In order for emergency responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines to work more closely together, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security created the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
The goal of NIMS is to build a comprehensive, national framework for incident management, which includes emergency preparedness and response during natural disasters and emergencies, as well as acts of terrorism.
With Oak Ridge Associated Universities' (ORAU) expertise in training, exercise planning and management, the organization is helping to support the state of California in its efforts to integrate NIMS throughout its emergency exercise design and execution processes.
In addition, ORAU has provided extensive support to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Emergency Response with its compliance efforts toward the Homeland Security Presidential Directive–5 (HSPD-5), which includes the implementation of NIMS/Incident Command System (ICS) and the National Response Framework (NRF).
We have developed a comprehensive NIMS implementation program to complement the technical response capability of DOE. This began as an assessment of the incident management requirements of DOE, but resulted in a tailored plan to suit the agency’s unique needs.
ORAU has also been able to assist DOE in evaluating its implementation efforts by designing full-function exercises, drills and tabletops that test the department’s ability to respond to emergencies under the NRF using NIMS nd ICS.
During the exercises, ORAU personnel have served as planners, controllers, evaluators, coaches and players/responders.
As a result, ORAU has been instrumental in assisting DOE with the development of a NIMS ICS compliant incident management team to support the management of a complex incident. The program has served as a model for HSPD-5 compliance within other DOE offices and other governmental agencies.