S-420, Command and General Staff, 2002

S-420 Decorative banner: Three photos of wildland fire incident command. A large group of firefighters gather to listen to morning briefing from command personnel. A group of incident command gather to hear a briefing on an incident. Four firefighters stand around a table reviewing maps.

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This course is designed to prepare students to function effectively in the position of a Type 2 Incident Commander (ICT2), or Command and General Staff. The focus of this course is on the application of previously acquired knowledge and skills. Students will participate in two types of groups (teams and similar position) during exercises. These exercises include a simulation of the mobilization, management, and demobilization phases of a rapidly accelerating Type 2 incident that has potential to become a Type 1 incident.


  • Students will perform the duties and responsibilities of their respective positions as team members on a Type 2 incident.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified in a command or general staff position on an Incident Management Team.

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

  • L-480, Organizational Leadership in the Wildland Fire Service


  • L-380, Fireline Leadership, OR L-381, Incident Leadership


  • L-180, Human Factors in the Wildland Fire Service, plus completion of 40 hours in any supervision or leadership training course(s)


  • Completion of pre-course work assignment

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-420 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course ComponentCourse Time
Pre-course work2
Pre-selection assessmentN/A
Online trainingN/A
Instructor-led training36
Total Hours38

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Minimum Instructor Qualifications

Lead and unit instructors must be qualified as Command or General Staff Type 2.

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


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