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Author Topic: NIMS Integration Center Releases Criteria for Credentialing SAR Personnel  (Read 4572 times)
fyrfitrmedic
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Posts: 555

« on: November 23, 2006, 07:11:09 PM »


Found in my inbox when I got in from work this morning:

NA: 018-06
NIMS Integration Center, November 21, 2006
NIMS-Integration-Center@dhs.gov
202-646-3850

NIMS Integration Center Releases Criteria for Credentialing Search and Rescue (SAR) Personnel

As part of our nation's efforts to strengthen catastrophic response capabilities in line with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), FEMA's NIMS Integration Center has released initial minimum criteria for SAR Personnel to be deployed using a national credentialing system. The purpose of this release is to solicit comments and constructive feedback for an open period not to exceed 45 calendar days from the date stated in this NIMS Alert.  Information on how to submit your comments via e-mail is located at the end of this Alert.

A SAR credentialing working group comprised of Subject Matter Experts identified 36 positions anticipated to be most commonly requested during an interstate mutual aid response. They are:

1. Disaster Collapsed Structure Canine Search Manager
2. Disaster Collapsed Structure Canine Search Technical Specialist (Advisor)
3. Disaster Collapsed Structure Canine Search Technician
4. Helicopter Search and/or Rescue Crew Chief (Disaster, Mountain, Stillwater, Swiftwater, Wilderness, Urban, et al)
5. Helicopter Search and/or Rescue Pilot (Disaster, Mountain, Stillwater, Swiftwater, Wilderness, Urban, et al)
6. Helicopter Search and/or Rescue Technician (Disaster, Mountain, Stillwater, Swiftwater, Wilderness, Urban, et al)
7. Human Remains Canine Search Manager
8. Human Remains Canine Search Technical Specialist (Advisor)
9. Human Remains Canine Search Technician
10. Mountain Search and/or Rescue Manager
11. Mountain Search and/or Rescue Technical Specialist (Advisor)
12. Mountain Search and/or Rescue Technician
13. Mountain Search and/or Rescue Unit Leader
14. Emergency Services Technical SAR Manager
15. Emergency Services Technical SAR Technician
16. Logistics Search and/or Rescue Technician (Disaster, Mountain, Stillwater, Swiftwater, Wilderness, Urban, et al)
17. Medical Search and/or Rescue Technician (Disaster, Mountain, Stillwater, Swiftwater, Wilderness, Urban, et al)
18. Structural Collapse Rescue Manager
19. Structural Collapse Rescue Technician
20. Structural Collapse Search Manager
21. Structural Collapse Search Technician
22. Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Manager
23. Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Technician
24. Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Technician- Boat Bowman
25. Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Technician- Boat Operator
26. Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Technical Specialist (Advisor)
27. Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Technician- Animal Rescue
28. Swiftwater/Flood Rescue Unit Leader
29. Water Canine Search Manager
30. Water Canine Search Technician
31. Wilderness Air Scent Canine Search Manager
32. Wilderness Air Scent Canine Search Technician
33. Wilderness Search and/or Rescue Manager
34. Wilderness Search and/or Rescue Technical Specialist (Advisor)
35. Wilderness Search and/or Rescue Technician
36. Wilderness Search and/or Rescue Unit Leader

For each job title, the SAR Working Group identified "requisite" and "recommended" baseline criteria for education, training, experience, physical/medical fitness, certification, and licensing. These criteria are intended to complement and support existing credentialing systems. Where national standards do not exist under "requisite" criteria, "recommended" criteria are listed for current and/or future consideration.

These recommendations have been submitted to the NIMS Integration Center and will be made available on the NIMS Web page at http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims. The NIMS Integration Center again invites NIMS Stakeholders to review these initial criteria for the standardized, national credentialing of SAR Personnel.  The SAR Working Group will review all responses submitted and as appropriate make any needed revisions with a final NIMS release of the Criteria for credentialing SAR personnel.

