The Challenge

Applying the art of mission command in changing environments

The Course

Incident Leadership offers hands-on experience leading a response during an escalating all-hazards incident. Students take on different leadership responsibilities within 16 hours of simulation mirroring an emerging incident.  Approximately 28 hours of the 36-hour, five day program are spent in hands-on simulation-related activities.  Iterative learning cycles and a variety of perspectives provide students with opportunities to learn, practice, and improve command skills and leadership behaviors.

  • Command Presence
  • Commander’s Guidance and Leader’s Intent
  • Team Communication and Feedback
  • Effective Teams
  • Managing Error
  • Operational Tempo
  • Mission Command

This high-intensity program helps participants learn strategies for building operational synergy in temporary teams, such as managing diverse resources, interfacing with community cooperators, and leading operational planning extending into a strategic time frame.

Participants come away with firsthand experience applying the leadership skills required to put the incident command system into actual practice. They gain confidence in their ability to hit the ground running as part of a quickly assembled incident management team. This program builds new trigger points and recognition skills that are directly transferable to future operations and incidents.


MCS designed, developed, and delivered the first Incident Leadership program in 2002. Since then, MCS has conducted more than 450 Incident Leadership sessions to nearly 10,000 students representing more than 50 agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Who should attend?

Candidates seeking qualification as a Division or Group Supervisor, AHIMT Command & General Staff or Incident Commander Type 3 (ICT3) from the following disciplines:

• Fire Services • Law Enforcement • Emergency Management •
• Emergency Medical Services • Hazardous Materials • Public Works •
• Public Health • Health Care • Public Safety Communications • Agriculture Security •
• Food Security • Corrections and Private Security •


Recommended:  CA-002-PREV – At the Point of the Spear: Leading and Preparing Emergency Response Units (equivalent to NWCG L-380)

Baseline knowledge of ICS


MCS is the sole provider of Incident Leadership which is listed in FEMA’s State and Federal Sponsored Course Catalog as CA-010-PREV.  The Department of Homeland Security has approved this MCS program for use with SHSP and UASI grant funds.

In addition, the MCS Incident Leadership program fully meets all requirements set by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) for the L-381 certification standard. MCS is the largest provider of L-381: Incident Leadership, and our firm has the most extensive qualification requirements for instructors in comparison to other vendors.

Why MCS for L381 Incident Leadership

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers about schedule, facilities requirements, certifications, student qualifications, and more, see the FAQ page.

Incident Leadership: Program FAQs

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