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Executive Summary


A. Introduction

B. Description of System

C. Certification & Re-certification

D. Currency Req'ts.

E. Required Training / Prerequisite Exp.

F. Additional Training

G. Fitness Standards

H. Incident Complexity

I. Review and Update

J. Position Categories

K. Type 1 & Type 2 IMT's

L. ICS, Skill and Expanded Dispatch Position Qualifications

Appendix A: Position Task Book Admin.

Appendix B: Qual. Flow Charts

Appendix C: Training Courses

Appendix D: Glossary

An Adobe PDF version of this document (117 pages, 213 kb) can be downloaded from the NWCG Publications Management System (PMS) website.


Wildland and Prescribed Fire Qualification System Guide

PMS 310-1 (NFES 1414)
January 2000


There are many factors that determine incident complexity: size, location, threat to life and property, political sensitivity, organizational complexity, jurisdictional boundaries, values to be protected, fuel type, topography, agency policy, etc.

Incident complexity is identified by Types 1-5. For example, a Type 5 incident is characterized by relatively few resources, is of short duration, and has few of the complicating factors identified above. A Type 1 incident, on the other hand, has large numbers of resources and many of the complicating factors identified above.

The agency administrator or designated representative must determine the complexity of an incident and assign qualified personnel as needed. In situations where multiple agencies and jurisdictions are involved, the determination of complexity and qualifications should be made jointly.

For prescribed fire, a NWCG Complexity Guide has been developed. This guide, Prescribed Fire Complexity Guide (PMS-424, NFES 2474), is an aid for use in this process, although agencies can develop their own specific determination procedures. For burns evaluated to have low complexity, the agency and its local cooperators will jointly agree on qualifications required. An agency can also establish its own qualifications for higher complexity burns where the resources of other agencies are not utilized. For burns which are of moderate complexity or higher and on which resources of more than one agency are utilized, the minimum qualifications established in this guide are required.


To keep the Wildland and Prescribed Fire Qualification System Guide current, it is necessary to make revisions. This process requires users to submit proposed revisions through the appropriate agency official to the NWCG Incident Operations Standards Working Team (IOSWT).

The IOSWT will annually review comments received and determine the need for revision. While the IOSWT may address special problems at any time, the planned revision will occur at least every five (5) years. Users may submit, through the appropriate agency official, proposed revisions as needs are identified. All NWCG agencies will be requested to review and provide input to the established revision process. The IOSWT will review the proposals, consult with subject matter experts, other NWCG working teams as appropriate, and recommend adoption
or rejection by NWCG.


Non-operations personnel who have the need to be on the fireline for non-suppression tasks must have the knowledge and skills found in Standards for Survival, or must be accompanied by someone qualified to be on the fireline.

Four types of positions are identified in this guide:

  1. ICS Positions. Any position found on the ICS organizational chart in the Operational System Description (OSD), PMS 120-1. Training may include
    required courses and “I” courses, “S” courses and “J” Job aids that are classified as knowledge and skills needed.

    Following is a listing of all ICS positions:


