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This chapter provides information about the National Response Framework (NRF) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS), with a focus on how NIMS provides for multiagency coordination through the joint field office (JFO). The NRF and NIMS are companion documents designed to improve the nation's incident management capabilities and overall efficiency. As required by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5), the NRF establishes a single, comprehensive approach to domestic incident management to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. The NRF, using the NIMS, provides the structure and mechanisms for national-level policy and operational direction for domestic incident management.
The NRF applies to all incidents requiring a coordinated federal response as part of an appropriate combination of federal, state, local, tribal, private-sector, and nongovernmental entities. The NRF is always in effect; however, the implementation of NRF coordination mechanisms is flexible and scalable.
This overview illustrates actions federal agencies will likely take to assist state and local governments that are overwhelmed by a major disaster or emergency. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Operations Center (NOC) continually monitors potential major disasters and emergencies.
Immediately after an incident, local jurisdictions respond using available resources and notify state response elements. After the major disaster or emergency declaration, an RRCC, staffed by regional personnel, coordinates initial regional and field activities. A federal coordinating officer (FCO), appointed by the secretary of homeland security on behalf of the president, coordinates federal support activities.
ESF primary agencies assess the situation, identify requirements, and help states respond effectively.
A basic premise of the NRF is that incidents are handled at the lowest possible jurisdictional level. Just as a lead or primary agency is designated at the federal level, a lead agency is usually designated at the state level. Typically, states have established state emergency management agencies as executive agents to manage incident response. State law enforcement agencies (LEAs) can include investigative bureau personnel and state patrol officers (which in some states are distinctly different from state police officers). The National Guard (NG) may be the first military force to respond to support first responders when organic capabilities are exhausted and the incident response is elevated to the state level.
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is a Congressionally ratified interstate agreement among the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and is administered by the National Emergency Management Association to provide assistance from one state to another. The state governor has the final commitment authority over state capabilities in any disaster response effort short of a federal response.
The private sector's role is to be a key partner in domestic incident management, particularly in the area of critical infrastructure protection and restoration.
Federal government roles and responsibilities derive from HSPD-5, which assigns specific responsibilities to DHS and delineates the roles and responsibilities of certain other federal departments. Pursuant to HSPD-5, the secretary of homeland security is responsible for coordinating federal resources within the U.S. The DOD has significant resources that may be available to support the federal response to terrorist attacks, major disasters or other emergencies.
The NRF, as the core plan for national incident management, also establishes national-level coordinating structures, processes, and protocols that will be incorporated into certain existing federal interagency incident- or hazard-specific plans (such as the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan) that are designed to implement the specific statutory authorities and responsibilities of various departments and agencies in particular contingency scenarios.
ESFs are the primary means through which the federal government provides assistance to state, local, and tribal governments or to federal departments and agencies conducting missions of primary federal responsibility.
ESFs may be selectively activated for both Stafford Act and non-Stafford Act incidents by the secretary of homeland security. The ESF structure provides coordination of federal interagency support of a federal response to an incident.
Chapter 5 of this handbook covers each ESF in detail, including the scope, purpose, and identification of the ESF coordinator, primary agency, support federal agencies, and DOD responsibilities in each. Essential principles for a common operating picture and interoperability of communications and information management. Standardized resource management procedures for coordination among different jurisdictions or organizations. DOD implements NRF policies and procedures as appropriate and consistent with departmental authorities and responsibilities.
The ICS is a management system designed to enable effective and efficient domestic incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure that is designed to enable effective and efficient domestic incident management. There are four major components of NIMS: command and management, preparedness, resource management, and communications and information management. The ICS defines the operating characteristics, interactive management components, and structure of incident management and emergency response organizations engaged throughout the life cycle of an incident. These refer to processes, procedures, and systems for communicating timely and accurate information to the public during crises or emergency situations. The JFO is a temporary federal facility established locally to provide a central point for coordinating federal, state, local, and tribal response to the incident.
