The challenge – Making a successful transition from team member to new leader.

Emerging Leader is an introductory leadership course. The course involves 2-4 hours of pre-course work and 16 contact hours. The contact hours include one day of classroom instruction followed by a second day in the field with students working through a series of problem solving events called the Field Leadership Assessment Course (FLAC) in small teams. This course is designed as a self-assessment opportunity for individuals preparing to step into a leadership role.

  • Leadership Values & Principles
  • Transition Challenges for New Leaders
  • Situational Leadership
  • Teambuilding
  • Ethical Decision Making

The desired outcome of this training is to expose operators to foundational leadership concepts in high-risk work environments.  To provide operators with small team leadership opportunities in order to assess themselves in regard to how well prepared they are to step into a leadership role.

The program is customized to the client’s operating environment. For example:

  • Wildland Fire
  • Structural Fire
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety


MCS was a development partner with the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG), creating the first Followership to Leadership course beginning in 2001.  Since then, MCS has helped many agencies across the U.S. and internationally develop their own custom versions of the program and conduct train-the-trainer sessions for their own cadres.

It was officially integrated into the NWCG Leadership Curriculum as L-280 in 2002.

Who should attend?

  • Qualified junior team members who are beginning to assume leadership roles
  • Experienced team members as part of a Train the Trainer program

Student Prerequisites

  • Completion of Pre-course work
  • Completion of Human Factors in the High Risk Environment (NWCG L-180) is recommended but not required


This program meets all requirements for L-280 Followership to Leadership established by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).

The Department of Homeland Security has approved this program for use with SHSP and UASI grant funds.