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A Prince George's County Emergency Medical Services Truck which accompanies a fire truck during an emergency response.

Resource Typing Library Tool Update

FEMA has released the first version of the Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT). The RTLT is an online catalogue of national resource typing definitions and job titles/position qualifications. Definitions and job titles/position qualifications are easily searchable and discoverable through the RTLT.

The Resource Typing Library Tool is publically accessible at: https://rtlt.ptaccenter.org

FEMA is hosting a series of webinars to introduce the RTLT and the latest version of the Incident Response Inventory System (IRIS). All webinars will be open to the whole community, which includes—individuals (including those with disabilities and others with access and functional needs), businesses and nonprofits, faith-based and community groups, schools, and all levels of government. These webinars will provide an overview on how to navigate the RTLT and its use in inventorying critical resources.

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. To register, please visit https://www.vjpo.org/private/ppd8/

Resource Management Overview

Emergency management and incident response activities require carefully managed resources (personnel, teams, facilities, equipment and/or supplies) to meet incident needs. Utilization of the standardized resource management concepts such as typing, inventorying, organizing and tracking will facilitate the dispatch, deployment and recovery of resources before, during and after an incident.

Resource management should be flexible and scalable in order to support any incident and be adaptable to changes. Efficient and effective deployment of resources requires that resource management concepts and principles be used in all phases of emergency management and incident response.

The resource management process can be separated into two parts: resource management as an element of preparedness and resource management during an incident. The preparedness activities (resource typing, credentialing and inventorying) are conducted on a continual basis to help ensure that resources are ready to be mobilized when called to an incident. Resource management during an incident is a finite process, as shown in the below figure, with a distinct beginning and ending specific to the needs of the particular incident.

A  diagram that begins with an incident.  The first step is “identify requirements,” followed by “order and  acquire,” “mobilize,” “track and report,” “recover/demobilize” (with  "expendable" and "nonexpendable" beneath it), “reimburse,”  and the final step, “inventory.”   Connected to “inventory” is the note “preparedness activities for resource  management: resource typing and  credentialing.”

Credentialing

The credentialing process entails the objective evaluation and documentation of an individual’s current certification, license or degree, training and experience and competence or proficiency to meet nationally accepted standards, provide particular services and/or functions or perform specific tasks under specific conditions during an incident.

For the purpose of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), credentialing is the administrative process for validating personnel qualifications and providing authorization to perform specific functions and to have specific access to an incident involving mutual aid.

The National Integration Center (NIC) developed the NIMS Guideline for the Credentialing of Personnel, which describes national credentialing standards and provides written guidance regarding the use of those standards. The National Emergency Responder Credentialing System will document minimum professional qualifications, certifications, training and education requirements that define the standards required for specific emergency response positions.

The NIC is using working groups to identify job titles to be credentialed and the qualifications and training required. Working groups are focusing on the following: Incident Management, Emergency Medical Services, Fire/Hazardous Materials/Law Enforcement, Medical and Public Health, Public Works and Search and Rescue. Although subject-matter experts for these working groups have already been identified, the NIC welcomes your participation in our stakeholder review group. As a stakeholder, you will receive updates on working groups' progress and will be able to review draft documents under development.

If you would like to participate as a stakeholder, please contact the NIC at 202.646.3850 or by e-mail at: FEMA-NIMS@fema.dhs.gov.

NIMS Guideline for the Credentialing of Personnel (PDF 790KB, TXT 62KB)

Job Titles:

  • Animal Emergency Response (AER)
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) [3/08] (PDF 2911KB, TXT 72KB)
  • Fire and Hazardous Materials [4/07] (PDF 258KB, TXT 56KB)  
  • Incident Management (IM) [10/06] (PDF 146KB, TXT 36KB)
  • Law Enforcement (Coming Soon)
  • Mass Care
    • State Mass Care Coordinator Interim Guidance (PDF 66KB, TXT 5KB)
    • Shelter Manager Interim Guidance (PDF 74KB, TXT 8KB)
    • Field Kitchen Manager Interim Guidance (PDF 64KB)
  • Medical and Public Health [3/08] (PDF)
  • Public Works (PW)
  • Search and Rescue (SAR) [11/06] (PDF 396KB, TXT 159KB)

Resource Typing

Resource typing is categorizing, by capability, the resources requested, deployed and used in incidents. Measurable standards identifying resource capabilities and performance levels serve as the basis for categories. Resource users at all levels use these standards to identify and inventory resources. Resource kinds may be divided into subcategories to define more precisely the capabilities needed to meet specific requirements.

Resource Typing Library Tool

Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT) is an online catalogue of national resource typing definitions and job titles/position qualifications. National resource definitions are easily searchable and discoverable through RTLT. Resource definition data in RTLT can be viewed directly on the webpage, downloaded in PDF format and directly used by third party software applications.

