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Field Operations

Our Mission

The mission of the Field Operations Directorate is to support FEMA’s mission by serving as the Agency’s force provider. FOD organizes the incident workforce, provides field leadership, ensures training and qualifications of the incident workforce, and coordinates effective and efficient availability and deployments to ensure the Agency is able to help people before, during, and after disasters.

What We Do

  • Through our Office of Policy & Analysis, we establish effective and integrated end-to-end process and consistency across the Directorate to define priorities, set performance standards, allocate resources, develop policies, and assess/analyze progress.
  • Through our Workforce Development Division, we coordinate resources and develops and executes all training, education, experiential learning, standard qualification processes, and professional development to ensure that the incident workforce is prepared to support disaster survivors and first responders in all hazard events. We administer the FEMA Qualification System (FQS), coordinate course delivery and development requirements for the incident workforce in coordination with the cadres, and lead initiatives related to expeditionary workforce efforts. We also manage the FEMA Incident Workforce Academy (FIWA) for individual, team, and collective training, as well as mission rehearsal events.
  • Through our Workforce Management Division, we support FEMA’s operational readiness and execution of field operations by providing oversight for the timely management and deployment of an incident workforce for the national, all-hazard response needs of FEMA's integrated field operations that support all mission areas. We coordinate workforce generation including cadre support, the FEMA Corps program, the Surge Capacity Force (SCF) program and personnel mobilization. And we also administer the Deployment Tracking System (DTS) and deployment support.
  • Through our Operational Coordination Division, we ensure the operational readiness and coordinate the rapid deployment of FEMA’s disaster Field Leadership, Federal Coordinating Officers (FCOs) and Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinators (FDRCs), and Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) to support federal response to an incident during a Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act declarations, or when responding under other federal authorities.

Incident Management Assistance Teams

FEMA’s Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMAT) are rapidly deployable assets that provide the federal government’s initial coordination and response capability prior to and in the immediate hours following a serious incident. IMATs are response-oriented and deploy in support of state, local, tribal and territorial government efforts to save lives, protect property, and provide life-sustaining services to meet basic individual and community needs or in support of another lead federal agency, as directed, for non-Stafford Act incidents. IMATs are designed to remain onsite through the stabilization of an incident and effectively transition responsibilities to follow-on personnel in order to reconstitute for subsequent missions.

FEMA maintains three national IMATs, one collateral national IMAT to supplement the other national teams, and 13 regional IMATs geographically located within all 10-regional headquarters. National teams are trained for Level I events (requiring an extreme amount of federal assistance for response and recovery efforts) and regional teams are trained for Level II events (requiring a high amount of federal assistance). All IMATs are national assets part of a nationwide readiness system, and therefore can be deployed anywhere across the nation, including U.S. territories, to support disasters based on the greatest need. The regional teams typically deploy for any federally declared incidents within their respective regions or in support of complex incidents outside their region, while national teams deploy for larger, more complex events, such as a major hurricane affecting multiple states.

Both national and regional IMATs maintain partnerships across all levels of government. IMATs collaborate with state, local, tribal and territorial partners as well as other federal agencies. This collaboration includes supporting Emergency Support Functions, and Recovery Support Functions in preparedness, disaster response and National Special Security events.

Contact Us

John Rabin
Assistant Administrator

Leiloni Stainsby
Deputy Assistant Administrator