Independent Study IS-200.C: Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response

In the realm of emergency management, the Incident Command System (ICS) holds significant importance for effective response and coordination. The Independent Study IS-200.C: Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response course, offered by the FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI), is a cornerstone in developing a strong understanding of ICS principles. In this article, we will delve into the course overview, its collaboration with key institutions, NIMS compliance, course objectives, primary audience, and prerequisites, highlighting its relevance in emergency planning, response, and recovery efforts.

IS 200C Course Overview

The IS-200.C course, also known as Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response (IS200), provides a comprehensive review of the Incident Command System. It contextualizes the ICS within initial response scenarios and supports higher-level ICS training. The course equips participants with the necessary resources and training to assume supervisory positions within ICS, empowering them to effectively handle emergency situations.

 Collaborative Development

The Emergency Management Institute developed its ICS courses in collaboration with esteemed institutions and organizations, including:

- National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- United States Fire Administration's National Fire Programs Branch

This collaborative approach ensures that the IS-200.C course incorporates a wealth of expertise and best practices from various stakeholders in emergency management.

 Course Updates and Equivalency

It is worth noting that IS-200.C is an updated version of the previous IS-200 course. If you have successfully completed either IS-200.b or IS-200.a, it is highly recommended to review the new version of the course. The updated course ensures that participants stay current with the latest developments and advancements in ICS. Importantly, for credentialing purposes, IS-200.C is considered equivalent to the previous versions.

 NIMS Compliance and Course Objectives

NIMS compliance is a critical aspect of emergency management training. The IS-200.C course aligns with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Baseline Training requirements for IS-200, ensuring that participants receive training that meets the highest standards.

Upon completion of the IS-200.C course, participants will achieve the following objectives:

1. Describe the course objectives and provide a summary of basic information about the Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS).
2. Explain the relationship between NIMS Management Characteristics and Incident Command and Unified Command.
3. Describe the delegation of authority process, including implementing authorities, management by objectives, and preparedness plans and objectives.
4. Identify the organizational components of ICS, such as the Command Staff, General Staff, and various ICS tools.
5. Explain the different types of briefings and meetings conducted within the ICS framework.
6. Highlight the flexibility inherent in the standard ICS organizational structure.
7. Elucidate the transfer of command briefings and associated procedures.
8. Apply ICS principles to effectively manage incidents or events.

 Primary Audience and Prerequisites

The IS-200.C course primarily targets response personnel operating at the supervisory level who are actively involved in emergency planning, response, or recovery efforts. By participating in this course, individuals can enhance their skills and knowledge, preparing them to handle critical responsibilities during emergency situations.

To enroll in IS-200.C, completion of IS-100.c, An Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS 100), is required. This prerequisite ensures a solid foundation in ICS fundamentals and sets the stage for a comprehensive understanding of the concepts covered in IS-200.C.


The Independent Study IS-200.C: Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response course provides an indispensable educational experience for response personnel seeking to assume supervisory positions within the Incident Command System. By completing this course, individuals gain a comprehensive understanding of ICS principles, NIMS compliance, and the ability to effectively manage incidents or events. With the ever-present need for efficient emergency response, investing in professional development through the IS-200.C course is a worthwhile endeavor. Stay prepared, stay competent, and contribute to the safety and well-being of communities in times of crisis.

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