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PR- 118-04
May 14, 2004


Mayor Bloomberg and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno today announced the adoption of the Citywide Incident Management System (CIMS), a formal management structure designed to better organize the City's response to emergencies and comply with federal mandates. CIMS provides an all-hazards framework for emergency responders to enhance interagency decision making and communication, establish a common management structure, and provide for a joint after-action review process. CIMS' objectives include: enhancing and formalizing the existing response system, acknowledging the potential for terrorism in emergencies, and ensuring interoperability with federal standards and requirements.

"Our emergency service workers, whether they are Firefighters, Police Officers, EMTs or others, work together thousands of times everyday, showing the world each time that they are the best in the business," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This protocol outlines the most efficient and effective use of the manpower, equipment and expertise in our uniform and emergency response agencies to insure the public is provided protection and emergency response capabilities. I would like to thank Commissioners Bruno, Frieden, Kelly, Menchini, Scoppetta, and Ward among others and for their hard work throughout this process. "

"Although we have taken a crucial step in improving an already world-class response system, the key to making this system work will be designing and implementing a comprehensive training program to ensure our responders know and perform their roles and responsibilities under CIMS," said Commissioner Bruno. "In addition, its completion makes the City eligible for much-needed homeland security funds far ahead of the October deadline set by the Department of Homeland Security."

Largely based on the national incident command model, CIMS builds on the expertise of New York City's first responder community by establishing a common understanding of roles, responsibilities, and terminology. The protocol also includes a unified and single command matrix. Based on incident type, this matrix identifies the primary agency that directs operations (see matrix below). Some incident types will be managed by a unified command based on size and/or complexity and may have more than one primary agency.

CIMS provides agencies the authority to manage those parts of the operation by stating: That agencies have the authority to direct operations related to their core competencies at incidents, including giving tactical direction to other agencies performing operations within that competency.

For example, Fire Department core competencies include: fire suppression, patient care and transport, search and rescue, Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN)/Haz-Mat life safety and mass decontamination. Police Department core competencies include: crime scene investigation, evidence preservation, perimeter control, site management and security, crowd control, traffic control, CBRN/Haz-Mat assessment and investigation into potential criminality or terrorism, evacuation, and water search and rescue.

Like the national system, CIMS calls for an Incident Commander, or a Unified Command Section, supported by four major sections, Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance/Administration, each headed by a Section Chief. The Operations Section would manage the tactical operations. During the most complex incidents, that require a Unified Command Structure, CIMS envisions two or more Deputy Operations Section Chiefs (a senior officer each from FDNY and NYPD, and other agencies as appropriate) with each having authority to manage the areas of operation that fall within their core competencies.

The protocol also addresses the transition of command. Regardless of the command matrix, life safety operations are the highest priority and will be initiated by the first arriving responders capable of performing rescue. Those operations will not be disrupted or suspended because of transition of command to other agencies.

Additionally, the system allows for a criminal investigation to begin concurrent with life safety operations, with life safety taking priority. Following life safety related operations, the incident will transition to allow for investigation to take priority. Finally, only after investigative authorities permit it, will recovery operations begin.

CIMS is compliant with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Incident Management System (NIMS), as well as with the State of New York's Incident Management System, ensuring that state and federal agencies can be seamlessly integrated into New York City's incident management structure. Further, CIMS addresses the integration of on-site incident management with support functions, such as planning, public information, logistics and resource management, finance and administration, mutual aid and emergency operations center activations.

"While comporting to Federal requirements, New York City's new model also provides a common sense approach to the realities of managing emergencies in the nation's largest city," said Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

"This is an important step in addressing issues of command and control at major emergencies. Training programs to help implement these procedures will be crucial, and the creation of a review panel to analyze large-scale incidents and make recommendations to enhance emergency response is both constructive and essential," said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta.

Unified Command Matrix
Aviation Incident FDNY, NYPD, PANYNJ
Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN)/Haz-Mat NYPD, FDNY*
Citywide Public Health Emergency DOHMH, HHC, GNYHA, NYPD, FDNY
Explosion FDNY, NYPD
Natural Disaster / Weather Emergency OEM, NYPD, FDNY, DOT, DSNY
Power Outage NYPD, FDNY
Rail Incident FDNY, NYPD
Telecommunications Outage DOITT, NYPD, FDNY
Utility Incident FDNY, NYPD
Water Main Break DEP, FDNY, NYPD

*CBRN/Haz-Mat Incidents
NYPD will be the Primary Agency at all CBRN/Haz-Mat incidents, with responsibility for overall site management, assessment and investigations (crime-scene/terrorism). However, FDNY will be responsible for life safety operations and mass decontamination .

OEM, as the City's Coordinating Agency, will respond to multi-agency incidents and participate in the Unified Command. OEM is responsible for coordinating resources from Emergency Support Function agencies, relaying situation information to the City's Emergency Operations Center, and supporting logistics needs.

Single Command Matrix
Auto Extrication NYPD/FDNY (First to arrive)
Boat in Distress NYPD
Citywide Cyber Incident NYPD and/or DOITT
Civil Disturbance NYPD
Confined Space Rescue FDNY
Correctional Facility Disturbance DOC
Downed Tree DPR/FDNY
Elevator Incident or Emergency FDNY
Emotionally Disturbed Person NYPD
Entrapment/Impalement FDNY
Explosive Device, Bomb Threat NYPD
Hostage Incident NYPD
Sniper Incident NYPD
Special Event NYPD
Structural Collapse FDNY
Suspicious Package NYPD
Water/Ice Rescue NYPD

"This protocol is useful and provides an important framework for decision-making during emergencies. However, no piece of paper can replace good training, solid management and responsible leadership," Mayor Bloomberg concluded.


Edward Skyler/ Robert Lawson   (212) 788-2958

Jarrod Bernstein   (OEM)
(718) 422-4888

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