Nationally typed resources provide substantial value to preparedness efforts by:

  • Supporting a common language for the mobilization of resources (equipment, teams, units, and personnel) prior to, during, and after major incidents.
  • Providing users at all levels with access to an easily searchable database of typed definitions to identify resources for planning, and incident operations, including mutual aid coordination.

Information within the RTLT is divided into two categories: Resource Typing Definitions and Job Titles and Position Qualifications. Resource Typing Definitions are provided for equipment, teams, and units. They are used to categorize, by capability, the resources requested, deployed, and used in incidents. Measurable standards identifying resource capabilities and performance levels serve as the basis for this categorization. Job Titles and Position Qualifications are used in the inventorying and credentialing of personnel. Job titles for many personnel are cross-referenced and support the capabilities contained in resource typing definitions for teams and units. Credentialing ensures and validates the identity and attributes of individuals or members of emergency management teams through standards.

There is no cost to use the RTLT and a username or password is not required. On the web, go to https://rtlt.ptaccenter.org and choose either: Resource Typing Definitions or Job Titles and Position Descriptions. For either category, the RTLT has an easy-to-find and easy-to-use search box in the upper right-hand side of the screen. For more information RTLT, contact the RTLT Help Desk at rtlt@ptaccenter.org.

Incident Resource Inventory System

Efficient and effective deployment of resources requires that resource management concepts and principles be used in all phases of emergency management and incident response. The Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS) is a distributed software tool, designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It allows users to identify & inventory their resources for mutual aid operations based on mission requirements and each resource’s capabilities, availability and response time, and share information with other agencies. IRIS, version 5.0 was released in December 2013 and is available online, and at no cost.

The new IRIS 5.0 has the following features:

  • Connects to the RTLT, which provides access to new and updated national resource typing definitions
  • Offers a more user-friendly interface and enhanced search functions
  • Allows users to manage and view resource information across related organizations within their planning community
  • Generates notifications to indicate whether a user’s version of IRIS is current or requires an update

IRIS stores data locally on the user's computer or on a network if configured during installation. It should be noted that IRIS is not a database centrally managed by FEMA. Users and their respective agencies are responsible for their own data. External users, including the IRIS Help Desk, do not have access to manage or restore IRIS data and cannot perform administrative functions, including resetting user accounts and passwords.

IRIS provides substantial value to resource inventory by:

  • Assisting communities in inventorying, typing and estimating capabilities of resources in accordance with NIMS concepts/principles
  • Providing quick access to resources to support emergency response operations
  • Improving the nation’s capability to identify and acquire a typed resource

IRIS can be downloaded to your computer or network. Visit the IRIS website at https://www.ptaccenter.org/iris. The IRIS website can help users migrate from IRIS 4.1 to the latest version of IRIS. For more information on IRIS, contact the IRIS Help Desk through iris@ptaccenter.org.

Mutual Aid Agreements and Assistance Agreements

Mutual aid agreements and assistance agreements are agreements between agencies, organizations and jurisdictions that provide a mechanism to quickly obtain emergency assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials and other associated services. The primary objective is to facilitate rapid, short-term deployment of emergency support prior to, during and after an incident.

NEMA/EMAC

The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is an interstate mutual aid agreement that allows states to assist one another in responding to all kinds of natural and manmade disasters. It is administered by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA).

The Model Intrastate Mutual Aid Legislation was produced by NEMA in concert with DHS/FEMA and a cross-section of emergency response disciplines to facilitate intrastate mutual aid among participating political subdivisions in a state. The document also contains a list of states that have passed intrastate agreements with links to their legislation, as reference.

The Model State-County Mutual Aid Deployment Contract is an intergovernmental contract which allows for the deployment of local emergency responders under the auspices of EMAC. It was drafted by NEMA's Legal Counsel Committee.

Cooperative Agreements

  • IMAS (Intrastate Mutual Aid System)
  • IAFC Emergency Management Committee

FAQs

Resource Typing

Q: What is resource typing?

A: Resource typing is the categorization and description of resources mapped to the core capabilities that are commonly requested, deployed and used in incidents. The NIC continues to develop and update resource types. Resource typing definitions serve as common language for use by the whole community in ensuring they request and receive the appropriate resources during an emergency or disaster. Ordering resources that have been typed using these definitions makes the resource request and dispatch process more accurate and efficient. Since 2006, state, local, tribal, and territorial, jurisdictions have been required to inventory resources in accordance with NIMS implementation objectives.

Q: What is the purpose of resource typing?

A: Resource typing enhances emergency preparedness and readiness by the whole community through a system that allows jurisdictions to augment their capabilities during an incident. Standard resource typing definitions help to inventory their resources, estimate capabilities, request and deploy the resources they need through the use of common terminology. Resource types allow emergency management personnel to identify, locate, request, order and track outside resources quickly and effectively and facilitate the movement of these resources to the jurisdiction that needs them.

