National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-203, Introduction to Incident Information, 2008

S-203 Decorative banner. Group of photos depicting wildland firefighters performing various duties.

Course Overview Page ButtonCourse Delivery ButtonCourse Materials Button

Course Delivery Information

S-203 is available as instructor-led (classroom) training.

Expectations of Instructors

  • Prepare thoroughly. Study the course content you are going to teach.
  • Establish a collaborative and constructive classroom environment.
  • Communicate expectations.
  • Encourage student engagement.
  • Respect student diversity in backgrounds, talent, experience, and learning style.
  • Professionally represent your instructor cadre, your home unit, and your agency.

Course Guidance

Course coordinators and instructors should be thoroughly familiar with the NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1.  The NWCG Standards for Course Delivery establishes standards for all aspects of NWCG training course management and delivery. These standards should be used in conjunction with the NWCG Standards for Wildland Fire Position Qualifications, PMS 310-1, and the course-specific guidance stated in the NWCG Training Catalog.

See S-203 minimum instructor qualifications

Recommended Class Size

Recommended class size is 24 students.  Instructors should maintain a 6:1 ratio of students to instructors/coaches to facilitate exercises and discussion and to enable strong mentorship to the students. 

Student Materials

Each student must be provided the following:

The DVD “Dealing Successfully with the Media,” referenced in the Instructor Guide, has relevant content; however, it is outdated and has not been posted here.  It may be used if a copy is available.  Or refer to the list of alternative resources here:

Additional Materials Needed

These materials are needed above and beyond the usual items (pens, paper, flip charts, markers, etc.).

  • Video cameras, phones, or tape recorders to film and record audio and video interviews.
  • Tripod for cameras or phones.
  • Instructors should assemble the following from their own collections to use as examples:
    • Incident Information Kit
    • News Releases
    • Fact Sheets
    • Media Guidelines
    • Incident Action Plans
    • List of current useful websites
    • Educational videos (optional)
    • News clippings (optional)
    • News videos (optional)

Technical Considerations

All presentations should be downloaded and tested before the start of class to ensure compatibility with software.

PowerPoint presentations are built in an older version of Microsoft Office.  Some features may not work correctly with newer software or systems.  

For help, visit the Microsoft Office website or contact your local IT support personnel.

Course Evaluations

Use the NWCG Course Evaluation Feedback form to collect information critical to future training improvements.

Students and cadre members are asked to contribute course evaluations. Input is welcome on all aspects of the training course, including course content, pre-course work, reference materials, quality of instruction, delivery methods, and testing procedures.

Instructor Cadre Meetings

Conduct initial, pre-course, daily, and close-out instructor cadre meetings. These provide opportunities to plan, organize, preview materials, review training and exercises, and identify and address concerns and issues. Consider using an informal After Action Review process. Instructor cadre meetings are critical for instructors who do not have previous experience with the course.  Additional information is located in the NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1

2008 Version

The NWCG Risk and Complexity Assessment (RCA) will replace the NWCG Complexity Analysis and NWCG Organizational Needs Assessment beginning in January, 2014. The following table illustrates the changes to this course. 
Table of changes reflected in course S-203.

An analysis and review of the existing course materials by the NWCG Training Development Program and Subject Matter Experts has concluded that instructors should add a unit that addresses how to manage social media.
Examples of topics that could be discussed in this unit include:

  • Social Media Tools
  • Agency Policies Related to Social Media
  • Delivering Incident Information Using Social Media
  • How to Integrate with Existing Social Media Platforms
  • Monitoring Social Media for Incident Information That Others are Posting




Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 

Please Provide Feedback

NWCG values your constructive input and we thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.

Although contact information is optional, we hope that you provide a way for us to contact you in case we need clarification on your comment. If you would like to be contacted regarding your feedback, you must provide contact information. 

Due to recent hacking behavior, we are temporarily suspending our ability to upload documents.  If you need to attach additional information, please email the file to

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.