Citywide Incident Management System

Adopted in 2004 (and mandated by executive order one year later), the Citywide Incident Management System (CIMS) establishes roles and responsibilities and designates authority for City, state, other government entities, and nonprofit and private sector organizations performing and supporting emergency response.

The CIMS Protocol is New York City's implementation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS compliance is a requirement for future federal domestic preparedness funding for local governments. While CIMS has been developed to address New York City's unique incident management requirements, its full compliance with NIMS ensures compatibility with incident command systems in use in other states and federal agencies. CIMS is designed to be scalable, and facilitates the involvement of additional organizations such as private sector and nonprofit entities.

CIMS Key Components

  • Defines how citywide emergencies or multiple large-scale incidents will be managed
  • Defines agency roles and responsibilities at emergency incidents.
  • Establishes the NIMS Incident Command System (ICS) standard as NYC's incident management system.
  • Defines the ICS organizational structure.
  • Establishes means of integrating regional, state, and federal agencies into a NYC response
  • Describes the operational implementation of CIMS.
  • Defines how incident operations, including life safety, investigation, site management and recovery/restoration, are prioritized, and when they can be concurrently implemented.
  • Establishes a process for after-action review and critique of emergency responses and implementing lessons learned.
  • Defines ICS implementation and training requirements for NYC agencies participating in citywide response.

View the CIMS charts

Watch NYC Emergency Management's Citywide Incident Management System video below.