EMSI is pleased to share that our home state, the Commonwealth of Virginia, has adopted the All-Hazards Incident Management Team Association (AHIMTA) Interstate Incident Management Team Qualification Systems (IIMTQS) Guide. Formally signed on April 14, 2016, the adoption of this standard will ensure that all Virginia IMTs and their members meet a national qualification standard for responding both within the state and on state-to-state mutual aid requests through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
The adoption of this standard includes the three Type 3 AHIMTs in Virginia. Among this group is the National Capital Region (NCR) IMT, with whom EMSI has worked with for over eight years providing training and exercise support. Most recently EMSI conducted an exercise for the NCR IMT in March 2016 that included not only NCR IMT members, but their partners from Hampton Roads and Central Virginia IMTs, who are also signatories to this standard.
Formed in 2004, the NCR IMT is a multiagency, multijurisdictional, multidiscipline, Type 3 All-Hazards IMT comprised of over 100 highly trained professionals from regional partnering jurisdictions in the NCR. Due to the threat of natural and man-made disasters, the NCR-IMT is comprised of members from a cross section of agencies including Emergency Management, EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement, Public Health, and Public Works. Since 2008, EMSI has conducted several full-scale exercises for this team. We have also conducted Incident Command System (ICS) position specific training, Advanced Incident Management Team (ICS-420) training, and ICS Practical Application Exercises to assist the team’s incident preparedness.
Virginia joins other states, including Colorado, Utah, Montana, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, in officially adopting this standard from the AHIMTA, which has been available for less than a year. The IIMTQS Guide reflects the best practices on a national level to foster standardization and development of a comprehensive interstate IMT qualification system. These guidelines are designed to enhance the ability of state and local jurisdictions to prevent, protect, mitigate, respond, and recover from All-Hazard incidents. A keystone to ICS is standardization; this guidance ensures that IMTs and incident management personnel exchanged between jurisdictions are qualified to a national standard.
Founded as a forum for the once fledgling Type 3 All-Hazard IMT community, the AHIMT Association was incorporated in December 2010 and now boasts of over 600 members. The Association serves as the voice of the Type 3 All-Hazards IMT community and assists the community by coordinating the development of standards and All-Hazards incident management guidance, like the IIMTQS. EMSI is a proud supporter of the AHIMTA and was a Diamond Sponsor of the most recent AHIMTA Training and Education Symposium, where we delivered Incident Commander training for nearly twenty symposium participants.