The PFO is personally designated by the secretary of homeland security to facilitate federal support to the established ICS unified command structure and to coordinate overall federal incident management and assistance activities across the spectrum of prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. The FCO manages and coordinates federal resource support activities related to Stafford Act disasters and emergencies and non-Stafford Act incidents. The JFO coordination group may also include officials representing other federal departments or agencies.
The DCO is appointed by the DOD and serves as the DOD's single point of contact at the JFO, with the exception of U.S. The NRF establishes policies, procedures, and mechanisms for a proactive federal response to catastrophic events. The NRF Catastrophic Incident Annex and the NRF Catastrophic Incident Supplement address resource and procedural implications of catastrophic events to ensure the rapid and efficient delivery of resources and assets, including special teams, equipment, and supplies that provide critical lifesaving support and incident containment capabilities. Define the roadmap for Designing, Architecting and Developing new cloud based applications on Azure. Defining the Database strategy & design - helping maximize the performance and design of SQL Azure in your Cloud solution Design, Architect & Implement a scalable & secure database on SQL Azure. FAST, EFFICIENT RESCUE ¿ Members 1156th Engineer Company from Kingston move burn victim, Andy Clark, Clinton, from rubble to a stretcher during the National Guard WMC response training. EVALUATING INJURIES — Victim Abbey Cappadona is given a color designation during triage. DETECTING DANGER — William Pulcastro of the 104th Military Police Battalion in Kingston uses a chemical instrument to make sure the victim, Tammy Gonzalez of Utica, has been decontaminated. ESCAPING IMAGINARY SMOKE — Ambulatory victims are lead out of the contamination zone as if there were smoke. DEFINE THE AREA — Members of the 328th Military Police from Cherry Hill, NJ proceed to the disaster site where they were responsible for setting up a perimeter around the contamination area.
NO HOLE UNSEALED — PFC Jamie Richardson of the 328th MP group secures chemical tape on the containment suit of Specialist Alex Rodriguez, also of the 328th MP group, from Cherry Hill, NJ.
SEVERE CASE TREATMENT — Heading down the line a non-ambulatory victim is placed on rolling decontamination line by members of New York State National Guard homeland response force. About 1000 soldiers and airmen of the National Guard Homeland Response Force (HRF) for FEMA Region II practiced coordinated response to chemical, biological and radiological incidents at the New York State Preparedness Training Center at the former Oneida County Airport on Airport Road in Oriskany Thursday. The training center was established in 2006 and is comprised of 723 acres of the former airport. The goal of the training is to prepare traditional and non-traditional first reponders to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters or terror-related incidents.


The program is designed to certify the readiness of participants to assist local responders following an incident. It identifies the key roles, authorities, and structures with explanation about how the joint force commander (JFC) integrates into the federal coordinated response. The JFO uses the scalable organizational structure of the NIMS in the context of both pre-incident and post-incident management activities. The NRF can be partially or fully implemented in the context of a threat, anticipation of a significant event, or in response to an incident requiring a coordinated federal response. The NRF is applicable to all federal departments and agencies that have primary jurisdiction for or participate in operations requiring a coordinated federal response. Actions range in scope from ongoing situational reporting and analysis, through the implementation of NRF incident annexes and other supplemental federal contingency plans, to full implementation of all relevant NRF coordination mechanisms outlined in the NRF base plan. When advance warning is possible, DHS may deploy and may request other federal agencies to deploy liaison officers (LNOs) and personnel to a state emergency operations center (EOC) to assess the emerging situation. Based upon the results of the PDA, the governor may request a presidential declaration and define the kind of federal assistance needed.
Federal and state agencies assisting with recovery and mitigation activities convene to discuss state needs.
In the vast majority of incidents, state and local resources and interstate mutual aid will provide the first line of emergency response and incident management support.
Generally, when a state requires assistance beyond its organic resources, it generates an EMAC request for assistance (RFA) that is sent out to the other member states. Governors have the unique authority to issue a state emergency declaration, mobilize the state NG, and redirect state resources to emergency response. Private-sector entities are also called upon to contribute necessary items and services to the impacted area. Under the authority of the Stafford Act, he declares incidents to be disasters or emergencies.
