S420: Advancing to the Type 2 Level

A challenging and rare course in the Incident Command System curriculum, the S420 course (alternatively called ICS-420) is designed to prepare students to function effectively in a Type 2 Command or General Staff position and is typically only offered by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) or U.S. Coast Guard. With a large cadre of qualified NWCG S420 instructors, and our experience as the contract provider of the Coast Guard’s ICS-420 training, EMSI recently completed an update to our own S420 course and delivered it to Type 3 IMT members from the San Francisco Bay UASI Region and Colorado All-Hazard Incident Management Teams (AHIMT).

Looking to advance their qualifications from Type 3 to Type 2, students enrolled in this challenging class ready to put their previously acquired Type 3 training and experience to the test, with emphasis on team interactions in a Type 2 incident management environment.  Students drew upon decades of experience in the fire service, law enforcement, and all-hazards response disciplines.

Instructed and evaluated by experienced Type 1 ICS practitioners and nationally qualified S420 instructors, the course was designed to meet NWCG and California Incident Command Certification System (CICCS) S420 standards.  Specific course topics included:

  • ICS position functional relationships
  • Principles and behaviors of a successful Incident Management Team
  • Key components of effective decision making
  • Developing and using IMT Operating Procedures
  • Essential elements of transitions that an incident or event management team is likely to encounter

The course concluded with an exercise simulating the mobilization, management, and demobilization phases of a rapidly accelerating Type 2 incident with potential to become a Type 1 incident, during which time EMSI evaluators closely observed the students and provided coaching and feedback on their performance as a Type 2 IMT.

For Type 3 all-hazards incident management practitioners outside of the NWCG and U.S. Coast Guard system, there is no clear path to advancing qualifications beyond the Type 3 level.  Offerings like the EMSI S420 give Type 3 AHIMT practitioners this opportunity, helping advance the capabilities of our nation’s Type 3 AHIMT community.

EMSI is a global leader in the training and application of ICS. We provide advanced ICS position-specific and IMT training, leveraging our team of highly qualified and experienced Type 1 ICS practitioners. EMSI team members have responded to and managed some of the most complex incidents of the twenty first century, including wildland fire, natural disaster, oil and hazardous materials, law enforcement and security, and other all-hazards incidents and events. We leverage this real-world experience to provide superior training experiences for our clients.

EMSI plans to offer more S420 courses for the AHIMT community.  For more information on course scheduling, please contact EMSI at info@emsics.com.