All comments and questions should be directed to the following E-mail address:
   NIMS-credentialing@L-3com.com

http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/index.shtm

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MAJ Tony Rowley CAP
Lansdowne PA USA
"The passion of rescue reveals the highest dynamic of the human soul." -- Kurt Hahn
DNall
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Posts: 3,721

« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2006, 12:42:58 AM »

Wilderness & mountain are really different than what we do for the most part. I know we have some specialized teams, but that's not what most of us do. Of course we do need fixed wing search & assessment categories added in there.

I'm glad they're doing this though. It'll require CAP to get in the game once & for all or quit crying & BSing members about why we don't get missions.
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Dustoff
Member

Posts: 74

« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2006, 01:07:11 AM »

I haven't been able to get any of the links on the FEMA website to work.  Anyone have any better luck?

Jim
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Jim
RiverAux
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2006, 07:05:51 PM »

Not working for me yet.

Does anyone know what CAP is doing to address these NIMS issues?  We're certainly not at all compliant.  I know CG Aux has been struggling to get many of its folks through ICS 100,200,700,800 depending on their specialties (along with the rest of the CG), but I haven't heard word one from CAP.

This is actually a pretty big deal.  If we don't meet these national standards it could have a major effect on our use at state and federal levels. 

Besides these standards, they've also released similiar documents for mission staff personnel. 

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Dustoff
Member

Posts: 74

« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2006, 09:22:52 PM »

I agree, the impact of these documents could be significant.

(Assuming that we ever get to see them.)  ;) :D

I sent the webmaster an email last night.  Probably won't get a response until Monday.

Jim
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Jim
RiverAux
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2006, 10:22:20 PM »

Since they have fixed wing aircraft as one of their resource types I'm sure they'll eventually get around to detailing credentials for them as well. 
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DNall
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2006, 11:45:39 PM »

Besides these standards, they've also released similiar documents for mission staff personnel. 
Could someone post those also if we ever get these going. It'd be interesting to see how those wrap over on our system - meaning how clearly they show us to be out of compliance.

Since they have fixed wing aircraft as one of their resource types I'm sure they'll eventually get around to detailing credentials for them as well. 
I'm not sure about that. The fixed wing resource stuff they have refers to fire watch & supression. The firewatch mission we do in Texas is not up to par with the forrest service guys. We find things for them to take a closer look at is all. They still have their planes up. I'd start in w/ NASAR on fixed wing pilot/observer standards. In the end though, there is going to be a large gap between teh standards & what we're doing. These standards are written for fire/EMS/LE to bring in mutal aid from neighboring departments. CAP is going to have high dollar specialized gear, missions, personnel that no one else does. We're really not wanting to get in on the mutual aid system. Maybe support it w/ Airborne comms & air/ground assessment, but we're not taking jobs away from firemen. The kind of things we're looking to do are military in nature & we need to be working with that side of the house to get lined up for the work & understnd what parts of NIMS we need to get done & what parts are for someone else, then fill the voids w/ military backed training.

I'm hopeful on this system though, cause CAP will be able to deny no more & will very clearly know why they don't get missions & what they need to do to change that. I also like the physical standards that will be a wakeup call for some.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2006, 11:56:35 PM »

The alerts are posted here:  http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/nims_alert.shtm The latest one has an error that has been reported.   

DNALL, I think you've been looking at the wrong stuff.  They have fixed wing stuff in their SAR Resource Typing document: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/508-8_search_and_rescue_resources.pdf

The main NIMS page is here: http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/index.shtm I expect there will be a lot of stuff posted here that will be seeping (or flooding if we take it seriously) down into CAP soon. 

Staff credentialling document:http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/im-job-titles.pdf  Very interesting...they talk about physical requirements for mission staff.....bodes well for a change for ground search personnel having to meet some minimums...

Note that they will be wanting a lot of the staff to have ICS 300 and 400 which are classroom courses.....
« Last Edit: November 25, 2006, 12:16:38 AM by RiverAux » Logged
DNall
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Posts: 3,721

« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2006, 03:14:34 AM »

DNALL, I think you've been looking at the wrong stuff.  They have fixed wing stuff in their SAR Resource Typing document: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/508-8_search_and_rescue_resources.pdf

That's fine, but it isn't attempting to establish standards for members of military or agency units that will obviously have their own high internal requirementes for employees. Our bigger problem is not with aircrews though. We have planes w/ capabilities & others don't, so we'll get flying jobs no as long as ew are in there pitching them. It's teh ground team that's an issue. What we have to sell is an organic comm heavy air/grd unit that does a lot of the same things military units do & has a quicker line to the top than local emergency managers.

