The National Incident Management System and Incident Command System: A Primer for Volunteers

Incident Command System
Online Course
1 hour
University of Minnesota
Simulations, Exercises and Effective Education PERLC

This training provides an initial orientation to NIMS and ICS for individuals who plan to volunteer during an emergency or disaster. The course is designed to help volunteers understand the standardized organizational structure and communication system they are likely to encounter while responding to a crisis. Volunteer organizations may require their volunteers to participate in additional training on these topics. This online orientation is intended to complement just in time training provided on site at the time of the emergency. Hopefully many volunteers viewing this course will be encouraged to learn more about the National Incident Management System and the Incident Command System and will take additional courses as well as take part in drills and exercises where these systems are practiced and used.

Learning Objectives: 
  • List the basic components of the National Incident Management System, or NIMS
  • Describe the Incident Command System, or ICS, and the concept of chain of command during an emergency event
  • Discuss the advantages of using a standard or common language when various organizations and groups respond to an emergency
  • Explain how the Job Action Sheets assist the volunteer to identify job title, supervisor and job responsibilities before, during and at the end of a volunteer shift
  • Describe the volunteer's role in communication with a supervisor, other responders, the media and the general public
  • Discuss the importance of having a personal preparedness plan in place prior to deployment
  • Identify potential roles for volunteers within the Incident Command System
PHEP Capabilities: 
Emergency Operations Coordination