitment, so begin working on them today.

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