Colorado Wildland Fire & Incident Management Academy (CWFIMA) is a Non-Profit educational organization under the Upper Arkansas Valley Wildfire Foundation, established 20 years ago, that provides training to states and localities to prepare, respond, recover and mitigate disasters and incidents using the Incident Command System (ICS).
Why do you need to know about ICS? Because it touches everyone! We live in a complex world in which responding to emergencies, from single incidents to large-scale disasters, often requires cooperation among several agencies and individual emergency responders. Regardless of the size of the incident or the number of agencies involved in the response, all incidents require a coordinated effort to ensure an effective response and the efficient, safe use of resources. To accomplish this, training is the cornerstone that bridges all the personnel, agencies and resources into a manageable system.
The ICS organization has the capability to expand or contract to meet the needs of the incident, but all incidents, regardless of size or complexity, have an Incident Commander. Because ICS can be used at virtually any type of incident, of any size, it is important that all responders are trained. ICS training is required to ensure that all who may become involved in an incident are familiar with ICS principles.
Remember, ICS concepts and principles have been tested and proven over time in the industry and by response agencies at all governmental levels. Federal law requires the use of ICS and National Incident Management System (NIMS), the standard by which all training at CWFIMA adheres to. (See attached Directive & Mandates)
ICS AND THE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER (EOC)
An EOC is where department heads, government officers and officials, and volunteer agencies gather to coordinate their response to an emergency event. The Incident Command operation is responsible for on-scene response activities, and the EOC is responsible for the entire community-wide response to the event.
As you can see, ICS is a management system that works both for the responding agencies and for the community. Due to the complexity of coordinating and communicating, ICS is the model tool for command, control, and coordination of a response and provides a means to coordinate the efforts of individual agencies as they work toward the common goal of stabilizing the incident and protecting life, property, and the environment.
Since 1994, CWFIMA has been a leader in NIMS training, being one of the first Non-Profit's to do so in the nation. Along with donating time, resources and monies to expand education throughout the U.S., CWFIMA provides support to other Training Academies, Volunteers, Scholarships and the Emergency Responder "Firefighter Benefit Fund".
Other states that mentored and shadowed under CWFIMA, resulted in the creation of the New York (Long Island), Utah, Texas and Arizona Wildfire Academies. Demand for training and an increase of students has evolved to "All-Hazard" specific training within the ICS/NIMS courses, which has created an increasing need for outside support.