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#204812 - 07/16/10 07:53 PM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: Nomad]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2155
Loc: Bucks County PA
It's all about the beans and counting them in the end.

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#204813 - 07/16/10 08:55 PM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: MartinFocazio]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

I'm not familiar with NIMS so I tried to research NIMS online, I'm still at a loss as to what it actually is. So much for the ability to communicate, considering communications would most likely be a primary part of the NIMS. wink

http://www.fema.gov/pdf/emergency/nims/NIMS_brochure.pdf

Apparently you can get University Degrees in Homeland security and emergency management. Hmm do you get a first class or second class honours degree in common sense.

A simple paragraph from http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/CommunicationsInfoMngmnt.shtm

Quote:
The NIMS criteria assessment is qualitative and subjective in nature and is based on subject-matter experts (SMEs). The NIMS technical standard evaluation is quantitative and objective in nature and based upon adopted standards.


Yep sounds like the person who wrote this has a Homeland security degree. whistle

Sounds like NIMS is really just a bureaucratic political firewall which came about from a Presidential Directive (HSDP-5) after he was forced to fire his buddy (the FEMA head honcho) after the Hurricane Katrina debacle.

But I guess if you do get more impressive technical NIMS qualifications (FEMA speak) then an air conditioned video conferencing room becons rather than being at the dirty end of the stick scraping bloated 5 day old 30 stoners into large plastic bags in 100 degree heat.




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#204829 - 07/17/10 03:28 AM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Alan_Romania Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 631
Loc: Arizona
The biggest problem with NIMS is the learning curve... Unlike the learning curve in public safety agencies (fire and PD) or the wildland fire community where you start out at the simplest level, working your way up from the bottom to the smallest scale incident managment working up to the big, bad Type I incidents. While NIMS allows national resources (outside of the wildland community) to work their way up the Type I incident management structure to Incident Commander.

This system builds people who understands the "overhead" and administration of the incident management system it also builds a system that is totally out of touch with the "field". This is the failure or weakness of NIMS, allowing unqualified(inexperienced) people in positions, specifically in the planning and operations sections (and therefore in the Incident Commander position as well).

The example I use from the wildland side is this; you can't be an Engine Boss without working on an engine for a while, you can't be a strike team/task force leader without being an experienced Engine Boss, you can't be a Division Supervisor with our being a successful Taskforce Leader, you can't be a Operations Section Chief without being a successful Division Supervisor, and you canít be an Incident Commander without being a successful Section Chief.

The planning and operations sections should be filled with guys and gals who do this thing EVERYDAY, this would fix some of the issues with NIMS.

A LOT of the issues from Katrina/Rita have been fixed with NIMS, this issue has not.
_________________________
"Trust in God --and press-check. You cannot ignore danger and call it faith." -Duke

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#204836 - 07/17/10 02:34 PM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
AFLM, that stuff looks familiar! Imagine multpipe online courses written in that beaurocratic gobble-de-gook. NIMS stresses using "common language" between departments at local, state and federal levels, since communication is essential ( a point we all agree on).

Can you can point me out anyone that uses "subject matter expert" or "quantitative and objective" in their regular vernacular?

NIMS wants us to use common language, but can't make their lectures and online courses use common language. Hell, I'm a pretty intelligent guy, have a bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees and probably 50% of the courses I took online I couldn't figure out. I'd literally have to stare at the slide for minutes on end re-interpreting their crap into something recognizable, just to understand what they're trying to say.

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#204837 - 07/17/10 02:35 PM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: Alan_Romania]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
except that you WILL have low level people as incident commander - to use a less sensitive term - someone is in charge

One guy on the scene - he IS in charge of the scene until someone more Sr shows up and relieves him - the hand off can even be verbal "this is what is going on" - that new person is now in charge, and the other person is now 'another worker' on the scene

A 2 man squad car shows up - One of the 2 guys - One's in charge, one isn't - the guy in charge is the incident commander - He's in charge of the incident

An Engine (use your example) shows up and is first on scene (or ONLY) - the Engine Boss IS the Incident Commander - the rest of the strike team shows - He says to the ST Commander "Here is the situation, here is what I know" - the second the ST Commander says "OK, I got it" - Guess what, the ST Commander is now the IC - and the former IC is now back to being the commander of his resource (aka an engine boss)

