Last night FEMA issued a NIMS Alert (13-19) announcing the release of some new and revised Emergency Operations Center (EOC) training courses. These include:
E/L/G 191 – Emergency Operations Center/Incident Command System Interface
IS 2200 – Basic Emergency Operations Center Functions
E/L/G 2300 – Intermediate Emergency Operations Center Functions
This is also including an updated G 402 NIMS Overview for Senior Officials.
FEMA is hosting a series of webinars on these courses next week. Information can be found at the bottom of this post.
First, a bit of background on the nomenclature, for those who might not be familiar.
- E-coded courses are those offered ‘in residence’ by FEMA, typically at the Emergency Management Institute (EMI)
- L-coded courses are those delivered by FEMA at various locations, typically at the request of state and local governments
- G-coded courses are those able to be delivered by state emergency management offices
- IS-coded courses are independent study courses available from training.fema.gov
Providing a bit of context to these courses. First, the E/L/G 191 course. This course has been in dire need of a re-write for a very long time. While FEMA/EMI certainly have a challenge of developing courses that are applicable to most jurisdictions, I’ve long found the 191 course to be inadequate for most. Interestingly enough, I found the content of the new IS 2200 course alone to be far superior to any previous content of the 191 course. That said, I’m interested in seeing what the redesign has brought for the 191 course, hopefully increasing the utility of this course to participants.
Speaking of the IS 2200 course, I just completed this course on EMI’s Independent Study website. Overall, I found the course to be solid, addressing all the foundational information needed by stakeholders to understand what an EOC is a does, in general terms, how it might be organized, and what it’s primary tasks are. The course has heavy reference to NIMS, as expected, and provides several hyperlinks to additional resources of relevant interest. While the course does reflect much of the EOC content from the updated NIMS document, the materials were thoughtfully organized with a fair amount of supplement and context, examples, and even small scenario-driven activities to support a better understanding of EOCS. As indicated previous, it has a fair amount of information on the concepts of the ICS/EOC interface, which I think are of significant value to people who are new to the world of EOCs. The course also stresses the value of emergency operations plans, something that had been missing from ICS courses for years prior to an earlier update.
There are some areas where I find the IS 2200 course to be lacking. First of all, there were some typos and grammatical errors in the product. While this might not seem like a big deal to some, quality counts. Similarly, many of the photos used in the course are recycled from many years back of training and are of poor quality and resolution. Granted, photos from EOCs are generally not exciting or sexy, but higher quality and updated hair styles do contribute to quality. The traditional Planning P was referenced quite a bit in the course, with the caveat that the EOC should develop its own planning cycle. I found this to be a bit lazy and would have liked to see some guidance on an EOC-oriented Planning P. Lastly, I would have liked to see some material on departmental EOCs (DOCs) as well as the interface between a dispatch/public safety answering point (PSAP) and a local EOC. Perhaps we will see this latter topic addressed in either the 191 course or the Intermediate EOC course.
E/L/G 2300 is the Intermediate EOC course. I’m very curious to learn more about this course when I sit in on one of next week’s webinars. The biggest challenge that FEMA has in this course, as I see it, is that there are several organizational models which can be used by EOCs, including the ICS-based model, the incident support model, the departmental model, and the emergency support function model. This variety, which I think is good to have to help jurisdictions and agencies manage in the way that is most comfortable for them, does create significant difficulty to teach how, in any significant detail, an EOC should function. While I would love for this course to dive into the EOC’s planning process and key in on roles and responsibilities of positions similar to the ICS 300 course, I think that detail might need to be reserved for a customized course, which I’ve built for various entities through my career. That said, I’ll be sure to report out following the webinars on my thoughts on the information we are provided.
Additional information is available on these offerings through a series of webinars hosted by FEMA. The dates and times of the webinars:
- May 28, 2019 at 11:00 am (EST)
- May 28, 2019 at 3:00 pm (EST)
- May 30, 2019 at 11:00 am (EST)
- May 30, 2019 at 3:00 pm (EST)
The webinars will be presented through their NIMS ICS Training Forum – Adobe Connect platform here:
The Adobe Connect platform is for displaying visuals and for chatroom only. Audio will be provided using the following conference call line and pin #:
- Conference Telephone #: 800-320-4330
- Pin #: 884976
© 2019 Timothy Riecker, CEDP