Far as PT, the wildland firefighter PFT I heard about isn't at all challenging, but I like the idea of people being medically/physically fit enough to do the job, and meassured against a legit standard with checkups rather than just saying so. We've debated varrious medical requirements for observers & a PFT for GTMs. I think this might be the staw that broke the back leading to those kind of things. When that happens, I'd tell you to look to the Iowa system where they're suddenly getting a lot younger officers in the door.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2006, 09:46:53 AM »

Quote
but it isn't attempting to establish standards for members of military or agency units that will obviously have their own high internal requirementes for employees.


Oh I beg to differ.  Pretty much anyone involved with emergency response in the US is going to be affected.  We've yet to see exactly what CAP on the national level is going to do, but remember, many CAP units receive state funding and the states are definetely going to be making people comply with it.  I think CAP will be trying to get NIMS compliant.  They made a point of stating in our new Comm regulation that our procedures would be NIMS compliant which may be a clue. 

Here is one example from WV Wing:
Quote
To All Members Participating in Emergency Services in the West Virginia Wing: 
In order to receive FY 2006 and FY2007 preparedness funding, West Virginia must demonstrate that their receiving agencies are participating in National Incident Management System integration efforts. To comply, the West Virginia Wing is requiring that all members participating in Emergency Services complete the IS-700 NIMS course described below:

FEMA Independent Study Program: IS-700 National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction On February 28, 2003, President Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5. HSPD-5 directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS provides a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents. This course introduces NIMS and takes approximately three hours to complete. It explains the purpose, principles, key components and benefits of NIMS. The course also contains "Planning Activity" screens giving you an opportunity to complete some planning tasks during this course. The planning activity screens are printable so that you can use them after you complete the course. The course is available at: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is700.asp You should choose Option #1 at the bottom.

All Incident Commanders, Mission Staff personnel, Squadron Commanders, Emergency Services Officers and all other members participating in Emergency Services are asked to complete this on-line course. When you receive confirmation of successful completion, please forward that email confirmation to me. If you have any trouble navigating through the site or the course, please let me know and I will try to assist you. We are setting a target date of 1 July 2006 for everyone to have completed the course.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2006, 10:01:36 AM by RiverAux » Logged
DNall
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2006, 02:31:59 PM »

The active military isn't a disaster response unit, but they get tasked to it when needed, and under command of people that have the training. CAP has been trying to follow the same model, and while problematic, that's a good idea, cause we don't actually want individual teams/aircrews under command of another agency that doesn't know how to use them or follow safety or CAP regs in their tasking. We're not a mutual aid unit, and should not be trying to comply with that system. We're the same as an active duty AF unit as far as NIMS goes. It's a complex issue that's going to have to be worked out, but CAP can't work fully in their world, nor fully in the military's. Frankly, we can't just focus on disasters. Katrina isn't going to happen every year. Outside a couple wings, there's just not that much work. We need a broad approach like the National Guard takes to tehri many missions.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2006, 06:17:10 PM »

At a minimum we're already seeing NIMS being forced on at least one Wing in order for them to receive state money.  I strongly suspect that this will come up as new MOUs are written between CAP and the states because it is in the state's interest to have CAP following the same procedures as everyone else.  Remember, in most cases states are in charge of almost all the SAR stuff we do anyway and if they want all the people working under their auspices to be NIMS compliant we better do it or get cut out of the loop. 

We may be able to skate by as a "military" resource but I strongly doubt it.  Furthermore, why would we want to?  We've going to be working with the state people in disasters and SAR much more than we ever are with the AF so why wouldn't we want to follow the same system they're using? 

Face it, this decision was made when they incorporated ICS stuff into ES curriculum around 2000.  That was just the first step and I fully expect the NIMS stuff to get into CAP at some point.

