Course Catalog

VDEM Course Catalogue

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Emergency Management Training

SAR Course Descriptions

Community Emergency Response Team Courses

Hazmat Training Courses

Public Safety Response to Terrorism

More training:

EM certification programs

Training at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute

National Domestic Preparedness Consortium

Clackamas Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Management


Emergency Management Training

NOTE: The APS (Advanced Professional Series) or PDS (Professional Development Series) designation indicates that this course is a requirement or elective for APS or PDS certification. 

 

Public Information Officer Awareness Course – G289
This one-day course will acquaint participants with a basic understanding of the Public Information Officer (PIO) function for those new to the position.   The course is the prerequisite for the G-290 Basic PIO course and will be scheduled as the first day of a three-day block that includes G-290 Basic PIO as the last two days.   Students are required to attend the two courses back to back.

 

Basic Public Information Officer Course – G290 APS Logo
This updated two day course is designed for the new or less experienced Public Information Officer (PIO) and focuses on essential emergency PIO functions. The course will teach PIOs how to write a news release, conduct an on-camera interview and prepare awareness campaigns. The class is a prerequisite for the Advanced Public Information Course (E388) at the Emergency Management Institute. Elective for Advanced Professional Series (APS) certification.

  • Prerequisite: Public Information Officer Awareness Course, FEMA IS-29, available here. Prerequisite completion certificate must be RECEIVED by the Office of Training and Exercises no later than two weeks prior to course start. Send prerequisite to VDEM Training via fax at 804-897-6556 or email at lmshelp@vdem.virginia.gov.

 Community Mass Care Management (G108)
 This 2-day course is designed to equip emergency management staff and voluntary agency personnel with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform as effective Mass Care Coordinators in a broad range of disaster situations.  The focus is to enable communities to plan for and manage mass care, leading to increased mass care flexibility at the community level; to greater quality and quantity of local assistance available to professional care organizations such as the Red Cross; and to increased community self-sufficiency.  The course is intended for State, tribal and local government emergency management and voluntary agency personnel who provide mass care assistance.

  • Elective for Advanced Professional Series certification.

 

Coordinator's Briefing (V400) – 8 Hours
Lodging expense for one night will be direct billed to the Department of Emergency Management and meals will be reimbursed for those local Emergency Management Coordinators and Deputy Coordinators who reside 40 miles or more from the training site.

 

Debris Management Workshop – G202
This eight-hour course is designed for emergency managers and planners, public works staff and waste management personnel.  The course provides an overview of issues and recommended actions necessary to plan for and manage debris resulting from all types of disasters and emergencies. 

  • Elective for Advanced Professional Series (APS) certification. 

 

Disaster Damage Assessment – G111
This one day course is part of a series of damage assessment training workshops to train personnel on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standard for conducting damage assessments of residential dwellings, businesses, and public infrastructure.  Local government personnel or volunteers with specific responsibility for overseeing field damage assessments and personnel who actually record damages in the field should attend this training.

 

Emergency Management Best Practices Seminar – V470
This three to four hour course discusses lessons learned and best practices from recent real-world events.  The course is taught by Emergency Management personnel who have personal experience with the subject events.

 

Emergency Planning for Special Needs Populations – G197
This 2½-day course is intended to provide those with responsibilities for providing emergency planning or care of seniors, people with disabilities, and/or special needs groups with the skills and knowledge they will need to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations.

EOC Management and Operations – G775
This 2 1/2 day course provides the participant with training in the methods and procedures to effectively manage and operate an emergency operations center (EOC) during crisis situations.  The course identifies considerations affecting site selection and design for an effective EOC; staffing, training, and briefing EOC personnel; and operating and managing an EOC during various emergency situations.  This course is especially valuable for senior emergency management officials and any individual designated to serve in an EOC during emergency events.  This course is usually scheduled in conjunction with the 1/2 day G-250.7, Rapid Assessment.  Students are encouraged to sign up for both. 

  • Required for Advanced Professional Series certification.
  • Prerequisite: Recommended: IS-701 Multi-Agency Coordination System is strongly suggested prior to enrolling in this course.

 

Evacuation and Re-entry Planning Course – G358
This 12-hour course is designed to provide participants with knowledge and skills needed to design and implement an evacuation and re-entry plan for their jurisdictions.  It uses a community’s vulnerability analysis and evacuation plan.  It also addresses evacuation behavior and recommends methods to make evacuation and re-entry more efficient.  This course does not address the DECISION to evacuate or re-enter.

  • Elective for Advanced Professional Series certification.   

 

Exercise Evaluation – G130
This two day course provides knowledge and develops skills that will enable those attending to manage exercise evaluation activities before, during and after an emergency management exercise. Designed for state and local emergency management staff who have the responsibility of managing exercise evaluation activities associated with the overall emergency services functions or emergency service disciplines.

