Course Updates: ICS-320 and ICS-410

EMSI is pleased to announce that we have recently completed significant updates to two of our flagship courses: ICS-320 Intermediate Incident Management Team and ICS-410 Advanced Incident Commander.


The ICS-320 course has long been a staple of the EMSI training catalog.  The course traditionally focuses on the functions of Command, Command Staff, General Staff, and the Planning Section in the operational planning process and reviews functional responsibilities and contributions to the development of an Incident Action Plan.  In addition to maintaining this focus, the updated ICS-320 increases the emphasis on managing and supporting current operations while planning for future operations and developing an IAP.  Managing current operations is a theme throughout the course.  The course stresses the importance of quality inputs to the operational planning process and includes more time for the development of higher quality products and IAP inputs from the participants.  Additionally, the Command components of the course includes increased emphasis on Command’s role in the leading IMT.

Like all EMSI training, the ICS-320 is scenario-based and activity-centric with participants practicing learning points with an  exercise that runs the length of the course.  The updated ICS-320 is built to accommodate not only an EMSI provided scenario but also a client provided scenario, making it easier for clients to incorporate one of their own training scenarios.

The course has also been updated to increase the amount of activities and exercises for participants and increase participant interactions.  There is now an increased emphasis on response tools, such as position-specific job aids, that we find participants take with them when they respond.  The first delivery of the new course took place the first week of June and we received positive feedback on the new format.


The ICS-410 course is another long-time EMSI training course and has been updated to better compliment the ICS-310 Intermediate Incident Commander course.  While the ICS-310 is geared towards Type 3 level incidents, the ICS-410 is focused on more complex incident management challenges of the Type 2 variety and beyond.  The ICS-410 builds upon the intermediate concepts taught in ICS-310.  Not only does it assume that participants have baseline level of knowledge of the position and mastery of intermediate level concepts, but also assumes that since the completion of ICS-310 training the participants have had the opportunity to function in the Incident Commander position and can bring that experience to the course.

The new ICS-410 covers topics such as:

  • The role of Command in general management, incident leadership, and decision-making
  • Coordination with external entities such as agency executives and EOCs
  • Working under an Area Command
  • Managing external influences and working with elected officials
  • Implementing complex and major incident management concepts
  • Conducting strategic planning

The course introduces the concept of a “General Plan”, a project planning tool that identifies major incident phases along with tasks, resource requirements, and potential milestone or timelines associated with each phase.  The course also has an interchangeable module that emphasizes legal requirements and authorities associated with various response statutes.  For clients in the oil and gas industry, this examines response under the National Contingency Plan (NCP) and the roles of the Federal On-Scene Coordination (FOSC), State On-Scene Coordinator (SOSC), and Responsible Party (RP).  For clients in the all-hazards community, this examines response under the Stafford Act and National Response Framework (NRF), along with emergency declarations, home-rule, and the role of the Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO).

Since participants are preparing to function at the Type 2 Incident Commander level, they are held to a higher standard when it comes to developing command direction such as leader’s intent, priorities, objectives, and key decisions.  Participants will be expected to develop thoughtful and mindful objectives and provide clear command direction.  With these updates the new ICS-410 truly is an advanced course.
The ICS-320 and ICS-410 are both available for delivery this summer in their updated formats.  Contact EMSI to learn more about these courses and schedule them for your organization.