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DNall
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2006, 01:54:04 AM »

I DO think we should comply with NIMS training standards, and NB decided to do so some months ago as I understand. These standards are new & look like they will challenge CAP's ability to meet them.

The issue is we are not a mutual aid agency that can just turn over a crew & plane to operational control by some local emergency manager in teh same way a fire truck & crew can be turned over to a neighboring fire dept in an emergency. We have specialized resources they don't know how to utilize, and we have complex rules they don't understand. I just can't imagine a scenerio where we can legitimately function as part of a civilian resposne effort. Maybe the national guard can help, I don't know, but we really can only function under the military model. There really isn't another option. We're in too wierd an in-between limbo state to do anything else.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2006, 02:08:57 AM »

Does anyone know what CAP is doing to address these NIMS issues?  We're certainly not at all compliant.  I know CG Aux has been struggling to get many of its folks through ICS 100,200,700,800 depending on their specialties (along with the rest of the CG), but I haven't heard word one from CAP.

ICS 100 & 200 are required in CAP for all base staff and personnel in leadership positions (i.e. GTL).  I generally recommend people go to at least 700.
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"Effort" does not equal "results".
arajca
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2006, 02:27:22 AM »

I DO think we should comply with NIMS training standards, and NB decided to do so some months ago as I understand. These standards are new & look like they will challenge CAP's ability to meet them.

The issue is we are not a mutual aid agency that can just turn over a crew & plane to operational control by some local emergency manager in teh same way a fire truck & crew can be turned over to a neighboring fire dept in an emergency. We have specialized resources they don't know how to utilize, and we have complex rules they don't understand.

Let's see. We have ground teams that, with a little effort on our part can be typed according to NIMS standards. We have aircraft with recon abilities. We have communications capabilities and trained operators. Don't see anything special there. If your talking about ARCHER and SDIS, they're specialized, but not really exotic. Heck, all SDIS does is provide photos to the customer before the plane lands. Nothing special there. For many missions, ARCHER may not be of great use and it is limited in availability, not every wing has one. The State of Colorado purchased four SDIS systems for COWG so we would have more availablility.

Our 'complex' rules can be easily dealt with in the planning stages. Most wings have some sort of agreement with the state to deal with call-outs.
Quote
I just can't imagine a scenerio where we can legitimately function as part of a civilian resposne effort.
I can. I've seen it. A couple years ago, CAP flew many missions in supprt of the Haywood Fire in Colorado. It was a simple process. SEOC called NOC and requested air support with payment information. NOC got mission number. SEOC called COWG and COWG got aircrews and aircraft going. This summer, CAP ground teams were involved in a couple of missing person searches in CO.
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DNall
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« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2006, 02:53:57 AM »

No, what you saw was the state call NOC & request a CAP operation which was then run by CAP in consultation with the state authorities. That's not what NIMS is, and not what's being considered here if CAP goes the NIMS route. NIMS is the basis for mutual aid assistance between jurisdictions. What happens if we're working under NIMS is they request a plane & crew for three days. We send it & they own it till it comes back. There is no CAP IC or staff, or even liaison at the base to make sure you're complying w/ regs. It's the same system that allows a fire truck & crew to be loaned out by one city to another in an emergency. Yes you can work soemthing via an MOU to have your guy in the EOC to keep an eye on things, we've been doing that here for 15-20 years. That's got nothing to do with NIMS. NIMS is about sending that crew from Colorado to Florida in a disaster & placing them in a situation where they don't see or work for anyone else from CAP, and maybe the NOC gets a fax every few days to let them know what's goinmg on with their people.
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RiverAux
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« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2006, 10:22:34 AM »

Quote
ICS 100 & 200 are required in CAP for all base staff and personnel in leadership positions (i.e. GTL).  I generally recommend people go to at least 700.
No, they are not required.  What is required is that if you want to get the position now you have to take some of these courses but if you had the position prior to the implementation of the current regs you were grandfathered in.  So, I would say a significant majority of our mission staff personnel have not taken any of these courses.

