Aspects of NIMS Training Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

National Incident Management System issued by the federal government and the St. Leo University's synthesis of this proposal. In this essay, critical definitions of key terms are explored to understand the specific context of their usage. Once a common understanding of these terms are explored, the paper will delve into the specific ways the system correlates to the core value of "Community" St. Leo University wishes to espouse. Next the paper will explore the more relevant points dealing with the economic, social and legal implications of this relationship. The essay will conclude with a summary and generalization of the past performance of this relationship and speculate on future endeavors related to the topic.


The 21st century was ushered in the Western hemisphere with violence, confusion and anxiety as seen in the events and aftermath of the violent attacks occurring on September, 11 2001. The military tactic known as " terrorism" gained new meaning and power as mysterious, unsolved and violent attacks were committed in various places on this fateful day. After a decade, the manifested consequences of these attacks are prevalent throughout society. The importance of the illusion of safety has become a priority for the governing and institutional bodies of America insisting that protection measures, regardless of their probability and reasonable expectation of actually occurring, be rigorously implemented and monitored.

The federal government, under the watch of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), implemented the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as a way of preventing and/or managing disaster in the various forms it arrives. According to its website FEMA " The Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror."

The purpose of this essay is to overview the aspects of NIMS training specifically related to St. Leo University. This paper will incorporate the role and essence of the NIMS with Saint Leo University and the core values of the institution. This essay will relate how segments of this system are either supporting or delineating from the core values and objectives the university is attempting to promote and practice.

Before conducting an aspect analysis of any two ideas, it is necessary to understand the concepts themselves. Saint Leo University's spiritual and religious charter differentiates itself from the majority of secondary educational institutions due to its incorporation of certain theistic and religious abstract ideals. According to Saint Leo University's web page the six core values and key terms described that represent this institution are as follows:

- Excellence: Assimilating knowledge, becoming morally responsible, leadership, learning new skills.

- Community: Becoming hospitable, selfless service towards others, fostering a spirit of belonging.

- Respect: Following the lead of Jesus Christ, value individuality, free exchange of ideas, harmonious living.

- Personal Development: Developing mind, spirit and body. Stresses balance as a key component to value

- Responsible Stewardship: Resourcefulness as a means of living, optimizing all avenues of approach.

- Integrity: Demanding honest approach to work, pledging to be consistent in word and deed and in all facets of life.

These values are considerably vague which allows each student and faculty member responsible for their personal interpretation of what these values mean. The religious and spiritual nature of these values adds certain responsibility to its followers as they challenge the leadership qualities in each individual. Additionally these values require a certain amount of faith and submission in order to fully reach their true potential. Jesus Christ and is lifestyle are to be representative of these values in general and emanate a feeling of duty and character in order to be in compliance.


The ideas of cooperation and togetherness diminish the more competitive aspects of society. This phrase describes the ideals behind Saint Leo's core value of "community." The concept of social responsibility challenges the roles of both the individual and the society he or she finds themselves navigating. Mutual trust and respect are subjective terms and what is good and right in one person's mind, in another, it may be considered detrimental sin.

Society as a community has a role to provide a benefit to its members. Protection seems to be the best role that particular community can fulfill. A member of any society, such as the campus of Saint Leo, should have a reasonable expectation of being safe from danger. A responsible community is aware of this threat and should take certain precautions to protect its members allowing for continued growth and prosperity. It should be assumed that the very fragility of life will always be threatened by unknown entities. This idea strengthens and gives true meaning to faith and faithful practices by admitting there are no solutions without a faith in God the almighty and all knowing creator of the universe.


The NIMS is a relatively new concept that was originated in 2003 by a presidential directive. Walsh et al. (2005) broke down the NMIS into components and principles. The system has dual principles, flexibility and standardization. " NIMS is flexible because the system components can be utilized to develop plans, processes, procedures, agreements and roles for all types of incidents; it is applicable to any incident regardless of cause, size, location or complexity. Additionally, NIMS provides an organized set of standardized operational structures, which is critical in allowing disparate organizations and agencies to work together in a predictable and coordinated manner, " (p 5-6).

The six components of the NIMS help further define this system. The components are as follows:

- Command and Management

- Preparedness

- Resource Management

-Communications and Information Management

- Supporting Technologies

- Ongoing Management and Maintenance

Furthermore FEMA defines the NIMS as follows: "NIMS represents a core set of doctrines, concepts, principles, terminology, and organizational processes that enables effective, efficient, and collaborative incident management, " (p.3). In essence the NIMS is a system, or routine, that can be generally applied to all levels of emergency response. There is specific structure and mechanisms that allow for some standard operating procedures, however the intent is for these mechanisms to be generically applied to all levels of government and community.


Communities have boundaries and they are there for a reason. It is allowable for us to accept the fact the entire world population could not attend Saint Leo University if it so desired. Students and faculty not only accept, but appreciate the distinction that the core values of this institution promote and uphold. It is therefore important and necessary to distinguish between FEMA's values and Saint Leo's values.

NIMS promotion of both standardization and flexibility principles creates certain confusion and perhaps added paper work that may prove to be overly protective. At what point however does our need for protection infringe upon the need to subscribe to faith and does this ultimately challenge the cohesion between the core values of Saint Leo and the Department of Homeland Security?

Bailey (2011) pointed out the absurdity of some common fears of terrorism. He reported that "in the last five years, your chances of being killed by a terrorist are about one in 20 million. This compares annual risk of dying in a car accident of 1 in 19,000; drowning in a bathtub at 1 in 800,000; dying in a building fire at 1 in 99,000; or being struck by lightning at 1 in 5,500,000. In other words, in the last five years you were four times more likely to be struck by lightning than killed by a terrorist." How necessary is NIMS in relation to terrorism according to these numbers?

Florida, however, is subjected to a more predictable danger than terrorism; Mother Nature. Florida's weather patterns are dangerous as hurricanes routinely affect the everyday lives of many within the region including the campus of Saint Leo. Applying NIMS to weather related procedures seems applicable and reasonable due to historic considerations and the scope of the problem. Fortunately the NIMS allows for recommendations for weather and other types of natural disasters.


Incidents and accidents are, by nature unpredictable. Reason and understanding bring about better solutions than over blown plans that bring unintended results that may hinder and ironically detract from the idea's intent and purpose. Local maintenance and jurisdiction seems to make the most sense in the attempt of incorporating any type of preventative measures to manage unexpected events. It is nice to have help when necessary but demanding help be requested and organized into a federal system appears to be messy and unnecessary.

Philosophically and theologically, such monitoring of behavior becomes at odds with the ideals of Christian faith and forgiveness. As a Christian institution, Saint Leo University should show more courage and less fear. Becoming overzealous about irrational protection methods not only decreases the practical value but additionally creates doubt about the spiritual enfoldment of perfection. When do we begin to trust…

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