Emergency Credentials Under Way at NIC

Emergency Credentials Under Way at NIC

Fire service credentialing has taken another step forward now that DHS has opened the National Incident Management System Integration Center.

The NIC also will be setting standards for credentialing for the fire service as well as for the credentialing of all other sectors of emergency response. Credentialing will be an evolutionary process, but the framework for it is already being constructed by shareholder organizations working with the NIC.

“We’re going to build the standards under which the credential should be developed, essentially what it should say, what kind of things need to be on it, what kind of things the state and the locals need to take into account when they’re looking at issuing credentials to their emergency responders – their firefighters, police officers, etc.,” says NIC Acting Director Marko Bourne. “Certainly, we would hope that one of the baselines for any credential is that they’ve been trained in the National Incident Management System. But the idea is we would not be the ones issuing the actual credential. We look at that as the responsibility of the states with assistance from us and the locals.

“The chief of a department needs to be issuing the credentials to the people in his department; the state needs to back that credential up with whatever guidelines are necessary in order to make sure that the training those folks have received in order to have that credential is accredited and certified. What we’re going to do at the national level is try to build a framework that all of those folks can have at their fingertips when they’re building their credentials and getting them out to people.”

The NIC will probably assist states with setting up databases so that they can manage and track credentials of first responders, Bourne said.

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