An IC is nothing but the Sr guy at the sight who is on duty, or if he doesn't WANT it, who he appoints

Been on a ship? Who's got the Con? That's the boss (IC) until someone of higher rank says "I have the Con" - That person then becomes the boss

Guess what? ICS wise (and I can understand it) - You're a good samaritan with say a first aid card, and you show up at an accident - YOU are IC - till the cop/EMT/FIRE/A MD/Nurse whoever with more experience shows up and says "OK, I'm here, I've got it" (not necessarly that formally) - THEY then have relieved you as IC - but SOMEONE is ALWAYS in charge - they call that guy, the Incident Commander - he may have NO formal skill, he may not even know he is an IC, or even know what an IC IS, but he IS

It's just a name given to whoever is in charge
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#204843 - 07/17/10 05:25 PM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: KG2V]
Alan_Romania Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/29/05
Posts: 631
Loc: Arizona
You are absolutely correct, you will have "low level" people in charge at one point or an other. The difference is they will be the initial IC, if the incident is big enough or escalates command will be passed to a more experienced commander. The initial IC can easily handle managing his own crew and maybe a couple others, but he would be overwhelmed by workload and span-of-control quickly, so that initial IC passes command to a more qualified commander. If the incident is big enough, the command structure can be expanded. In the public safety world, that means populating positions in that structure with experienced people. From my point of view (as an Engine Captain and a Safety Officer trainee on a Type III all hazards IMT) this is how the command structure should be filled... In my experience this is NOT how the positions are filled in many IMTs since NIMS has been implemented.

_________________________
"Trust in God --and press-check. You cannot ignore danger and call it faith." -Duke

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#204850 - 07/17/10 07:35 PM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: MDinana]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078
Quote:

Can you can point me out anyone that uses "subject matter expert" or "quantitative and objective" in their regular vernacular?


I suspect that the government regulatory department (Minerals Management Service) which had oversight of the deep sea drilling in the Gulf of Mexico had plenty of 'subject matter experts' SMEs to peruse the emergency plans submitted by the major oil companies, but for some reason didn't pick up on the fact that there aren't any Walruses or Penguins in the Gulf of Mexico. whistle

I wonder if the NIMS had actually tasked anyone to go out and rescue said Walruses from their oily doom down in Louisiana. It was part of the emergency plan. laugh crazy




Edited by Am_Fear_Liath_Mor (07/17/10 07:39 PM)

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#204852 - 07/17/10 07:58 PM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
Oh yeah, I'm not saying that people are actually following the spirit of NIMS, and that a lot of unqualified people are put in charge, but I wouldn't call THAT the fault of NIMS, I'd call that the Peter Principal at work
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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#204935 - 07/20/10 03:34 PM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: KG2V]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2155
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: KG2V
Oh yeah, I'm not saying that people are actually following the spirit of NIMS, and that a lot of unqualified people are put in charge, but I wouldn't call THAT the fault of NIMS, I'd call that the Peter Principal at work


No, it's not at all that.

So, here's my experience: years of active duty firefighting, but not as many as most of the other guys at the firehouse (typical tenure of the core group is 20+ years).

But when the river came up, and we activated NIMS in a basic sense, I was pushed all the way to IC because, unlike the guys with more operational experience, I can use a computer, make spreadsheets, slide shows and find information online. I can do the NFIRS reports - basically, my competency was 25% operational and 75% administrative. And that's what NIMS is. It's an administration tool built by administrators for administrators and while it - supposedly - makes operational processes better, I see it as a means - first - of tracking the money and secondarily a means of making on the ground operations more efficient.

NIMS is, at best, politically and socially naive, and at worst, it represents a kind of thinking about government services that makes me cringe.

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#204939 - 07/20/10 06:19 PM Re: NIMS vs. Reality [Re: MartinFocazio]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
You should NOT have been made IC - you SHOULD have been made what NIMS calls 'scribe' - aka the paperwork and computer guy - the guys with experience should have stayed IC - Just that they didn't know to appoint a scribe
_________________________
73 de KG2V
You are what you do when it counts - The Masso
Homepage: http://www.thegallos.com
Blog: http://kg2v.blogspot.com

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