AGENCY PARTNER: TEXAS’ ALL HAZARD INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAMS
With a state as vast as Texas, it should be reassuring to know that there are at least 17 All-Hazard Incident Management Teams (AHIMT) strategically placed throughout the Lone Star State that can deploy to help communities respond to a range of incidents. AHIMTs are a comprehensive resource to either augment ongoing operations or transition to an incident management function. These teams can be deployed as a state resource at the request of a Disaster District Chair to support a DDC or a local jurisdiction. State IMT Coordinator Bob Koenig provides more information about these teams.
HOW MANY ALL HAZARD INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAMS (AHIMT) DOES TEXAS HAVE, AND HOW MANY TEAM MEMBERS ARE THERE?
There are currently 17 incident management teams strategically located throughout the state. An 18th team is being formed in the Sherman Texas area. More than 800 local first responders representing all disciplines participate in the program.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THE TEXAS FOREST SERVICE STATE IMT COORDINATOR, AND WHY ARE YOU IN CHARGE OF THE STATE'S AHIMTs?
I have been the State IMT Coordinator for five years. I use a statewide steering committee to evaluate the program, set operational guidelines and ensure that we continue to meet national standards. The steering committee consists of the IMT team leaders and representatives of all the Emergency Support Functions.
WHAT ROLE DID THE AHIMT PLAY IN LAST YEAR'S WILDFIRE RESPONSE, AND WHAT ROLE DO YOU SEE THEM PERFORMING THIS YEAR IN RESPONSE TO WILDFIRES OR OTHER EVENTS?
The AHIMT managed the Texas Interstate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) resources, fire management, planning at the TFS incident command post in Merkel, and provided situational awareness at the State Operations Center along with public information support.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO COMPRISE AND MAINTAIN AN AHIMT?
All teams are trained per the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Training Program guidelines and maintain readiness through planning for local events and exercises.
IF AN INDIVIDUAL OR TEAM IS INTERESTED IN JOINING AN AHIMT, WHAT DO THEY NEED TO KNOW?
Interested parties should contact, me Bob Koenig. I will set up an initial meeting with the requesting party to explain the program, training requirements and all program aspects. All IMT members are required to complete the NIMS required core Incident Command System courses, the All Hazard Incident Management Team Course and the specific training for their respective Command and General Staff position. Additionally, all members are required to demonstrate a series of core competencies of their position which is documented in a position task book. The required training, position task book completion and response experience are used to qualify the member in their respective position.
HOW DO THE AHIMT INTERACT WITH STAFF AT THE STATE OPERATIONS CENTER?
All teams are considered state resources and as such interact with the SOC from mobilization to demobilization. Requests for IMTs are generated from a local jurisdiction through the Disaster District Chair (DDC) or from the DDC. This request is approved at the SOC and the State IMT Coordinator is notified. Teams are assembled and assigned to the requesting jurisdiction or DDC. The most important interaction is the teams’ ability to provide incident situational awareness to the SOC, which allows the SOC to develop a common operating picture for local and state elected officials.
WHAT IS SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT TEXAS' AHIMTs YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
Everything about our program can be found by visiting the Texas Interagency Coordinating Center website. For those interested in joining an AHIMT, contact Bob Koenig.