National Incident Management System (NIMS)

Bureau of EMS Policy Statement
Policy Statement # 06-05
Date 06/05/06
Subject Re: National Incident Management System (NIMS)
Supercedes/Updates: New

The National Incident Management System (NIMS)


Under Homeland Security Presidential Directive #5 (February 2003), the Federal government has created the National Incident Management System (NIMS). This system directs the creation of a comprehensive, national approach to incident management by federal, state, territorial, Tribal and local responders. The Presidential Directive also makes NIMS compliance a requirement for any of these entities wishing to receive Federal funds starting with Federal fiscal year 2007.

Federal and State response agencies and any agencies receiving Federal monies, have been given compliance guidance and are working towards educating and training their respective organizations in becoming NIMS compliant. The Federal government has expanded the definitions of "first responder" agencies beyond the traditional Fire, HAZMAT, Police, EMS to include public works, public health, emergency communications, emergency management, and other agencies involved in disaster preparedness, prevention, response and recovery activities.

This integrated system establishes a uniform set of processes, protocols, and procedures that all emergency responders, at every level of government will use to conduct response actions.

There are six (6) components included in NIMS:

  • Command and Management
  • Preparedness
  • Resource Management
  • Communications and Information Management
  • Supporting Technologies
  • Ongoing Management and Maintenance

Additionally, NIMS identifies a variety of Federal Preparedness programs that are available to responders.

This policy will review the components of NIMS and some of the available guidance and requirements. It also provides a list of resources that should be checked frequently for updated information.


New York State (NYS) Perspective

On March 5, 1996, Governor George Pataki signed Executive Order No. 26 establishing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) - Incident Command System (ICS) as the State standard command and control system that will be utilized during emergency operations. Since that time, NYS agencies have used ICS in every response or pre-planned event operation and have trained tens of thousands of individuals in the Incident Command System.

State response agencies have been advised that the following training requirements will need to be completed by the basic responder:

IS 700

ICS 100

ICS 200

Effects on New York States EMS System:

All future preparedness grants and funding will be contingent upon NIMS compliance by the end of fiscal year 06. Additionally, any first response agency that is independent and not part of a municipality, yet receives funding from a municipality that is mandated to be compliant, must also be compliant. For more information:

HSPD-5 Requirements for Local governments in order to be in compliance with NIMS by September 30, 2006 include:

  • Institutionalizing the use of the Incident Command System (ICS). (Encourage adoption of local resolutions that require ICS for incident management);
  • Formally recognizing the NIMS and adopting NIMS principals and policies. (Local resolution);
  • Establishing a NIMS baseline by determining which NIMS requirements are already met using the NIMS Capability Assessment Support Tool. (NIMCAST); and
  • Establishing a timeframe and developing a strategy for full NIMS implementation using the NIMS Implementation Template.


  • Complete the NIMS Awareness Course "IS-700 National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction."  (All entry level First Responders and disaster workers);
  • Complete ICS 100: Introduction to ICS. (All entry level First Responders and disaster workers);
  • Complete ICS 200: Basic ICS. (All personnel listed above plus single resource leaders, first line supervisors, field supervisors and other emergency management/response personnel that require a higher level of ICS/NIMS Training);
  • Complete the National Response Plan Course IS-800 NRP: An Introduction. (All personnel listed above plus middle management including strike team leaders, task force leaders, unit leaders, division/group supervisors, branch directors and multi-agency coordination system/emergency operations center staff);
  • Complete ICS 300: Intermediate ICS. (All personnel listed above plus middle management including strike team leaders, task force leaders, unit leaders, division/group supervisors, branch directors and multi-agency coordination system/emergency operations center staff); and
  • Complete ICS 400: Advanced ICS. (All personnel listed above plus Command and general staff, select department heads with multi-agency coordination system responsibilities, area commanders, emergency managers and multi-agency coordination system/emergency operations center managers).

Training Resources:

The IS-700, IS-800, ICS-100 and ICS200 are all available as self study courses on-line. Additionally, the ICS-200, ICS-300 and ICS-400 are available at various times throughout New York State. Contact your county Emergency Manager or check the training calendar on the SEMO website,,for course dates and locations. Please routinely check this calendar as it is frequently updated.

Steps to NIMS Compliance:

  1. Adopt NIMS through executive order, proclamation, resolution, policy statement or legislation as the jurisdiction's official all-hazards, incident response system;
  2. Manage all incidents and preplanned events using the Incident Command System;
  3. Conduct a demo of the National Incident Management System Capability Assessment Tool (NIMCAST):;
  4. Begin the process of identifying individuals who will take the required training;
  5. Have appropriate employees, (defined above), take the training's IS-700, IS-800, ICS-100, ICS-200, ICS-300 (FFY07) and ICS-400 (FFY07):;
  6. Start to identify plans and procedures that require updating to include NIMS and determine who will be responsible to update them;
  7. Have the individual(s) that were identified in bullet 6 above begin to make the necessary adjustments;
  8. Ensure exercise programs include NIMS principles;
  9. Inventory assets using Resource typing;
  11. Coordinate and support emergency incident and planned event management through the development and use of integrated Multi-Agency Coordination Systems - (develop and maintain communications between local Incident Command Posts (ICPs), local 911 centers, local Emergency Operating Centers (EOCs) and the state EOC); and
  12. Implement processes, procedures and plans to communicate timely, accurate information to the public during an incident using a Joint Information System and Joint Information Center.


NIMS is still an evolving plan and process. This policy is intended to introduce NIMS and list basic requirements. It is not all inclusive, nor will it be capable of always being a complete document. Agencies and Municipalities are strongly encouraged to use the additional resources and review updates, as they are available.

Additional Resources:



NYS Office of Homeland Security NIMS Information Center:

  • NYS Point of Contact
  • NYS Office of Homeland Security NIMS Information Coordinator (NIC) Training Guidance:

NYS Emergency Management Office (SEMO):


  • NIMS Integration Center (NIC):

  • NIMS Mutual Aid Ambulance Typing:

  • NIMS Glossary:

  • NIMSCAST Access: