Last week, Marymount University became an official member of the National Intercollegiate Mutual Aid Agreement (NIMAA). Originating in 2015, NIMAA now consists of more than 100 signatory institutions across the nation. The partnership allows Marymount to utilize resources and knowledge available from other member colleges and universities in the region, such as Georgetown University and George Washington University, as well as other institutions nationally in the event of a natural disaster, civil emergency or in preparedness for other emergencies.
In these uncertain times, it is critically important for all higher education institutions to be closely linked and well prepared for the unknown, said Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University. Joining NIMAA and teaming up with other schools to better respond to crises is a proactive step that I am glad we have taken here at Marymount.
According to the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM), the majority of colleges and universities do not typically have the manpower and resources available to respond effectively to large-scale emergencies without outside support. Additionally, many other mutual aid systems dont allow for participation by both public and private institutions, or have other limitations based on location. NIMAA, however, is open to any college or university that is willing to join, and is designed to cross all boundaries and link institutions regardless of type, size or location.
Members of NIMAA are eligible to receive outreach and training opportunities through the Agreement, in addition to drills and exercises for campus emergency management teams. Past emergencies that inspired the creation of NIMAA include destructive hurricanes such as Irma, Florence and Michael, attacks like the Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007 and meningitis outbreaks between 2013 and 2017.
Today, NIMAA members are teaming up to help each other during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Mary Eileen Paradis, Assistant Vice President for Campus Safety and Security at Marymount, praised these efforts as an example of how the University can be ready for unexpected events and emergencies in the future.
I recently monitored our new NIMMA partners at the University of Rochester Medical Center as they shipped 500 vials of COVID-19 medication to our partners at the University of Miami Hospital, Paradis said. Im energized by the collaboration between these institutions and their relationships with local health departments in New York and Florida to be able to accomplish this mission in just a few days.