 

HSEEP Just In Time Evaluator Training – L146E
This half-day session covers selective portions of the HSEEP Training Course (HTC), designed specifically to address exercise evaluation and how it plays an integral part in each step of the exercise cycle.  The intermediate-level training course incorporates exercise guidance and best practices from the HSEEP course material Modules 5 and 6.  Participants will gain a better understanding of how to plan and organize the evaluation around the exercise; select and train evaluators; reconstruct a timeline, analyze the data to determine the root cause; and develop a draft of an after action report to form the basis of an improvement plan.  This course DOES NOT count towards completion of the HTC (L-146).  The course is intended for those scheduled to serve as an evaluator in future HSEEP-compliant exercises.

  • Prerequisite: IS 120-A.  Go to https://hseep.dhs.gov for this Independent Study course. 
  • Note: Prerequisite must be 120-A.  The former IS-120 is not valid for the HSEEP HTC Course
     

 HSEEP Training Course – L146
This 3-day period of instruction is for those individuals that are directly involved in the planning, design and evaluation of training exercises.  The intermediate-level training course incorporates exercise guidance and best practices from the HSEEP Volumes.  It is an interactive course that allows participants to share personal lessons learned and best practices while gaining practical experience.  In addition to the instructor-led course presentations, the course includes small group activities, videos, group discussions, and introductions to HSEEP and related initiatives such as supporting technology (e.g., HSEEP Toolkit) and capabilities-based planning (e.g., UTL and TCL).  This approach provides participants with hands-on experience that readily translates to real-world exercise responsibilities.  Activities include creating exercise documentation, conducting planning conferences and briefings, and practicing exercise evaluation. 

  • Prerequisite: Prerequisites are listed on the linked application. ALL prerequisites and a completely filled out application are necessary for enrollment in the course! Go to this link for the application which includes a list of prerequisites
  • IS 120-A.  Go to https://hseep.dhs.gov for this Independent Study course. 
  • Note: Prerequisite must be 120-A.  The former IS-120 is not valid for the HSEEP HTC Course
  • Elective for Advanced Professional Series certification. 

 

Hurricane Planning For Coastal Communities – G363
This one-day course is designed to provide participants the tools needed to help communities along the coast prepare for and respond to a hurricane event.  Target audience is comprised of public and private sector decision makers and managers from coastal communities who prepare for and respond to hurricane hazards that threaten their community.

  • Prerequisite: IS-324 Community Hurricane Preparedness

  

Incident Command System/Emergency Operations Center (ICS/EOC) Interface – G191
This one-day course works best when delivered to Incident Command System and Emergency Operations Center personnel from the same community.  The course provides an opportunity for participants to begin developing an ICS/EOC interface for their community.  The course reviews ICS and EOC responsibilities and functions and depends heavily on exercises and group discussions to formulate the interface.

  • Required for Advanced Professional Series certification.
  • Prerequisites: Recommended: IS-100, IS-200 or course equivalent

 

Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings: Awareness Level – AWR130
This half-day course is designed for firefighters, law enforcement officers and EMS personnel who provide initial response to WMD incidents involving energetic materials.  This is an 'awareness level' course designed to provide participants with basic information concerning explosive and incendiary devices that could be used as terrorist weapons.  The course includes classroom presentations designed to familiarize participants with commercial and military explosives, improvised explosive devices and appropriate response procedures.

 

ICS 300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents – ICS300
The 18 hour Intermediate Incident Command System (ICS) course is intended for those who could fill supervisory level positions during an incident.  The course will permit the student to develop an ICS organizational structure, list staffing requirements, prepare a briefing, lead or participate in a planning meeting, identify resources, develop goals, prepare an action plan and become familiar with the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

  • Prerequisite: Completion of Basic ICS (IS195, V200, V190, ICS 200), or equivalent training (evidence of ICS equivalency is responsibility of applicant).

 

ICS 400: Advanced Incident Command System – ICS400
This 14 hour course is designed for a multidiscipline audience of staff who would likely serve as incident commanders in an ICS structure.  Topics include command and general staff, unified command, major incident management, area command, and multiagency coordination.  The course includes group activities, a tabletop exercise, and a final examination.  The target audience for this course is senior personnel who are expected to perform in a decision-making capacity in an Area Command or Multiagency Coordination Entity. 

  • DHS STRONGLY RECOMMENDS that a minimum of six months should pass between completion of ICS 300 (Intermediate) and ICS 400 (Advanced) to allow students to utilize their knowledge of the ICS 300 level information before attending the ICS 400 level course.  Although this is a DHS recommendation only, VDEM supports this process so that ICS 300 course attendees can maximize their learning by both verifying their need for completing ICS 400 and by not attempting to assimilate both Intermediate and Advanced ICS principles over a short period. 
  • Prerequisite: Successful completion of ICS-300 or equivalent training (evidence of ICS equivalency is responsibility of applicant).

