National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-420, Command and General Staff, 2020

S-420 Decorative banner. Group of photos depicting wildland firefighters performing various duties.

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Course Materials

These materials are for instructor-led delivery.

This instructor-led course has mandatory pre-course work (estimate 4 - 6 hours) intended to increase knowledge of Command and General Staff (C&G) position responsibilities on a Type 2 Incident Management Team (IMT).

Instructions

Complete and submit the pre-course work as directed in your S-420 Course Selection Letter. Additional items may be required, or the Wildland Fire Learning Portal (WFLP) may be utilized for the pre-course work.

Activities may be done in any order. 

  1. Review the Incident Position Descriptions (IPDs) of the Command and General Staff (C&G) positions in the NWCG Position Catalog: 

    Incident Commander Type 2 (ICT2)

    Safety Officer Type 2 (SOF2)

    Public Information Officer Type 2 (PIO2)

    Liaison Officer (LOFR)

    Operations Section Chief Type 2 (OSC2)

    Planning Section Chief Type 2 (PSC2)

    Logistics Section Chief Type 2 (LSC2)

    Finance/Administration Section Chief Type 2 (FSC2)

    This course is about functioning in the Incident Management Team (IMT) environment, not about demonstrating skill in a given functional area.  It is important that each student know and understand how each C&G position contributes to the success of the IMT.
     
  2. Watch each of the 11 short videos detailing the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Planning Process (Planning P).

    All students should have a common baseline understanding of the NIMS Operational Planning Process.
     
  3. Read the Wildland Fire Decision Support System (WFDSS) for the S-420 C&G. The exercise on page 5 is not required. Read the WFDSS Incident Objectives – Findings from Review of 2014 and 2015 Published Decisions and Recommendations.

    Answer the following questions:

    • What information does a WFDSS decision document provide an IMT?
    • What information does an IMT provide to update or validate a WFDSS decision?
       
  4. Read Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, PMS 494-2.

    You are expected to exhibit strong leadership characteristics in all C&G positions throughout the course. Effective teams attract people from all walks of life and with different leadership experiences and education. Some have extensive leadership training from within the organization, some from external sources. At this level it is important for you to be able to articulate your leadership philosophy. For your own development and for the betterment of your team, consider where, how, and from whom you acquired your leadership philosophy. What were those experiences? What leadership principles do you strive to practice? As your team cohesion grows, you are encouraged to share these answers with your team.
     
  5. Review the Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for Student IMTs.

    IMTs utilize SOPs to define how the incident will be managed. Bring the SOP for Student IMTs to class to use and discuss with your team.
     
  6. Watch the TEDx video How Feedback from a Jerk Co-Worker Could Revolutionize Performance.

    During S-420, you’ll be asked to practice the two strategies presented in the video. In order to be successful as an IMT member, we must be open to blind spot data and feedback from others that we might not appreciate.
     
  7. Complete and submit the Pre-Course Student Self-Assessment.

    This self-assessment will be a useful tool for you to evaluate your own performance, and it will be the framework for coaches to provide feedback for further development.
     
  8. Complete and submit the student biography.

Reference Materials

Click the individual links to download material or download all materials in one zip file (note zip file is 7 MB).

Click the individual links to download material or download all materials in one zip file (note zip file is 423 MB).

Unit/Topic Presentations Materials
Slide 1 of Unit 0 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior

Welcome and Introductions

Introduction

 

Slide 1 of Unit 1 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 1: Team Development
Slide 1 of Unit 2 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 2: Team Identity
Slide 1 of Unit 3 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 3: Functional Area Wisdom
Slide 1 of Unit 4 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 4: Communication
Slide 1 of Unit 5 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 5: Incident Management Planning Processes
Slide 1 of Unit 6 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 6: Understanding the Situation
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 7: Conflict Management
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 8:  Determine Goals and Objectives
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 9:  Risk Management
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 10:  Critical Thinking and Decision-Making
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 11:  Plan Development
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 12:  Plan Preparation, Review, and Approval
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 13: Transition and Transfer of Command
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 14:  Multi-Agency Coordination, Incident Support Organizations, and Partners
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 15:  Mentoring and Recruitment
Slide 1 of Unit 7 for S-420 Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior Unit 16:  Panel Discussion

 

Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
2022-12-23

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