NIMS/ICS Training

TrainingAccording to FY 2005 compliance guidelines, there is currently one requirement for training in NIMS. It is IS-700 'NIMS - An Introduction' and is designed as a self-study or independent study course. Additional compliance requirements include institutionalizing NIMS and ICS, which means there must be an understanding and training of ICS. Therefore, utilizing IS-700 as a foundation for training, additional ICS courses may be needed for personnel.

Training in ICS is determined in coordination with the Local Emergency Managers who are also responsible for certifying that their jurisdiction is NIMS Compliance. Not every employee needs training in ICS. Determining who needs what level of training can be easily accomplished by identifying the roles and responsibilities that will be required of an employee during an emergency. This may vary from their day to day roles and responsibilities. A training decision tree is provided on this site as a template for determining the levels of training.

Who needs it?

Determining who should be trained can be easily accomplished by briefing your department on the NIMS ICS initiatives, meeting with your local department directors and entering into a NIMS discussion, and collaborating with department training coordinators from the following core disciplines as defined by DHS.

  • Fire Service
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Management
  • Law Enforcement
  • Public Works
  • Government Administration
  • Public Safety Communications
  • Health Care
  • Public Health

Fire ServiceFire Service: Individuals who, on a full-time, part-time, or voluntary basis, provide life safety services including fire suppression, rescue, arson investigation, public education, and prevention. Includes:

Company Officers
Command level Officers
Fire Marshal's Office
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Teams
Technical Rescue Teams

EMSEmergency Medical Services: Individuals who, on a full-time, part-time, or voluntary basis, serve as first responders, EMTs (basic), and paramedics (advanced) on ground-based and aeromedical services to provide prehospital care. Includes:

  • First Responders
  • EMT (basic)
  • Paramedic (advanced)



CopsLaw Enforcement: Individuals who, on a full-time, part-time, or voluntary basis, work for agencies at the local, municipal, and state levels with responsibilities as law enforcement officers. Includes:

Patrol Officers
SWAT Teams
Bomb Technicians
Evidence Technicians
Supervisors, Shift Commanders and Chiefs


 Government AdministrationGovernmental Administration: Elected and appointed officials responsible for public administration of community health and welfare during an incident. Includes:

  • Mayors
  • Elected Officials
  • Executives
  • Chief Administrative Officers (City Managers and Supporting Staff)



Healthcare Industry Health Care: Individuals who provide clinical, forensic, and administrative skills in hospitals, physician offices, clinics and other facilities which offer medical care including surveillance (passive and active), diagnosis, laboratory evaluation, treatment, mental health support, epidemiology investigation, evidence collection, along with fatality management for humans and animals.

Facility management
Physician assistants
Nurse practitioners
Medical examiners/coroners
Environmental investigators
Medical Records 

HazMatHazardous Material (Hazmat) Personnel: Individuals who, on a full-time, part-time, or voluntary basis, identify, characterize, provide risk assessment, and mitigate/control the release of a hazardous substance or potentially hazardous substance. Includes:

  • Technicians
  • Specialists
  • Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS)
  • Environmental Quality Control
  • Private Companies and Contractors Supporting Hazardous Materials Activities  

Emergency Management Emergency Management: Organizations, both local and state, which are directed to coordinate the preparation, recognition, response, and recovery for WMD incidents. Includes:

State and Local Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs)
Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOADs)
Professional Associations (e.g., American Society of Civil Engineers, American Institute of Architects, etc.)
Human Service Agencies
Private Agencies Supporting EMA Activities

Public WorksPublic Works: Organizations and individuals that make up the public/private infrastructure for the construction and management of these roles within the federal level. The categories/roles include administration, technical, supervision, and craft (basic and advanced). Includes:

  • Environmental Services (Water Quality)
  • Solid Waste
  • Animal Services
  • Water Treatment
  • Public Buildings and Parks
  • Telecommunications, Electric Districts, and Digital Cable
  • Engineering and Equipment Services 

Public Safety Public Safety Communications: Individuals who, on a full-time, part-time, or voluntary basis, through technology, serve as a conduit and link persons reporting an incident to response personnel and emergency management, to identify an incident occurrence and help support the resolution of life safety, criminal, environmental, and facilities problems associated with the event. Includes:

Call Takers
Shift Supervisors
Medical Control Centers
Dispatchers (EMS, Police, and Fire


Public HealthPublic Health: individuals whose responsibilities include the prevention of epidemics and spread of disease, protection from environmental hazards, the promotion of healthy behavior, responding to disasters and assistance in recovery as well as assuring the quality and accessibility of health services.

  • Epidemiologists
  • Environmental engineers
  • Environmental scientists
  • Occupational safety and health specialists
  • Health educators
  • Public health policy analysts
  • Community social workers
  • Psychologists
  • Mental health providers
  • Counselors  

Training Options

In an effort to maximize your training outcomes, plan collaboratively. Train collectively with your Core Discipline Partners within your jurisdiction. Together decide which delivery method is best for you; On-line (EMI) or traditional classroom delivery(MFRI).

In the State of Maryland, the University of Maryland, Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI) can provide NIMS and ICS training for your jurisdiction. You may email them at Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI) Special Programs or by calling: 1-800-ASK-MFRI. Please be sure to work through your local emergency manager to ensure multi-discipline training efforts.

Some jurisdictions and agencies have their own training academies and/or departments (i.e. Montgomery County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, DHMH, MPCTC) that can provide training internally.

The Emergency Management Institute (A DHS/FEMA component) has developed a Web-based course that is entitled The National Incident Management System, an Introduction (IS-700). IS-700 is not ICS training. IS-700 is the first step in training that is needed. ICS training is the next step. They can be taught concurrently if needed. The course is available free of charge to U.S. residents via the FEMA training website. The course describes the purpose, principles, key components and benefits of NIMS. Also included in the course are on-line “Planning Activity” tools that help the user to measure how compliant his/her organization is with NIMS.

Additional training may also be obtained on-line through the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). EMI's IS-700 and IS-195 online courses will meets your largest training needs for personnel who are in need of Awareness level training.

Several institutions throughout the Nation are offering ICS training. These courses may be offered for a fee. Quality of the courses may vary.

Consider a variety of delivery modalities to meet your needs and keep your programs global. Utilize existing delivery systems. It may also be a good idea to triage training delivery (i.e., train-the-trainer). You may want to consider offering credits for training. Remember to include NIMS/ICS in your exercise and training plans.

Click here for a current schedule of all MEMA-Sponsored training programs.