Incident Management Systems:
The incident management system is a "structured framework used nationwide for both governmental and non-governmental agencies to respond to natural disaster's and/or terrorist attacks at local, state, and federal levels of government."*
"NIMS provides a consistent, flexible and adjustable national framework within which government and private entities at all levels can work together to manage domestic incidents, regardless of their cause, size, location or complexity."*
In fire situations, the use of incident management systems means that all involved in fire operations are "speaking the same language." All personnel know the chain of command and the role they are to play within the command structure. Terminology is universal, so communications and orders should be understood, even when agencies that rarely work together join forces.
This section will give an overview of the basic elements (such as key terminology, command structure, etc.) of the incident management system, as well as a history of how it came into existence.