National Incident Management System (NIMS)
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a consistent, flexible and adjustable national framework within which government and private entities at all levels can work together to manage domestic incidents, regardless of their cause, size, location or complexity. Typical examples of public health responses that would most likely require the use of NIMS include:
- Anthrax scares
- Transportation accidents involving food
- Large-scale epidemiological investigations (especially forensic epidemiology)
- Quarantine and isolation of public
- Incidents such as floods, ice storms and other natural disasters
- Mass medication distribution
NIMS ICS for public health professionals contains NIMS information for public health professionals. After receiving a letter from the Secretary of Homeland Security outlining NIMS, Governor Fletcher issued an Executive Order establishing NIMS as the state standard for incident management on December 7, 2004. All preparedness funding is now dependent upon completion of NIMS compliance activities.
Kentucky worked diligently to meet minimum NIMS compliance activities to be achieved during FY 2005. One of the requirements is completion of the NIMS Awareness Course: “National Incident Management System: An Introduction” IS 700. This is an independent study course that explains the purpose, principles, key components and benefits of NIMS. The course can be found on the Emergency Management Institute Web page and takes from 45 minutes to 3 hours to complete. Please note that the 23 page Course Summary and questions can be printed and taken at leisure. Participants will enroll when answers are submitted online. A certificate and a confirmation email will be sent to each participant upon completion of the course. Regional Bioterrorism Training Coordinators are tasked with keeping records of local health department employees trained. Guidelines for who should take the course state “…The NIMS Integration Center encourages all emergency personnel with a direct role in emergency preparedness, incident management or response to take the NIMS course….”.
Other NIMS requirements included updating plans to include NIMS, formal adoption of NIMS and ICS and completion of the NIMS Capability Assessment Support Tool (NIMCAST). NIMCAST is a tool used to measure NIMS compliance and will establish a baseline. On the FEMA Web site templates of executive orders and proclamations that can be used to formally adopt NIMS. A sample NIMS template used by many Boards of Health in Kentucky to date is available. FY 06 compliance guidelines will include conducting training and exercises on the Incident Command System.
The Public Health Preparedness Branch, with the assistance of local Public Health Preparedness Coordinators, is leading the effort to make public health in Kentucky NIMS compliant. The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) is the State Administrative Agency for NIMS Compliance.
Brad Learn, Public Health Preparedness Branch, serves as the Point of Contact regarding NIMS and can be reached at Brad.Learn@ky.gov or by calling (502) 564-7243 for questions.
Homeland Security NIMS Web page contains valuable information on the NIMS program.