TUBA CITY-The way the entire nation-more specifically the Hopi and Navajo reservations-prepares for and responds to any domestic emergency situation is changing dramatically.
Given the remoteness, the vast mileage distances and the lack of centralized emergency services on both reservations, immediate responder services are critical to the successful recovery and stabilization of community member's lives in addition to livestock and private property rescues.
The NIMS (National Incident Management Systems) was developed by the Department of Homeland Security in 2004 and is a "best practices" standardized, on scene, all-hazards incident management system that is a comprehensive approach being used by firefighters, hazardous materials teams, rescuers and emergency medical providers nationwide.
One of the most effective aspects of the NIMS system is that it allows its certified responders at all jurisdictional levels and across all disciplines to work effectively and efficiently as a "unified responder team" at any crisis.
This past week, reservation community members from various agencies from the Hopi and Navajo reservation and Tuba City-Mungapi areas completed NIMS certification training and can be called into any national or local emergency situation and understand the core set of doctrines, principles, and terminology to collaborate effectively during any crisis.
The three day, 24-hour training was organized and facilitated by ITCA (Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona) Emergency System Development Coordinator, George Little Jr. who provided the training at the TCHS Warrior Pavilion and utilized the emergency training services of Sylvia and Chuck Monroe. Both are NIMS and FEMA trainers with state certified evaluaor skills.
Sylvia Monroe has 15 years of Emergency Management training in the state certification area and serves as a permanent consultant to ITCA in this area and has worked directly with INTEL. Chuck Monroe, also possesses the same training skills and background and has been a career firefighter with the Mesa Fire Department for over 31 years.
The NIMS certification training focused on how the ICS works, including how to manage a crisis effectively with appropriate response, how to maximize local emergency resources, how to work together as a crisis team utilizing common terminology, management by objectives, accountability of resources and personnel, unified command, and finally, understanding the strategy and protocol of an emergency situation such as "span of control" areas of mobilization and demobilization, deployment, and information and intelligence management.
Sept. 11, 2001 showed the nation that everyone in this country has an urgent need to develop a consistent national standard for effective emergency management by offering efficient coordinated response and standardization with inter-agency operability.
The National Preparedness Goal is, "To engage federal, state, local and tribal entities, their private and non-governmental partners and the general public to be prepared for any emergency."
With this NIMS certification, any of the reservation community member teams can be deployed nationally at any time for assistance in a national crisis situation now that they have the appropriate training and certification.
TCUSD Safety Officer, Reggie Curry stated, "The NIMS training brought to Tuba City by our friends at ITCA will help our reservation area communities in more than just getting individual safety certification. The decision makers at each of our sponsoring agencies will have a better picture of how to create a command structure for better response in the event of an actual emergency. The NIMS system will help us in planning, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery for any emergency situation that may come our way. It also helps in the development of cooperation between multi-agencies that we have in our small town of Tuba City and Mungapi villages. The Hopi, Navajo, San Juan tribes, the BIA and IHS, and other surrounding schools and local business are all primary stakeholders in safety assistance that need responder help. I hope we can get more training of this type for our top decision makers in Tuba City and Mungapi."
Hopi and Navajo community members who have successfully completed the NIMS certification are Reggie Curry-Safety Officer TCUSD, Shirley Peaches-Safety Officer TC Hospital, Roger Tungovia-Hopi Tribe's Emergency Services Coordinator, Earl Blackhair-Maintenance TCUSD, Harris Polelonema-Lower Mungapi CSA, Lorena Naseyouma-Lower Mungapi Administration, Raleigh Puhuyaoma-Upper Moencopi Water Operator, Woodrow Shattuck-Wildlife and Eco-Systems Management/Hopi Tribe, Helen Hunter-Food Sevices Director for TCUSD, Rosanda Suetopka Thayer-Public Relations-Media Director for TCUSD, Byron Poocha-Audio-Visual Technician TCUSD, Rhonda Lomahaptewa-Lower Mungapi Village Adminstration, Randy Lomayaptewa-Forest Tech/Hopi Tribe, Andre Reville-Kayenta Fire Department, Jeremiah Begaye-Security TCUSD, Leila McCabe-Asst. Principal TC Primary, Rhonda Lomahaptewa-Lower Mungapi Administration, Isabelle Mann-Security TCUSD, Ronald Milford-TCRHCC Director-Facilities, Betty J. John-CHR Kayenta, Brice Brown-Navajo EMS Paramedic, Carlos Deal-Fire/EMS/EMT, Rita Begay-CHR Tuba City Unit, Sara Atene-Manheimer-DOH/CHR Kayenta Service Unit, Linda Israel-CHR Kaibeto, Sarah Nez- CHR/Fire and EMS Monument Valley, Lorrain Kelwood-CHR TESU, Eva Manymules-CHR TC Service Unit, Elouise Tsosie-DPS Navajo Nation, and Thomas Yazzie DPS Navajo Nation.
For more information about NIMS, training dates, contact Roger Tungovia at the Hopi Tribe at 928-734-3000 or Reggie Curry-Safety Officer for TCUSD at 928-283-1166, or Shirley Peaches-Safety Officer for Tuba City Hospital at 928-283-2501.
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