Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc.
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
All Tribes Program
Tribal Training Officer Project
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recognized that sovereign tribal governments often lack the formal training and exercise programs essential to NIMS implementation and capacity building. On January 29, 2013, President Obama signed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013. The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 amended the Stafford Act to provide federally recognized Tribal governments the option to choose whether to make a request directly to the President for a federal emergency or major disaster declaration, or to seek assistance, as they do presently, under a declaration for a State. This presents the opportunity for FEMA and the Tribes to initiate and sustain mutually beneficial efforts, especially with regards to NIMS implementation and the supporting training and exercise activities.
The purpose of this program is to initiate the efforts of the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) to facilitate the efficient and effective sharing of resources for All Tribes during times of disaster or emergency, and to develop better communication and coordination for use of resources. Through the Tribal Training Officer component, Tribal governments will have the option of establishing their own Incident Command System (ICS) Course Instructor to provide ongoing ICS training within their jurisdiction and provide training completion certification to training attendees.
Three Program Components
There are three components to the ITCA Tribal Sovereignty approach, as reflected in the ITCA NIMS program scope of work, is directed at creating and sustaining an on-going fully prepared tribal emergency response system. These three components include, but are not limited to, (1) Tribal Emergency Mutual Aid Compact (TEMAC) development, (2) Tribal Training Officer Program which would allow ongoing professional ICS training for all tribal responders, and (3) Formalizing the existing tribal emergency response infrastructure, which would include a Rapid Incident Management System data base, or compatible system.
1. Tribal Mutual Aid Compact Agreement: The ITCA has developed a TEMAC legal document template for use by the Tribal Governments. There are two different functions to be addressed – (1) Tribal Government to External Partners, and (2) Internal Partners linking Local Tribal community infrastructure to other Local Tribal community infrastructure.
2. Tribal Training Officer Program. At the core of the ITCA NIMS project is the training and qualification of a Tribal Training Officer. Coordinating the NIMS Program from a Tribal Sovereignty approach, as authorized by FEMA, the Tribal government should consider, if financially feasible, developing a Tribal Government ICS Training Group. The Tribal Training Officer, after qualifying for and completing the required training regiment – which ITCA will provide – will have the authority to provide ongoing instruction for the entire Tribe and provide Training Completion Certification as authorized and approved through FEMA.
3. Tribal Resource Inventory Data Base Development. Almost all Tribal Governments have an existing All Hazards Plan for emergency response management. Tribal Governments need to identify and provide equipment for operating Emergency Operations Center(s) (EOC) communication network throughout Tribal Lands and adjacent response partners. The Tribal EOC functions as the central communication and support facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management. Use of these Tribal Resource Inventory Data Base alternates, or the FEMA Incident Resource Inventory System (IRIS) feature the capability for tribal government users to inventory resources and share resource information with other non-tribal agencies. Furthermore, tribal government users will be able to define non-typed resources and select specific resources for mutual aid purposes based upon mission requirements, the capability and availability of resources, and desired response times.
The ITCA is looking forward to working with the member tribes in coordination of the NIMS All Tribes Program for tribes in Arizona.
Nathan Nixon, Emergency Preparedness Program Coordinator