The secretary of defense authorizes defense support to civil authorities (DSCA) operations for domestic incidents as directed by the president or when consistent with military readiness operations and appropriate under the circumstances and the law. The secretary of state is responsible for coordinating international prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery activities relating to domestic incidents, and for the protection of U.S. These plans, which incorporate the coordinating structures and mechanisms of the NRF, provide detailed protocols for responding to incidents of lesser severity normally managed by federal agencies without the need for the secretary of homeland security to manage the federal response. ESFs are an effective mechanism to group capabilities and resources into the functions that are most likely needed during actual or potential incidents where coordinated federal response is required, such as transportation, firefighting, and public health. The ESF structure includes mechanisms used to provide federal support to states and federal-to-federal support, both for declared disasters and emergencies under the Stafford Act and for non-Stafford Act incidents. According to DOD policy, DOD organizations will adopt and implement procedures consistent with the NIMS and the incident command system (ICS) at all DOD domestic installations.
Agencies work together through designated members of the unified command to establish their incident commanders at a single incident command post (ICP). This section focuses on the three NIMS standard incident command structures making up command and management to identify how they work together as a system to provide the national framework for preparing for, preventing, responding to, and recovering from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. Direct tactical and operational responsibility for conducting incident management activities rests with the incident commander. These define the operating characteristics, interactive management components, and organizational structure of supporting incident management entities engaged at the federal, state, local, tribal, and regional levels through mutual-aid agreements and other assistance arrangements. Under the ICS, the public information officer (PIO) is a key staff member supporting the incident command structure.
The PFO ensures that incident management efforts are maximized through effective and efficient coordination, and provides a primary point of contact and situational awareness locally for the secretary of homeland security.
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She has been judged an ambulatory patient with minor injuries, lower in priority than more serious injuries that need immediate treatment.
Each person puts a hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them so that they don’t get lost on the way to the decontamination area. The NIMS provides a consistent doctrinal framework for incident management at all jurisdictional levels regardless of the cause, size, or complexity of the incident.
This includes events with potential national or long-term implications such as a public health emergency or a cyberspace incident. For incidents requiring a coordinated federal response but of lesser severity than an incident of national significance, the NRF includes a comprehensive network of incident annexes and supplemental federal contingency plans that may be implemented by the departments and agencies with established authorities in coordination with the NRF framework. At this point, an initial assessment is also conducted of losses avoided based on previous mitigation efforts. A principal federal official (PFO) also may be designated as the secretary's representative to coordinate overall federal interagency incident management efforts. The NRF provides the framework for federal interaction with state, local, tribal, private sector and nongovernmental entities in the context of domestic incident management to ensure timely and effective federal support. Under EMAC, the requesting state reimburses the supporting state(s) for all costs associated with the assistance.
A governor can request federal assistance from the president when state capabilities prove insufficient.
He can delegate authority to others to act as executive agents in matters of incident response.
HSPD-5 further designates the secretary of homeland security as the PFA for domestic incident management.
Generally acting through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the attorney general, in cooperation with other federal departments and agencies engaged in activities to protect our national security, shall also coordinate the activities of the other members of the law enforcement community to detect, prevent, preempt, and disrupt terrorist attacks against the U.S.
The ESF structure provides a modular structure to identify the precise components that can best address the requirements of the incident. The ESF structure provides mechanisms for interagency coordination during all phases of incident management. It is used to organize both near-term and long-term field-level operations for a broad spectrum of emergencies, from small to complex incidents, both natural and man-made. In the unified command, entities develop a common set of objectives and strategies, which provides the basis for a single incident action plan. The incident command organizational structure develops in a top-down, modular fashion that is based on the size and complexity of the incident as well as the specifics of the hazard environment created by the incident. When incidents cross disciplinary or jurisdictional boundaries, or involve complex incident management scenarios, a multiagency coordination entity, such as an emergency management agency, may be used to facilitate incident management and policy coordination. The PIO represents and advises the incident command on all public information matters relating to the management of the incident. In these situations, one of the JFOs (typically in the most heavily impacted area) may be identified to serve as the primary JFO and provide strategic leadership and coordination for the overall incident management effort, as designated by the secretary of homeland security. The secretary of homeland security is not restricted to DHS officials when selecting a PFO.
