NIMS/ICS Training and Bioterrorism Executive Tabletop Exercises

chemical bio-hazard incidentIEM was tasked by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) to develop and implement a training curriculum to provide State Agency Directors with instruction on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS). Training has been successfully delivered in 11 states, with the ultimate goal of having the training curriculum available to all 50 states.
The training is being facilitated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote interagency communication and coordination by all disciplines, including non-traditional participants in ICS. Since all states are adopting NIMS, training included ICS’s role within the NIMS framework.

Real threats addressed.

In addition to providing executive-level personnel with an overview of their roles and responsibilities through ICS, the training developed by IEM provides decision-makers with an opportunity to address issues that might be raised during an actual bioterrorism event or a major pandemic flu episode.
The training, which concludes with an on-site four-hour tabletop exercise in interagency response to an act of biological terrorism, addresses issues ranging from preserving a crime scene to necessary measures to take when hospitals have reached capacity and can no longer accept additional victims.

Decision consequences viewed through simulation.

Participants also have to manage the consequences of dealing with the potentially contagious remains of plague victims. Through IEM’s modeling capabilities, executives are able to view the consequences of their decisions through the use of a simulation tool.
As part of the curriculum, the states selected to receive the training created a state interagency team consisting of a broad spectrum of representatives from public health, emergency management, fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical services.