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  • ICS/NIMS Mandated by DHS

    How many of your agencies are or have plans to meet the mandated ICS/NIMS training to remain eligible to receive DHS grant money/equipment? According to DHS all tribal, state and local public safety agencies must be compliant by September 2008 or risk loosing the ability to receive any DHS grants. All personnel are mandated to complete IS-100, IS-200, IS-700 and IS-800. ICS-300 and ICS-400 should be taken by executive and at least one supervisor and must be taken on-site with an instructor, while the other courses may be taken on-line through the FEMA-Independent Study Program.

    My agency is finally compliant as are many others in my area, but some have refused to take the training. Where does your agency stand?
    Last edited by cpd169; 08-15-2008, 11:30 PM. Reason: Forgot to list who should attend ICS-300 and 400

  • #2
    Its pretty much going to be Nation wide. Were just getting started in kansas.

    "SO OTHERS MAY LIVE"
    You have to go out, but you don't have to come back!!

    Coming to a CRACK HOUSE NEAR YOU!!!!!

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    • #3
      I Agree - It's Boring

      Originally posted by ROSchwoe
      The PD I worked for prior to working for the USG was compliant, and I can tell you that the NIMS/ICS training is BY FAR the most boring training you will ever go through. Get ready for a LOT of useless organizational charts.

      I agree with you on NIMS/ICS being boring, somewhat like watching grass grow. The group activities in the ICS-400 class were the kind of enjoyable, our instructor let us use a local event that was similar to the scenario that the book had in it, so that was pretty cool. The chances of all, or even most of the things happening here that happened in the scenario are about as likely to happen here as me winning the lottery somewhere which is pretty much zero since I don't buy lottery tickets anywhere.

      I was talking with the head of our local rescue squad about it earlier this evening, he said that they were doing the on-line courses, but weren't going to attend any of the courses (like ICS-300 and 400) because they were volunteering their time to answer medical calls, not go to some class that they'd never use. He said they would just write off any more grant money from DHS.

      Our municipality cannot afford to do that, so my chief and I attended the 300 and 400 classes to remain compliant. We were just awarded a $25,000.00 DHS grant to purchase and install a new communications system earlier this year. We never would have been able to purchase it without the grant for at least another 2-3 years and couldn't wait that long. It's voluntary, but that grant money is a very large carrot to entice agencies to become and remain compliant with the NIMS/ICS mandate.

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      • #4
        I am an a National Guard unit that reponds to terrorist attacks and other natural disaters and we are organized inthe NIMS/ICS syatem. We also had to take ICS 100,200, 700 and 800 and I just completed 300 three weeks ago. I am also in Civil Air PAtrol where we also do ICS stuff.

        I actually enjoy it. I think its a way so that multi agenices (Fire, police, EMS, military)can be on the same sheet of music. The ICS system is actually derived from military organizational structure. You have an IC, OPS chief, Logistics Chief, Admin Chief, and Planning Chief. The Ary has been organizaed like that for years we just called them something else (S-1, S-3, S-4 and so on).

        I will agree though that our lower ranking soldiers found it boring and useless. I guess these courses are more for management and not so much for the guy onthe street. I meana Private is never going to have to deal with an IC directly.

        But when it comes to you LE guys, Ithink you should know it. Picture this. joe cop is on patrol and comes upon a vehicle onthe side of the raod. he gets out and sees a passenger shaking and see some form of gasd in the car. That street cop just became a IC and has to mitigate that situation quickly. He needs to know how NIMS works so he can call the right people (doesnt have time to call his supervisor) he needs to work with EMS, HAZMAT and public works. He needs to be the IC until a Fire Chief or HAZMAT Chief can get on the scene and take over

        Being in LE is not just about chasing people and bashing heads. You need to be a public servant and protect life and property. A lot of cops forget that part of the job.

