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  • Incident Command System

    hey everyone. the othe day ay my volunteer department meeting someone said that they heard that there was a new rule about to be passed where all volunteer firefighters would have to be certified in Incident Command. i dont know how other departments work, but basicly where i am from, whoever is first on scene is the incident commander untill someone who is more qualified shows up on scene. so that means every firefighter on the department may be required to perform the tasks of incident commander at on time or another. they recommended going online to FEMA and taking "ICS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System." I did this, but i was wondering is anyone else has heard that is going to be required for all volunteer firefighters? thanks everyone, stay safe
    2009 Warren County Firefighter of the Year

  • #2
    Why not require certification?
    Around here drivers or our line officers (captains, lieutenants, assistant chief and chief) are who can call command on a scene. If a firefighter shows up and he can barely tell you what should be done on a scene they have no business trying to run one.
    I would suggest NIMS 100, 200, 700 and 800 for firefighters I believe that is what FEMA is making as the standard this week while adding 300 and 400 to all line officers.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know about "all" volunteers...but my county, at least, requires all new volunteers to take and pass I-100 and I-700 before they graduate the fire academy. My particular department requires I-200 and I-800 be taken (and passed) if you wish to be considered for a Lt.s position (among other requirements).

      Might be a state to state thing, to answer your question.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KevinFFVFD
        . . . i was wondering is anyone else has heard that is going to be required for all volunteer firefighters?
        The rule covers volunteer, part-time, and full time fire fighters. It also includes police, public works, government admiistration (mayors and department heads), school administration, and anyone else who may have to respond to a fire or other disaster.

        Do you have an animal control officer (AKA dog catcher). If they respond to an emergency, they also have to have training in incident command, minimum IS-700 and ICS-100. All responders who have supervisory responsibilites must have ICS-200.

        ICS-300 and ICS-400 is for people who are part of the ICS general staff, i.e. incident commander, operations, logisitics, etc. It is also needed for people running the local or county emergency operations center.
        -------------------
        "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
        -----------------------------------------------
        Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

        Comment


        • #5
          All Responders

          This is a presidential directive. All personnel that respond to an incident must have 100,200,700 and 800. I was told by a FEMA rep that if not completed by mid 2007 That if your Dept did not have 75% of responders passed the above course's they would not be eligible for Federal funds and grants.

          www.training.fema.gov/emiweb/is
          Just click on the course wanted and you can download and take exams on line and get e-mail conformation and a paper certificate of completion.
          sigpic
          K Dugas
          Duson Vol.Fire Dept.
          FF1 Haz Mat OP's

          Comment


          • #6
            wow. i did not know that about the federal grant thing. i think i am only one of 5 or so people in my department that has I-100. i am currently working on the others. i will pass this information onto the other members of my department. thanks everyone.
            2009 Warren County Firefighter of the Year

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            • #7
              Hehe,When I first got it the course was Fire command,then fire command system,then incident command system,then national command system,then national incident management system.In my opinion FF's ARE NOT the weak link in the system and if they carry ANY of the above certs they should be covered(I know this isn't the reality).The weak link(at least in our area)are all the other agencies particularly LE.I'm from the Gov and I'm here to help you.Puuuleeze.They keep going they will mandate the smaller fire companies/depts out of existance.When I see the GOVERNMENT operating with a complete command structure,CORRECTLY,I would be a lot more inclined to "buy" into their wishes.Until then it's just another unfunded mandate. T.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have to agree, the fire departments are not the weak link in this ICS training chain.

                In our community, we end up being the driving force in implementation. We work so closely with the Feds on wildland fires that ICS has been part of our processes for years. Almost 15 years ago, our mutual aid association agreed to use ICS on incidents.

                This weekend was a good example of it in use in our community. We had a fire in an 8000 square foot church. The attic was 100% involved when the first arriving units got on scene. After making sure no one was inside defensive operations were put in place.

