The Role of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) In School Prepardeness

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Website: http://rems.ed.gov

The collective use of NIMS across all local incident response agencies, including K-12 schools and institutions of higher education (IHEs), and disciplines creates a common operating picture, promoting mutual goals and responsibilities, and ultimately, more efficient and effective response services. Developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2003 in the wake of the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks, the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which includes the Incident Command System (ICS), is a standardized emergency response system used by all first responders to coordinate response efforts before, during and after an emergency. In 2005, NIMS was mandated for adoption by all entities receiving federal preparedness funds, including grantees. Because all schools and IHEs are integral components of every community and its government, regardless of whether they are recipients of Federal preparedness funds, DHS and ED recommend all schools and IHEs implement NIMS.

This one-and-a-half-hour webinar focuses on the implementation of NIMS and ICS as it pertains to K-12 schools and school districts. The webinar presents information about the key elements of NIMS, training for key personnel, ICS roles for schools, and examples of how districts and schools can implement NIMS/ICS.

The webinar was presented by our colleague Bob Spears, Director of Emergency Services with the Los Angeles (CA) Unified School District’s Office of Emergency Services.

Participants learned about NIMS as a comprehensive, national approach to incident management that is applicable to all jurisdictional levels and across functional disciplines. Specifically, this webinar is intended to help participants:
■ Understand the basic elements of the school’s emergency management plan.
■ Gain awareness of the Incident Command System (ICS) principles, terminology, and implementation.
■ Learn multiple strategies for effective emergency exercises and training.
■ Engage in an interactive scenario.

This webinar may also assist schools in the identification of key personnel to receive training based on their roles and responsibilities. Additionally, this webinar highlights the importance of aligning key staff with appropriate ICS roles and responsibilities and the need to provide adequate training at the appropriate level of NIMS/ICS for their school or district.

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School Safety Partners is dedicated to creating long-term funding partnerships to support school safety best practices. We are both a community of interest and a facilitator of joint research projects, reaching out to the general public as well as stakeholders in the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors. Our purpose is to create a space for stakeholders where true partnering can occur in order to make school safety sustainable beyond Federal funding. Since our start in January, 2008, our projects have addressed the legislative, training, compliance, funding, and public awareness sides of school safety.

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