 

ICS-402:  Incident Command System (ICS) Overview for Executives/Senior Officials
 This 2 to 4-hour course is designed to provide a broad-level orientation to the Incident Command System (ICS) for Executives and Senior Officials (including elected officials, city/county managers, agency administrators, etc.).  Topics include Part 1: What Is ICS?, Part 2: ICS Organization & Features, Part 3: Unified & Area Command, Part 4: Coordination & Incident Management Assessment, Part 5: NIMS Preparedness.  Course presentation should also include review of the following locality-specific documents: Local and State laws/policies relevant to incident management, Local and State incident management roles and responsibilities, Local Emergency Operations Center procedures and the Local Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).

 

Mass Fatalities Incident Response – G386
This 16-hour course prepares local, state, and private industry response personnel to effectively manage any incident that results in more fatalities than can be handled using local resources alone.  The course is designed for a wide audience including: heads of first response agencies, emergency managers, planners, medical examiners and funeral directors. 

  • Prerequisite: Recommended: Principles of Emergency Management and ICS/EOC Interface
  • Elective for Advanced Professional Series (APS) certification.

 

Mitigation Planning Workshop for Local Governments – G318
This 2-day workshop discusses the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, which added a mitigation planning section (Section 322) to the Robert T.  Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.  Section 322 requires local governments to prepare and adopt jurisdiction-wide hazard mitigation plans as a condition of receiving Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds.  The Mitigation Planning Workshop for Local Governments assists representatives of local communities or multi-jurisdictional planning areas to develop a mitigation plan that meets community needs as well as section 322 local government planning requirements.  The workshop explains each of the requirements and provides opportunities to begin the planning process in group activities with representatives of the same community or planning area.  Success stories and Virginia "best practices" will be highlighted throughout the course.

  • Required for Advanced Professional Series (APS) certification.

 

Principles of Emergency Management – G230 pds logo
This 2 1/2 day course examines the need for an emergency management system and the importance of an integrated approach to managing emergencies.  Participants formulate the elements of an integrated teamwork approach and devise specific actions for improving their own contributions to their local emergency program and system.  This course is intended for staff with responsibilities in all aspects of emergency management.  Students must achieve a minimum score of 75 percent on the end of the course exam to receive credit for course completion.  This course is strongly recommended for those new to the emergency management field. 

  • Required for Professional Development Series (PDS) certification. 

 

Rapid Assessment Workshop – G250.7
This 1/2 day Workshop is designed to walk local communities through critical points in the rapid assessment planning process and enable community planners and others to develop rapid assessment procedures for the Emergency Operations Plans.  (Note: Damage Assessment, the process of collecting, compiling, and analyzing information is not covered in this course).  This course is usually scheduled in conjunction with the G-775: EOC Management and Operations.  Students are encouraged to sign up for both.

  • Required for Advanced Professional Series certification.

 

Recovery from Disaster: The Local Government Role – G270.4
This workshop is a condensed version of the 4-day EMI resident course.  The course is designed for approximately a 12-hour delivery, depending on local need.  The course is designed for local disaster recovery teams such as emergency managers, city/county administrators, public works directors, building inspectors and community planners.  The course focuses on the roles and responsibilities of each team member and provides guidance on developing a local disaster recovery plan.  Participants are given the opportunity to develop an outline of their own recovery plan during the course. 

  • Required for Advanced Professional Series certification.

 

Warning Coordination – G272 
This two-day course is designed for emergency managers and those responsible for disseminating timely weather event warning to the public in the event of an emergency or threatened disaster.  Participants will study the sociology and psychology of weather warnings, gaining valuable insight into developing an effective emergency warning plan for weather events.  This course is instructed by a Warning Coordination Meteorologist for NOAA's National Weather Service.

  • Elective for Advanced Professional Series certification.

 


SAR Course Descriptions

Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) College 50 Hours
A GSAR College offers four separate SAR courses at one training event at the same time.  A GSAR College will consist of Field Team Member (FTM), Field Team Leader (FTL), Field Team Signcutting (FTS) and Management Team Member (MTM) Courses.  A GSAR College is presented over two weekends, typically held 2 or 3 weeks apart.  Students may only register for 1 course per GSAR College, as it will take both weekends to complete each course.  The unique learning experience of a GSAR College is enhanced by class interactions and a large-scale mock mission held on Saturday night of the second weekend.  The GSAR creates a life-long experience for the students as they forge new relationships with other SAR responders from all across the Commonwealth. 

  • Prerequisite: Per each individual course. 

 Learn more about the GSAR

 

Field Level Training
Field level search and rescue training offered by the VDEM Search and Rescue Program Office leads to individual certification upon successful completion of the course.  These courses are intended for those individuals who participate with an affiliated organization as part of a planned response to a search and rescue incident.  Typical student make-up of these classes would include those individuals from; police, fire-rescue, EMS, and volunteer search and rescue groups. 

