Washington, D.C. – The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced a new online course that will help first responders understand the concepts and principles underlying the new National Incident Management System (NIMS) and to begin incorporating NIMS into their own planning and policies. To streamline coordination at the federal, state and local levels, President Bush directed the creation of NIMS, a newly developed, standardized incident management approach to emergency incidents.
“NIMS establishes standard incident management processes, protocols and procedures so that all responders – including those at the federal, state, tribal and local level – can coordinate their responses, share a common focus and place full emphasis on resolving the event,” said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. “This new course introduces NIMS in a way that is easy and accessible to the nation’s emergency responders.”
The training experts at Homeland Security’s Emergency Management Institute created the online course, which takes about three hours to complete. The course can be found at: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWEB/IS/is700.asp.
The recently announced NIMS Integration Center, called the NIC, is being established to provide strategic direction and oversight of NIMS. The NIC was established by Secretary Ridge with FEMA as the lead to assure the all-hazards approach is an integral part of response training. The NIC will develop and facilitate national standards for NIMS education and training and refine the system over time.
“Emergency management is a departmental priority, and enhancing the capabilities of first responders and emergency managers is key in responding to all hazards,” said Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “This new online course is one of many ways Secretary Ridge and I are working with our partners to put NIMS into practice for the American people.”
NIMS builds on the long-used and successful Incident Command System and the proven principles of unified command. Another key feature of NIMS includes communication and information management so that responders and managers across all agencies, professions and jurisdictions have a common operating picture for a more efficient and effective response.