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Nassau's EOC Incident Management Team and the National Qualification System

Nassau's Emergency Management Program includes preparing for and executing emergency operations.  When an incident requires centralized planning and coordination, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated to plan and manage response operations and provide coordinated public messaging.  In Nassau County, in addition to the EM staff, a core group of individuals from the Sheriff's Office, Fire Rescue, School District, Health Department, and City and County government, fill key positions on the EOC Incident Management Team (IMT).  These personnel understand the National Incident Management System (NIMS) framework, and have completed basic Incident Command System (ICS) training as well as position-specific training to effectively work as a member of the EOC IMT.  

NASSAU COUNTY EOC IMT TRAINING SURVEY

The NIMS Incident Command System is modular and scalable.

 

It organizes the IMT members into a command staff of three Officers, a general staff of four Section Chiefs, and functional Groups and supporting Units with specific responsibilities, all using common terminology.

ICS ensures each person has only one supervisor who in turn, has a manageable span of control (3-7 direct reports.)

Organizational Chart showing the ICS chain-of-command structure

Nassau County's adoption of NIMS and the National Qualification System (NQS) has been fundamental to building a local culture of preparedness and enabling organizations to work together during deployments for all-hazard incidents, regardless of size or type.  NQS doctrine and tools help bring organizational and jurisdictional qualification procedures, certification programs, and credentialing standards in alignment with the 2017 NIMS Guidelines.  

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has implemented the Florida Qualification System (FQS) to support adoption of NQS throughout the state.  Since Fiscal Year 2022, NQS implementation has been a "requirement of award" for the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Program funding that supports state and county EM Programs.  To be considered compliant, each county must achieve a "qualified incident workforce" within their jurisdiction.  That includes publicizing the NQS implementation plan,  developing local Position Task Books (PTBs) that include the EOC skillsets and minimum training necessary to qualify for an IMT position, establishing a review process for incident personnel qualifications, and maintaining a Resource Management System that tracks completed training and tasks to ensure personnel show progress in working towards and maintaining their EOC skills and IMT position qualifications.

 

The “incident workforce” is defined as Emergency Management personnel and IMT members who are frequently or usually deployed for local disasters or in response to mutual aid requests.  Nassau County has documented minimum training requirements and qualifications for EM staff and EOC IMT members in the Training & Exercise Annex to the promulgated Comprehensive Emergency Management Program's Base Plan (the CEMP) - available in the WebEOC Global File Library.   

 

Guidance for EOC IMT members:  

  • NQS Job Title/Position Qualifications - define the minimum criteria that personnel serving in specific incident-related positions must attain before deploying to an incident. 

  • NQS Position Task Books (PTBs) - identify the competencies, behaviors, and tasks personnel must demonstrate to qualify for specific incident-related positions.

  • Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Skillsets - provide a modified PTB approach to qualify EOC personnel regardless of the EOC organizational structure (e.g., Incident Command System or Emergency Support Function).  

 

EOC IMT Training Resources:​

Graphic illustrating the National Incident Management System guidelines for the National Qualification System doctrine, including job title and position description and task book tools, and support technology
NQS Doctrin and Tools
Graphic illustrating the National Incident Management System steps for the National Qualification System from qualification, to certification, and then credentialing of Incident Personnel
A graphic of Nassau County's  priorities and NQS implementation plan, planned work and expected results necessary to achieve  National Qualification System compliance
NQS Implementaton Plan
Intro to ICS
Image of describing the functional units of the Incident Command System in lay-terms, such as Planning Section is the Thinkers, Finance Section is the Cost Trackers, Logistics Section is the Getters, and Operations Section is the Doers.
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