There are two types of NIMS structures, Incident Command System (ICS) and Hierarchical Incident Management System (HIMS). ICS is for smaller incidents, while HIMS is best suited for larger spill response situations. The NIMS MAC Group may impose its own structure on either ICS or HIMS, depending on the size and complexity of the incident.
NIMs Structure – What Role of MAC Group Here?
The National Incident Management System provides guidance to jurisdictions with their emergency preparedness efforts. It includes a set of principles to help guide decisions made by various parties. This can include the authorities, the media, and first responders.
The purpose of an NIMS system is to provide a single source of information and guidance to assist in the management of large scale incidents. The MAC Group is responsible for making decisions during such incidents. These involve coordination on command and control with other local, state and federal agencies.
1.NIMS structure to be used in a multi-agency response:
a.ICS (In the case of smaller incidents) –
ICS is used when the incident or event requires coordination but the incident is not large enough to require an emergency organizational structure. ICS helps in rapid mobilization, decentralized response and flexible management of incidents. The five components of this structure are command, operations, planning, logistics and finance/administration.
b.HIMS (In the case of larger spills) –
The Hierarchical Incident Management System model is best suited for larger spills. This includes incidents that involve more than one agency or jurisdiction and possess complex command relationships.
HIMS allows for quick decision making through its use of standardization of command structures and application of doctrine to guide leaders in their decision making process at all levels.
HIMS also provides for formal administrative and logistical support. This includes: personnel management, budgeting and finance, resource management, and facilities management.
2.Goals of NIMS MAC Group:
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) was created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide a consistent nationwide approach to incident response and recovery operations involving multiple agencies at multiple levels of government
. The system addresses multi-agency coordination and communication, establishes a standardized structure for effective incident management, and provides a common lexicon to enable effective communication between responders from different agencies as well as with citizens affected by an incident.
EPA’s National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) was developed to provide a framework for the Nation’s response to oil and hazardous substance releases. The plan contains an effective, nationwide “chain of command” which provides guidance on lines of authority and communication procedures.
This NIMS-based approach will enhance national capacity to respond by establishing clear authorities and relationships that apply at all levels in affected jurisdictions. Additionally, the NPP establishes a contingency planning team that is responsible for planning, training, exercising and providing resources for the rapid deployment of response personnel and equipment during a spill or release incident.
3. NIMS MAC Command Structure:
a. Classification of the Incident/Emergency Response Team:
Three broad categories are used to describe the level of response required for a particular incident. The classification of the incident determines which type of NIMS Incident Management Group is appropriate to manage the response. The categories are natural or man-made disasters, terrorist incidents, and other major incidents.
b. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) :
The CEO is charged with coordinating the incident management activities among various agencies and individuals involved in the response phase of a major incident or major disaster response efforts in a jurisdiction, especially in states and local areas that have adopted NIMS as their standard emergency management operations plan (e.g. New York City, New Jersey, California, and the U.S. Coast Guard).
c. Incident Commander:
The Incident Commander (IC) is a representative of the NIMS organization appointed by the CEO and serves to lead overall in coordinating activities during the response phase of a major incident or major disaster response efforts in a jurisdiction, especially in states and local areas that have adopted NIMS as their standard emergency management operations plan (e.g. New York City, New Jersey, California, and the U.S. Coast Guard).
d. Operations Commander/Main Street Center :
The Operations Commander/Main Street Center is responsible for the management of the incident, making decisions and running a single integrated command (i.e. assigning personnel to various tasks, coordinating field activities, and controlling overall operations during an incident).
Responsibilities typically include: managing the command staff, maintaining operations during the incident phase, and acting as during the post-incident phase through commandeering resources outside of their operational area of responsibility.