NIMS Directives and Liability

By BRADLEY M. PINSKYWhen President Bush signed Homeland Security Directive 5 (HSPD-5), he likely did not envision increasing occasions for fire departments’ and first responders’ liability. HSPD-5 directed the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS), which would provide a consistent, nationwide approach for federal, state, local, and tribal governments to work together to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic security incidents. Most states have implemented NIMS; if a state fails to implement NIMS, the result is a loss of significant federal funding opportunities.For pos...

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