The Need for a National Standard
Following disasters in 2004 and 2005, the Federal Emergency Management Agency was tasked with coming up with a more organized approach to emergency response. It was important that all of the different agencies and organizations that entered into an emergency could work as one unit. In that way they can reduce redundant activity, share information and share resources. The efficiency of the operation is much greater under a unified command.
Firefighters that worked in smoke-jumping situations had already developed a method that they used when different groups of firefighters came together. That system developed out of a need for speedy communication and coordination of activity to protect the lives of the firefighters. FEMA started with that system and expanded it to become the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The Incident Command System (ICS) is a part of NIMS that tells you how you fit into the group of responders during an emergency. Since any water operator could be a responder, it is important to learn the key concepts of that system.
These courses that are water system specific are approved for operator continuing education. These are classroom courses. Please use the contact information under "Source" or contact Mike Orbon, Security and Emergency Planning Engineer, to arrange a course session.