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Introduction to the Incident Command System

Course Overview

ICS 100, Introduction to the Incident Command System, introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. This course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The Emergency Management Institute developed its ICS courses collaboratively with:


National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG)

U.S. Department of Agriculture

United States Fire Administration’s National Fire Programs Branch

Course Objectives:

At the completion of this course, you should be able to:

Explain the principles and basic structure of the Incident Command System (ICS).

Describe the NIMS management characteristics that are the foundation of the ICS.

Describe the ICS functional areas and the roles of the Incident Commander and Command Staff.

Describe the General Staff roles within ICS.

Identify how NIMS management characteristics apply to ICS for a variety of roles and discipline areas.


Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response

Course Overview

IS200, Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response, reviews the Incident Command System (ICS), provides the context for ICS within initial response, and supports higher level ICS training. This course provides training on, and resources for, personnel who are likely to assume a supervisory position within ICS. 

Note: IS-200.c is an updated version of the IS-200 course. If you have successfully completed IS-200.b or IS-200.a, you may want to review the new version of the course. For credentialing purposes, the courses are equivalent.

NIMS Compliance

This course is NIMS compliant and meets the NIMS Baseline Training requirements for IS-200.


Course Objectives:

At the completion of this course, you should be able to: Describe the course objectives and summarize basic information about the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS):

Describe how the NIMS Management Characteristics relate to Incident Command and Unified Command.

Describe the delegation of authority process, implementing authorities, management by objectives, and preparedness plans and objectives.

Identify ICS organizational components, the Command Staff, the General Staff, and ICS tools.

Describe different types of briefings and meetings.

Explain flexibility within the standard ICS organizational structure.

Explain transfer of command briefings and procedures.

Use ICS to manage an incident or event.


An Introduction to the National Incident Management System

Course Overview

This course provides an overview of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The National Incident Management System defines the comprehensive approach guiding the whole community - all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), and the private sector - to work together seamlessly to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the effects of incidents. The course provides learners with a basic understanding of NIMS concepts, principles, and components.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe and identify the key concepts, principles, scope, and applicability underlying NIMS.

  • Describe activities and methods for managing resources.

  • Describe the NIMS Management Characteristics.

  • Identify and describe Incident Command System (ICS) organizational structures.

  • Explain Emergency Operations Center (EOC) functions, common models for staff organization, and activation levels.

  • Explain the interconnectivity within the NIMS Management and Coordination structures: ICS, EOC, Joint Information System (JIS), and Multiagency Coordination Groups (MAC Groups).

  • Identify and describe the characteristics of communications and information systems, effective communication, incident information, and communication standards and formats.


National Response Framework, An Introduction

The goal of the IS-0800.d, National Response Framework, An Introduction, is to provide guidance for the whole community. Within this broad audience, the National Response Framework focuses especially on those who are involved in delivering and applying the response core capabilities, including:

  • Private sector partners

  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

  • Government officials

  • Community leaders

  • Emergency management practitioners

  • First responders

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the purpose, scope, organization, and underlying doctrine of the National Response Framework.

  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of response partners.

  • Describe core capabilities for response and actions required to deliver those capabilities.

  • Describe coordinating structures and operational planning used to support emergency response.

  • Describe how the stabilization of the seven Community Lifelines reduces threats to public health and safety, or economic security.


CERT Training from Ready.Gov



Offered Training

Varies year to year - Monthly

CPR (fee required)

CPR Renewal (fee required)

Stop the Bleed

Flood Aware (National Weather Service)

Swift Water Awareness  Training (classroom only)