Updates & Blog

Photo Blog: Complex Incident Management Course, Fall 2021

Southern Group of State Foresters
Man standing on the phone and comparing information.

Twelve U.S. states participated in the recent Complex Incident Management Course (CIMC) in North Carolina, which prepared 40 incident management trainees for response to the most complex, multi-jurisdictional wildfire and all-hazard incidents across the nation.

CIMC, held Oct. 17-22 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center, was hosted by the Southern Region and sponsored by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF).

CIMC trainees race to respond to incoming requests for resources during hazardous incident simulation.

The course provided advanced Type-1 Incident Management Team (IMT) training, producing vital command staff certifications for personnel from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Arizona.

CIMC trainee from Texas A&M Forest Service takes notes during a wildfire incident simulation.

After a hiatus due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s CIMC implemented stringent protocols for the safety of all participants.

The original CIMC curriculum was developed in 1998 by NASF with grant support from the U.S. Forest Service.

CIMC simulation role players mimic the realities an IMT will face, such as coordination of personnel, equipment and resources, facilitating meal deliveries for first responders, incoming donations from volunteer organizations, news media inquiries and more.

In addition to traditional lecture-based teaching, CIMC includes multiple disaster incident simulations such as bomb explosions, hurricanes and hazardous spills, as well as a full-day complex wildfire simulation.

A CIMC trainee from the Florida Forest Service serves as public information officer (PIO), drafting a press release about the current status of a simulated wildfire incident.
A CIMC trainee from the North Carolina Forest Service documents, assesses and provides solutions to identified hazards during a wildfire simulation.
A designated CIMC role player briefs a Florida trainee team during a simulated wildfire incident.

These immersive experiences provide trainees an opportunity to practice together as a team in a safe environment, while receiving top-tier coaching, imparting the confidence and skills needed to manage similar real-life scenarios.

CIMC trainees from North Carolina consult the wildfire map and update information during a wildfire simulation.
A CIMC trainee from North Carolina uses GIS mapping technology to view the wildfire perimeter and other key locations. GIS maps are critical tools for incident management and response, both at the Incident Command Post and on the fireline.

Since its inception, the CIMC program has trained Type-1 IMTs that have deployed personnel to some of the nation’s most historic and catastrophic events such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, major hurricanes including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Michael, COVID-19 response and recent mega-wildfires in the West.

CIMC trainees use internet, cellular and radio communications during incident simulations. This trainee from the Georgia Forestry Commission uses the radio to coordinate with simulation role players.
This Florida-based liaison officer trainee fielded requests and coordinated with “cooperating agency representative” role players during CIMC incident simulations.

Trainees certified during CIMC are now qualified to serve under the major functional areas needed to successfully manage complex incidents.

The Cadre

The CIMC 2021 instructor cadre brings almost 700 years of combined experience from all across the United States to the Southern Region.

The Teams