Katy Fire and EMS Chaplain Robert Crutchfield has been tapped to be part of a task force charged with the development of a new facet of the National Incident Management System. The National Incident Management System, or NIMS, is a system used nationally to coordinate emergency preparedness and incident management among federal, state and local agencies. It is also a key component of FEMA’s National Response Plan to major disasters.
Crutchfield will be part of a nationwide group responsible for the development of a new “resource type” category of NIMS called “disaster general reservist.” Under NIMS, a resource type is a detailed, standardized description of a resource that can be deployed during an emergency. The disaster general reservist will be a new category of personnel, typically volunteers, that can be used in support roles such answering telephones, assisting with meal distribution and similar functions.
Among the issues the task force will be considering are training, qualifications, scope of duties and how the volunteers would be requested and assigned to disaster scenes. Crutchfield noted volunteers such as CERT team members have already proven invaluable during emergency situations, including in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. Likewise, they could serve in important support roles during other emergencies.
He also said he was looking forward to the task at hand. “This is my first opportunity to contribute to emergency management at a national level, and I am literally jumping at the chance,” Crutchfield said. “I appreciate my colleagues for allowing me to contribute at such a high level.”
Crutchfield said his role would be “very representative.”
“I won’t be relying on my own experiences and expertise on this one. I will be aggressively seeking input that I can forward to the other members of the group,” Crutchfield said. Among those he plans to ask for advice is Katy Fire and EMS Chief Marc Jordan, as well as Fort Bend County Emergency Management Director Jeff Braun.
In addition to his role as chaplain for the Katy Fire and EMS Department, Crutchfield is also the founder of Christ 4 Responders, an emotional and spiritual support network serving the needs of first responders.