Missing Piece of NIMS: Teaching Incident Commanders How to Function in the Edge of Chaos [open html - 122KB]
From the abstract: "The National Incident Management System (NIMS) has become a subject of controversy, as many practitioners find severe limitations with the system's field effectiveness. To label NIMS a complete failure and look for a different response tool would be rash and premature. A deeper exploration of NIMS shows that it is very useful in structuring response efforts for large-scale incidents, but only in later operational periods, when a certain amount of order has been restored. The NIMS failure point, however, is that it offers limited help to those first-arriving responders who must deal with the initial chaos inherent at the outset of every scene. This article explores the dynamics of the initial edge-of-chaos that characterizes the first phase of every large-scale incident and offers recommendations for additions to NIMS that will better prepare first-responding incident commanders to work their way through that chaos and later apply the NIMS process with purpose."
Homeland Security Affairs Journal: http://www.hsaj.org/hsa/
Homeland Security Affairs (June 2012), v.8, article 8