Q: Is resource typing part of NIMS?

A: Yes. Resource typing is an important part of resource management, which is one of the five components of the National Incident Management System. The typing of resources to conform to the NIMS Resource Typing Definitions is one of the NIMS implementation objectives.

Resource Typing Library Tool

Q: What is RTLT?

A: The Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT) is an online catalogue of national resource typing definitions and job titles/position qualifications. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Integration Center (NIC) provides the RTLT to support the implementation of the National Preparedness System. Nationally typed resources support a common language for the mobilization of resources (equipment, teams, units, and personnel) prior to, during, and after major incidents. Resource users at all levels use these definitions to identify and inventory resources for capability estimation, planning, and for mobilization during mutual aid efforts. Definitions and job titles/position qualifications are easily searchable and discoverable through the RTLT.

Q: Is there a cost to RTLT?

A: RTLT is a free online tool developed by FEMA.

Q: Do I need a password to access RTLT?

A: No username or password is required. RTLT is a publicly accessible online at https://rtlt.ptaccenter.org.

Q: Can the information in RTLT be downloaded?

A: Data from RTLT can be downloaded in PDF format or directly used by third party software applications using the available Web Services application programming interface (API). A Web Services API is included with RTLT in order for third-party systems to receive data from RTLT. If you manage or develop a third-party system and would like to utilize the RTLT Web Services API, please contact the RTLT Help Desk for more information.

Q: How is the information in the RTLT categorized?

A: The RTLT is divided into two categories:

  • Resource Typing Definitions for equipment, teams, and units
  • Job Titles and Position Qualifications

Q: What are Resource Typing Definitions for equipment, teams, and units?

A: Resource Typing Definitions are provided for equipment, teams, and units and are used to categorize, by capability, the resources requested, deployed, and used in incidents. Measurable standards identifying resource capabilities and performance levels serve as the basis for this categorization.

Q: What are Job Titles and Position Qualifications?

A: Job Titles and Position Qualifications are used in the inventorying and credentialing of personnel. Credentialing is essential to emergency responders and Whole Community partners in that it ensures and validates the identity and attributes (e.g., affiliations, skills, or privileges) of individuals or members of response teams through standards.

Q: How does one search within RTLT?

A: The RTLT has an easy-to-find and easy-to-use search box in the upper right-hand side of the screen.  Simply type in a keyword associated with the resource for which you are trying to find information and click through the list of provided possibilities.

Resource Typing Definitions and Job Titles and Position Qualifications may be searched by the following: Name, ID, Status, Discipline, and Primary/Secondary Core Capability.

Q: What are the benefits of RTLT?

A: Nationally typed resources provide substantial value to response efforts by:

  • Supporting a common language for the mobilization of resources (equipment, teams, units, and personnel) prior to, during, and after major incidents
  • Providing resources to users at all levels that use these definitions to identify and inventory resources for capability estimation, planning, and for mobilization during mutual aid efforts 
  • Representing the minimum criteria for the associated category
  • Helping to ensure that response partners have a consistent understanding of what a given resource is and what it can do

Q: Where can I learn more about these tools and resources?

Incident Resource Inventory System

Q: What is IRIS?

A: The Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS) is a distributed software tool, designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that allows users to identify and inventory their resources for mutual aid operations based on mission requirements and each resource’s capabilities, availability and response time, and share information with other agencies.

Q: Is there a cost to use RTLT?

A: IRIS is a no cost distributed software tool made available by FEMA.

Q: Do I need a password to download IRIS?

A: IRIS is distributable software which is publicly available for download online at https://www.ptaccenter.org/iris.

Q: Do I need a password to access IRIS?

A: Once IRIS is installed locally, a username and password are required for each user to access their system; user accounts are managed by a local systems administrator.

Q: Does IRIS use NIMS resource typing definitions and job titles/position qualifications?

A: Yes, IRIS uses NIMS resource typing definitions that are available in the Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT). When you log into IRIS, you will be notified if there are updated definitions available to download. With a few easy clicks, IRIS users are provided with immediate access to new and updated national resource definitions.

Q: Where does my data go after I enter it?

A: IRIS stores data locally on the user's computer or on a local server if configured during installation. It should be noted that IRIS is not a database centrally managed by FEMA. Users and their respective agencies are responsible for their own data.

Q: Who has acces to my IRIS data?

