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Preparation is the responsibility of every member of faculty and staff. In 2009, the US Department of Education established a set of guidelines called the “NIMS Implementation Activities for Schools and Institutions of Higher Education” which requires key personnel to complete the following NIMS/ICS courses:
IS-700.a NIMS An Introduction(IS-700)
IS-100.HE Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS-100, for Higher Education(IS-100.HE).

What are NIMS and ICS?

NIMS: The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a consistent framework used nationwide for both governmental and non-governmental agencies to respond to natural and man-made emergencies at the local, state, and federal levels of government.

ICS: The Incident Command System (ICS) is a standardized, on-scene, all-hazards incident management approach that:

  • Allows for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure.
  • Enables a coordinated response among various jurisdictions and functional agencies, both public and private.
  • Establishes common processes for planning and managing resources.

Simply put, NIMS is an overall management framework for responding to emergencies, while ICS is the management system established to manage emergencies and other incidents.

Who are key personnel?

The US Department of Education has created a chart to identify “key personnel” who are required to complete NIMS/ICS training. Key personnel includes the following categories:

  • Executive leaders are often responsible for making financial, administrative, and managerial decisions supporting emergency management program and will likely have very high-level responsibilities before and after an incident, as opposed to command responsibilities in the field during an actual inciden tresponse.
  • General Personnel are those with any role in emergency preparedness, incident management, or response.
  • Command Staff are personnel assigned to lead any key campus emergency management effort; they have a specific role within the ICS.
  • Incident Managers are personnel with a leadership role in command. These individuals are typically obligated to command and manage incidents that occur on campus.

How do I complete the training?

Most NIMS and ICS training courses can be completed on-line from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you choose to complete a course on-line, we ask that you please share a copy of your Certificate of Completion with the emergency management program office at While all of these courses are available on-line, formal training in a classroom environment is also available. Please contact the emergency management program office if you would like to host or attend formal NIMS/ICS training.