Updated FEMA System to Improve Emergency Response
WESLACO – Updates to the National Incident Management System are set to benefit victims and first responders alike.
FEMA reviewed over 3,000 comments and made adjustments to the system geared at guiding groups both in the public and private sector during any incident response.
The Emergency Management Coordinator for Cameron County, Tom Hushen, emphasizes understanding terminology and proper process during emergency response. He said schools, hospitals and law enforcement are among those who will take the courses.
Referencing the most recent hurricane responses, he said, "A problem that we had in areas of mass catastrophic events is everybody wants to help, but they don't understand so they'll show up and then yet we don't know what their credentials are. We have to know what you can do and where we can put you."
The updates to NIMS are expected to improve those gray areas, helping communication runs smoother.
Changes include clarification to qualifying, certifying and credentialing personnel in response situations.
Hushen said the updates will guide, “organizations that help out during a catastrophic event, but [they] may not know what the chain of command is, [they] may not know the protocols that have to be followed when you're working for the federal government, knowing what paperwork needs to be turned in, what type of incidents you're using, what type of equipment you're using.”
He emphasized the importance of groups helping with relief efforts to take the new course.
The new system will ensure proper communication, chains of command and protocol in moments when lives are on the line.