National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-357, Food Unit Leader, 2008

Decorative banner: Three photos of food operations on a wildland fire. Photo of a handwashing station instructing firefighters to wash their hands before entering food line. A buffet of food items with utensils. A table of wildland firefighters eating a meal.

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This course is designed to meet the training needs of a Food Unit Leader (FDUL). Topics include information about the assignment, coordination, general information, safe food handling, national contract administration, alternate feeding methods, and demobilization. A significant portion of this course is devoted to examining the administration of the National Mobile Food Services Contract as it applies to the FDUL.


  • Arrive at incident properly equipped, gather information to assess the assignment, and begin initial planning activities of the food unit leader.
  • Staff and organize the food unit to meet the needs of the incident.
  • Coordinate with the logistics units and other sections to assist in accomplishing the overall objectives of the food unit.
  • Identify safe food handling practices.
  • Utilize the National Mobile Food Services Contract to ensure appetizing, well-balanced meals are provided to the government.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as Food Unit Leader (FDUL). 

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

Satisfactory completion of pre-course work.

Session Offerings

Sessions of this course may be available in the NWCG Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP). Enrollment requires an account. 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 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-357 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-course work 2
Pre-selection assessment N/A
Online training N/A
Instructor-led training 27-32
Total Hours 29-34

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

Lead instructor and unit instructors must be qualified as Food Unit Leader (FDUL).

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

Certification Date:


Previous Certification Dates:

  • 2000-10


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