Local EMA wants NIMS - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Local EMA wants NIMS

September 12, 2005

Albany -- A new system will hopefully help first responders deal with disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, more efficiently.

Emergency Management is asking Dougherty County commissioners to approve the use of the NIMS, or National Incident Management System.

In 2003, President Bush ordered the Secretary of Homeland Security to administer a uniform, nationwide system for handling domestic crisis.

It designates who's in charge. And the system provides a common language for first responders, public safety, utility crews, and other agencies to use during the disaster.

"When we have some major event like the flood of 1994 and we have responders that come in from all over the country, very conceivably they will speak in different terms," said EMA Deputy Director Jim Vaught. "The 10-codes on radio in one area might mean one thing and in another area might mean another thing. What they are trying to do its eliminate taking in codes of the radio and actually talk in the clear."

The city and county must agree to use the system to receive federal and state Homeland Security funds in the future.

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