NIMS has nothing at all to do with mutual aid compacts between individual cities or agencies, though it certainly could come in to play if the agencies involved want it to.  I think you need to take a closer look at the resource typing document I posted earlier.  In there you will notice that that aircrew is supposed to come with staff support....

An incident run under NIMS is not that much different than how we've been doing stuff in the past.  CAP would receive direction on what needed to be done from the Incident Commander following whatever procedures have been worked out to request CAP assisstance and then we would go do those missions.  Ultimate control of CAP resources stays with CAP yes, but operational control of what the CAP people can and cannot do in the incident will fall to the actual incident staff.  How is this any different than situations where there is a lost person in the woods and CAP sends a ground team to participate?  That ground team is probably taking orders on where to search from the county sheriff and they'll do what he says so long as it doesn't go against CAP regulations. 
« Last Edit: November 26, 2006, 10:31:05 AM by RiverAux » Logged
SJFedor
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Posts: 1,691

« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2006, 11:15:12 AM »

NIMS is about sending that crew from Colorado to Florida in a disaster & placing them in a situation where they don't see or work for anyone else from CAP, and maybe the NOC gets a fax every few days to let them know what's goinmg on with their people.

True.

But....

Why would the NOC send an aircrew from Colorado to an incident in Florida, where they won't be interfacing with any other CAP assets or personnel. I would personally believe that the NOC would get Florida assets involved first, since, you know, they're already there, and then expand the personnel pool outward to bordering states, and so on and so forth. Odds are, if they're sending an aircrew from Colorado to Florida, it's a big ass mission that requires a ton of assets, both from CAP and other areas of specialty, or this aircrew from CO is the absolute crack-squad bomb type aircrew. Even so, just from a cost analysis position, if this aircrew is something special, it'd probably be cheaper to fly the aircrew commercially to somewhere in FL, and give them an FLWG aircraft to work with.

Although, I'd love to fly from CO to FL for free and be logging the time.

So, does it apply since I remember reading somewhere in the propaganda that we have "strategic assets positioned across the CONUS for rapid response to situations"?

But it is good training to get, I personally encourage everyone to do it if you have a free day or two to look over the material. Classes actually formally presented are even better learning experiences.
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Steven Fedor, NREMT-P
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Former Capt, MP, MCPE, MO, MS, GTL, and various other 3-and-4 letter combinations
NESA MAS Instructor, 2008-2010 (#479)
DNall
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« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2006, 02:45:13 PM »

It's standardized training to make everyone all emergency responders cookie cutter & interchangable. Of course local assets would be deployed first. When they determine they need a CAP plane, they'd ask for just that, not a whole operation to run it, they'd be given the plane & crew to run directly as they see fit, & the only one looking out for CAP's interests (following regs & such) would be the crew itself. This program was expanded & nationalized like it was in order to standardize mutual aid, but we aren't and can't be used the way mutual aid works, we have to be used the way the military works w/ a seperate NIMS structure.
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arajca
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« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2006, 04:12:55 PM »

Under ICS/NIMS, there is a position called "Agency Representative". This person works with the Liasion Officer (NOT the AL position CAP created) for the incident to ensure the agency's rules and concerns are being followed. The AR has the authority to commit or decommit agency resources, meaning if the IC is directing CAP resources to violate CAP/FAA rules/regs, the AR can pull the resources, without the IC's permission. Typically, the AR works with the LO to make sure such a case doesn't occur, but on occasion it has happened.

Under CAP's ES quals, this position has been misnamed the Agency Liasion, and the requirements for it are the same as the equivelent IC rating.

It is not unusual to have many AR's working with one LO on a large incident. I had a friend serve as the LO for part of the Salt Lake Olympics. He said there isn't enough asprin in the world for that position. IIRC, he had 20 or 30 different AR's he had to deal with and babysit to keep everything flowing.

So no, the crew is not the only one looking out for CAP's interests, unless the wing or NOC doesn't bother to assign an AR to the incident. There is also the possibility of getting an experienced CAP IC assigned as a Technical Specialist in the Planning Section to cover CAP's butt.
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