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Guidelines for Transportation Emergency Training Exercises Simulators: Control staff personnel who simulate nonparticipating organizations or key nonpartic- ipating individuals. Simulators may come in face-to-face contact with players or perform their func- tions from a simulation cell (SIMCELL). They also may function semi-independently (e.g., as the mayor, media reporters, next-of-kin, or perpetrators). Actors: The volunteers who pretend to be victims of the emergency event. For realism, they may wear makeup and "act" injured, unconscious, hysterical, or dead, whatever is called for at the scene. Safety Officer: The person whose primary responsibility is to analyze the entire exercise from a safety perspective in both planning and operational roles. EXERCISE PLANNING CONFERENCES Operations-based Operations-based exercises are typically planned using a minimum of three conferences: exercises can have three to six Initial planning conference (IPC); planning conferences, Mid-term planning conference (MPC); and depending on their complexity Final planning conference (FPC). and the number of participating Because a large amount of information is needed to organize an operations-based exercise, other con- agencies. ferences are also recommended, including a concept and objectives meeting and a master scenario events list conference (MSEL). A brief description is provided for each type of planning conferences in the typical chronological order in which they would be held. Concept and Objectives (C&O) Meeting: Used to identify the type, scope, objectives, and purpose of the exercise. This meeting is typically run by the lead exercise planner and attended by the transporta- tion agency and senior officials from participating agencies. This meeting formally begins the exercise planning process. Specifically, the exercise planning team and other attendees agree on the exercise scope, determine an exercise location, define the overall objectives, determine the major participants, and select a date for the IPC. Exercise concept development is usually based on the transportation agency's stated purpose in con- ducting the exercise, prior experience, operations, and historical precedence. Exercise objectives are used to establish the scope, specify the functions to be demonstrated, identify the extent of organization/ personnel participation, and identify the breadth and depth of activities to be accomplished or simulated. Participants in the meeting submit views on the proposed exercise concept, scenario, proposed objec- tives, recommended levels of participation, draft exercise responsibilities, potential planning milestones, and (if applicable) recommended changes to the host agency's scenario to ensure that submitting agency interests are adequately reflected. The exercise concept guides the preparation of exercise doc- uments developed in subsequent exercise planning meetings. A C&O paper is prepared for dissemination to the exercise planning community and senior representa- tives of participating departments, agencies, jurisdictions and organizations. The C&O provides a syn- opsis of the IPC results and agreements and addresses the following: Exercise dates, Exercise purpose and type, Overall concept, Major exercise objectives, 45
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Guidelines for Transportation Emergency Training Exercises Exercise duration, Assumptions and artificialities, and Expected participant list. Initial Planning Conference: As for discussion-based exercises, the IPC provides a forum to obtain the planning team's input on exercise location, schedule, duration, and other details required to develop exercise documentation. Planning team members should be assigned responsibility for the tasks out- lined in the meeting. The foundation of the IPC is the exercise sponsor's proposed concept and over- arching objectives, and the goal is to reach consensus on the exercise concept, objectives, scope, and broad scenario so that exercise design and development can proceed. This consensus will provide the basis for the exercise planning team to: Refine draft exercise objectives and the scenario, Identify exercise assumptions, Confirm exercise dates, Coordinate levels of participation in the exercise, Disseminate current and specific planning guidance to exercise planners, Inform planners to provide their portions of the draft exercise plan, Finalize the C&O paper, and Prepare a draft exercise plan. Mid-Term Planning Conference (MPC): The MPC presents an additional opportunity in the planning timeline to settle logistical and organizational issues that arise during planning, such as staffing con- cepts, scenario and timeline development, scheduling, logistics, administrative requirements, and reviewing draft documentation. A Master Scenario Events List (MSEL) Conference: MSEL conferences are conducted for exercises with significant simulated and scripted play, typically functional and full-scale exercises. The MSEL pro- vides the script (or list of events) that both guides the unfolding of the scenario and identifies the antic- ipated responses of the players. The MSEL offers a synopsis of key events and expected responses. During the exercise, it is used to generate activity in specific functional areas to drive demonstration of objectives. There are generally two MSEL conferences scheduled, and they can be held in conjunction with the MPC and FPC or as separate events. The first conference focuses on the development of the MSEL and ensures that exercise planners from participating departments, agencies, jurisdictions, and organizations have identified activities that must occur during the exercise to enable achievement of exercise objectives. Exercise planners also define "injects" to stimulate players to perform tasks that address exercise objectives and coordinate event times in keeping with proposed scenario and expected responses. The result of the first conference is a chronological listing of exercise events and publication of the key event list. The ability to ensure that events occur, and to ensure that controllers are able to manage exercise flow, requires that certain information be injected into the exercise; this is accomplished through MSEL imple- menters. An implementer is the vehicle that places an MSEL item into exercise play. The second con- 46