Field Team Member (FTM) 50 Hours
Entry-level field training designed to introduce the field responder to standardized practices for a search and rescue response.  Course content includes an overview of the state system, legal concerns, SAR operations, search strategy & tactics, personal preparedness, wilderness survival, land navigation, and basic wilderness rescue.  The FTM course consists of approx.  60% classroom and 40% field instruction.  Fieldwork is held regardless of current weather conditions unless extreme conditions present personal safety concerns.  Successful completion prepares the student to function adequately as a Field Team Member under the direct supervision of a trained Field Team Leader.  The FTM certification is valid for a period of 3 years. 

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Affiliation with SAR response organization
  • It is recommended that you complete the following National Incident Management System (NIMS) training from Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Courses prior to class.
    • IS-100
    • IS-700
    • IS-800
    • IS-809
  • Physical Ability and Conditioning: Search and Rescue is hard, physically demanding work.  Prospective students to the field classes must be capable of ascending steep slopes (up to 60 degrees) over rough terrain, in the dark, while carrying a backpack that may weigh up to 40lbs.  After several hours in the field under the previously described conditions, the student will then enter the rescue portion of the course.  During the rescue, SAR personnel will assist in the carry-out of a patient as part of a rotating 6-person team.  The litter with patient package may weigh up to 300lbs.  If you are not physically capable of such strenuous activity, please do not sign-up for this class. 

View the Field Team Member Equipment List

Field Team Leader (FTL) 50 Hours
Intermediate-level training in search team management, implementation of search tactics, supervision of team performance, proper use of semi-technical rescue equipment, and evacuation management.  The FTL course consists of approx.  60% classroom and 40% field instruction.  Fieldwork is held regardless of current weather conditions unless extreme conditions present personal safety concerns.  Successful completion prepares the student to function adequately as a Field Team Leader under the indirect supervision of the Operations Section Chief.  The FTL certification is valid for a period of 3 years.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Current certification as Field Team Member
  • Affiliation with SAR response organization
  • It is recommended that you complete the following National Incident Management System (NIMS) training from Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Courses prior to class.
    • IS-200
  • Physical Ability and Conditioning:Search and Rescue is hard, physically demanding work.  Prospective students to the field classes must be capable of ascending steep slopes (up to 60 degrees) over rough terrain, in the dark, while carrying a backpack that may weigh up to 40lbs.  After several hours in the field under the previously described conditions, the student will then enter the rescue portion of the course.  During the rescue SAR personnel will assist in the carry-out of a patient as part of a rotating 6-person team.  The litter with patient package may weigh up to 300lbs.  If you are not physically capable of such strenuous activity, please do not sign-up for this class. 

View the Field Team Leader Equipment List

Field Team Signcutter (FTS) 50 Hours
Designed as an introductory course focused on the fundamental principles of clue awareness, the FTS course delves into the ancient art of Mantracking.  Course content includes the identification and interpretation of sign, track team tactics, and the appropriate deployment of signcutting skills within the SAR environment.  The FTS course consists of 40% classroom and 60% field instruction.  Fieldwork is held regardless of current weather conditions unless extreme conditions present personal safety concerns.  Successful completion prepares the student to function adequately as a Field Team Signcutter under the direct supervision of a trained Field Team Leader.  The FTS certification is valid for a period of 3 years. 

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Current certification as a Field Team Member
  • Affiliation with a SAR response organization
  • Physical Ability and Conditioning:Search and Rescue is hard, physically demanding work.  Prospective students to the field classes must be capable of ascending steep slopes (up to 60 degrees) over rough terrain, in the dark, while carrying a backpack that may weigh up to 40lbs.  After several hours in the field under the previously described conditions, the student will then enter the rescue portion of the course.  During the rescue SAR personnel will assist in the carry-out of a patient as part of a rotating 6-person team.  The litter with patient package may weigh up to 300lbs.  If you are not physically capable of such strenuous activity, please do not sign-up for this class. 

View the Field Team Signcutter Equipment List

Management Level Training
Management level search and rescue training offered through the VDEM provides a series of in-depth studies focused on the philosophy, science and theory of managing the missing person search.  These courses are intended for experienced, lead individuals who will be responsible for the planning, execution, and overall direction of a missing person search.

Management Team Member (MTM) 40 Hours
The MTM Course is designed as the entry level introduction to the management process for Search and Rescue incidents. Students will be introduced to the make-up and processes involved in managing a search incident. Skills taught include initial actions, map segmenting, task writing, task briefing/de-briefing, support roles and many other skills. Additionally they will learn how all the skills mesh together into a process to accomplish the goals set forth by Incident Action Plan for the incident. The MTM course consists of almost entirely classroom instruction.  Successful completion prepares the student to function adequately as a part of the management team for search and rescue incidents under the direct supervision of a Management Team Leader.  The MTM certification is valid for a period of 3 years.

Prerequisites:        

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Affiliation with SAR response organization
  • Field Team Member (volunteer SAR groups only)

or

  • SAR First Responder ( Law Enforcement/Fire/Rescue/EMS only)
  • Must be proficient with map skills
  • It is recommended that you complete the following National Incident Management System (NIMS) training from Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Courses prior to class.
    • IS-200

Management Team Leader (MTL) 40 Hours
The MTL Course is designed as the Supervisory level course in the management process for Search and Rescue incidents. Students will be taught the processes involved in managing a search incident. Topics covered include the initial actions, the planning process, resource requisition and deployment, operational responsibilities, supervisory skills and roles when acting as a Search Mission Coordinator on smaller incidents. Additionally they will learn how to facilitate many processes including Consensus Planning, developing the Incident Action Plan, for the incident, interviewing and the demobilization process. The MTL course consists of almost entirely classroom instruction.  Successful completion prepares the student to function adequately as a leader of the management team for search and rescue incidents under the indirect supervision of a Search Mission Coordinator on larger incidents or as the SMC on smaller incidents.  The MTL certification is valid for a period of 3 years.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Affiliation with SAR response organization
  • Lost Person Behavior Course
  • Management Team Member

         or

  • Previous Completion of Managing Land Search Operations (MLSO)

and/or

  •  Practical Search Operations (PSO) in the last 3 years.
  • Must be proficient with the following management skills
    • Reflex Tasking
    •  Map segmenting
    • Initial Consensus process
    • Task Writing
    • Briefing/de-briefing
    • Support functions
    • MTM Skills set
  • It is recommended that you complete the following National Incident Management System (NIMS) training from Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Courses prior to class.
    • IS-200

Inland SAR Course Overview

The 5-day Inland SAR Planning course is a comprehensive, "graduate-level" look at search theory and its application to land and air searches for missing persons and aircraft, focusing on wilderness, not urban, searches. The course consists of classroom lessons and practical, tabletop exercises. This course does not incorporate field training. Emphasis is on the planning necessary for effective area-type searching during an extended search using Probability of Success (POS), rather than just a few elements of POC or POD, to allocate limited resources to their best effect. In essence, what to do after the rapid (hasty) search and specialty resources have not found the search object. Additional topics include pre-plan development, legal aspects, NIMS ICS applied to SAR, the federal role in SAR, and related subjects. The course does not teach search tactics or technical procedures, as those are well covered from other readily available sources.

The course is directed toward SAR leaders in federal, state, and local emergency services and law enforcement, as well as Civil Air Patrol, international, and volunteer SAR agencies -- those few people who are responsible for the planning and overall conduct of inland search missions. The target audience includes on-scene incident commanders and their planners, operations leaders, and up-channel reporting chain. The general searcher or search team leader, while arguably the most important part of the SAR team, will not find this course useful. Aiming to "find the objective fast," the course centers on tools to help SAR decision makers determine where to search, how to divide an area between limited search resources, and how to craft the overall search effort to gain the best increases in likelihood of success at each step. The tools are mathematically based and not for the faint of heart; they help quantify the uncertainties of the search problem to allow consistent application throughout a mission.

Classes begin promptly at 0800 on the convening date and graduate by 1530 on the fifth day. Prior to class, students should review and be conversant on the following from their own agencies in order to make class discussions more useful and help integrate class materials with their own search environments back home:

  • Search pre-plans
  • Decision making guidelines for where/when/how to search
  • Agreements and relationships with other SAR agencies
  • How their agency organizes on scene
  • Recent search missions
  • A firm grounding in SAR terminology and employment techniques, practical SAR experience, basic arithmetic and calculator skills, an understanding of local SAR mission management requirements, and an open mind are essential.
  • Download and review prior to start of class - Dennis Martin Search

Course Fee:There is NO course or tuition fee for U.S. students (volunteers and government employees) directly involved in SAR planning and management activities.

 

 Managing Land Search Operations (MLSO) 40 Hours
MLSO is an advanced management-level course that presents the core of search philosophy, theory, and statistical probabilities.  MLSO is designed for experienced SAR practitioners who are transitioning to management functions as well as senior law enforcement personnel who are responsible for the response and investigation of missing persons.  Emergency managers and other public safety personnel who take an active role in the management of SAR incidents are also invited to participate.  All course work is done in a classroom environment. 

Prerequisites:

Practical Search Operations (PSO) 40 Hours
Practical, hands-on management course for search managers and management staff.  PSO addresses the actual functions of managing a search operation under the Incident Command System (ICS) in a step-by-step approach.  Organizing the staff, planning, operations, information management and documentation are presented in discussion and tabletop exercises.  All course work is done in a classroom environment. 

Prerequisites:

Incident Commander for Ground Search and Rescue (ICG) 24 Hours
ICG is an advanced management course for experienced search management personnel.  It goes beyond theoretical MLSO training and prepares the student to manage complex type II (multi-agency) searches as General Staff members or as a Type III Incident Commander.  Subjects include ICS, SAR operations and tactics, resource management, SAR legal documents, IC roles and responsibilities, ground aspects of aircraft searches, command staff, and plans.  The course makes extensive use of map problems, practical exercises, simulations, handouts and lectures. 

Prerequisites:

National Inland Search and Rescue School 40 Hours
Jointly operated by the United States Coast Guard and the United States Air Force, this 5-day Inland SAR Planning course is a comprehensive, “graduate-level” look at inland search theory and its application to land and air searches for missing persons and aircraft with a focus on wilderness, not urban, searches.

The course consists of classroom lessons and practical, tabletop exercises.  Emphasis is on the planning necessary for effective area-type searching during an extended search using Probability of Success to allocate limited resources to their best effect.  Additional topics include pre-plan development, legal aspects, NIIMS ICS applied to SAR, the federal role in SAR, and other related subjects. 

The course is directed toward search managers in federal, state, and local emergency services and law enforcement, as well as Civil Air Patrol, international, and volunteer SAR agencies -- those few people who are responsible for the planning and overall conduct of inland search missions.  The target audience includes on-scene incident commanders and their planners, operations leaders, and up-channel reporting chain. 

Prerequisites:

  • Managing Land Search Operations
  • Practical Search Operations
  • Incident Commander for Ground Search and Rescue

or

  • Management Team Member
  • Management Team Leader
  • Search Mission Coordinator

Other Programs: The VDEM Search and Rescue Office provides or arranges additional training and presentations either by request, or as dictated by need. 

Search and Rescue First Responder 16 Hours
This course is designed for law enforcement and emergency services personnel who are the first responders to a search and rescue incident.  The intent of the course is to provide enough tools to adequately evaluate an incident and to take appropriate initial actions.  The basics of search planning and tactical operations are presented.  Specialized resources and their appropriate use are discussed.  SAR First Responder is normally provided upon request of a local jurisdiction, well in advance. 
 

No prerequisites.

Preventive Search and Rescue (Lost But Found…) 1 – 4 hours
Preventative search and rescue training for young children starts at the preschool level.  The course describes how to keep from getting lost and what to do if lost.  It has proven to be a lifesaver in numerous documented cases, nationwide.  “Lost But Found” can be presented within the school system or to private groups.  Upon request, presentations are normally provided by the nearest volunteer search and rescue group to the hosting organization. 

Search and Rescue K9 Basic 32 Hours
Entry-level specialty training designed to introduce new canine handlers to the standardized practices for a search and rescue response in the Virginia System. This course is held over 2 weekends. Along with their canine partners students will work with experienced instructors throughout the course. Course content includes an overview of the state canine standards, legal concerns, SAR operations, search strategy & tactics, personal preparedness, wilderness survival, land navigation and scent theory as they apply to use of the canine. Workshop will include opportunities to work on and complete the requirements for aggression testing, agility testing, and the written test. All disciplines are covered, with break-out sessions for individual disciplines to work on specific skills. This course consists of approx.  30% classroom and 70% field instruction.  Fieldwork is held regardless of current weather conditions unless extreme conditions present personal safety concerns.  Successful completion prepares the student to continue the process of becoming a certified canine team.  

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum age: 18
  • Affiliation with K9 SAR response organization
  • Have a Canine partner and actively working toward state certification.
  • It is recommended that you complete the following National Incident Management System (NIMS) training from Emergency Management Institute Independent Study Courses prior to class.
    • IS-200
  • Physical Ability and Conditioning:Search and Rescue is hard, physically demanding work.  Prospective students to the field classes must be capable of ascending steep slopes (up to 60 degrees) over rough terrain, in the dark, while carrying a backpack that may weigh up to 40lbs.   If you are not physically capable of strenuous activity, please do not sign-up for this class. 

Search and Rescue Seminar for Law Enforcement 8 hours
SAR Seminars for Law Enforcement are conference style, one-day events designed to educate and inform the agency senior personnel who are responsible for the investigation of missing persons.  The seminar is focused on the relationship between law enforcement and search operations, as well as legal liability issues and appropriate use of SAR resources.  Seminars are normally hosted by a local jurisdiction providing classroom facilities, and without cost to the participating agencies. 

Search Dog Workshops 20 Hours
Various workshops are offered on an infrequent basis depending upon the needs of the SAR community and available funding to support the training.  Specific course information will be posted when workshops are >Community Emergency Response Team Courses

 

Community Emergency Response Team Course Descriptions

Make your request for training courses via our Interest Survey at this link. Monthly review of the survey results will determine course demand, and appropriate class scheduling will be made available when interest reaches the required number of participants. 

