How many students enroll in a course?

The optimal number of students per course is 24.

How long is the program?

The classroom portion is 36 – 38 hours. In addition, the prework assignment takes an estimated 12 hours (Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer).

How much of the program is spent in hands-on activities versus lecture?

The program is comprised of 50% classroom lecture and 50% exercises, including one outdoor exercise conducted at night.

What is the program schedule?

MCS offers three different program schedules:

  • A five-consecutive-day schedule (the most common and most effective schedule)
  • A four-consecutive-day schedule
  • Split schedule (such as 2 + 2 days or 2.5 + 2.5 days) to accommodate shift schedules and volunteer organizations

How do I enroll in this program?

Program delivery is usually arranged at the organizational level, with clients sponsoring each week-long program for their workforce and cooperators. Open enrollment is not normally offered at this time.

Because organizational alignment and operational synergy comprise critical program goals, agencies realize significant advantages when the program is delivered to the first-line leaders throughout their organization.

Where are courses located?

Each course is delivered at the location specified by the client, often the organization’s local or regional training facilities. MCS arranges for all training materials to be delivered to that location.

What is the difference between At the Point of the Spear and Fire Service Leadership?

At the Point of the Spear is the name for a set of first-line leadership programs developed by Mission-Centered Solutions, Inc.  All MCS At the Point of the Spear programs share the same objectives, but the context for exercises and simulations are tailored to specific groups and have titles that reflect the audience. Fire Service Leadership – a program with the context tailored to municipal fire departments – is an example of one of the program versions. Other versions available include Fireline Leadership, Leading Emergency Responders, Beyond the Badge, and Leading Interdisciplinary Teams.

What is included?

A standard program includes a three-person cadre,  instructor and student materials, presentation computer and projector, classroom and exercise support materials, self-study pre-work, and graduation  certificates.

The course is priced per session, not per student; however, a number of fire departments and agencies have arranged to share costs for programs based on a per student cost.

For Federal Government clients, is this program available through GSA Advantage?

No, this course is no longer available through the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

What kind of funding is available?

Because At the Point of the Spear (CA-002-PREV) is listed in FEMA’s federal/state-sponsored catalog of training, clients can use State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) or Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) training grants for costs such as overtime, backfill, and tuition.

Does the client provide any personnel for the course?

Yes. The client provides role players for the night field exercise and a Site Logistics Coordinator.

  • Role Players – Three role players support the field exercise on Day 2. An MCS instructor briefs the role players and conducts a walk-through of the exercise prior to the exercise. Role players are on location for the exercise from 1830 until approximately 2200.
  • Site Logistics Coordinator – The client designates a site logistics coordinator to assist with course setup and execution. MCS staff work closely with this person to ensure that client-provided facilities, supplies, and equipment are in place for the start of the course. The site logistics coordinator receives all course materials shipped to the training location and makes sure that the materials are available to cadre members upon arrival. The coordinator also makes sure that cadre members have access to the training location for setup prior to the start of the course.

What other costs are involved?

The program price does not include the following:

  • Salary, travel, or per diem for students
  • Facility costs, including cost of  flip charts and presentation screens
  • Equipment, such as two-way radios, required for field exercises

What departments or agencies use At the Point of the Spear?

Following is a list of clients that have sponsored numerous programs in recent years:

  • San Diego Fire-Rescue
  • Fremont Fire Department (California)
  • El Paso Fire Department (Texas)
  • Fire Department New York
  • Phoenix Fire Department
  • Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program
  • USDA Forest Service
  • Bureau of Land Management,Great Basin Training Center
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Country Fire Authority, Victoria, Australia
  • Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia
  • Tasmania Fire Service, Australia

I’m interested. What next?

Contact MCS for more information.

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