Release Date: May 19, 2005


Emmitsburg, MD - Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, announced today
that the nation's first-responders can now take two new Incident Command
System courses online through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Virtual Campus.

"Over 225,000 of our nation's response personnel have completed Incident
Command System and National Incident Management System courses currently
available online through the FEMA Virtual Campus," said Brown. "President
Bush directed that a comprehensive National approach to incident management,
applicable to all jurisdictional levels across functional disciplines, be
developed. I am pleased to announce these new courses which will train our
first responders in that National Incident Management System."

The two courses were jointly developed by FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration
and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Wildfire Coordinating
Group (NWCG). These new courses integrate the NIMS guidelines and meet the
NIMS Baseline Training requirements. Q-462 and Q-463 are the first in a
series of Incident Command System courses developed in web-based and blended
learning format to meet all-hazards, all-agency NIMS ICS requirements for
operational personnel. Now available are:

Q-462 - Introduction to All-Hazards NIMS ICS for Operational First
Responders. This course is web-based, self-study, interactive and
equivalent to NWCG I-100 (Based on standard learning objectives).

Q-463 - Basic All-Hazards NIMS ICS for Operational First Responders. This
course is web-based, self-study, interactive and equivalent to NWCG I-200
(Based on standard learning objectives).

These two courses can be found at the FEMA Virtual Campus and then clicking on "Online Training (NETC
Virtual Campus)" on the upper left.

"The U.S. Fire Administration continues to move forward in their efforts to
ensure this Nation's first responders have available to them, the most
current ICS body of knowledge," said USFA Administrator R. David Paulison.
"Our firefighters and first responders face numerous challenges in their
communities, and these courses further ensure the effectiveness and safety
of our response and recovery responsibilities."

The USFA and the NIMS Integration Coordinating group recognize the target
audience for these ICS courses will have varying degrees of training and
experience. Those personnel with sufficient training and skills may take
the final examination, one time, without reviewing the course. In order to
receive credit for completion of each course you must obtain a correct score
of 70 percent. Each course in this series builds on the prior course, so
they must be satisfactorily completed in order.

USFA and USDA are working together, and coordinating with the Department of
Homeland Security's NIMS Integration Center, to ensure that Incident Command
System courses at the 100, 200, 300 and 400 levels are available in various
formats and for all emergency response disciplines. These courses are being
developed cooperatively, using the same set of learning objectives, and each
course recognized by all the involved agencies.

FEMA prepares the nation for all hazards and manages federal response and
recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates
mitigation activities, trains first responders, works with state and local
emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the
U.S. Fire Administration. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.