Least Resistance Training Concepts (LRTC)

Volunteers Training for Emergencies

  Recommended On-line Courses
June 15, 2012

During significant emergencies, people in charge of emergency operations are often reluctant to allow civilians into emergency zones. Doing so implies responsibility for the safety of civilian volunteers. Emergency managers also need to have some sense that civilian volunteers understand how emergency operations are organized and how to function within that organization without creating any disruptions.

Listed below are on-line courses that we recommend all potential animal rescue volunteers take in order to become proficient in the fundamental principles, policies and lingo that routinely apply in large emergencies. Whether you are operating to protect your own animals, your neighbors' animals or are responding to a broadcast for volunteer assistance, your ability to understand the system and "talk the talk" with people involved in perimeter security may often make the difference as to whether or not you are permitted to enter the emergency zone.

FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) has several on-line courses designed for first responders to emergencies involving animals. These courses cover the roles of individual volunteers and they explain the framework in which professional and volunteer responders will be working. Certificates are issued upon successful completion of each course. CEU credits are given for those students seeking Continuing Education Units.

The following courses are recommended for volunteer emergency responders and are part of our team's basic syllabus.

Note: IS-100b and IS-200b are prerequisites in order to take the NV Division of Emergency Management's hands-on Technical Large Animal Rescue courses.

The following courses are recommended for group and team leaders.


The following on-line course is recommended for all responders who may work in or alongside traffic while moving stray livestock and/or dealing with transportation incidents.

  • National Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Training. Avg. course time, about 6 hours for students who already have field experience, up to 10 hours for those who need to review additional resource materials.
    (Up to 10 CEUs.)

    This course explains various dangers and safety issues when working in and around traffic, including nationally recognized safety practices. Target students are police and fire / EMS, however the safety principles and practices covered apply to anyone working in and around traffic. A nationally recognized certificate is provided upon completion.

    (If you use this link, click "National TIM Training" from the left hand menu on the Responder Safety web page.)


The following on-line course is recommended for all responders who may work in association with or under the authority of Search and Rescue and/or CERT organizations.

  • IS-809 Emergency Support Function (ESF) #9 Search and Rescue. Avg. course time, Hr.
    (No CEUs.)

    This course explains how the Search and Rescue system is organized and which agencies are responsible for various classifications of incidents. A nationally recognized certificate is provided upon completion.

  • IS-317 Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams. Avg. course time, 6 Hrs.
    (.6 CEUs.)

    This course provides an overview of the CERT role in disaster preparedness and response. It also discusses CERT organization and activities. A nationally recognized certificate is provided upon completion.


These on-line courses can provide information that is valuable for understanding how complex emergency operations work and how volunteers can safely and appropriately be part of those operations. However local hands-on training and pre-emergency interaction with local emergency response agencies are equally important. The time to learn and prepare is before an emergency occurs. Volunteers who have received relevant training typically produce better results and suffer fewer accidents.

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