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) 101 - CERT Basic - 20.5 Hours
Submission of the prerequisite identified below is MANDATORY before your enrollment can be completed! This highly informative, hands-on, 20.5 hour Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) course is the prerequisite for CERT-201, CERT Train-the-Trainer, and teaches personal preparedness and emergency response techniques for use at work, home and places in between. It consists of eight modules and a disaster simulation exercise. Modules that make up the course are: 1) Disaster Preparedness 2) Fire Safety 3) Disaster Medical Operations Part I 4) Disaster Medical Operations Part II 5) Light Search and Rescue Operations 6) CERT Organization 7) Disaster Psychology 8) Terrorism and CERT.

Target audience for this training is: localities beginning a new CERT program, current CERT instructors who have not taken the full CERT curriculum, and state agency Emergency Coordination Officers taking the course to be in compliance with Executive Order 41.

Prerequisites: One letter of authorization from the local/state government or agency with whom the participant is affiliated.
Prerequisite must be submitted via email to lmshelp@vdem.virginia.gov or fax to 804-897-6556 no later than two weeks prior to course start.

Course materials will not be provided, but may be downloaded at this link.

CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) 201 — CERT Train-the-Trainer  – 24 Hours
Course Synopsis: Submission of the prerequisites identified below is MANDATORY before your enrollment can be completed! This 3-day course is designed to prepare participants to institute a CERT program in their communities. Organizational topics to be briefly reviewed include: program planning, funding sources, recruiting, training, supervision, team member retention and legal concerns. Topics to be covered from the CERT course will include disaster preparedness, fire suppression, first aid, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, teaching the adult learner and terrorism awareness. There will be a variety of hands-on practical exercises, including teach-backs. Key elements from the former one-day Teen/Campus CERT Train the Trainer class have now been incorporated into this course. Graduates are qualified to teach Campus or Teen CERT classroom curriculum, as well as the Basic CERT curriculum.

Prerequisites:

  • Completion of the Basic CERT 20.5 hour classroom course (VDEM CERT 101 or equivalent)
  • IS 317 - Introduction to CERT
  • Students may access this independent study course online at http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/IS317/
  • IS 100 – Introduction to Incident Command
  • IS 200 – ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
  • IS 700 – National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction
  • IS 800 – National Response Framework, An Introduction
  • Students may take the above four independent study courses online through the FEMA website at https://training.fema.gov/IS/
  • One (1) letter of recommendation from local/state government or agency with whom the student is affiliated. 

Prerequisites are to be submitted two weeks prior to the course start date to the LMS Helpdesk at lmshelp@vdem.virginia.gov  . Questions can be directed to: Ted Costin at  the LMS Helpdesk at lmshelp@vdem.virginia.gov  or call at 804-897-9995.


Hazmat Training Courses

Hazardous Materials First Responder - Awareness/8 Hours
Available through: VDEM, VDFP, VAVRS
This course is designed for anyone who may discover the unplanned release of a hazardous material.  The program teaches the use of the USDOT Emergency Response Guidebook, Material Safety Data Sheets, and DOT placards and labels, as well as safety and planning information.

Recertification: Students must recertify/demonstrate competency annually at this level or complete the Hazardous Materials First Responder - Operations course.

 

Hazardous Materials First Responder - Operations/32 Hours
Available through: VDEM, VDFP
This course is designed for individuals who must respond to a release of hazardous materials and perform defensive operations.  The program includes information taught in the HMFR Awareness course.  The course is designed to meet the recommendations of NFPA 472 and OSHA 1910.120 (q)(6)(ii).  The course teaches first responders incident stabilization techniques such as incident profiling, hazardous materials behavior modeling, incident planning and the Incident Command System.  In addition to incident stabilization techniques, first responders learn defensive tactical control skills including damming, diking, diversion and retention of products, and decontamination of personnel. 

Recertification: Students must recertify/demonstrate competencies at this level annually or complete the Hazardous Materials Incident Management or Hazardous Materials Technician course. 

 

Hazardous Materials First Responder - Operations for the EMS Provider/32 Hours
Available through: VDEM
This course is designed for all EMS providers likely to respond to hazardous materials incidents.  The purpose of the course is to meet the minimum requirements and competency levels of NFPA 473 (Level I) and to enhance the safety and protection of response personnel in the Emergency Medical Services system.

Prerequisite: Emergency Medical Technician - Basic (EMT-B) and Hazardous Materials First Responder Awareness

Recertification: Students must recertify/demonstrate competencies at this level annually or complete the Hazardous Materials Incident Management or Hazardous Materials Technician course. 

Hazardous Materials Technician/80 Hours
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 80 hours (10 days)

This course is designed as a 10-day program of intense instruction and practice.  The focus of this course is directed towards chemistry, hazardous materials detection and monitoring, personal protective equipment, decontamination, offensive leak control techniques, risk assessment, incident management and safety.  The program is designed in accordance with NFPA 472 and OSHA - 29 CFR part 1910.120 (q) and includes intensive classroom sessions followed by practical application exercises.  This course is physically demanding, and it requires students to work in Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, Chemical Protective Clothing and confined spaces. 

