Emergency responders have assisted neighboring communities whenever help was needed. Given today’s challenges, however, the potential for communities to require help from emergency response organizations across the state and the nation has increased significantly. The need for emergency responders to deploy to incidents outside their own localities has placed additional demands on our emergency response communities. To meet this need the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has implemented a seamless, safe, and effective system to support emergency response throughout the State and the nation. This system is known as the Emergency Response/Management Credentialing program.
The development of the statewide Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS)/National Incident Management System (NIMS) credentialing system can help to provide the Incident Command System (ICS) and Emergency Operations Center Directors with the means to verify, quickly and accurately, the qualifications of emergency responders who have been requested to augment public, tribal, private, and volunteer resources at an incident site or Emergency Operations Center (EOC). In addition, it can serve to document professional qualifications, certifications, training, and education requirements that define baseline criteria expected of emergency response professionals and volunteers who are called upon to assist other communities across the State.
While such a system is meant to verify the qualifications of emergency responders, it does not provide automatic access to an incident site. In this way it can serve to prevent unauthorized (i.e., self-dispatched or unqualified personnel) access to an incident site. Additionally, a responder credentialed in a specific ICS position may still not be fully qualified to fill the position due to the type and extent of the incident.
It is the intent of the state’s to fold into the larger effort of the National Emergency Responder Credentialing System and support mutual aid outside of the State through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). By following the framework of the draft proposed federal system, the state’s system should facilitate a seamless transition into the national system.
The initial attempt of the state to develop and implement a credentialing system will help promote effective and efficient personnel resource management in time of need. The net effect of this system should be less loss of life, environment, and property during a disaster.
HSPD-5, NIMS Integration Center (NIC) Initiatives:
§ The establishment of common performance standards for responders
§ The implementation of a national system for credentialing
§ Personnel Qualification and Certification (NIMCAST III-B-2-c)