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Any thoughts on how to get a dept. to want to get better at ICS/NIMS I had to almost dragged my guys in to do NIMS training, and now they don't even want to use a unified style of command.

Just Wondering

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Hello Tom, I understand your situation. The NIMS training is essential so it has to be done. Unfortunately it's basic and sometimes firefighters believe they already know the material. My experience in real life and in the classroom is that we are very good at the small ICS structure with just a few resources. When the incident is large enough to require groups, divisions, or branches we tend to not do that as well because we lack the experience in building those organizations. I suggest that whenever you do ICS training incorporate scenarios in the training and let the participants work the incident from a command perspective building the entire organization. No judgments, no mistakes, just gaining experience. They will get better and better every time you do it. Also, use ICS every time you have a department or community event. Most of these are large enough that multiple parts of the system can be exercised and experienced. My email address is on my member page if you want to discuss this further. Thank you, John
Well coming from a volunteer stand point, it seems that with it soon going to be mandatory to have ICS training at different levels from the officer level on down to the individual firefighter that folks would be motivated to get this training. The material is "boring" and dry to say the least. We have had to almost force people to do it. We have offered them online at the station, and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to take the basics for firefighters. As far as getting folks excited, we have found that making the ICS system part of our training process and trying to implement something that not only will help us on scene, but will help ensure we get the funding that we need (FEMA Grants). We impliment the ICS system into mock excercises, and drills, even make it mandatory to have certain levels of training to assume command this is used to motivate people to get the training if they want to advance. As the 2010 deadline for compliance approaches, I hope it doesn't come to the point of having to give members an ultimatum get the training required or put your membership at risk.

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