FEMA creates new list of NIMS position qualifications and credentials

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced that it is in the process of replacing its Incident Command System curricula. According to the Emergency Management Institute, the new courses are designed to better meet the requirements of the various agencies that work with the ICS, which include the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, the United States Fire Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture.

Fierce Homeland Security reported that FEMA released a draft resource that defined 17 various job titles and qualifications under the National Incident Management System. The purpose of the job descriptions is to ensure that all personnel in an emergency response have minimally acceptable skills, have completed training modules and experience. The recent draft definitions that the FEMA National Integration Center just released are for the disciplines of mass care and public works.

For example, according to the news source, the structural condition evaluator job description in public works requires an individual to be a professionally licensed engineer, registered architect or structural engineer. Other requirements include at least five years experience in structure design and analysis. 

This is the first draft produced by the organization and others are likely to be completed in the near future. For law enforcement and public safety officials, having a clear distinction of who is both capable and authorized to perform certain functions during emergency situations is vital. Using software to accurately track this information can enable an official or leader to make the right decision on who should be sent where. Too often, a decision needs to be made while the stakes are high and pressure is on, which is why the availability of the information in one, easy-to-access system can benefit emergency managers so much. 

When public safety organizations properly maintain compliance information, the same data can increase both the accuracy and timeliness of their response. This should be viewed as more than simple paperwork, because the ability to pinpoint the most effective response resource during a crisis saves lives.

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