Skip to main content

ICS 300 and 400 Training

IEMA is working with ICS 300 and 400 instructors throughout the State in order to provide additional opportunities for jurisdictions to meet training requirements within the National Incident Management System (NIMS). This site is designed to highlight training availability to the emergency response community as well as to provide answers to commonly asked questions about ICS 300 and 400 training requirements.

ICS 300 and 400 Course Dates and Locations

Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA

NIPSTA is located in Glenview and offers ICS 300 and 400 classes regularly throughout Cook County in cooperation with the Cook County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management. Please visit the NIPSTA website for program details at for course dates and locations.

Illinois Fire Service Institute

IFSI is located in Champaign and offers ICS 300 and 400 classes with a minimum requirement of 17 students and a maximum of 40 for both classes. Please visit the IFSI website at for course dates and locations.

Additional Training Opportunities

Additional training opportunities will be posted to this website as they are made available. Please contact IEMA's ICS 300 and 400 training program manager at with any other training questions.

Frequently asked questions

1. Are there additional courses available that the State of Illinois accepts as equivalent to ICS 300 or 400?

There are no equivalent courses and the Command and General Staff is no longer an equivalent.

2. Are ICS position-specific courses offered in Illinois?

ICS position-specific courses are currently available through the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) and the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA). Please visit the IFSI website at for course dates and locations. The NIPSTA training calendar is available at

3. How does NIMS relate to local incident command?

A basic premise of NIMS is that all incidents begin and end locally. NIMS does not take command away from State and local authorities. NIMS simply provides the framework to enhance the ability of responders, including the private sector and NGOs, to work together more effectively. The Federal Government supports State and local authorities when their resources are overwhelmed or anticipated to be overwhelmed. Federal departments and agencies respect the sovereignty and responsibilities of local, tribal, and State governments while rendering assistance. The intention of the Federal Government in these situations is not to command the response, but rather to support the affected local, tribal, and/or State governments.

4. What is the role of Elected and Appointed Officials during an incident?

Elected and appointed officials are responsible for ensuring the public safety and welfare of the people of that jurisdiction. Specifically, these officials provide strategic guidance and resources during preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Elected or appointed officials must have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities for successful emergency management and response. At times, these roles may require providing direction and guidance to constituents during an incident, but their day-to-day activities do not focus on emergency management and response. Their awareness of NIMS is critical to ensuring cooperative response efforts and minimizing the incident impacts.

5. Why is ICS needed?

When an incident requires response from multiple local emergency management and response agencies, effective cross-jurisdictional coordination using common processes and systems is critical. The Incident Command System (ICS) provides a flexible, yet standardized core mechanism for coordinated and collaborative incident management, whether for incidents where additional resources are required or are provided from different organizations within a single jurisdiction or outside the jurisdiction, or for complex incidents with national implications.

6. What is ICS designed to do?

The ICS is a widely applicable management system designed to enable effective, efficient incident management by integrating a combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. ICS is a fundamental form of management established in a standard format, with the purpose of enabling incident managers to identify the key concerns associated with the incident-often under urgent conditions-without sacrificing attention to any component of the command system. It represents organizational "best practices" and, as an element of the Command and Management Component of NIMS, has become the standard for emergency management across the country. Designers of the system recognized early that ICS must be interdisciplinary and organizationally flexible to meet the following management challenges:

  • Meet the needs of incidents of any kind or size.
  • Allow personnel from a variety of agencies to meld rapidly into a common management structure.
  • Provide logistical and administrative support to operational staff.
  • Be cost effective by avoiding duplication of efforts.

ICS consists of procedures for controlling personnel, facilities, equipment, and communications. It is a system designed to be used or applied from the time an incident occurs until the requirement for management and operations no longer exists.

7. In order to meet NIMS compliance, does it matter which ICS curriculum is used (i.e. NIIMS, FIRESCOPE, NWCG)?

To be NIMS compliant, you need to use the Incident Command System (ICS) structure described in the current version of NIMS. The foundation for ICS principles embedded in NIMS is derived from the National Interagency Incident Management System (NIIMS), Firefighting Resources of California Organized for Potential Emergencies (FIRESCOPE), and National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).

8. Our 911 center, which receives and dispatches emergency and nonemergency calls, has told us that we may not use 10-codes at all. I gather we must use plain language when using NIMS ICS. Is that correct?

Yes. When engaged in a multiagency/multijurisdictional incident using ICS, plain language is required. The value of using 10-codes for simplicity and speed is lost when members of the response team are unaware of their meanings, as may occur in a multiagency/multijurisdiction response event. As 10-codes used in one jurisdiction or agency are not the same as those used in another, it is important that responders and incident managers use common terminology to prevent misunderstanding in an emergency situation. While plain language is not required for internal operations, it is encouraged over 10-codes to promote familiarity within operational procedures used in emergencies.

For more information on the incident command system please visit FEMA's web-site

Program Contact Information

Lisa Shelbourne
ICS Training Program Manager
2200 South Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62703
Fax: 217-558-0563