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        • #5
          All current here, updated June this year
          Me in the Sunshine State

          10-8store.com

          "I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do. That is character!"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by quallze View Post
            Its pretty much going to be Nation wide. Were just getting started in kansas.
            Our "Kansas" agency has been ICS compliant for several years now- I wouldn't say were are all "just getting started". I have heard of several smaller PDs / SOs resisting the training because they state they aren't going to get any federal funds. Regardless, it is good training to have- especially when dealing with our Firefighter brothers who live and breath ICS every day. Also, departments are always clamoring for continuing education hours- this seems like a simple way to get decent training and free credits.

            I have been at several "large" incidents / disasters during my career (Amtrak derailment, tornadoes, floods etc) and wish law enforcement had a better grip on incident command. It seems like law enforcement runs around with little organization while fire is more organized since they use ICS everyday. More times then not, I have seen law enforcement putting around doing our own thing and ignoring ICS- not communicating with fire or EMS. At the Amtrak derailment I pulled up and found the County Sheriff directing traffic at a roadblock instead of exercising any sort of leadership!
            ---Cut the red wire---

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            • #7
              Thats an interesting point. I wonder if a Police Chief has ever served as Incident Commander? I guess it would depend on the situation. Like a hostage situation or something like that I can see a police chief as the IC or maybe a missiing child, the Sheriff may be the IC, But like was said in most cases the Fire Chief would be the IC. Then theres the whole thing about Unified Command which I disagree with.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ROSchwoe
                The PD I worked for prior to working for the USG was compliant, and I can tell you that the NIMS/ICS training is BY FAR the most boring training you will ever go through. Get ready for a LOT of useless organizational charts.
                + 1

                yeah we have to do it over here.
                sigpicMy statements do not represent my agency.

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                • #9
                  We've been working on it for awhile and are most of the way towards 100% compliance.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by alpha1906 View Post
                    But when it comes to you LE guys, Ithink you should know it. Picture this. joe cop is on patrol and comes upon a vehicle onthe side of the raod. he gets out and sees a passenger shaking and see some form of gasd in the car. That street cop just became a IC and has to mitigate that situation quickly. He needs to know how NIMS works so he can call the right people (doesnt have time to call his supervisor) he needs to work with EMS, HAZMAT and public works. He needs to be the IC until a Fire Chief or HAZMAT Chief can get on the scene and take over

                    Being in LE is not just about chasing people and bashing heads. You need to be a public servant and protect life and property. A lot of cops forget that part of the job.
                    I agree that the ICS makes sense and we've been acting as IC on every call we answer regardless of how simple or complex it is as well as every traffic stop we make. We just haven't called it being an IC. You have to admit that it would sound pretty lame for us to say "... setting up incident command..." every time we stopped a violator or answered a call. Both we, the LEO and our dispatchers know that we're doing it, we don't need to tell them we are. The first officer on a scene is IC unless and until they are relieved by a more qualified officer or, if necessary a supervisor. That's the way it's always been and that's the way it will continue to be, we'll just know to call it by the ICS terms is all.

                    I just completed IS-703 Resource Management (I have to complete it next year anyway and thought I'd go ahead and take it now). I have to say that I learned a lot from it. It makes you look at the bigger picture, not just the LE side of an incident. IS-300 and 400 did too. Most of the guys have done nothing but complain about having to take the on-line courses I can only imagine how much they'd complain if they had to attend an actual class for all of them. I agree with you that it's a good thing in general.

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                    • #11
                      Disagree about Unified Command

                      Originally posted by alpha1906 View Post
                      Thats an interesting point. I wonder if a Police Chief has ever served as Incident Commander? I guess it would depend on the situation. Like a hostage situation or something like that I can see a police chief as the IC or maybe a missiing child, the Sheriff may be the IC, But like was said in most cases the Fire Chief would be the IC. Then theres the whole thing about Unified Command which I disagree with.
                      I have to disagree with you about Unified Command being a bad thing. I can definitely see times when it would be useful if not a necessity, i.e. any incident where police, fire and public works are all involved heavily. They all have a representative who has the authority to make decisions, i.e. ordering more resources, approving overtime, etc. and appoint a single spokesman. Area Command is another good component of ICS/NIMS.

