Online class teaches NIMS

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"Testing the tech"

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a new online course to help first responders understand the federal government's new National Incident Management System (NIMS).

"NIMS establishes standard incident management processes, protocols and procedures so that all responders — including those at the federal, state, tribal and local level — can coordinate their responses, share a common focus and place full emphasis on resolving the event," said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge in a June 29 statement.

"This new course introduces NIMS in a way that is easy and accessible to the nation's emergency responders," he added.

Through a unified command, first responders and emergency managers can work with a common operating picture for a better response. NIMS establishes a framework of organization, terminology, training and credentialing, identifying resources, interoperable communications and information management practices.

DHS' Emergency Management Institute's training experts developed the online course (http://training.fema.gov/EMIWEB/IS/is700.asp), which takes about three hours to complete.

The NIMS Integration Center, which will provide strategic direction and oversight of the system, is being established to develop and facilitate national standards for NIMS education and training.

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