Although most emergency situations are handled locally when a major incident occurs help may be needed from other departments, jurisdictions or even the state and the federal governments. Major emergency situations may involve emergency responders and support agencies from distant jurisdictions. NIMS was developed so responders from different jurisdictions and disciplines can work together better when responding to natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other emergencies using common terminology and training. These courses are called ICS or Incident Command System courses and are reflected as ICS courses. 

This system benefits all departments, agencies and organizations, large or small, in responding to emergencies. NIMS benefits include common training and standards nation-wide; a unified approach to incident management; standard command and management structures; and emphasis on the critical issues of preparedness, mutual aid and resource management. NIMS Courses Currently, there are six courses that are required in order for an individual or organization to be considered NIMS compliant through FY 2007.

What courses do you need to take? To determine what level of training an individual needs according to their level of responsibility during a multi-jurisdiction, multi-agency, multi-discipline incident, click here:

Where do I take the ICS clases? All required NIMS courses are available online at except for ICS 300/400. The ICS 300/400 must be taken in a classroom setting and are offered periodically around the area.