Why are so many Fire Fighters taking virtual ICS300 & ICS400 training?
Over the past few months, we have seen a huge increase in the number of fire fighters enrolling in our virtual ICS300 and virtual ICS400 courses. I have spoken with many of our students and it comes down to a few things. First and foremost, a large number of fire agencies require Incident Command System (ICS) training for their leadership positions - Whether that means a promotion in rank or unit leadership, these courses are required for leadership. In some agencies a candidate can’t even qualify for panel interviews without having ICS300 and ICS400 certificates. Additionally, certain specialized units such as Wildland Fire, require everyone to have ICS training due to the nature of their jobs.
Second, COVID-19 all but completely shut down in-person training courses and historically ICS classes were taught in-person. As we all know 2020 and COVID changed everything. Virtual training means participants can sign up and take a course from anywhere; home or office. All that is required is internet access and a device with video conference capabilities. With vision and foresight, The Blue Cell began building our Interactive Training Center (ITC) in 2019 at the Southlands Lifestyle and Entertainment District in Denver Colorado. All virtual courses are broadcast live from the ITC with participants from throughout the U.S.
Even before COVID, many rural agencies have shared that they just could not find ICS300 and ICS400 anywhere near them. And to attend a class for a couple days somewhere else in the state meant additional time out of the office as well as food and lodging expenses, all of which add up to more than the virtual class seat. By changing the learning platform to online, The Blue Cell is able to provide official course certificates as well as save the agency or department money.
As illustrated in this chart, the savings for an online class is astronomical. For a single seat in a virtual ICS300 or ICS400 course with The Blue Cell, your department will save more than $275. When looking at budgets across the board, you can easily see that online courses make the most financial sense!
Due to the high demand due to schedules, saving money and COVID-19 safety, virtual training is here to stay.
Jim Erickson has been working with the Public Safety and Emergency Management industries for 13 years providing hi-speed mass communication services, content and training management solutions, and disaster planning and damage assessment systems.Prior to entering the Public Safety and Emergency Management markets, Jim spent 20 years selling enterprise and government products and services with Moore North America, Rosetta Technologies, and Xerox Corporation.
Jim was born and raised in Southern California and relocated to Colorado with his wife, Ann, in 2000. They have four sons, whom Jim has helped mentor through The Boy Scouts of America program, as well as many other young men, having served as Scoutmaster, Committee Chairman, and Outdoor Program Advisor. In addition to enjoying all the outdoor activities the Scouts has to offer, Jim enjoys off-roading in his Jeep and home-brewing.