Agency Representative (AREP)
Air Operations Branch Director (AOBD)
Air Support Group Supervisor (ASGS)
Air Tactical Group Supervisor (ATGS)
Air Tanker/Fixed Wing Coordinator (ATCO)
Aircraft Base Radio Operator (ABRO)
Area Command Aviation Coordinator (ACAC)
Area Commander (ACDR)
Assistant Area Commander, Logistics (ACLC)
Assistant Area Commander, Plans (ACPC)
Base/Camp Manager (BCMG)
Claims Specialist (CLMS)
Commissary Manager (CMSY)
Communications Unit Leader (COML)
Compensation/Claims Unit Leader (COMP)
Compensation-for-Injury Specialist (INJR)
Cost Unit Leader (COST)
Deck Coordinator (DECK)
Demobilization Unit Leader (DMOB)
Display Processor (DPRO)
Division/Group Supervisor (DIVS)
Documentation Unit Leader (DOCL)
Equipment Manager (EQPM)
Equipment Time Recorder (EQTR)
Facilities Unit Leader (FACL)
Field Observer (FOBS)
Finance/Administration Section Chief
Type 1 (FSC1)
Finance/Administration Section Chief
Type 2 (FSC2)
Food Unit Leader (FDUL)
Ground Support Unit Leader (GSUL)
Helibase Manager (4+)(HEB1)
Helibase Manager (1-3)(HEB2)
Helicopter Coordinator (HLCO)
Helicopter Crewmember (HECM)
Helicopter Manager (HEMG)
Incident Commander Type 1 (ICT1)
Incident Commander Type 2 (ICT2)
Incident Commander Type 3 (ICT3)
Incident Commander Type 4 (ICT4)
Incident Commander Type 5 (ICT5)
Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM)
Incident Communications Technician (COMT)
Interagency Resource Representative (IARR)
Information Officer Type 1 (IOF1)
Information Officer Type 2 (IOF2)
Information Officer Type 3 (IOF3)
Liaison Officer (LOFR)
Logistics Section Chief Type 1(LSC1)
Logistics Section Chief Type 2 (LSC2)
Medical Unit Leader (MEDL)
Operations Branch Director (OPBD)
Operations Section Chief Type 1 (OSC1)
Operations Section Chief Type 2 (OSC2)
Ordering Manager (ORDM)
Personnel Time Recorder (PTRC)
Planning Section Chief Type 1 (PSC1)
Planning Section Chief Type 2 (PSC2)
Procurement Unit Leader (PROC)
Radio Operator (RADO)
Receiving/Distribution Manager (RCDM)
Resources Unit Leader (RESL)
Safety Officer (SOF1)
Safety Officer (SOF2)
Safety Officer (SOF3)
Security Manager (SECM)
Service Branch Director (SVBD)
Situation Unit Leader (SITL)
Staging Area Manager (STAM)
Status/Check-In Recorder (SCKN)
Strike Team Leader Crew (STCR)
Strike Team Leader Dozer (STDZ)
Strike Team Leader Engine (STEN)
Strike Team Leader Tractor/Plow(STPL)
Supply Unit Leader (SPUL)
Support Branch Director (SUBD)
Take-Off and Landing Coordinator (TOLC)
Task Force Leader (TFLD)
Time Unit Leader (TIME)
  1. Wildland Fire Skill Positions. These positions have been identified as unique to wildland fire suppression because they require a level of knowledge and skills to perform wildland fire suppression duties and were not identified in the Operational System Description. Personnel shall be assigned only to positions for which they are certified.

    The following is a listing of all wildland fire skill positions:

Wildland Fire Skill Positions
Advanced Firefighter/Squad Boss (FFT1)
Crew Representative (CREP)
Crew Boss (Single Resource) (CRWB
Dozer Boss (Single Resource) (DOZB)
Engine Boss (Single Resource) (ENGB)
Felling Boss (Single Resource) (FELB)
Firing Boss (Single Resource) (FIRB)
Firefighter (FFT2)
Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN)
Infrared Interpreter (IRIN)
Tractor/Plow Boss (Single Resource) (TRPB)
Training Specialist (TNSP)
Expanded Dispatch Skill Positions
Coordinator (CORD)
Dispatch Recorder (EDRC)
Supervisory Dispatcher (EDSP)
Support Dispatcher (EDSD)
  1. Technical Specialist Positions. Technical specialists are personnel with unique skills. These specialists may be used anywhere within the incident organization. No minimum qualifications are identified in this guide. Most technical specialists are certified in their field or profession. To orient technical specialists, it is suggested that the knowledge and skills from the following training courses be reviewed:

    • Introduction to ICS (I-100)
    • Wildland Fire suppression Orientation for Non-
      Operations Personnel (S-110)

For titles and mnemonics of identified technical specialists see the National Interagency Mobilization Guide (NFES 2091).

  1. Fire Use Skill Positions - One or more of the following positions may be needed for the successful use of wildland and prescribed fire to achieve land management objectives. They require a level of specific skill and knowledge. Personnel shall be assigned only to positions in which they are certified.

    Following is a listing of all wildland fire use skill positions:

    Fire Use Skill Positions
    Fire Use Manager (FUMA)
    Fire Effects Monitor (FEMO)
    Ignition Specialist Type 1 (RXI1)
    Ignition Specialist Type 2 (RXI2)
    Long Term Fire Analyst (LTAN)
    Prescribed Fire Manager Type 1 (RXM1)
    Prescribed Fire Manager Type 2 (RXM2)

    Following is a listing of fire use skill positions certified by fuel group as defined in the evaluation section of the PTBs:

    Fire Use Skill Positions - Certified by Fuel Group
    Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 1 (RXB1)
    Prescribed Fire Burn Boss Type 2 (RXB2)


To become eligible for participation on a National Type 1 team, any person filling a team position as the Incident Commander, Safety Officer, Information Officer or general staff must complete, as established in this guide, the Advanced Incident Management(S-520) training course.

To become eligible for participation on a Type 2 team, any person filling a team position as the Incident Commander, Safety Officer, Information Officer or general staff must complete, as established in this guide, the Command and General Staff (S-420) training course.

An individual, having successfully completed the S-420 or S-520 course, does not need to re-attend for the purpose of changing functions on a team at the appropriate level - such change will be governed by meeting the requirements of the applicable position task book and receiving agency certification.


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