Training for the Emergency Response Team
MERT International can provide training for your ERT. Training is about raising the awareness of key staff about what the emergencies are that they may face and giving them confidence in the procedures an organisation uses and their ability to carry them out successfully. It is also about developing competencies and skill-sets so that staff can fulfil key roles.
Organisations should consider 2 broad types of training:
emergency preparedness - training key staff to carry out risk assessment, business continuity management (BCM) and emergency planning
emergency response - training staff to carry out response functions when an emergency occurs
Why training is necessary
It is important that all those within an organisation who may be involved in planning for and responding to an emergency should be appropriately prepared. This requires a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and how they fit into the wider picture.
Without training, an organisation and its staff will quickly become overwhelmed by an emergency, unable to handle its mpacts and recover from them.
Who should train
Any staff who could be involved in emergency planning or response should receive appropriate training. But training should also extend beyond those employed by the organisation and include contractors and the staff of voluntary organisations who might be used in support of emergency planning or response.
Training for emergency preparedness
Any organisation will need appropriately trained people who are capable of conducting risk assessment, business continuity management and emergency planning. These three processes underpin an organisation’s preparedness for emergencies, and their ability to respond and recover effectively.
The sections on risk, business continuity and emergency planning provide more detail on these processes.
More generally, these key people (such as Emergency Planning Officers in Local Authorities) will need to provide leadership and a focus for emergency preparedness to ensure the ongoing processes of risk assessment, BCM and planning are taken seriously at all levels of an organisation. As the central authors of an organisation’s emergency plans, they will also be looked to for direction if an emergency occurs and plans must be carried out.
Training for emergency response
Training should be provided for all staff that will be involved in implementing an emergency plan or business continuity plan, and anyone else who may have a role in emergency response and recovery. All these people will need to feel confident and competent in any role they may take.
A rolling training programme will be needed to account for staff turn-over, and also to ensure all staff are regularly refreshed and practised in emergency response. Training should include:
the contents of the plan - how is the emergency or business continuity plan invoked? What are the key decision-making processes? Who else needs to be involved?
the individual’s role in implementing the plan - what is expected of them? How do they fit into the wider picture?
key skills and knowledge required in crisis response
Exercises are both a type of training, and a distinct type of emergency preparedness. Exercises have 3 main purposes: to validate plans; to develop staff competencies and give them practice in carrying out their roles in emergency plans (training); and to test well-established procedures. It is important that people taking part in exercises should be trained beforehand. Participants should have an awareness of their roles and be reasonably comfortable with them, before they are subject to the stresses of an exercise.
Every employee needs to know details of the emergency action plan, including evacuation plans, alarm systems, reporting procedures for personnel, shutdown procedures, and types of potential emergencies. Any special hazards, such as flammable materials, toxic chemicals, radioactive sources or water-reactive substances, should be discussed with employees. Drills should be held at random intervals, at least annually, and should include outside police and fire authorities.
Training must be conducted at least annually and when employees are hired or when their job changes. Additional training is needed when new equipment, materials or processes are introduced, when the layout or design of the facility changes, when procedures have been updated or revised, or when exercises show that employee performance is inadequate. Examples of the training modules which may be required are:
incident command module
voice/radio procedure module
HAZMAT and COSHH module
Manual Handling - Safe moving of People
Confined Space training / tripod, breathing aparatus modules
Working at Height / Harness module
Fire training module
Infection Control module
IOSH Working Safely
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