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NIMS / ICS Information

 General QuestionsTraining Requirements | Training | Resources | Contact Information

General Questions

Q.  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. 

Q.  Why do we need NIMS?
  NIMS provides a consistent nationwide framework and approach to enable government at all levels (Federal, State, tribal, and local), the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to work together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents regardless of the incident’s cause, size, location, or complexity. 

Consistent application of NIMS lays the groundwork for efficient and effective responses, from a single agency fire response to a multiagency, multijurisdictional natural disaster or terrorism response.  Entities that have integrated NIMS into their planning and incident management structure can arrive at an incident with little notice and still understand the procedures and protocols governing the response, as well as the expectations for equipment and personnel.  NIMS provides commonality in preparedness and response efforts that allow diverse entities to readily integrate and, if necessary, establish unified command during an incident.

Q.  What are the Components of NIMS?
  NIMS Components link together and work in unison to form a comprehensive incident management system.  NIMS Components include:  

  • Preparedness

  • Communications and Information Management

  • Resource Management

  • Command and Management

  • Ongoing Management and Maintenance 

Q. Who does NIMS apply to?
  NIMS is applicable to State, tribal and local governments, private sector organizations, critical infrastructure owners and operators, nongovernmental organizations and other organizations with an active role in emergency management and incident response.  Elected and appointed officials, who are responsible for jurisdictional policy decisions, must also have a clear understanding of their emergency management roles and responsibilities to better serve their constituency. 

Q.  How does NIMS relate to the National Response Framework (NRF)?
The NIMS and NRF are companion documents and are designed to improve the Nation’s incident management and response capabilities.  While NIMS provides the template for the management of incidents regardless of size, scope or cause, the NRF provides the structure and mechanisms for national level policy of incident response.  Together, the NIMS and the NRF integrate the capabilities and resources of various governmental jurisdictions, incident management and emergency response disciplines, non-governmental organizations, and the private-sector into a cohesive, coordinated, and seamless national framework for domestic incident response. 

Q. Who has to take NIMS and ICS training?
All Federal, State, Tribal, and Local entities, Private Sector and Nongovernmental personnel with a direct role in emergency management and response must be NIMS and ICS trained. This includes all emergency services related disciplines such as EMS, hospitals, public health, fire service, law enforcement, public works/utilities, skilled support personnel, and other emergency management response, support and volunteer personnel. Training Requirements

Q. What level of NIMS training is required Elected Officials?
The National Integration Center (NIC) Incident Management Systems Division strongly recommends that all elected official who will be interacting with multiple jurisdictions and agencies during an incident at the minimum, complete IS-700: NIMS, An Introduction and ICS-100: Introduction to ICS. These courses provide a basic understanding of the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System. Everyone directly involved in managing an emergency should understand the command reporting structures

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