New members will be admitted on a probationary basis, pending completion of the Army MARS Basic Training Course (BTC). Former MARS members eligible to rejoin the Army MARS program will also be required to take the Army MARS BTC. The Army MARS BTC is an ‘open book’ series of tests that can be completed in the comfort of the member’s home. After completion of the basic training course, there is an expectation that members will keep up-to-date on changes in the Army MARS program.
Training Resources Available from Other Sources
Incident Command System (ICS) There are self-study and class room courses available on the ICS and are available on from the FEMA Training Institute. You may contact your local emergency management office or your local Emergency Coordinator (EC) for availability of these courses.
National Incident Management System (NIMS) The Department of Homeland Security has mandated use of ICS and its follow-on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) by fiscal year end 2005 for any entity seeking federal money. If your served agency has not yet started with NIMS, they will very soon.
National Response Plan (NRP) IS-800 The National Response Plan (NRP) is the latest in “suggested” course material we need to know about. It is available via the FEMA link below.
Self Paced Emergency Management Course
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a number of independent study courses designed to educate you in some of the basic principles of emergency management. Course titles include Emergency Program Manager (IS-1), Emergency Preparedness (IS-2), Radiological Emergency Management (IS-3), Hazardous Materials (IS-5), Disaster Assistance (IS-7) as well as some other courses on disaster exercises, preparedness and response, and earthquakes. Most of these courses include reading a book on the subject and answering an exam. You’re issued a certificate of completion and if you desire, for a fee you can get college credit for these courses. If you’re interested in getting started in these courses, contact FEMA at: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/crslist.asp