A: Accessibility is determined entirely by the jurisdiction installing IRIS. IRIS stores data locally on the user's computer or on a local server if configured during installation. IRIS is designed to be scalable to a jurisdiction’s needs and can run on a single laptop or scale to function as a publicly accessible enterprise system. The accessibility of an installation of IRIS is controlled by the jurisdiction installing the system. It should be noted that IRIS is not a database centrally managed by FEMA. Users and their respective agencies are responsible for their own data. External users, including the IRIS Help Desk, do not have access to manage or restore IRIS data and cannot perform administrative functions, including resetting user accounts and passwords.

Q: How can I prevent Data loss?

A: Data loss can be prevented by performing regular system backups. The system backup tool is located under the Administration tab in IRIS. When uninstalling, IRIS deletes all data entered. If data is to be saved, please use the Backup feature before uninstalling. For help with backing up your data, see the IRIS User Guide.

Q: Do I need to upgrade to IRIS 5.0 if I am using 4.1?

A: Users of IRIS 4.1 are highly encouraged to upgrade to IRIS 5.0. To assist users in migrating their data to the new version, an IRIS Data Migration tool is provided at https://www.ptaccenter.org/iris. Once users have upgraded to IRIS 5.0, IRIS will automatically notify them of any new versions of IRIS. When you log into IRIS 5.0, the first page presented to you is the IRIS Home page. If a new version of IRIS is available for download you will see a New Version Available link. The link takes you to a page to view the new version number with a description of the new version, and provides a link to download the newest version available.

Q: What are the benefits of IRIS?

A: Nationally typed resources provide substantial value to response efforts by:

  • Assisting communities in inventorying, typing and estimating capabilities of resources in accordance with NIMS concepts/principles
  • Providing quick access to resources to support emergency operations
  • Improving the nation’s capability to identify and acquire a typed resource
  • IRIS is built upon open standards to ensure its interoperability with other emergency management software

Q: Where can I learn more about these tools and resources?

Resource Credentialing

Q: The NIMS document mentions a credentialing system tied to training and certification standards. Is there a national credentialing system in place that we need to follow?

A: The development of a nationwide credentialing system is a fundamental component of NIMS. However, this system is fundamental doctrine and business rules and is not a single information technology system. A national credentialing system can document minimum professional qualifications, certifications, training and education requirements that define baseline criteria expected of emergency response professionals and volunteers for deployment as mutual aid to disasters. While such a system is meant to verify the identity and qualifications of emergency responders, it does not provide automatic access to an incident site. The credentialing system can help prevent unauthorized (i.e., self-dispatched or unqualified personnel) access to an incident site. To support this credentialing initiative, the National Integration Center (NIC) uses working groups to identify positions that should be credentialed and the minimum qualification, certification, training and education requirements for each position. The groups represent the following disciplines:

  • Incident Management
  • Emergency Medical Services 
  • Fire Fighting and Hazardous Materials Response 
  • Law Enforcement  
  • Public Health/Medical
  • Public Works 
  • Search & Rescue 
  • Animal Control/Veterinary
  • Mass Care

In addition to these NIC discipline groups, the NIC is working with other organizations to assist their development of credentialing for their disciplines, such as the APCO/NENA Telecommunicator Emergency Response Taskforce (TERT) and the Citizen Corps initiative for credentialing volunteers.

Although the NIC has identified subject-matter experts for its working groups, the Center requests notification of all existing credentialing efforts, regardless of discipline. The NIC welcomes your participation into our stakeholder review group. As a stakeholder, you will receive updates concerning the working group process and be able to review and provide feedback on the draft products that are developed. If you are interested in participating as a stakeholder, please send an e-mail to: FEMA-NIMS@dhs.gov.

Preparedness

Q: NIMS promotes the use of state and local mutual aid to help local jurisdictions better handle large-scale disasters. Where can I find information on how to write a mutual aid agreement?

A: The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), in coordination with DHS/FEMA and a cross-section of emergency responders, has developed a tool to assist state and local governments in the preparation of model legislation designed to streamline the sharing of assistance and resources between communities during a disaster. The model is available for download at www.emacweb.org. Additionally, many states, such as North Carolina, have developed statewide mutual aid systems. We are also working with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) on developing better firefighting mutual aid systems with states to make filling EMAC requests faster (Intrastate Mutual Aid Systems), as well as developing a national firefighting coordination system (Emergency Management Committee). Information on these can be found on the IAFC Web site.

Q: How does the NIC view its role in the management of mutual aid resources?  Is there potential for conflict between the NIC and EMAC?

A: The NIC does not manage resources - the NIC facilitates resource management by providing resource typing definitions for nationally important resources. All the work we have been engaged with is in support of EMAC and for the purpose of making EMAC more efficient.

Training

Additional Resources

  • Resource Typing Library Tool and Incident Resource Inventory System Information Sheet (PDF)
  • NG 0001: National NIMS Resource Typing Criteria [3/07] (PDF)
  • NG 0002: National Credentialing Definition and Criteria [3/07] (PDF)
Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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