The FCO works closely with the PFO, senior federal law enforcement official (SFLEO), and other senior officials.
The secretary of homeland security may choose to activate and deploy assets prior to or immediately following any incident, to include those with catastrophic ramifications.
Use of this template enables federal, state, local, and tribal governments, private sector entities, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to work together effectively and efficiently to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from actual or potential domestic incidents regardless of cause, size, or complexity.
Instead, the JFO focuses on providing support to on-scene efforts and conducting broader support operations that may extend beyond the incident site.
Selective implementation through the activation of one or more of the NRF elements allows maximum flexibility to meet the unique operational and information-sharing requirements of any situation and enables effective interaction among various federal, state, local, tribal, private-sector, other civilian entities, and NGOs.


Facilities, such as mobilization centers, may be established to accommodate personnel, equipment, and supplies.
As an integrated and supporting organization of a state's emergency management response, the NG supports the incident commander in accordance with the incident command system.
This request brings the resources of the federal government to bear on the disaster and can involve the Department of Defense (DOD).
DHS and other federal departments and agencies coordinate with the private sector to effectively share information, formulate courses of action, and incorporate available resources to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents of various types.
For example, a large-scale natural disaster or significant terrorist incident may require the activation of all ESFs. Some departments and agencies provide resources for response, support, and program implementation during the early stage of an event, while others are more prominent in the recovery phase. The NIMS provides a framework for managing incident response and support activities as depicted in Figure 3-3. ICS is used by all levels of government - federal, state, local, and tribal - as well as by many private-sector organizations and NGOs. Command authority is vested in the incident commander, whether a single incident commander or an area commander, and is exercised through the ICS.
The situation at hand and the needs of the jurisdictions involved will dictate how these multiagency coordination entities conduct their business, as well as how they are structured.
The PIO handles media and public inquiries, emergency public information and warnings, rumor monitoring and responses, media monitoring, and other functions required to coordinate, clear with appropriate authorities, and disseminate accurate and timely information related to the incident, particularly regarding information on public health and safety and protection. In certain scenarios, a PFO may be designated by the secretary of homeland security to facilitate federal domestic incident planning and coordination at the local level outside the context of a specific threat or incident. In situations where a PFO has not been assigned, the FCO provides overall coordination for the federal components of the JFO and works in partnership with the SCO to determine and satisfy state and local assistance requirements. The secretary of homeland security will declare all catastrophic events as incidents of national significance.
For no-notice or short-notice catastrophic events when there is little or no time to assess the requirements of the state and local authorities, all federal departments and agencies and the American Red Cross (ARC) initiate actions to mobilize and deploy all resources by scenario type as planned for in the NRP Catastrophic Incident Search and Rescue (CIS) addendum.
Together, the NRF and the NIMS integrate the capabilities and resources of various governmental jurisdictions, incident management and emergency response disciplines, NGOs, and the private sector entities into a cohesive, coordinated, and seamless national framework for domestic incident management. There is no provision within the EMAC whereby one state can be compelled to support another state with its organic capabilities and resources.
For coordination with the owners and operators of the nation's critical infrastructure, DHS and federal agencies use the mechanisms established under the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, including the critical infrastructure protection advisory committee. Multi-agency coordination entities typically consist of principals (or their designees) from organizations and agencies with direct incident management responsibility or with significant incident management support or resource responsibilities.
