This training provides an initial orientation to the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) for individuals who plan to volunteer during an emergency or disaster. The course is designed to help volunteers understand the standardized organizational structure and communication system they are likely to encounter while responding to a crisis. Additionally, this training can serve as a 'just in time' review of these basic principles.
Volunteer organizations may require their volunteers to participate in additional training on these topics. Volunteers will want to consult with their coordinator regarding specific training requirements.


Upon successful completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • List the basic components of the National Incident Management System, or NIMS
  • Describe the Incident Command System, or ICS, and the concept of chain of command during an emergency event
  • Discuss the advantages of using a standard or common language when various organizations and groups respond to an emergency
  • Explain how the Job Action Sheets assist the volunteer to identify job title, supervisor and job responsibilities before, during and at the end of a volunteer shift
  • Describe the volunteer's role in communication with a supervisor, other responders, the media and the general public
  • Discuss the importance of having a personal preparedness plan in place prior to deployment
  • Identify potential roles for volunteers within the Incident Command System


This course contributes to the following Public Health Preparedness Competencies and PHEP Capabilities:


1.0 Model Leadership

1.3 Facilitate collaboration with internal and external emergency response partners.


3. Emergency Operations Coordination

Continuing Education Units

Please note that these trainings may offer different types of continuing education credits. This Learner Portal may not calculate the correct number of continuing education credits. Please refer to the Continuing Education Credits section of your course site after registration for the correct information.

Participants are eligible to receive up to 0.1 CEU or 1.0 (60 minute) contact hour; 1 CPH recertification credit.

Contact & Questions

For questions regarding course registration, materials, and content, please email cpheo@umn.edu.

For questions regarding system access, log-in, user name, or password, please email help@umn.edu or call 612-301-4357.

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
NIMS (National Incident Management System) and ICS (Incident Command System): A Primer for Volunteers CE
Feb 16, 2021 to Dec 31, 2021
Delivery Options
Self Paced Online  
Course Fee(s)
No Fee non-credit $0.00
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