Thread: NIMS question

  1. #1
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    Default NIMS question

    This was included in our questions from FEMA (probably in everyones)

    5) Is your department fully compliant with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) directives issued by your State and your local jurisdiction?

    How is everyone addressing/answering this? If there are members that have still yet to take the class (as well as new members), how can your dept. be fully compliant?

    I will be calling our grant specialist in the morning but wanted to get some feedback on here as well.
    Ryan A. Zerbe
    Assistant Chief
    Womelsdorf Volunteer Fire Company
    Home of "Barney's Bandits" and the "Route 422 Express"
    www.womelsdorffire.com

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    There really is no excuse not to be fully NIMS compliant. Even new members can take the online tests in less than an hour.

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    For the most part they appear to be looking more for adoption of the ICS/NIMS systems. Like Sly said, easy enough to take the tests in an hour each, but depends on how long they've been there. Under a 6 months, probably still trying to figure things out, so might not know enough to even handle the basics. Anyone over that should be done since it's only 2 classes anyway. So if you have newbies, just explain that everyone else is done and you have adopted NIMS and you have a time plan on them taking the class. As long as there's a plan I don't see anyone having issues with not being at 100%. With people going in and out hard to meet any standard 100% of the time.

    This is from DHS directly:

    There are four levels of compliance in terms of organizational responsibility and training requirements. They follow:

    Entry level first responder or administrative staff
    IS100 and IS700
    First Line Supervisor, Single Resource Leader, Field Supervisor
    IS100, IS200 and IS700
    Middle Manager (station/shift commander, battalion or division chief)
    IS100, IS200, IS300, IS700, IS800B
    Command and General Staff (chief, deputy/assistant chief, agency head)
    IS100, IS200, IS300, IS700, IS800B and IS400 in FY 2009.

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    Depends at least in Iowa that isn't enough.

    Your local government also needs to take action to adopt/participate in NIMS. This likely is city council action, by ordinance, to partricipate in NIMS and get the mayor, 2nd in line (mayor protem etc), city clerk and other essential personnel to the classes. And the County establishing an emergency management "organization" which participates in state emergency management operations.

    More difficult that just having the boys in the FD knock out a couple on line "check the box" courses. When I was Mayor of my town distilled this down to "not eligible for Fed grants until we get NIMS complete". Get it done. County has Emerg Mgmt agency (as most in Iowa).

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    but the question asks if the FD is NIMS compliant, not your entire locality. Many FD's have no control over their local government so the local government being compliant or not is not part of the equation.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Correct, it's only the user of the EIN on the app that matters for lack of a better way of putting it. Municipal FDs have to comply, but in most cases with VFDs they're contracted somehow to provide for the town. In that case, no control over the town, no worries about their NIMS compliance. But everyone associated with the FD does have to have it, so if there is a tax board over the FD (as part of it) then they have to be NIMS compliant also. Down here we have Emergency Services Districts, formed for the sole purpose of providing emergency services. They are separate from the VFD as far as EINs go, but since they exist only to be responsible for the emergency planning in the area and are not a city/town government, they have to be compliant. Splitting hairs, but what part of all this stuff isn't.

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    "your State and your local jurisdiction" is the section to consider. As a FD we only operate on our own for a matter of minutes (until mutual aid arrives) then it's interjuristictional. Big event and outside assets arrive.

    FD can effect the local gov't by being informed (and "aggressive"). The local gov't must be NIMS compliant or not eligible for the entire range of fed funding not just DHS grants to the FD. Call it the worst kind of extortion but it's the Feds. That includes CDBG thru HUD for their housing, sewer, infastructure projects; USDA Rural Dev grants for similar, etc etc etc. So shove the model ordinance in front of then and show the mayor where to sign. Set the mayor and a couple council members down at your PC with a beer if neccessary to knock out at least one online class. Or teach it. "Making progress".

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    Check with your local Emergency Management Agency (whether it be Municipal or County) they should know all of the ins and outs of NIMS. If the don't then contact your State EMA...someone there will know because they have to be compliant too!

    REMEMBER: there is more to being NIMS compliant besides adopting it and having the classes. The Feds and States are starting to do audits now for agencies getting grants and answering they are compliant. DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT! NIMSCAST is a great tool to see how compliant you are. The State of IL actually requires its use.
    The success of a fire department depends on the willingness of its members to put aside their differences and work for the benefit of the dept/community.

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    Default A Word of Caution in Reporting NIMS compliance!!!!

    Just a word to the wise here; the below article appeared a couple of months ago and should be a cautionary note to those who don't think committing fraud in a Federal grant program is not taken seriously, as BC79er and I have told you about before on numerous occassions:

    http://www.kxii.com/home/headlines/15465201.html


    Now of course this is only one side of the story here but what a shame! Two FFs, who probably had very good intentions in helping their FD or community and now they are facing jail time and will probably lose their careers! Folks there is no piece of equipment or fire truck worth going to jail for.Too bad their membership was not wise enough to accomplish this 1-2 hour task themselves.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Sounds like they may have skipped the part about people filling in the answer sheet themselves before the online portion. We ran one class as a whole and everyone took their own tests and a couple of us filled in the online version to avoid mailing the stuff in. NFA actually recommends doing this, but that documentation part is key where it shows the people actually took the tests themselves. We made them sign the sheets to prove it.

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    Yea that's why I cautioned that we may not have the full story here yet. They have been charged, NOT convicted yet. I will be very curious to see how that falls out. You are very right though that the documentation is key to it here.I still would not want to "take the ride" and incurr that legal defense bill.
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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