                The Chief took IC, started calling in mutual aid requests. We ended up before it was all said and done with 60 fire fighters from 6 different agencies. He immediately assigned our senior captain as Ops Section Chief, Divisions were laid out, Safety Officer was appointed. As the mutual aid companies arrived they were sent to the Division Sup's for assignment. After 4 agencies were on scene, my Chief had all on-scene company and chief officers, no matter what agency, come to the command post for a briefing. New Division Sups were assigned, Safety was introduced and the Action Plan was laid out. At the meeting, it was apparent that this was going to be a long operation and some logistic arrangements would need to be made, so I was relieved of my engineering duties and assigned to be the Logistics Section Chief.

                Medical Units, Rehab, and the fire auxilary people were put under my direction.

                The county opened the emergency operations center. I interfaced with them to get meals arranged, to get Public works to bring sand to the scene, arranged rotation of the ambulance crew at shift change etc.

                It's taken a long time. Our ICS implementation doesn't always include this level of complexity, but it does work. This was the first incident where the County actually open the EOC and we interfaced with them. People outside the fire department are starting to recognize the value and getting the big picture.

                We still have a problem with LE most times, they don't like reporting to who we telll them to report to. But we are working on it. The police chief understands the purpose better than the Sheriff does.

                Comment


                • #9
                  thats awesome kd7fds. the ICS can be used on any incident, no matter how small or how large. where i am, the most we have ever used the ICS was was an incident commander, safety officer, and someone in charge of rehab. thats just our structure fire operations. the problem here is that i am a member of one of 6 volunteer departments in my county. we have about 30 members, and one department only has 5 members. so 75% of each department has to get the cert???? plus, not all of the volunteers have internet access, or for that fact even know how to use a computer (usually the older ones). so for that one reason many of the firefighters here prolly wont get this cert. i understand the importance of this system. it was used when i and other members of my department responded to help with hurricane katrina.
                  i am in the process of earning a cert in "Fire and Emergency Service Instructor" from the Mississppi Fire Academy. when i get this, would i be allowed to just teach this cert to the firefighters??? or is online the only way?
                  2009 Warren County Firefighter of the Year

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    i am in the process of earning a cert in "Fire and Emergency Service Instructor" from the Mississppi Fire Academy. when i get this, would i be allowed to just teach this cert to the firefighters??? or is online the only way?
                    The online program has a link to Instructor Materials and student guides. A few of my people are computer phobic, so we scheduled an I-100 class. I taught it and they took the tests. We submitted the tests online and they got their certificates. It was a pain for the person who had to type all the answers from their tests in, but it worked.

                    We are planning on doing a similiar thing for I-200 and I-800.

                    The only thing was to make sure the person who enters the results doesn't try to help people by fixing their mistakes. We didn't do that, but I could see that happening.



                    I live in Idaho, so I don't know if Idaho is being funny about the instructor qualifications for these courses or not, but they are using DHS and NWCG approved courses. To be an instructor for I-100, I have to complete I-100 through I-400 and then take the train-the-trainer course for the whole series.

                    The good thing is that then I am a certified instructor for 100-400 level ICS. The bad I have to find the time to complete I-100 - I-400.

                    So far, I have only completed up through I-300. Can't find an I-400 with a weekend schedule. 300 and 400 are class-room based only.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kd7fds View Post
                      The online program has a link to Instructor Materials and student guides. A few of my people are computer phobic, so we scheduled an I-100 class. I taught it and they took the tests. We submitted the tests online and they got their certificates. It was a pain for the person who had to type all the answers from their tests in, but it worked.

                      We are planning on doing a similiar thing for I-200 and I-800.

                      The only thing was to make sure the person who enters the results doesn't try to help people by fixing their mistakes. We didn't do that, but I could see that happening.



