Resource Management & Mutual Aid

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National resource management efforts aid a unified approach in building and delivering the core capabilities across all five mission areas (Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response and Recovery).  Effective resource management is founded on the guiding principles of the NIMS.

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NIMS Resource Typing & Credentialing | Inventorying | National Mutual Aid System

NIMS Resource Typing & Credentialing

Typing - Resource typing is defining and categorizing, by capability, the resources requested, deployed and used in incidents. Resource typing definitions establish a common language and defines a resource’s (for equipment, teams, and units) minimum capabilities. NIMS resource typing definitions serve as the common language for the mobilization of resources. 

FEMA leads the development and maintenance of NIMS resource typing definitions that are national in scope. 

Credentialing - Qualifying and credentialing personnel ensures that the identity and attributes of individuals or members of teams are validated against an established set of minimum criteria and qualifications for specific job titles. To access the NIMS Guideline for the Credentialing of Personnel, click here.

FEMA leads the development and maintenance of NIMS job titles/position qualifications, which serve as a common language for describing the job titles and a consistent set of minimum qualifications for use in the qualifying and credentialing of personnel. 

Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT) – The RTLT is the online catalogue of all NIMS resource typing definitions and job titles/position qualifications that have been released by FEMA as final publication or interim guidance. 

  • Click here to access the RTLT and all NIMS resource typing definitions and job titles/position qualifications released by FEMA. 
  • To contribute your input and comments to NIMS resource typing definitions and job titles/position qualifications that are in development and out for national engagement/public comment click here.

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Resource owners and providers should inventory and maintain current information on their shareable resources. Resource inventories should be adaptable and scalable.  In order to ensure adaptability and scalability, a jurisdiction or entity’s inventory should employ interoperable standards for information sharing.  While a resource inventory can be as simple as a paper or electronic spreadsheet, many resource providers use information technology (IT) based inventory systems.

Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS) - The Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS) is a distributed software tool, provided at no-cost by FEMA. It is standards-based and allows for the seamless exchange of information with other instances of IRIS and with other standards-based resource inventory and resource management systems.  IRIS allows users to identify & inventory their resources, consistently with NIMS resource typing definitions, for mutual aid operations based on mission needs and each resource’s capabilities, availability and response time, and share information with other agencies. IRIS stores data locally on the user’s computer or on the user’s network if configured during installation. Click here to download IRIS to your computer or network – and to learn more.

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National Mutual Aid System

The National Mutual Aid System is built upon the integration of all types of mutual aid that are most often described by geo-political boundaries, including: local, intrastate, regional, interstate, tribal, and international mutual aid into a single system. Each level utilizes the level below it to create a unified national system for response to significant incidents.  When integrated and working in a unified manner, the system strengthens the overall preparedness and readiness of the Nation.

Mutual aid agreements already exist in various forms among and between all levels of government.  These agreements authorize mutual aid between two or more neighboring communities, between all jurisdictions within a state and between states. Agreements can also be with and between private sector entities, NGOs, and other whole-community partners. The emergency management community should consider resources and capabilities across the whole community, and develop written agreements that facilitate access to potentially needed resources.

Several mutual aid efforts that FEMA has coordinated or been involved with include:

  • The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is a compact that serves as the firm legal foundation for the movement of resources across state boundaries during Governor-declared states of emergency. Since EMAC was ratified by the U.S. Congress, is has been signed into law by 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is administered by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA).
  • The Model Intrastate Mutual Aid Legislation was produced by NEMA in partnership with National Public Safety Organization to facilitate intrastate mutual aid among participating political subdivisions in a state.
  • The Intrastate Mutual Aid System was developed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) to support the development of comprehensive and functional mutual aid plans for the fire service in all states, Tribal Nations, and U.S. territories.

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Last Updated: 
11/10/2014 - 10:30
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