A Major Emergency Management Initial Response course provides personnel with formal training in command, control, communications and stress-related factors in the management of major emergencies.
Regardless of job title, a ‘duty shift supervisor’, a ‘site main controller’ or an ‘offshore installation manager’ for example, an emergency manager (EM) has the primary duty of identifying the problem, determining the correct level of response and ensuring that this response is implemented. Events need to be anticipated, a plan formulated and the emergency management team (EMT) must support the manager’s decisions and act accordingly.
Before personnel can go forward for formal assessment in emergency management, they first require training in handling major emergencies at the scene and an appraisal of their capabilities under duress. Emergency management also requires specific qualities and skills, which are essentially different from those demanded by daily routine.
The OPITO-approved Major Emergency Management Initial Response Training will introduce management principles as the first stage of development for emergency managers. Rarely do delegates leave the course and go directly into formal assessment – more training, experience and appraisal will usually be necessary, including exposure to other ER team roles through workplace drills and scenarios.
The target group for Major Emergency Management Initial Response (MEMIR) training is personnel who are either designated as being in charge of, are members of, or provide support to an emergency management team in an emergency.
Command centre and other responding personnel will find the course invaluable as an introduction to major emergency response. They will gain an understanding of the manager’s options and actions, plus techniques to improve confidence in performing their own duties in the event of a major incident.
Most facilities have emergency response support teams available remotely from the incident. These teams are there to offer advice and to liaise with emergency, environmental and support services, and the media. Although MEM Initial Response training is not essential, as their responsibilities differ greatly from the immediacy of decision making at the centre of an unfolding emergency, members of these support teams may also benefit from attending the course.
About 35% of the course will take place in a classroom while 65% is spent attaining the practical skills needed to be part of the initial response team.
After successfully passing the final exam, students will be issued with an OPITO approved certificate and a performance appraisal.
The aim of the MEMIR Training is to equip personnel with formal training in command, control, communications and stress-related factors in the management of major emergencies. In addition, this programme also provides initial emergency management training for personnel who are undertaking a training and competence programme to progress to the role of an emergency response manager.
The objectives of the MEMIR Training are that delegates will be able to:
Following a short period of classroom study, the delegates enter a command centre simulator in which they will each experience, on a minimum of two scenarios in the role of emergency manager, the realism of several major events. Prior to the first simulated exercise, a theoretical discussion of the generic emergency scenarios will prepare the delegate to ensure that they have an understanding of what is expected of them and the required steps to meet the criteria of the standard and the practical exercises. A post-exercise debrief will be held where an appraiser will feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual and team performances.
Following training and appraisal, the delegate will receive an OPITO-approved Major Emergency Management Initial Response training certificate and a written analysis of any knowledge and performance gaps. These gaps should be met by further training and workplace drills and exercises.
If an incident occurs, the first minutes of the response are critical to escalation prevention and to the successful conclusion of the event. Even in a built-up area where the emergency services can be quickly summoned it is still the initial response that dictates the outcome and someone must take control. Imagine then the pivotal role of an emergency manager in a facility located in a remote region, or more demanding still, offshore, where the installation is surrounded by acres of water and assistance is limited.
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