Incident Command System Training Vital to Mission of State Guard

More than 30 SCSG personnel attended Incident Command System Training in Chester, SC.

BY: CPT Brad E. Bailey w/ SGT Bill Pickle & PVT2 Joshua Heffner (Photos by Pickle & Heffner)

CHESTER, SC: South Carolina State Guard personnel from around the state descended on Chester, SC for Incident Command System (ICS) training for Expanding Incidents (IS300) at the Chester County EMS headquarters. ICS, is a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency responses. When the SCSG is called on to respond during emergency situations, units operate under the ICS system, so this intensive 2-day training and more advanced courses are vital to the continued success of the organization.

The course included instruction from 2LT Jason Block from the Medical Detachment, MAJ Jeff Jackson from the Engineering Detachment, and Leslie Brakefield from North Chester Fire Department. Block, who joined the State Guard in May 2018 and has served as a preparedness coordinator with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for the past 8-years, says that “[C]ompletion of Incident Command courses enables the State Guard to easily integrate its resources and personnel in a coordinated response among various jurisdictions and functional agencies, both public and private.” During a state emergency the State Guard plays an integral part in enhancing the abilities of local, county, and state agencies, so emphasis on ensuring that personnel are trained and ready is a cornerstone to the effectiveness of the organization.

More than 30 State Guard personnel were joined by first responders from the Chester County EMS, and 2LT Roman Vitanza, Public Affairs Officer, with the Civil Air Patrol: Anderson Composite 074.

ICS 300 and IC 400 courses are central to the mission of the #SCSG and are required for all personnel over the rank of E-5. These courses are also required for any SCSG personnel seeking their Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) certifications. MEMS training and coordination is offered through the State Guard Association of the United States (SGAUS). CSM Wesley Snipes is the SCSG State Coordinator for MEMS training in South Carolina. According o Snipes, plans are underway to bring more ICS training courses to the State and information will be made available as class dates and times are organized. You can find out more about MEMS training HERE.

If you are interested in learning more about obtaining your MEMS certifications, contact CSM Snipes at:

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