The PIO is also responsible for coordinating public information at or near the incident site and serving as the on-scene link to the joint information system (JIS). A PFO also may be designated in a pre-incident mode for a specific geographic area based on threat and other considerations. During national or geographically widespread incidents such as a catastrophic hurricane impacting several adjacent states, the secretary of homeland security may, in other than terrorism incidents, choose to combine the roles of the PFO and FCO in a single individual to help ensure synchronized federal coordination. The EMAC provides the framework for states to rapidly assist each other with resources during emergencies, including dispatching NG personnel in state active duty or Title 32 U.S. Further, the secretary of homeland security uses private-sector advisory groups with broad representation to provide advice on incident management and emergency response issues impacting their stakeholders.
Each ESF annex identifies the ESF coordinator and the primary and support agencies pertinent to the ESF.
It is normally structured to facilitate activities in five major functional areas: command, operations, planning, logistics, and finance and administration.
Acts of biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear terrorism or other catastrophic events represent particular challenges for the traditional ICS structure. Each coordinating officer has the authority to make coordinating decisions within his or her jurisdiction, whether federal, state, or local. When needed, separate functional elements can be established, each of which may be further subdivided to enhance internal organizational management and external coordination. These entities are sometimes referred to as crisis action teams, policy committees, incident management groups, executive teams, or other similar terms. In a large-scale operation, the on-scene PIO serves as a field PIO with links to the joint information center (JIC), which is typically collocated with the federal, regional, state, local, or tribal EOC tasked with primary incident coordination responsibilities. In the event of a single incident with national implications or in the case of multiple incidents, a national-level PFO may be designated to coordinate federal response activities.
Specific responsibilities of the DCO include processing requirements for military support, forwarding RFAs to the appropriate military organizations through DOD channels, and assigning military liaisons to activated ESFs. Several ESFs incorporate multiple components, with primary agencies designated for each component to ensure seamless integration of and transition between preparedness, prevention, response, recovery, and mitigation activities.
Events that are not site-specific, are geographically dispersed, or evolve over longer periods of time will require extraordinary coordination between federal, state, local, tribal, private-sector, and nongovernmental entities. Responsibility for establishing and expanding the ICS modular organization ultimately rests with the incident commander, who bases his decisions on the requirements of the situation. As stated earlier, direct tactical and operational responsibility for conducting incident management activities rests with the incident commander. The JIS provides the mechanism for integrating public information activities among JICs, across jurisdictions, and with private-sector entities and NGOs. The PFO may delegate duties to a deputy PFO, the FCO, or other designated federal official as appropriate after an event transitions to long-term recovery or cleanup operations. RFAs originating at the JFO will be coordinated and processed through the DCO with the exception of requests for USACE support, NG forces operating under state active duty or Title 32 U.S. ESFs with multiple primary agencies designate an ESF coordinator for the purposes of pre-incident planning and coordination. As incident complexity increases, the organization expands from the top down as functional responsibilities are delegated. Command authority does not reside in coordinating officers or coordinating entities, although coordinating officers may be designated with command authority. Concurrently with structural expansion, the number of management positions expands to adequately address the requirements of the incident.
In some instances, EOCs may serve an additional function as a multiagency coordination entity; in others, the preparedness organizations may fulfill this role. The JIC provides a location for organizations participating in the management of an incident to work together to ensure that timely, accurate, easy-to-understand, and consistent information is disseminated to the public. Regardless of the term or organizational structure used, these entities typically provide strategic coordination during domestic incidents. If constituted separately, multiagency coordination entities, preparedness organizations, and EOCs must coordinate and communicate with one another to provide uniform and consistent guidance to incident management personnel.
The JFO is the multiagency coordination center of primary interest to the combatant commander or the JFC.
News releases are cleared through the JFO coordination group to ensure consistent messages, avoid release of conflicting information, and prevent negative impact on operations.
This formal approval process for news releases ensures protection of law enforcement sensitive information or other sensitive but unclassified information.
DOD and other agencies may issue their own news releases related to their policies, procedures, programs, and capabilities; however, these should be coordinated with the JIC.



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