                      I don't want a fire fighter telling me how to handle traffic control, crowd control, etc. nor would I try to tell them how to fight a fire. For as long as I've been in LE (17 years full-time) we've pretty much had unified command on scenes involving police and fire/rescue units. We handle our job and they handle theirs, if they need us to do something they ask us and we'll do it if possible (sometimes they ask us to do things that we can't legally do).

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                      • #12
                        we've been doing it for years and it blows...it's as much fun as the NCIC training
                        Perseverate In Pugna

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cpd169 View Post
                          I have to disagree with you about Unified Command being a bad thing. I can definitely see times when it would be useful if not a necessity, i.e. any incident where police, fire and public works are all involved heavily. They all have a representative who has the authority to make decisions, i.e. ordering more resources, approving overtime, etc. and appoint a single spokesman. Area Command is another good component of ICS/NIMS.

                          I don't want a fire fighter telling me how to handle traffic control, crowd control, etc. nor would I try to tell them how to fight a fire. For as long as I've been in LE (17 years full-time) we've pretty much had unified command on scenes involving police and fire/rescue units. We handle our job and they handle theirs, if they need us to do something they ask us and we'll do it if possible (sometimes they ask us to do things that we can't legally do).

                          Being a military guy, having moe than one head just doesnt seem natural too me. That anget ugly quickly. what happens if the fire Chief and Police Chief dont agree on a course of action? Who has the final say? One guy (or lady) needs to be the final decision maker.

                          You wouldnt have a situation where a Fire Chief is tell ing you ,the officer what to do. An IC has subordinate players from all of the different agencies. A smart IC will listen to those advisors and take their advice seriously.. If I am an IC working a bombed building. i will probably have a Fire Chief as my Ops Chief. I would listen to his every advice as how to fight the fire. I would also have EMT's on my staff to give me recommendations on how to triage patients.

                          Its all about using your resources and listening to your people.As an Infantry officer I dont get into the weeds of things. I listen to my subordinate commanders and I make decisions based on that. Its a team effort. But if three people have the same authority, then you could be asking for troble because three chiefs with three different personalities may or may not work well together.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alpha1906 View Post
                            Being a military guy, having moe than one head just doesnt seem natural too me. That anget ugly quickly. what happens if the fire Chief and Police Chief dont agree on a course of action? Who has the final say? One guy (or lady) needs to be the final decision maker.

                            You wouldnt have a situation where a Fire Chief is tell ing you ,the officer what to do. An IC has subordinate players from all of the different agencies. A smart IC will listen to those advisors and take their advice seriously.. If I am an IC working a bombed building. i will probably have a Fire Chief as my Ops Chief. I would listen to his every advice as how to fight the fire. I would also have EMT's on my staff to give me recommendations on how to triage patients.

                            Its all about using your resources and listening to your people.As an Infantry officer I dont get into the weeds of things. I listen to my subordinate commanders and I make decisions based on that. Its a team effort. But if three people have the same authority, then you could be asking for troble because three chiefs with three different personalities may or may not work well together.
                            What I mean about unified command is that we practice it on just about any scene that involves police and fire resources, i.e. at a wreck with injuries who ever has the highest level of emergency medical training assumes IC over that aspect of the incident, while the first police officer on scene assumes command for the law enforcement aspect, i.e. traffic/crowd control, investigating the wreck, etc.

                            I have worked more than a few wrecks when the medical IC tried to give orders to me as a LE IC that had nothing what-so-ever to do with his area of responsibility, i.e. seeing to the treatment and transportation of any injured victims. I believe a lot of it is that we have different priorities and policies, i.e. as a LEO I want to get the roadway cleared and traffic flowing again as soon as possible while the medical IC has another priority and may not want to open the roadway until all of their resources have left the scene.

                            Whether you call it unified command or not it works out the same, the fire/EMS handle their area of responsibility and LE handles theirs. Neither one gives the other orders because neither one is under the others authority, however both should get together in order to make sure that the incident is handled as efficiently as possible and to prevent the ordering of multiple resources, also only one of them will generally make any statements to the press. As I understand it that's unified command, if that isn't right then I guess the training isn't very effective.

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