Program Overview

General Program Overview

The Incident Command Certification Program is designed to first instruct, train and then evaluate and certify Fire Dept. Officers who serve in the role of Incident Commander that supervise and manage emergency and hazard zone operations for every day, local NIMS Type 4 and Type 5 events.

This training and certification program produces Incident Commanders that make better decisions.

- Chief Alan Brunacini

The "Blue Card" training program provides Fire Departments with a training and certification system that defines the best Standard Command Practices for common, local, everyday Strategic and Tactical emergency operations conducted on NIMS Type 4 & Type 5 events. This training and certification program produces Incident Commanders that make better decisions that will potentially eliminate the lethal and/or costly mistakes that cause injury, death, and unnecessary fire losses in the local response area.

There are 4 main components of the Blue Card Training and Certification program:

1Completion of the 40-50 hour online training program (Cognitive portion of the program)

2Completion of the Simulation Evaluation Session (Manipulative portion of the program)

3Continuing Education (CE) and 3 year re-certification process (Cognitive and Manipulative skill maintenance)

4Instructor training and support program(Local delivery and management of the program))

1) The Blue Card 40 - 50 hour online training program: fulfills 100% of the Blue Card Hazard Zone Incident Command standard's cognitive and knowledge based classroom requirements. The successful completion of this Blue Card online training program is the first step in the command certification process. Once the student has successfully passed the online training program with a 70% or higher cognitive test score, they will be eligible to attend a 3 day Blue Card simulation, evaluation lab. Students must attend an evaluation sim lab within 1 year from completing the online training program.

2) Blue Card simulation evaluation session: each student will be evaluated in the role of the initial arriving Incident Commander (E-1 officer) and as the second arriving Incident Commander (BC-1 response chief) during the evaluation process. The student will have to fill both of the Incident Commander rolls for each of the programs 5 basic building types. The 5 basic building types are: residential, multi-unit residential, strip malls, commercial buildings, and big box structures. These occupancies represent over 90% of the structural fires we respond to and operate on. After successfully completing all of the required simulation evaluations, the student will be officially certified as a Blue Card IC.

3) CE and 3 year re-certification process: after the student has successfully passed the evaluation lab and has obtained their local, Type 4 & 5 Incident commander certification, they will be required to have 12 hours of Strategic and Tactical Command training - continuing education hours per year. The Type 4 & 5 command certification will be valid for a 3-year period from the date the sim evaluation process is completed. At the end of the 3 year certification period, the student will need to have at least 36 Blue Card tracked CE hours along with successfully passing their IC evaluation requirements in order to recertify and maintain their Blue Card IC certification for another 3 year time period.

4) Instructor training and support program - A major objective of the Blue Card training program is for individual departments or regions to quickly manage the certification and evaluation program themselves, while customizing the system to the local topography, resource levels, and SOPs. Future instructor/certifier's will first enroll in the Blue Card online training portion of the program available at the registration page When the on-line portion of the program has been successfully completed, the instructor will be eligible to attend the Train the Trainer program.

A Train the Trainer session consists of 5 consecutive, 8 hour days. The TtT participants will also get much more detailed lesson plans and instruction on the 5 basic occupancy/building types, tactical level embedded safety operations, command team operations, and mayday operations.