The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has “refreshed” the National Incident Management System (NIMS) “to reflect the collective expertise of the whole community.” NIMS, FEMA notes, applies to all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity. The new version of NIMS incorporates input from stakeholders, who had submitted more than 3,000 comments to FEMA. Among the changes are the following:
- Inclusion of policy updates from lessons learned from exercises and incidents.
- Clarification of the processes and terminology for qualifying, certifying, and credentialing incident personnel, building toward developing a national qualification system.
- Confirmation that NIMS is more than just the Incident Command System (ICS) and that it applies to all incident personnel, from the incident command post to the National Response Coordination Center.
- Descriptions of common functions and terminology for staff in emergency operations centers (EOCs) while remaining flexible enough to allow for differing missions, authorities, and resources of EOCs across the nation.
- Explanation of the relationship among ICS, EOCs, and senior leaders/policy groups.
IAFF updates its National Mutual Aid System
The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has updated its National Mutual Aid System (NMAS). According to the IAFC, the new system will incorporate the health and safety solutions of Intermedix’s WebEOC crisis information management software, which will track emergency services resources during mutual-aid responses, and Esri’s ArcGIS location intelligence platform, which will provide expansive information sharing, decision support, and situational awareness capabilities to jurisdictions, regions, and countries around the globe.
“The IAFC is extremely pleased to partner with Intermedix and Esri to build the next generation of the NMAS,” says Tommy Hicks, IAFC’s chief programs & technology officer and assistant executive director. “Ensuring that emergency managers and responders have real-time information and resources at their fingertips is essential to protecting their communities from harm.”
IAFF’s Center of Excellence Now In-Network with Cigna
The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has announced that it is now a participating provider with Cigna and that past and present IAFF union members who are Cigna members will have greater and more affordable access to the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery for treatment of substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other co-occurring mental health issues. The IAFF suggests that Cigna members contact the insurance carrier for information about out-of-pocket costs for these services, as co-payments may be involved. IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger advises that the IAFF will continue to work with other insurance providers to ensure that all IAFF members will have the same access to treatment for these conditions.
The IAFF Center of Excellence, a joint project between the IAFF and Advanced Recovery Systems, is a full-service treatment facility located outside of Washington, D.C., specializing in comprehensive care for professional firefighters and paramedics struggling with substance abuse, PTSD, and co-occurring mental health issues. The Center is licensed by the state of Maryland and accredited by The Joint Commission. Additional information about the IAFF Center of Excellence is at ; to coordinate an admission, call (855) 385-4335.
APCO, iCERT foster Canada public safety communication
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials Canada (“APCO Canada”) and the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (“iCERT”) have partnered to advance emergency communications technologies in Canada. The two organizations will continue their efforts to address critical communications issues and implement advanced technology services for public safety and will work to increase public awareness as legacy services come to be replaced by interoperability, adoption of public safety broadband services, and Next Generation 911.