FAQs

General Questions

Q: What is the Northwest Washington Incident Management Team (NWIMT)?
A: The NWIMT is a Type 3 Incident Management Team. An IMT is a team of highly trained, experienced and credentialed people that can come together and deploy with appropriate equipment and personnel to manage a crisis situation that exceeds the day to day resources of the affected jurisdiction. The team functions under the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to support the incident management needs of local communities and agencies when requested during major emergency events. There are different types of IMT's based on qualifications and experience: Generally speaking, Type 1 is a National Team, Type 2 is a State Team, Type 3 is a Regional Team, and Type 4 is a Local (i.e. city or county) team.


Q: Who does the Northwest Washington IMT serve?
A: The seven counties in northwest Washington State: San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom, Island, Clallam, and Jefferson. These counties are natural partners, as they share similar demographics and hazard potential, and are in the same established region for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Health, and Fire Mobilization. While this 7-county region is currently our team's "home" area, the NWIMT can and often does deploy as part of a State fire mobilization to incidents throughout the Washington State.


Q: What kind of team is NWIMT?
A: The Northwest Washington IMT is a multi-discipline, all hazards Type 3 team that provides immediate assistance to local agencies within the region during major emergency events, and can serve as a bridge to the later arrival of State (Type 2) and Federal (Type 1) teams in very large disasters. "All hazards" incidents include terrorism, hazardous materials releases, earthquakes, floods, train derailments, plane crashes, search and rescue operations, weather-related incidents, volcanic activity, dam failures, wildland fires, and, occasionally, large planned community events.


Q: How will the NWIMT deploy?
A: The NWIMT, when authorized by the Board, can deploy quickly as either a full team or a partial team (called a "short" team) in order to assist a requesting jurisdiction during an emergency or planned event, or to fulfill a state mobilization request. Although the team generally functions as the "IMT of record" operating under a delegation of authority from the local jurisdiction, we are able to integrate into an existing ICS structure and staff only those positions requiring additional staff or other support. Finally, the NWIMT can also deploy a short team to mentor a local Type 4 IMT during incidents that may not require a Type 3 team, but for which the local jurisdiction would value and benefit from the perspective and guidance of seasoned incident management team members.


Q: How long will the team deploy?
A: Most deployments last about 72 hours. After that time, the team would expect to transfer incident management functions back to the local jurisdiction (in the case of a de-escalating event) or to a higher capability team (in the case of a longer term, escalating event). However, in large scale incidents, the NWIMT may be requested to serve for as long as 14 days.


Questions About Requesting NWIMT Services

Q: How do we request NWIMT Services?
A: After informing your responsible Emergency Management office of your intentions, call 911 and ask them to transfer you to the SNOCOM 911 Center, tell them you are requesting the NWIMT, and ask for them to page Snohomish County Fire District 1 Chief Brad Reading and Lynnwood Fire Assistant Chief Tod Gates.

Q: Do we have to pay for NWIMT services?
A: The short answer is "yes." The NWIMT is sustained through a subscriber agency model. Various jurisdictions throughout our home region pay an annual fee to the team, which allows those agencies to request team activation and deployment (subject to approval from the Board - which is typically a very quick process). These subscriber agencies can then utilize the team for up to 72 hours with no addition team personnel costs (i.e. wages). Any resources ordered by the team (under approval of the delegation of authority) as part of the response remain the financial responsibility of the requesting agency. After 72 hours, the team is available for an hourly rate.

Q: What are the rates to pay for NWIMT services?
A: We're currently updating our rates and will post this info soon.

Q: Who is responsible for providing insurance?
A: Team members are already covered by their agency insurance, and the team maintains an umbrella liability policy covering actions while on deployment.


Joining the NWIMT

Q: How does our agency proceed with becoming a member agency of NWIMT?
A: Agencies need to adopt and sign the NWIMT Interloal Agreement and pay the membership fee. Team and/or board members are available to provide informational presentations at your request.


Q: What are the costs to my agency if we have members participating on the team?
A: 
1. Personnel: salary/wages, benefits, insurance
2. Equipment: vehicle costs related to traveling to NWIMT events
3. Membership: Annual fee associated with Interlocal agreement. Depends on agency type and population served or annual budget
4. Travel costs: Potential for travel, lodging, and mail costs associated with attending training activities.


Q: What are the benefits to my agency for participating in NWIMT?

A: 
1. Creation of a trained and capable team to potentially support your jurisdiction during a major emergency operation. 
2. Training for your people in the best practices of emergency incident management. Skills and abilities gained through involvement on the team will improve the capabilities of your organization on a day-to-day basis. 
3. Improved sharing of resources and partnerships realized through regular networking with officials from other regional agencies.