Prerequisite: Applicant must be certified to the Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations level for one year prior to enrolling in course.

Recertification: Students must recertify at this level yearly.  This is accomplished by participation in continuing education and in an approved annual training exercise. 

 

Chemistry of Hazardous Materials
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 80 hours (10 days)

The course provides a sound understanding of the basic chemistry of hazardous materials in a two-week, off-site format.  Directed at the underlying reasons for chemical behavior of hazardous materials, the course is designed to improve decision-making, safety during operations and handling of these materials, and in predicting how materials will behave under incident conditions.  The class is heavily chemistry-oriented.  The format of the course will be a two-week, in-residence program.

Prerequisite: Documentation of certification at the Hazardous Materials Technician Level for one year prior to the start of class is required. 

Recertification: Same as Hazardous Materials Technician. 

 

Hazardous Materials Advanced Tactical Control
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 80 hours (10 days)

This module of Specialist-level training covers advanced hazardous materials control techniques.  The course is divided into five areas: risk assessment, rail, highway, industrial and marine.  The risk assessment section details incident and container size-up and strengthens incident management techniques.  The rail section focuses on railroad terminology, valving arrangements, damage assessment and leak control techniques.  The highway section is centered on cargo tank design and construction, containers used in transportation, damage assessment and leak control techniques.  The industrial section focuses on industrial chemical hazards, hazardous materials releases in industry and includes information on industrial processes, safety management, leak control and integration with the on-site emergency response team.  The marine section provides basic information on ship design and characteristics, marine terminology, leak control and working with the port authorities.  The course culminates in practical scenarios dealing with release of hazardous materials from various settings. 

Prerequisite: Certification at Hazardous Materials Technician level and successful completion of the Chemistry of Hazardous Materials course.

Recertification: Same as Hazardous Materials Technician.

 

Hazardous Materials Incident Planning and Management
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 24 hours (3 days)
This course is designed for managers and command-level officers who will be emergency incident managers.  The course includes training in the model Incident Management Command System (ICS); working with local, state, and federal agencies and private industry; data collection and hazard analysis; and basic concepts of control and mitigation.  Students will apply these skills in simulated incidents.

Prerequisite: Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations

Recertification: Students must recertify/demonstrate competencies annually at the levels of HMFR Operations, Hazardous Materials Technician or Hazardous Materials Specialist to maintain certification. 


Hazardous Materials Tactical Command and Safety
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 16 hours (2 days)

This course is designed for hazardous materials team leaders and hazardous materials specialists who would function as the HAZMAT Branch Officer or Safety Officer.  This scenario-based course addresses the roles and responsibilities of the HAZMAT Branch Officer and Safety Officer working within the scope of the model Incident Command System.  The course includes information on incident analysis, tactical control operations, safety, resource management, tactical command and ICS HAZMAT branch organization. 

Prerequisite: HAZMAT Technicians or Specialists who would function as the Hazardous Materials Team Leader, HAZMAT Branch Officer or Safety Officer are encouraged to attend. 

Recertification: Same as Hazardous Materials Technician.

 

Public Safety Response to Terrorism — Hazmat Team Operations
Available through: VDEM
Class length: 16 hours (2 days)

The course is designed for HAZMAT Technicians and Specialists who could respond to a terrorist/WMD event.  The class contains advanced level information on explosives, detection and monitoring, PPE, advanced decontamination practices and decision making.  The program includes classroom sessions and practical exercises.  Attendees should have a basic knowledge of terrorism including Weapons of Mass Destruction training. 

Prerequisite: Hazardous Materials Technician or Specialist.  This class is written to the Hazardous Materials First Responder - Technician level and higher.

Recertification: There is no recertification requirement for this course.

Public Safety Response to Terrorism – Awareness Course

The course is designed for public-sector emergency responders assigned to respond to or assist during a terrorist/WMD incident. This course discusses terrorism and addresses the challenges facing emergency responders today. Through case history, the student will receive information on incident recognition, scene control, and responder self-protection. This course focuses on identification of the incident crime scene, incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive incidents, cyber terrorism, eco-terrorism and planning considerations.

No course prerequisites. Enrollment in this course is limited to 30 individuals. All public safety emergency responders, i.e., dispatchers, law enforcement, fire, EMT’s, EM’s, etc., who would function as part of the response operation of an incident involving these materials or situations are encouraged to attend. All attendees will receive a certificate of completion.
There is no fee to attend this course. Any travel costs (meals, lodging, or transportation) are the responsibilities of the responder or the responder’s jurisdiction.

Download and complete the VDEM HAZMAT Training Application from the VDEM website:(http://www.vaemergency.gov/em/forms