S-341, GIS Specialist for Incident Management, 2019

S-341 Decorative banner: Three photos of wildland fire Geographic Information Specialists (GIS). A GIS sitting at a computer with multiple radios. Inset photo of multiple hands pointing to and writing on a map. Inset photo of four firefighters reviewing maps spread out on a table on an incident.

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S-341, GIS Specialist for Incident Management does not teach ArcGIS (ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro) functionality or concepts. As GIS professionals, students must have expertise using ArcGIS technology and should come to the class already proficient at managing/editing geospatial data (geodatabases), spatial analysis, and map production using ArcGIS software. The Geographic Information System Specialist (GISS) knowledge, skills, and abilities taught in the prerequisite training courses will not be reviewed in depth. Nominees should note that there is a significant time investment required to complete course prerequisites.

S-341 classroom training consists entirely of hands-on, scenario-based (incident operational periods) graded exercises. This simulated fire assignment will involve working independently and with other students to edit data and create map products in a timed environment. The S-341 course goal is to prepare a GISS Trainee (GISS-T) for a training assignment(s), with the expectation of full GISS qualification.


Upon completing the course, students will have the knowledge and skills to respond to wildland fire and all-hazard incidents and perform the duties of a GISS-T. This includes:

  • Edit and manage incident data in the standard Event Geodatabase and National Incident Feature Service (NIFS), following the NWCG GISS Workflow standard.
  • Create incident maps following current NWCG GIS Standard Operating Procedures on Incidents (GSTOP), PMS 936, within established timeframes.
  • Save, document, share, and archive incident data and products according to current NWCG GSTOP, PMS 936.
  • Demonstrate skills that establish and maintain a positive team climate.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and decision-making skills by contributing to team tasks.

Target Group

  • GIS specialists, GIS technicians, cartographers, and other GIS users with advanced GIS skills (spatial data construction, editing, analysis, and map production) working in a Land or Resource Management environment who are interested in utilizing skills for wildland fire or all-hazard incident management.
  • Advanced knowledge of and proficiency using ArcGIS ArcMap (10.x) and at least intermediate knowledge of and experience using ArcGIS Pro. 
  • Available for GISS-T assignment within the following year.  Availability includes supervisory approval and a personal commitment to support at least one incident

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

Session Offerings

Nationally advertised course sessions can now be found on the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP), https://wildlandfirelearningportal.net/.  Log on as a guest to search for session offerings of this course and to view other public content.  To search for a specific course, use the "Find Learning" menu item at the top of the page, then select "Upcoming Courses.”  To view Geographic Area training schedules, select the specific "Geographic Area" information using the drop-down menu at the top of the page.  Contact your local training officer for more information about local course sessions.


S-341 is instructor-led training.  Units do not have lectures and are incident operation period scenario-based timed/graded exercises.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course ComponentCourse TimeComment
Pre-course work4Selected students only. Web Meeting and Exercise 1 - turned in and graded in class
Instructor-led training28Monday 13:00-Thursday 17:00
Total Hours32Note significant hours for prerequisite training in addition to S-341 delivery time.

Hardware and Software Requirements

An IT specialist, preferably an ITSS, must be available for the instructor-led classroom training session to assist with student hardware and software issues and internet connectivity.


Laptop computer, mouse, and external monitor (recommended).


  1. Single-use ArcGIS (ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro) standard or advanced (not basic) license installation.  ArcGIS licensing information found here.
  2. FTP client software  (examples: FileZilla,WinSCP)

System Credentials

  1. Fire Enterprise Geospatial Portal (EGP) GISS role, Request Account
  2. NIFC ArcGIS Online Organization, Request a New Account
  3. NIFC FTP site, Steps to obtain NAP account and “incident specific data” folder upload rights


The Geospatial Training Unit (GTU) and the Geographic Area Training Representatives (GATR) agree upon each course location. Course location is based on various factors including but not limited to varied GA distribution, total cost, qualified instructor availability, and local need for GISS Trainees. Travel expenses for Lead, Unit, and Adjunct instructors from out of the geographic area will be reimbursed from student tuition.

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

The Geospatial Training Unit (GTU) maintains a national cadre list for lead and unit instructors. Lead and unit instructors must be on the national cadre list to teach. Lead instructors must be selected and/or approved annually by the GTU. Lead and unit instructors must be GISS fully qualified and current and show currency within IQCS/ICS and/or incident qualifications card (red card). Currency is defined as having had a GISS assignment in the last 1-2 years. Instructors must be experienced in managing incident data in the NWCG standard Event Geodatabase and National Incident Feature Service, adhering to NWCG standard workflows, and implementing GSTOP on incidents. Adjunct instructors with the minimum instructor qualifications may be added to the national cadre list with GTU approval for teaching and cadre development. All instructors must attend an instructor training workshop prior to teaching. Instructors are also required to complete prerequisite training and pre-course work as preparation for teaching the course.

See NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1, Instructor Standards for more information.


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