                      I live in Idaho, so I don't know if Idaho is being funny about the instructor qualifications for these courses or not, but they are using DHS and NWCG approved courses. To be an instructor for I-100, I have to complete I-100 through I-400 and then take the train-the-trainer course for the whole series.

                      The good thing is that then I am a certified instructor for 100-400 level ICS. The bad I have to find the time to complete I-100 - I-400.

                      So far, I have only completed up through I-300. Can't find an I-400 with a weekend schedule. 300 and 400 are class-room based only.
                      I felt I needed to clarify something about the instructor quals. The classes I have taught now, we know are not "certified" courses. They are done in-house and we are using the DHS system to demonstrate level of proficiency. Basically, we are challenging the tests. We were told if the person can legitimately pass the 100 or 200 level tests without doing the online training, the certificate meets the NIMS requirements.

                      By becoming a certified instructor, the State will pay for my time and provide the course materials to teach classroom based ICS classes. These classes don't have to be people from my jurisdiction either. They can be people from any agency or walk of life. The people in the class still have to take and pass the exam with the course, but the State handles all the paperwork and submitting of my tests. As a certified instructor, I can teach I-300 and I-400 as well. With no certification, I can't get the instructor materials.

                      Uncertified, I teach in-house training to my own department and we are responsible for paying for our own training materials.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
                        hey everyone. the othe day ay my volunteer department meeting someone said that they heard that there was a new rule about to be passed where all volunteer firefighters would have to be certified in Incident Command. i dont know how other departments work, but basicly where i am from, whoever is first on scene is the incident commander untill someone who is more qualified shows up on scene. so that means every firefighter on the department may be required to perform the tasks of incident commander at on time or another. they recommended going online to FEMA and taking "ICS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System." I did this, but i was wondering is anyone else has heard that is going to be required for all volunteer firefighters? thanks everyone, stay safe
                        You should get in touch with the National Volunteer Firefighters Association.
                        I'm sure they'd be able to help answer your questions.

                        Career firefighters are taking NIMS. We've had it threw NIMS 800, not sure if there are any more in the pipe line.

                        I believe LA CA were the first to develope ICS in the current fashion used today. Lot of material out there on it. Not sure how applicable much of it would be for a very small department. You defenitely need a command structure and everyone needs to be on the same sheet of music. It also wouldn't hurt to contact your local National Emergency Management Center and prepare for coordination in the event of a larger event.

                        Good Luck!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
                          so 75% of each department has to get the cert???? plus, not all of the volunteers have internet access, or for that fact even know how to use a computer (usually the older ones). so for that one reason many of the firefighters here prolly wont get this cert.
                          We had the same problem however we contacted a elementary school in our district and used their computer lab we also were told that our local community college was open as long as we called a day in advance to reserve their computer labs. If you insist on a class room course i've seen at least a few weekend fire schools who are offering 700,100 and 200 over the three days.

                          As far as members being computer phobic we paird some of our older ones with the younger members and they helped them with any questions that they had.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Firefighter2230 View Post
                            If you insist on a class room course i've seen at least a few weekend fire schools who are offering 700,100 and 200 over the three days.
                            We have one fire school here offering 700, 100, and 200 in one day during thier Fire Fighter I class. It is easy to do once you remove the redundant material.
                            -------------------
                            "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
                            -----------------------------------------------
                            Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KenNFD1219 View Post
                              We have one fire school here offering 700, 100, and 200 in one day during thier Fire Fighter I class. It is easy to do once you remove the redundant material.
                              Can you put me in contact with that school or somehow get me a copy of this portion of their program?

                              We are currently integrating 100 & 700 into our FF-I program but they are being taught as stand alone "modules" right now so that currently certified personnel can also attend and get credit for the module(s) they need.

                              In the future once all current personnel are certified, it would be nice to trim down the amount of class time spent on these topics by trimming the redundant stuff - but why reinvent the wheel?
                              Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
                              Stephen
                              FF/Paramedic
                              Instructor

                              Comment

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