Using the Incident Command System in Public Health Outbreak Investigations

This training is designed to help public health professionals at the local level integrate use of the Incident Command System (ICS) into a common public health department activity: investigating a disease outbreak. It was developed in 2009 by the UNC Center for Public Health Preparedness in partnership with North Carolina Public Health Regional Surveillance Team 6 (PHRST 6).

This training can be completed in approximately 2.5 hours as a single session or 2 shorter sessions as a facilitated small group session using a DVD. It may also be viewed online for a self-paced individual training activity.

Module 1 – reviews the core concepts of ICS in public health followed by an example of ICS as it was used by local health departments during an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness in a rural area.

Module 2 – uses a case study scenario of implementing ICS during a hypothetical disease outbreak investigation.


This training does not provide official certification for ICS. It is designed to provide a public health-specific supplement to the ICS courses listed below.

Prerequisites for this training:


  • ICS-300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents is strongly recommended for persons who might serve as Command Staff or General Staff: This is a state-administered program available through your state’s emergency management agency.

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