Tell, Teach, Involve – Part One
Training and Learning for Emergency Notification and Incident Notification Personnel
“Tell me and I forget, teach me, and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
What and who is this series for?
This blog series is focused on learning and teaching strategies and theories specifically for Emergency Notification (EN) and Incident Management (IM) teams. It will cover the trainer’s struggles and the learner’s needs, based on techniques, practices, and resources. There is a wide range of environments that provide training from large government organizations like FEMA and CDC to town police forces and small business emergency management teams. Much of the training that we offer can be shared and adopted, while some is highly specific and only can be used in very limited use cases.
Let me start with what should be a basic question: Why teach our teams at all? The lessons of Katrina and later 9/11 led to the realization we were not prepared for emergencies. First hand responders and EM workers made mistakes, misused resources and were unclear on their areas of responsibilities. An excellent resource for Incident Management training is the NIMS Training Program by the Department of Homeland Security. It was developed to prevent future bad lessons.
Dr. Robert Chandler, in his book Emergency Notifications, described the executive orders and noted their call to conduct testing, training, and exercises. Dr. Chandler provides a quote from Robert Zito, an executive vice president who was with the New York Stock exchange, discussing 9/11, “Until the crisis comes, in whatever form, you don’t really understand how valuable the preparation was.”
The lack of preparation and opportunities to practice with exercises result in dangerous gambles with lives, reputations, and resources. This is expressed particularly well by Barrett Tillman, describing firearms training, “You won’t rise to the occasion, you’ll default to your level of training”
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