USFA Signs Joint Agreement with the Metro Fire Chiefs to Create Incident Management Team Capabilities

Washington, D.C. – United States Fire Administration (USFA) announced today, a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the USFA. A key component of this MOU is the creation of metropolitan area Incident Management Teams, with regional overhead capabilities to assist in major operations.

“Recent events have demonstrated clearly, the fire service can no longer think of responding to emergencies just in their own communities. Throughout the United States, fire departments are increasingly being asked to assist each other in order to protect American citizens. When multiple fire departments work together at an emergency scene, issues of command structure, communications and personnel safety must be coordinated,” USFA Administrator R. David Paulison said.

The mission of the USFA, as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is to reduce life and economic losses due to fire and related emergencies, through leadership, advocacy, coordination and support. Contained within this MOU is the agreement to coordinate joint efforts, with the IAFC and NFPA, to address the interoperability issues of the nation’s fire departments, including communications, equipment/apparatus standardization, unified command and integrated incident command systems.

“One of the cornerstones of the nation’s ability to respond to any emergency is a common Incident Command System that will allow a seamless local, state and federal operations for incident management. Not only will the fire service be able to address emerging safety issues, but the fire service can better reduce the number of firefighter and civilian deaths due to fire,” said Paulison.

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