National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-359, Medical Unit Leader, 2000

S-359 Decorative banner: Three photo of wildland fire medical operations. Two medics push a stretcher on a single wheel down a trail. Dozens of wildland firefighters work in assembly line fashion to move an injured firefighter down a mountain side. A fire medic applies eye solution to a firefighter's eye.

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This course is designed to provide the skills and knowledge needed to perform in the role of Medical Unit Leader (MEDL). Topics include gathering information, organizing the medical unit, supervising the unit, evaluation, documentation, and demobilization.


  • Plan, staff, and manage the medical unit.
  • Coordinate with other incident entities as necessary.
  • Respond to medical emergencies and transport patients.
  • Describe how to provide high quality patient care.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as Medical Unit Leader (MEDL). 

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

Current certification as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or equivalent.

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-359 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course Component Course Time
Pre-course work N/A
Pre-selection assessment N/A
Online training N/A
Instructor-led training 20
Total Hours 20

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

Lead and unit instructors must be qualified as Medical Unit Leader (MEDL).

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

Certification Date:


Previous Certification Dates:

  • None


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