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Behavioral Health Chaplaincy Specialist
11/14/2019 10:08:50 AM
Resource Category
Medical and Public Health
Primary Core Capability
Public Health, Healthcare, and Emergency Medical Services
Secondary Core Capability
Resource Kind
Overall Function
The Behavioral Health Chaplaincy Specialist provides spiritual and emotional support to staff, emergency responders, and the public during times of stress
Single resource
In conjunction with a NIMS typed team
NIMS Typed Team
Behavioral Health Community Services Team
In conjunction with a NIMS typed unit
NIMS Typed Unit
Description Notes
Not Specified
Supporting Core Capabilities
Type Description
Type 1The Behavioral Health Chaplaincy Specialist: 1. Coordinates information and liaises on family support service options with other appropriate agencies 2. Meets with families and individuals who experience emotional or spiritual difficulties during disasters and emergency incidents 3. Offers guidance to staff, emergency personnel, and the public during times of stress 4. Works to coordinate activities and events for after-work hours for responders to ease the stresses of long work cycles 5. Advocates for periods of respite and self-care, for responders and behavioral health caregivers, to ease the stresses of long work cycles 6. Provides discretion and confidentiality of all verbal and written documentation concerning the deceased, next-of-kin (NOK), and family members 7. Provides referral to other specialized resources, including behavioral health 8. Delivers or accompanies law enforcement during death notifications 9. Coordinates the inclusion of diverse cultural and religious values and traditions, as indicated by the spiritual and emotional needs of the impacted population
Component Notes  
EducationNot Specified
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Completion of a Master’s degree in theology, mental health, substance abuse counseling, or equivalent from an accredited college or university
TrainingNot Specified
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Completion of the following: 1. IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS-100 2. IS-200: Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response, ICS-200 3. IS-368: Including People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in Disaster Operations 4. IS-505: Religious and Cultural Literacy and Competency in Disaster 5. IS-700: National Incident Management System, An Introduction 6. IS-800: National Response Framework, An Introduction 7. Psychological First Aid (PFA) Training (minimum four hours)
ExperienceNot Specified
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 1Two years of experience as a cleric or chaplain that is compatible and relevant to the settings of disaster chaplaincy
Physical/Medical Fitness1. PPE is mission-specific and may vary by working environment, including protective footwear, protective clothing for skin exposures, eye and hearing protection, respirators, gloves, and masks. 2. NIMS Guideline for the National Qualification System (NQS) defines Physical/Medical Fitness levels for NIMS positions.
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 11. Moderate 2. Is able to work while wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) during shift 3. Maintains immunizations in accordance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended adult immunization schedule for the United States of America
CurrencyProvider must carry out and use any background checks as applicable law specifies. This may include a background check completed within past 12 months, sex offender registry check, and a local, state, and national criminal history.
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 11. Functions in this position during an operational incident, planned event, exercise, drill, or simulation at least once every five years 2. Ongoing, active participation with an established health care related providing entity such as a hospital, health system, agency, service, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), or private practice providing crisis intervention or disaster behavioral health expertise 3. Immunizations up-to-date commensurate with mission assignment 4. Background checks as applicable law permits or requires
Professional and Technical Licenses and CertificationsNot Specified
Component Types
Type Criteria
Type 11. Professional certification in Mental Health or Substance Abuse Counseling, or ordination, commission, or certification from a recognized religious body 2. Current certification, licensure, ordination, or commission as Behavioral Health/ Chaplaincy Specialist
Composition and Ordering Specifications
Discuss logistics for deploying this position, such as working conditions, length of deployment, security, lodging, transportation, and meals, prior to deployment
FEMA, NIMS 508: Behavioral Health Community Services Team
FEMA, National Incident Management System (NIMS), October 2017
FEMA, NIMS Guideline for the National Qualification System, November 2017
FEMA, National Response Framework, June 2016
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Immunization Recommendations for Disaster Responders
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, Disaster Spiritual Care Guidelines, 2014