HS13 – Emergency Duty Officer Training


Course Content

Integral to that is the practising and testing of all the elements of emergency plans. This tout lines what we mean by exercising, describes different types of exercise, and outlines the exercising which takes place at all levels of government. It also provides some specific examples of recent exercises. Training staff who are involved in emergency planning and response is fundamental to an organisation’s ability to handle any type of emergency. This training also outlines the aims of training in this context, describes different types of training, and points out the emphasis placed on training which is designed to equip people with the knowledge, skills and awareness necessary for their role in crisis management at the national strategic level. Emergency planning exercises An exercise is a simulation of an emergency situation. Exercises have 3 main purposes: to validate plans (validation) to develop staff competencies and give them practice in carrying out their roles in the plans (training) to test well-established procedures (testing) Why it is important to hold exercises Planning for emergencies cannot be considered reliable until it is exercised and has proved to be workable, especially since false confidence may be placed in the integrity of a written plan. Generally, participants in exercises should have an awareness of their roles and be reasonably comfortable with them, before they are subject to the stresses of an exercise. Exercising is not to catch people out. It tests procedures, not people. If staff are under-prepared, they may blame the plan, when they should blame their lack of preparation and training. An important aim of an exercise should be to make people feel more comfortable in their roles and to build morale. Types of exercises There are 3 main types of exercise: discussion-based table top live A fourth category combines elements of the other 3. The choice of which one to adopt depends on what the purpose of the exercise is. It is also a question of lead-in time and available resources.

Who Or Why You Should Attend

Duty Officers

Course Overview

Discussion-based exercises Discussion-based exercises are cheapest to run and easiest to prepare. They can be used at the policy formulation stage as a ‘talk-through’ of how to finalise the plan. More often, they are based on a completed plan and are used to develop awareness about the plan through discussion. In this respect, they are often used for training purposes. Table top exercises Table top exercises are based on simulation, not necessarily literally around a table top. Usually, they involve a realistic scenario and a time line, which may be real time or may speed time up. Usually table tops are run in a single room, or in a series of linked rooms which simulate the divisions between responders who need to communicate and be co-ordinated. The players are expected to know the plan and they are invited to test how the plan works as the scenario unfolds. This type of exercise is particularly useful for validation purposes, particularly for exploring weaknesses in procedures. Table-top exercises are relatively cheap to run, except in the use of staff time. They demand careful preparation. Live exercises Live exercises are a live rehearsal for implementing a plan. Such exercises are particularly useful for testing logistics, communications and physical capabilities. They also make excellent training events from the point of view of experiential learning, helping participants develop confidence in their skills and providing experience of what it would be like to use the plan’s procedures in a real event. Where the latter purposes are, in fact, the main objective of the exercise, then it is essentially a training exercise or practice drill. Live exercises are expensive to set up on the day and demand the most extensive preparation. . This means that relevant planning documents must contain a statement about the nature of the training and exercising to be provided and its frequency.