President’s Letter: Seconds Matter

Seconds matter in an emergency!

That is why it is crucial for incident commanders and first responders to have immediate access to the closest, most appropriate resources for hazard mitigation. We typically achieve this through the timely identification and deployment of regional, state and federal mutual-aid plans.

The new IAFC National Mutual Aid System (NMAS) is a sensational technology solution built specifically to quickly answer the needs of first responders.

NMAS technology boosts mutual aid to the next level. NMAS targets and identifies critical resources very quickly. It contacts resource owners, routes and tracks assets and even uses the resources as data collectors to provide real-time information to decision-makers.

NMAS is an all-hazard, scalable system that can be used during response to major disasters or even routine incidents. Operators can draw on this cutting-edge technology to request resources. It geospatially locates, strategically deploys and tracks vital response assets. NMAS addresses and builds on the basic tenets of incident and emergency management.

The IAFC has consistently provided support for state, county and local fire departments and EMS communities that manage disaster response and recovery. The new NMAS is the perfect example of this. It is an evolution of the Mutual Aid Net. This vital system serves state and local governments throughout the United States.

The IAFC worked with two companies, Juvare and Esri, to build NMAS in the fall of 2017. We used pivotal input from stakeholders about the specific features that mutual-aid systems should employ to best serve the customers in our communities. It is a technologically enhanced and integrated system that uses the latest technology to effortlessly assist first responders in accomplishing mitigation.

NMAS can be accessed through WebEOC and the ArcGIS Extension for WebEOC. These provide access to and integration with Esri’s powerful online tools and dashboards. This integration provides the superior data availability of WebEOC information within ArcGIS online applications. It does not require any development, middleware or technical expertise. We made it easy.

I urge all fire departments to learn more about the new NMAS. For more information, visit or contact the NMAS staff at

Fire Chief Dan Eggleston
President and Chairman of the Board


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