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COLLEGE STATION – The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is leveraging technology and changing the way trainers learn to teach the Incident Command System (ICS) to responders in cities and departments nationwide. By early summer, TEEX will be using iPads to deliver the FEMA Train-the-Trainer course in the Incident Command System (ICS) Curricula (MGT906).

“We’re leveraging technology to benefit the students and to make the course more efficient,” said. Jason Moats, Program Director with TEEX Emergency Services Training Institute. “Typically, we use up to 14 books for this class. Students will now use iPads to view the textbooks and create the lessons. Instead of relying on participants to bring their own computers, we looked for a better way to do this. By using iPads, we expect to reduce the course cost by 20 to 25 percent.”

The curriculum, originally developed by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute
(EMI), was already compatible with the iPad platform, Moats added. “The curriculum was jointly revised by TEEX and EMI in 2012 and restructured specifically to meet the needs of the instructors who will be teaching the course when they return to their home department or jurisdiction.”

Course participants, who are already well-versed in the ICS, discuss the primary teaching points and the pitfalls and best practices of teaching the ICS to others. During the 32-hour class, they must create a lesson, build a PowerPoint presentation, and present the lesson to the class.

Previously, students had to bring their own computers, but now they will use the iPad provided, Moats said. After the class, they will receive the course information on a CD or thumb drive to take with them, and have access to the FEMA curriculum online.

The course is offered at no charge across the U.S. through TEEX’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center
(NERRTC), and funded by DHS/FEMA under the Homeland Security National Training Program (HSNTP) Cooperative Agreement. TEEX/NERRTC also purchased the iPads as part of a “leveraging technology initiative.”

“We’re doing this to be more efficient in the course delivery, but we are integrating the iPads in such a way that it benefits the students as well,” Moats said.

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Kathy Fraser

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