Training & NIMS Compliancy

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Training class in progress

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a systematic, proactive approach to guide departments and agencies at all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector to work seamlessly to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity, in order to reduce the loss of life and property and harm to the environment.

NIMS works hand in hand with the National Response Framework (NRF). NIMS provide the template for the management of incidents, while the NRF provides the structure and mechanisms for national-level policy for incident management.

The Secretary of Homeland Security, through the National Integration Center (NIC), publishes the standards, guidelines, and compliance protocols for determining whether a Federal, State, tribal, or local government has implemented NIMS. Additionally, the Secretary, through the NIC, manages publication and collaboratively, with other departments and agencies, develops standards, guidelines, compliance procedures, and protocols for all aspects of NIMS.

Click here to view the current NIMS Training Plan, issued in September, 2011

Accomack County is required to annually report to FEMA the level of NIMS (National Incident Management System) training that emergency responders in the county have completed. This training is for ALL people that respond to Accomack emergencies – county employees, state employees, private sector employees, and volunteers are a few groups that come to mind.

The most important point is that NIMS compliancy is more than just Incident Command System (ICS) training. It is an all-encompassing system for how events of all sizes and types are managed.


Click here to download the NIMS Compliant Training Reference Chart (PDF)

Accomack County Emergency Management and other Eastern Shore entities provide classes to help make sure that all emergency response personnel are properly trained. Also, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management coordinates a wide variety of training courses in five major programs: Emergency Management, Hazardous Materials, Radiological Emergency Response, Public Safety Response to Terrorism, and Search and Rescue. Classes are advertised to all fire/rescue stations on the Shore as well as to members of the Eastern Shore Disaster Preparedness Coalition (ESDPC). Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes are held regularly and are advertised via fire stations, ESDPC and the local newspapers. The majority of these classes are offered at no charge.

The chart above outlines what level of training is required for people involved in emergency response. The amount of training needed is determined by what role a person has in disaster response. Contact Accomack Emergency Management for more information at

Accomack also prepares its emergency responders for disasters through training exercises held locally, regionally or statewide. An exercise allows participants from different agencies and groups the chance to work together in a mock disaster scenario. Exercises also expose flaws in emergency response plans resulting in corrections to plans before disasters require actual implementation.

Mass Dispensing Exercise - Tangier, 2010
 mass dispensing exercise
POD Exercise - Nandua High School, 2009
 neighborhood help center
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Exercise -
Accomack EOC, 2009
training class
Neighborhood Emergency Help Center (NEHC) Exercise -
Onley Community Center, 2010

Mass Dispensing Exercise - Tangier, 2010 

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