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What is a National Preparedness Level?

A wildland fire engine crew works during the Wallow Fire in Arizona in 2011. (US Forest Service photo/Kari Greer)

A wildland fire engine crew works during the Wallow Fire in Arizona in 2011.
(US Forest Service photo/Kari Greer)

The National Multi-Agency Coordination Group (NMAC) establishes Preparedness Levels throughout the calendar year to help assure that firefighting resources are ready to respond to new incidents. Preparedness Levels are dictated by fuel and weather conditions, fire activity, and resource availability.


The five Preparedness Levels range from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest level.  Each Preparedness Level has specific management directions.  As the Preparedness Levels rise, more federal, state, and local responders become available for wildland fire mobilization if needed.

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What is a NIMO Team?

A NIMO Team at work. (US Forest Service photo)

A NIMO Team at work. (US Forest Service photo)

The National Incident Management Organization (NIMO) is composed of four Incident Management Teams.  Each team consists of seven members, who are assigned full-time to Command & General Staff positions.

The primary focus of the program is the management of complex wildland fire.  NIMO uses a wide range of methods to accomplish this goal.  Essential components required for success include: a strong core of full-time Command and General Staff available year round for incident response with consistent performance expectations and standards for these positions.


In addition to complex fire management, these teams have year-round "non-incident" duties in support of Fire and Aviation Management.  Among these are: training; quality assurance activities; fuels management; fuels implementation; fire and resource management support; National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) projects; cost containment; and leadership development.

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What are Incident Management Teams?

Members of an Incident Management Team work on the Carbonate Canyon Fire on the Gila National Forest. (US Forest Service photo)

Members of an Incident Management Team work on the Carbonate Canyon
Fire on the Gila National Forest. (US Forest Service photo)

An Incident Management Team is a group of trained professionals that responds to national, regional or local emergencies.  Although the primary purpose of an Incident Management Team (IMT) is for wildfire response, an IMT can respond to a wide range of national and international emergencies, including wildfires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunami, riots, spilling of hazardous materials, and other natural or human-caused incidents.

The US Forest Service primarily uses two IMTs which are "typed" according to the complexity of incidents they are capable of managing and are part of an incident command system.

They manage the logistical, fiscal, planning, operational, safety, and community and public information issues related to the incident/emergency -- the command and control infrastructure.

Type 1: National and State Level – a Federally or State-certified team; it is the most robust IMT with the most training and experience.  Sixteen Type 1 National IMTs are now in existence, and operate through interagency cooperation of federal, state and local land and emergency management agencies.

Type 2: National and State Level – a Federally or State-certified team; has less training, staffing and experience than Type 1 IMTs, and is typically used on smaller scale national or state incidents. There are 35 Type 2 IMTs currently in existence, and operate through interagency cooperation of federal, state and local land and emergency management agencies.

An incident management team consists of five subsystems:

Incident command system (ICS) – an on-scene structure of management-level positions suitable for managing any incident.

Training – including needs identification, development, and delivery of training courses.

Qualifications and certification – the United States has national standards for qualifications and certification for ICS positions.

Publications management – the development, control, sourcing, and distribution of National Incident Management System publications provided by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

Supporting technology and systems – technology and materials used to support an emergency response, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), orthophoto mapping, National Fire Danger Rating System, remote automatic weather stations, automatic lightning detection systems, infrared technology, and communications.

 

US Forest Service
Last modified August 27, 2013
http://www.fs.fed.us

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