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Credential and Responder ID Standards Council

It has long been recognized that all communities include many groups of people who require some form of credential verification and identification related to emergency preparedness, response or recovery actions. These groups include first responders, elected/government officials, pre-identified volunteers, support staff, local media, essential personnel for utilities & critical industries, public and private sector debris management teams, spontaneous volunteers, and sometimes residents, when the need for managed evacuation or reentry is required.


Although critical to catastrophic events, State and Federal response teams represent a fraction of the personnel involved in a response to, and recovery from, disasters and generally speaking, these State/Federal team members arrive well after the impact of the event and are often among the first to leave after initial stabilization. This reality makes having an effective local capability and process for vetting and identifying individuals critical to all communities. It is important in this process for local response groups to be able to maintain and verify up to date information about the critical skills and credentials provided by any individuals involved with emergency response and recovery operations.      

The credentialing and badge advisory council focuses, in part, on developing and maintaining a controlled set of standard responder credentials for local use, as well as effective processes for credential verification and uniform standardized badges that meet the requirements for mutual aid. Although local capability is critical and the main objective of the group, the objectives of the committee includes creating a solution that meets all needs and standards defined by local, regional, state and national entities.

RESPONDER IDs - Our committee believes that a standardized credentialing process and regional badge for responders should include:​

  • An easily readable responder name with an approved photo which has been verified by the agency issuing the badge using agreed-upon forms of state or national photo identification.
  • Agency Information indicating the agency or group the badge holder is representing during the incident as proof that the agency is a recognized part of the recognized mutual aid group.
  • Key qualifications that can be maintained by the individual and verified by the representing agency; or entered by their agency and periodically reviewed by the individual with options for third party authorization, as needed.
  • A recognized standard set of qualification icons (images) that are assigned to the badge according to the agreed upon set of rules and easily visible to incident managers during an emergency to simplify response.
  • The rank and title of the individual, standardized within each professional discipline. The major disciplines should be clearly differentiated on each badge so that it can be easily recognized at a distance, generally by color.
  • An issue date and expiration date that reflects a specified badge expiration date that does not extend beyond the expiration of any identified credential on the badge.
  • An easily readable responder name with an approved photo which has been verified by the agency issuing the badge using agreed-upon forms of state or national photo identification.
  • An easy to read code that enables authorized access via smart mobile device to real-time, up-to-date redundant database in a secure cloud environment that protects the privacy of the badge holder.
  • Based on the possible risk, it is also recognized that certain badges may also require a snapshot of key data be encrypted in a smart chip or mobile device to further validate the card holder.
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