Whilst individual training of your responders is crucial, so is team training, primarily achieved through exercises.
Although much relevance can be learnt from exercises for non-CBRN events, it is still important that exercises focusing on CBRN hazards are held so that due consideration is given to the specific challenges they create. Whilst each responding agency can practice its own response in isolation, it is also important that the full multi-agency response is brought together and exercised. Only in this way will agencies start to fully understand how they work together and what each other's priorities are.
Watership Associates can offer your organisation a full range of CBRN crisis management exercise options to validate plans, rehearse procedures from the strategic senior management level through the tactical to the operational level.
The challenge of managing an effective CBRN exercise is detailed and complex which should not be underestimated. Working with Watership Associates you can be confident that your exercise will achieve its objectives. Watership Associates exercises are designed not as a test that can be failed but are developmental, helping all participants to improve their understanding of their responsibilities in the response.
The nature and scale of exercises will be based on client’s needs, the complexity of the response to be exercised and the maturity of their CBRN preparation.
Exercises offered range from table top exercises to more full simulation exercises including:
- Crisis plan walk-throughs
- Scenario based workshops - discussion-based exercises that can be used to aid the development of your CBRN response plan at the formulation stage. This format can also be based on a completed plan and used to validate and develop awareness of the plan through discussion. Scenarios are based on the geographical location and responsibilities of your participants.
- Table top exercises - based on a facilitated simulation and discussion involving a realistic scenario and a time line. Ideally these exercises will be conducted in a single room with your participants divided into their normal work groups, in order to simulate the divisions between your responders who need to communicate and be co-ordinated, but when appropriate allowing for an open discussions of issues across divisions so all participants can learn the lessons that are identified. Your participants are expected to know your organisation's CBRN plan and they are invited to test how the plan works as the scenario unfolds. This type of exercise is particularly useful for validation of a plan, particularly for exploring weaknesses in procedures.
- Command Post Exercises (CPVs) - response forces are simulated by your commanders and their immediate supporting staff as well as communications within and between headquarters. Ideally your participants occupy their real time locations or simulated facilities. Exercise play is more free flow with inputs been provided by an exercise control cell who also simulate all the response forces not actually participating. This type of exercise encourages your participants to plan, coordinate, synchronize, and exercise command and control. It also tests your communications arrangements and, more importantly, information flows between team leaders from participating organisations. CPVs are a cost effective method of practicing command and control elements and decision making.
- Live Exercises - Live exercises are a live rehearsal for implementing a plan and can range from a small scale test of one component of the response, like evacuation - ranging from a building or "incident" site to an affected community - through to a full scale test of the whole organisation's response to an incident.Such exercises are particularly useful for testing logistics, communications and physical capabilities. Although a well-managed live exercise can be be an excellent method of validating a plan they also make excellent training events helping participants to develop confidence in their skills and providing experience of what it would be like to use the plan's procedures in a real event. Live exercises should not normally be undertaken until those involved have had the opportunity to prepare for theoir role by the means of a low-level exercise.
- Simulation - We can include simulation in all our exercises to enhance the learning experience and to enable your participants to better use their detection equipment, practice their decision making and carry out search, reconnaissance, survey techniques, contamination avoidance and control and casualty management.
Watership Associates support to exercises can include: