Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
32 CHAPTER THREE EMERGENCY TRAINING AND EXERCISE DELIVERY METHODS This chapter is based on a review of literature and interviews with information sources, and includes the following topics: â¢ Field crew meetings â¢ Just-in-time training (JITT) â¢ Interjurisdictional and interagency training and exercises â¢ Joint training â¢ Asynchronous training â Computer-based training without instructors â Prepackaged CDs and DVDs â¢ Train-the-trainer â¢ Planned events and incidents, exercises â Exercises â Discussion-based training âº Workshops âº Seminars âº Tabletop exercises âº Games â Operations-based training âº Drills âº Functional exercises âº Full-scale exercises â¢ Classroom training (including CCTV, VTC, VoIP) â¢ Online training with live instructorsâwebinars â¢ Computer simulations. âLearning is not an automatic consequence of pouring information into another personâs head. It requires the learnerâs own mental and physical involvement.â (Silberman 2005, p. 1) For adult learners who bring a great deal of experience and skills to the table and whose motivation is problem-centered, interactive training is ideal. Edwards and Goodrich say that âtraining . . . must be interactive to be effectiveâ and cite Knowles (1980), who notes that motivation for adult learners is problem-centered (Edwards and Goodrich, Mineta Trans- portation Institute, personal communication, March 5, 2013). The Rutgers security training assessment study (Lowrie and Shaw 2011) concluded that, for frontline personnel, hands-on scenario-based training maximizes the integration of learning goals. Interaction can be generated through case examples, brainstorming, role playing, and problem-solving activities; quizzes and tests with immediate feedback; and facilitated discussions. As stated in one FHWA-NHI publication, âTo involve adults in their own learning and adhere to adult learn- ing principles, introduce interactivity wherever possible into your instructionâ (âPrinciples of Adult Learning and Instruc- tional Systems Designâ 2004). Exercises and opportunities to practice the training on the job are also important. Because agencies differ in terms of size, budget, and capability, training and exercise delivery methods must be adaptable and scalable. Some agencies have several in-house trainers, while othersâespecially small agenciesâhave determined that the training cost per worker would be exces- sive. While training and exercises through the state EMA or through FEMAâs EMI may be free of charge, training and exercises from other sources may not be and would also require the agency to pay for personnel time; agencies have to budget for these costs. Also, state DOTs and PWs have found that difficulties in scheduling are a common challenge in the implementation of training and exercises for field per- sonnel. Hence, it is important to differentiate between syn- chronous and asynchronous learning methods. Synchronous methods require a live instructor and take place at a fixed time. Participants interact with the instructor and with each other through the web or in person. Asynchro- nous methods, such as CDs and YouTube videos, are more flexible, are less costly, and can take place according to the learnerâs schedule and pace. These methods, while not always appropriate in addressing complex training requirements, can play an important role in meeting the overall training needs of state DOTs and PWs. While there is no live instructor, some forms of asynchronous training can be facilitated and provide the learner with a certain amount of structure. NCHRP Report 793: Incorporating Transportation Secu- rity Awareness into Routine State DOT Operations and Training highlights the importance of security awareness for all state DOT employees and contractors. The report is intended to be used to improve transportation security in the context of existing resource and budget constraints and âout- lines techniques to integrate all-hazards security awareness concepts and reminders into routine state DOT operations, maintenance, and trainingâ (NCHRP Report 793, p. 1). The 2011 Rutgers study of security training needs and delivery preferences observed that classroom training is
33 the most effective format for learning; however, classroom training may not always be feasible. Therefore, as Security 101 recommends, the trainings should be designed to be flexible in terms of time duration and be designed as mod- ules that can be integrated with other trainings or meetings (Security 101 2009). The second part of Edwards and Goodrich (2014) con- tains a handbook to help transportation sector staff cre- ate, develop, implement, and wrap up federally mandated exercises (p. 1). Because the HSEEP 2013 document lacks guidance specific to the transportation sector, Edwards and Goodrich orient their guidance to the experiences and work of that sector (p. 15). The handbook contains the following tools and aids: â¢ Exercise definitions â¢ Checklists to guide the initiation, planning, execution, evaluation, and wrap-up of different types of exercises (e.g., seminars, workshops, drills, TTXs) â¢ Guidance to explain the checklists in detail â¢ A sample feedback form and after-action report â¢ A list of references and training resources for exercises. There is not one ideal training and exercise method for all state DOTs or all PWs, nor one ideal method for every type of emergency training needed by field personnel. This chapter identifies a variety of alternative delivery methods to fulfill the emergency training and exercise needs of field personnel, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each method. FIELD CREW MEETINGS Regularly scheduled field crew meetingsâalso known as tailgate, hip pocket, and toolbox talksâaddress problems and issues encountered by field personnel. The meetings are typically held at a garage, district office, or other location con- venient to the field crew. Topics may include recent incidents, new equipment or technology, or new procedures or plans. The Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agencyâs doc- ument on tailgate safety meetings (Tail Gate Topics II) notes that experienced workers can share their knowledge and help train co-workers at these meetings (CIRMA 2010). Research- ing the topic before the meeting is important. CIRMA recom- mends holding the meeting at the start of a shift or after a work break and offers a sample presentation outline: â¢ Talk about what is going to be taught. â¢ Tell why the subject or training is important. â¢ Describe the safety procedures, general to specific. â¢ Demonstrate them. â¢ Repeat the steps if necessary; be patient. â¢ Donât let the meeting drift onto other subjects. (CIRMA 2010) CIRMA also recommends performing procedures when appropriate and correcting any errors immediately. Table 11 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 11 FIELD CREW MEETINGS Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Meetings are brief and are held on a regular basis at a location/ time convenient to field personnel. â¢ Meetings are also focused and very relevant to field crew. â¢ Hands-on training is possible. Field personnel can practice a procedure or skill. The panel and the interviewees have identified few disadvantages to this method. JUST-IN-TIME TRAINING Just-in-time training is provided immediately prior to its use. It can be cost-effective and useful in certain cases. JITT may be appropriate if there is the possibility that a large num- ber of persons from varied backgrounds will respond to an emergency of a specific nature, and it would be impracti- cal to train everyone in advance. Online or offline train- ing available on demand may be useful for JITT, including FEMA EMIâs Independent Study Program and videos avail- able on CD, DVD, and YouTube. JITT can also be delivered in person. For instance, the Center for Food Security and Public Health offers an animal health emergency JITT, and some state DOTs provide JITT to public works employees on reimbursement application procedures. The Management System Dictionary (n.d.) defines JITT as âthe provision of training only when it is needed to all but eliminate the loss of knowledge and skill caused by a lag between training and use.â Jensenâs Technology Glos- sary (n.d.) elaborates on circumstances that warrant the use of JITT: In many technical and complex areas it is not practical for employees or other persons to be knowledgeable about all details at all times. JITT refers to a process . . . in which the person receives training âjust-in-timeâ when it is needed for a particular purpose. The JITT process may change the entire process of education and training, because the focus may become how to effectively access and utilize JITT rather than how to teach students and/ or employees technical details that have to be memorized long before they are needed in practice. Don Clarkâs Learning and Performance Glossary (n.d.) defines JITT as âa method of providing training when it is needed,â and lists several advantages of JITT: â¢ Eliminates the need for refresher training due to sub- ject knowledge loss experienced if training precedes
34 use of the training, over an extended period of time (prevents decay if the learner cannot use the material upon returning to the job). â¢ Prevents training being wasted on people who leave the job before the training they received is used on the job. â¢ Allows the customers to receive training when they need it. Not weeks or months later. Table 12 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 12 JUST-IN-TIME TRAINING Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Retention of training content is high because the time period between training and its use is short. â¢ This method is cost-effective because only those who need the training undergo the training. Also, because the training is provided only when they need it, there is no issue regarding personnel having been trained and then leaving the agency without having used the training. â¢ During emergency response, every second counts and taking the time to train personnel may delay the response effort. â¢ Training personnel in an emergency situation when their level of stress is high may hinder the learning process. â¢ The ideal training process involves learning, reflecting, and doing. Personnel are not provided the opportunity to practice a skill or process before its real-life application, unless the training also includes drills of some sort. INTERJURISDICTIONAL AND INTERAGENCY TRAINING AND EXERCISES Interjurisdictional training involves agencies from differ- ent jurisdictions, while interagency training involves agen- cies from different disciplines. Another term for this type of training is cross-training. Interjurisdictional and interagency response is particularly significant for large or complex emer- gencies and disasters; for example, a severe flooding situation that affects multiple counties would require state DOT district personnel, counties, and municipalities to work together and with law enforcement, EMS, public safety, towing companies, and possibly other organizations. Previous interaction among the agencies and entities, and understanding of their roles and responsibilities in the ICS, are essential. For this reason, many full-scale and functional exercises and trainings are both interjurisdictional and interdisciplinary. Table 13 sum- marizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. JOINT TRAINING Joint training as defined in this synthesis is the delivery of training on two similar topics at the same time. Integrating similar training topics (e.g., traffic incident management and winter maintenance) facilitates scheduling. For instance, courses on incident management and response are typically mandatory for many field personnel. Emergency training could be incorporated into incident management training. The new National Traffic Incident Management Responder Training course developed through the SHRP 2 program has elements of ICS. Another related topic is winter mainte- nance, which is a required training topic for field personnel in states with severe winter weather. Integrating emergency training into the topic would also alleviate scheduling issues. Chen et al. (2006) recommend combining security and tradi- tional safety training to increase the quality of both training areas. In addition, joint training that involves field personnel from different divisions or units may facilitate intra-agency interaction and communications within the state DOT. Because state DOTs typically offer supervisor training pro- grams, these programs present opportunities for joint train- ing for supervisors. Table 14 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 13 INTERJURISDICTIONAL AND INTERAGENCY TRAINING AND EXERCISES Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Opportunity for face-to-face interactions with peers from other response agencies through these exercises is essential preparation for larger and more complex events. â¢ They will also help prepare agencies and their field personnel understand the ICS structure, their roles and responsibilities within the structure, and how they should integrate with personnel from other entities for these events. â¢ These are typically synchronous learning events that need to be scheduled on a fixed day and time. Scheduling difficulties may impede the ability of a large percentage of field personnel to attend these sessions. TABLE 14 JOINT TRAINING Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Scheduling difficulties may be mitigated by delivering emergency training in conjunction with another related topic. â¢ Intra-agency interaction and communications may be facilitated. â¢ Emergency training component may need to be shortened or modified. ASYNCHRONOUS TRAINING Asynchronous training does not occur according to a fixed schedule and does not have live instructors. The training takes place according to the learnerâs own schedule and pace. Asynchronous training includes computer-based training without live instructors, and prepackaged CDs and DVDs.
35 Computer-Based Training Without Live Instructors Online training is easily accessible wherever there is access to the web. Computer-based training that is available on demand without a live instructor alleviates the need to sched- ule the training in advance and can be taken anytime. For example, asynchronous online training, including training videos and recorded webinars, is available through FEMA EMIâs Independent Study Program (ISP), FHWAâs National Highway Institute (NHI), file-sharing sites, and professional organizations and private vendors. This training is usually offered at no or low cost; it can be used by agencies to pro- vide JITT to field personnel when the need arises and is an ideal way to reach a large audience. This type of training can still be interactive to a certain extent by incorporating videos, audios, and short quizzes. This method may be espe- cially appropriate for refresher training. Table 15 summa- rizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 15 COMPUTER-BASED TRAINING WITHOUT LIVE INSTRUCTORS Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Training content/videos that are available on-demand online alleviate the need to schedule the training in advance and allow 24-hour access to the material. Some on demand services have automated record keeping and trainee progress tracking. â¢ Training without live instructors and lack of ability to interact with other students limit learning that may be gained through interaction with instructors and peers. â¢ Student distraction may be more likely to occur. â¢ Self-direction is needed. Prepackaged DVDs and CDs Using prepackaged DVDs and CDs is a common way to deliver training. Many videos and other training mechanisms are not interactive but can still be effective. Because videos are best at presenting concepts and content visually, train- ing developers should make the most use of this capability. DVDs and CDs do not normally have an on-demand option, however, and training does need to be scheduled. If CCTV, VTC, and SKYPE (or similar) technology are available to the agency, multiple locations might be able to access the training at the same time. This type of non-web-based training can be useful where web access is limited. Table 16 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TRAIN-THE-TRAINER Train-the-trainer is a training force multiplier that can ben- efit state DOTs and PWs of all sizes. Larger DOTs find TTT to be an effective way to train a large number of personnel in a cost-effective manner. Typically, the trainer will attend training, which may require time and travel to a distant loca- tion. The trainer can then adapt the training to the needs of his or her agency and personnel. Once the trainer returns to the agency and prepares the training material, he or she can train many others. If all the agencyâs personnel had attended the off-site training, the cost would have been considerably higher. Also, in a large state, field personnel and PW person- nel in distant areas might find it difficult to travel to a central location for training, even if it is held within the state. Iowa and Arizona are two states whose DOTs use this method. Table 17 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages. TABLE 16 PREPACKAGED DVDS AND CDS Advantages Disadvantages â¢ These allow trainers to select appropriate training videos or CD or DVD training packages. The packages usually focus on a particular topic and contain a variety of tools such as an instructor manual or notes, student guide, training presentation material in video or other formats, and handouts useful for the instructor. â¢ They allow trainers to select the video or training package that is the best value for their needs. In general, they are considered cost-effective because many trainees may view the content and receive the training for one fixed cost. Online on-demand training may charge the agency per trainee. â¢ With VTC, CCTV, or SKYPE technology, it is possible to present the content to multiple locations. â¢ When VTC, CCTV, or SKYPE technology is used, technology- related issues can arise and connectivity and quality of the transmission may be inconsistent. These issues would require a technician to assist. â¢ Training videos and packages on CD ROMs and DVDs are not âon-demand;â the training needs to be scheduled. â¢ Interaction with instructors and other trainees is limited. TABLE 17 TRAIN-THE-TRAINER Advantages Disadvantages â¢ This is a cost-effective way to leverage limited resources. â¢ It alleviates having to hire additional training staff or consultants â¢ Content dilution could be possible as additional training tiers are added PLANNED EVENTS, INCIDENTS, AND EXERCISES Lessons learned from planned special events, incidents, and exercises can be very useful in developing training content and scenarios for future training and exercises, and in identi- fying areas for improvement that require additional training. For exercises, lessons learned are typically gathered through hot washes and after-action reviews. For incidents, the infor- mation can come from focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and surveys. A key difference between exercises and inci-
36 dents is that exercises are conducted in a âcontrolled, low- risk settingâ (HSEEP 2013, p. 6-1). Incidents, even minor ones, have more risk associated with them; for instance, a minor traffic accident could become a multicar crash with many fatalities and injuries as a result of changing weather conditions, responder error, or a delay in response. Planned Events Planned events âhave many characteristics in common with incidents, particularly as the focus on security . . . has increasedâ (âSupporting Technologies,â FHWA 2013). Technologies and traffic control practices for planned events are similar to those used to manage disasters and traffic inci- dents. Therefore, after-action reviews from these events can be a potential source of training and exercise content. For example, lessons learned from 35 national special security events held between September 1998 and February 2010 were identified and integrated into the FHWA report National Special Security Events: For Planned Special Events Trans- portation Planning (2011). Also, the events themselves can be considered exercise opportunities for field personnel. Incidents Incidents are an excellent opportunity to gain experience responding to emergencies and disasters. After-action reviews and lessons learned from actual events can be the basis of training and exercise content and scenarios, and can suggest actions for improvement plans. A case in point is the task force convened after Hurricane Irene in Vermont by VTrans. The task force sought out the experiences of those who participated in the response effort and carefully analyzed the areas that were ripe for improvement. The task forceâs recommendations were comprehensive and well-jus- tified for implementation because they were based on lessons learned from an actual disaster. Field personnel also can use minor incidents to practice emergency response and NIMS/ ICS before the occurrence of a major disaster. Table 18 sum- marizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 18 INCIDENTS Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Both planned events and incidents are ârealâ and immerse field personnel in stressful situations. â¢ Since incidents are usually minor emergencies or mini- disasters, they are good opportunities for field personnel to practice before a disaster occurs. Also, traffic incidents happen daily and can provide many opportunities for field personnel to practice NIMS/ICS. â¢ There is no guarantee that a series of minor incidents, aside from traffic accidents, will occur prior to a disaster. â¢ Incidents, even minor ones, have more risk associated with them; for instance, a minor traffic accident could become a multi- car crash with many fatalities and injuries due to changing weather conditions, responder error, a delay in response for any reason, or other reasons. Exercises Exercises are planned in advance and take place in a controlled and low-risk setting. Different kinds of discussion-based and operations-based exercises are described in more detail later in this chapter. This section focuses on the documentation and gathering of lessons learned from exercises, primarily by means of hot washes and after-action reviews (AARs). Hot washes are performed after exercises to gather data rel- evant to the after-action report/improvement plan. AARs can be conducted for exercises and for planned and actual events. â¢ Hot wash: A hot wash is conducted by an experi- enced facilitator immediately after an exercise so that important insights, issues, and questions are not lost. Information for generating the after-action report/ improvement plan can also be collected during the hot wash. HSEEP notes that hot washes should be con- ducted for each functional area for operations-based exercises (HSEEP 2013, p. 4-7). â¢ After-action review: The AAR evaluates the exercise conduct according to the parameters established by the exercise planning team and analyzes core capabilities demonstrated during the exercise. Participant feedback forms are used to seek relevant information for the AAR from players, facilitators, controllers, and evaluators, as well as information on exercise conduct and logistics. Exercise evaluation guides are used as a tool for exercise observation and data collection to measure the achieve- ment of exercise objectives and the strength of core capa- bilities (HSEEP 2013, p. 3-18). The HSEEP document offers guidance on how AARs should be developed. Participants receive a copy of the draft AAR to help them better understand their strengths and areas of improvement as they relate to meeting the exercise objectives and dem- onstrating core capabilities. Elected and appointed officials review the final AAR and identify the elements that require corrective action. These elements will be included in the improvement plan and implemented as part of a continuous process of increased preparedness. COMPUTER-ASSISTED SIMULATIONS Computer-assisted simulations provide a realistic but safe training and exercise setting for participants. They may be either synchronous (which requires scheduling the session in advance) or asynchronous (which uses simulated players and is available on demand). Virtual exercises are a type of com- puter-assisted simulation through the Internet or other video or teleconferencing technology. Basic computer skills are necessary for all online training; however, computer-assisted simulations and virtual training and exercises may require more familiarity with PCs and the Internet. A younger demo-
37 graphic may be more comfortable with this training and exercise method, and may be more motivated to participate in simulated scenarios and exercises. Table 19 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 19 COMPUTER-ASSISTED SIMULATIONS Advantages Disadvantages â¢ A large, geographically dispersed audience can be reached. â¢ Allows identification of weaknesses or resource deficiencies in training, plans, procedures, and policies. â¢ Allows key personnel to interact and become acquainted with each other. â¢ Allows the participation of key personnel in different geographic regions to interact with each other. â¢ Improves individual performance, organizational communication, and coordination. â¢ Dangerous scenarios may be simulated safely. â¢ May or may not be web-based. Non-web-based activities reduce the likelihood of hackers compromising the content/ discussions. â¢ Good PC and Internet skills of the personnel are necessary to maximize the learning that takes place through this method. â¢ In remote locations or other areas without Internet access, online training would not be possible. â¢ Unforeseen connection problems may arise during the actual exercise. If the problems occur on the hostâs end, there may be interruptions during the training. If the problems are at individual locations, they will miss portions of the training. â¢ Bandwidth issues may arise. Bandwidth refers to the rate of data transfer. If the data being transferred on the network is high capacity, problems and consequent delays may occur. â¢ Lacks a certain amount of realism, and may not provide a true test of capabilities and how teams and individuals and system will react in an emergency situation. â¢ For synchronous simulations, scheduling can be a problem. While computer-assisted simulations and virtual exercises are generally believed to be less costly than full-scale physical exercises, an analysis of costs for WSDOT-specific scenarios for emergency training and exercises concluded that it would still be âcost-prohibitiveâ for the department (G. Selstead, WSDOT, personal communication, April 18, 2013). CLASSROOM TRAINING The classroom is a vehicle for synchronous learning: train- ing takes place at the same time, in one location. For cen- turies, universities have used traditional classroom training involving lectures as the primary teaching tool. While class- room training can be more costly than other types of train- ing, instructors are able to monitor student progress in real time, provide personalized assistance, and make any needed adjustments to the training. Also, the trainees can interact with the instructor and with each other. The 2011 Rutgers study of security training needs and delivery preferences observed that classroom training is the most effective format for learning; however, to be feasible, the trainings should be flexible in terms of duration and be designed as modules that can be integrated with other trainings or meetings (Lowrie and Shaw 2011). Formal classroom training can be provided in-house or at other facilities: universities or community colleges, LTAP/ TTAP centers, a local fire or police department, the state EMA, or some other organization. Inserting interactive elements into the classroom train- ingâvideo, discussions, breakout activities, and web-based toolsâcan increase trainee interest and attention compared with a lecture-only format. Chen et al. 2006 recommend the expansion of the repertoire of training tools by incorporating different forms. As noted by the NCHRP 20-59(43) principal investigator, agencies prefer courses that incorporate video and role-playing activities (J. Western, personal communi- cation, Sept. 12, 2013). One of the negative aspects of the classroom delivery method is the difficulty participants might have getting there; however, various technologies address this problem by providing real-time audio and video communications that can link trainees in different locations with the classroom. Key technologies include VoIP and VTC. â¢ Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): VoIP allows voice and data communications to be transmitted over the Internet. This results in lower costs, because partici- pants do not have to purchase a separate audio commu- nications service and a phone handset; all they need is a microphone and headset for the PC or laptop. However, VoIP does have potential issues (e.g., bandwidth effi- ciency) that need to be addressed to ensure smooth functioning of the technology. Because reliable Internet service is required for VoIP service, a remote location without Internet service would not be a good candidate for this technology (Jensenâs Technology Dictionary). â¢ Video teleconferencing (VTC): VTC systems use cam- erasâincluding CCTVs, video cameras, and web- camsâalong with audio communications through the camera itself, through the Internet, or through a normal phone line. Add-on systems require only a microphone, speakers, and a camera. Dedicated sys- tems can be categorized into large group systems that support large meeting rooms and auditoriums, small group systems that support small meeting rooms, and individual systems. The group systems are typically fixed to the room and are not portable, while individ- ual systems integrate camera, speakers, and a micro- phone in small portable units. Because VTC systems can be vulnerable to access by unauthorized users, the National Security Agency recommends the following actions: change all default passwords, enable encryp- tion, disable broadcast streaming, disable the far-end camera control feature, disable insecure IP services,
38 perform initial VTC settings locally, update and apply patches, disable the auto-answering feature, disable wireless capabilities, separate VTCs from the rest of the IP network, andâif remote access is necessaryâ have strict access controls (âVideo Teleconferencing,â National Security Agency n.d.). Table 20 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 20 CLASSROOM TRAINING Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Can present up-to-date information. â¢ Summarizes materials from various sources. â¢ Can adapt the material to student backgrounds and interests. â¢ Highlights important concepts and materials. â¢ Instructor enthusiasm can motivate students and enhance learning (McKeachie and Svinicki 2013). â¢ Reduced development of problem-solving skills and interaction among students if sufficient interaction opportunities are not provided. â¢ Scheduling difficulties, and the cost of the training and travel, including time. (Scheduling and travel issues may be alleviated through the use of VTC, VoIP, or similar technology.) ONLINE TRAINING WITH LIVE INSTRUCTORS Online training through the Internet is an excellent way to provide training to a large workforce in disparate locations. Web-based and online training programs have grown in popularity and gained acceptance throughout the academic and training communities, and the robustness and integrity of trainee testing and assessment have improved. There are numerous forms of online or web-based training. The training delivery method may be âlive,â with real- time interaction between the instructor and the students. Live web-based training can bring together trainees from different geographic locations to get to know each other and engage in peer-to-peer (P2P) interaction. Webcams, VTC, CCTVs, and VoIP technologies can facilitate this interac- tion. Table 21 summarizes the advantages and disadvan- tages of this method. TABLE 21 ONLINE TRAINING WITH LIVE INSTRUCTORS Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Cost is lower than with classroom training, since travel can be avoided. â¢ Training is standardized. â¢ Training can be provided anywhere with web access. â¢ Training must be scheduled in advance. â¢ Trainees may be distracted. â¢ Ability to monitor student progress may be limited. â¢ Access to a PC and Internet are required. â¢ Familiarity with the Internet and basic PC skills are required. * See âNote on identifying units and individualsâ below. BLENDED TRAINING Blended training involves the combination of two or more of these training methods. Blended training is favored by many agencies because the most effective elements of various meth- ods can be incorporated into a training solution that is suitable to the particular agencyâs training needs and constraints. EXERCISES Exercises allow participants to practice what they have learned in previous training. Participants are usually given realistic scenarios with different degrees of stress, from minimal to a significant amount. They have the opportunity to resolve issues and obstacles they encounter in the scenar- ios, and to work with and learn from their peers. In practice, large numbers of field personnel cannot participate in exercises or training at any one time; and if exercises occur only once a year, important issues and infor- mation may be lost. Also, exercises do not always focus on the topics of most interest and relevance to field personnel. In this synthesis, exercises are categorized as either discussion- based or operations-based. Detailed descriptions of each exercise type follow. Discussion-Based Exercises In discussion-based exercises, facilitators lead discussions that focus on strategy or policy issues. They help participants become familiar with, learn about, or develop new plans, poli- cies, agreements, and procedures. Tabletop exercises, games, workshops, and seminars are discussion-based exercises. Tabletop Exercises A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a discussion-based exercise that may âenhance general awareness, validate plans and proce- dures, rehearse concepts, and/or assess the types of systems needed to guide the prevention of, protection from, mitiga- tion of, response to, and recovery from a defined incidentâ (HSEEP 2013, p. 2-4). TTXs are facilitated, scenario-based discussions that allow participants to role play; they can iden- tify problems that should be addressed before holding a larger exercise (Tabletop Exercise Instructions for Planned Events, FHWA 2007). A basic TTX involves one emergency scenario and allows participants to address problems presented by the facilitator. Advanced TTXs generate pre-scripted messages that alter the original scenario. Players are able to discuss the issues and make decisions, which are incorporated into the scenario as it progresses (HSEEP 2013, p. 2-5). The FHWA Tabletop Exercise Guidelines for Planned Events and Unplanned Incidents/Emergencies provides tips for effective TTXs. They include the following:
39 â¢ The exercise should be held in a room with a conference table, or with the seating arranged in a manner in which the participants are able to see all other participants. â¢ Having coffee/soda available for the participants helps promote a relaxed atmosphere. â¢ Provide a large detailed map of the exercise area so that all participants can visualize the area involved. â¢ If the exercise fails to become productive within the first hour, discontinue and discuss the possible reasons why this has occurred. (FHWA 2007) Games A game is a simulation that can involve competition between and among two or more teams; it is more stressful than a TTX, workshop, or seminar. Decisions need to be made by the players at key points during the game. The consequences of the decisions by each team and by individual players can be reviewed and evaluated (HSEEP 2013, p. 2-5). Games and interactive videos allow trainees to experience the con- sequences of making particular decisions and can make the training more interesting; however, the scenarios should be tailored to the agency so they seem realistic to the trainees (Lowrie and Shaw 2011). Workshops and Seminars Workshops and seminars are similar, but workshops have more interaction among participants and are focused on achieving a goal or producing a product (e.g., an emergency operations plan). Seminars provide an overview of authorities, strategies, plans, policies, procedures, protocols, resources, concepts, and ideas, and can help in assessing the capabilities of interagency or interjurisdictional operations (HSEEP 2013, p. 2-4). Table 22 summarizes the advantages and disadvan- tages of these discussion-based exercise methods. TABLE 22 DISCUSSION-BASED EXERCISES (TABLE-TOPS, GAMES, WORKSHOPS, SEMINARS) Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Various scenarios can be addressed in a safe, non-stressful environment. â¢ They are less costly than operations- based exercises. â¢ The interaction that takes place among peers can foster learning. â¢ Feedback obtained from AARs, debriefings, and hot washes can be beneficial in identifying additional training needs of individuals and groups.* â¢ Lessons learned from the exercises can become the basis for future training content and scenarios. â¢ Cost could be an issue if the exercise is held at a location that is difficult to access. â¢ Discussion-based exercises do not provide the realism that operations-based methods provide. * See âNote on identifying units and individualsâ below. Operations-Based Exercises In operations-based exercises such as drills, functional exer- cises (FEs), and full-scale exercises (FSEs), participants react to a scenario. Operations-based exercises not only train per- sonnel but can provide opportunities for them to practice what they have learned. These exercises can also âclarify roles and responsibilities; identify resource gaps; and be used to vali- date plans, policies, agreements, and proceduresâ (HSEEP 2013, p. 2-5). Operations-based exercises are in real time and can last hours, days, or even weeks. Drills typically last 2 to 4 hours; FEs may last 4 to 8 hours; and FSEs can last a full day, several days, or even weeks (Security 101 2009, p. 62). Drills A drill is a supervised operations-based exercise focusing on a function or capability, such as training on new equipment in the agency. Drills can also be used to practice and maintain abilities and skills (HSEEP 2013). A drill does not need to be a formal âHSEEP-typeâ exercise; it can be hands-on training provided by a knowledgeable supervisor, instructor, or peer. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration training program guide notes that hands-on training simulates the job and allows employees to integrate theory and prac- tice by using critical thinking skills to engage in a problem- solving process that incorporates professional knowledge. OSHA also emphasizes the importance of hands-on exercises in a safe setting to provide workers the opportunity to prac- tice complex and hazardous tasks. Table 23 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 23 DRILLS Advantages Disadvantages â¢ When training on a specific function, activity, or equipment is required, drills provide hands-on experiential learning. â¢ Provides a sense of urgency to develop alternatives and make decisions without the possibility of serious consequences. â¢ In-house trainers may have more credibility because they have specific experience relating to the subject being taught and the job site. â¢ Procedural and policy gaps can be identified. â¢ May avoid comprehension problems related to literacy/ language deficiencies. â¢ Providing hands-on training to a large number of individuals can be time- consuming and costly. â¢ Scheduling drills can be difficult due to the following constraintsâavailability of the field personnel, the instructor, and the facility or equipment. â¢ Variables differ based on the individual, so guaranteed outcomes are difficult. â¢ Personality differences between the instructor or mentor and the worker may cause issues. Functional Exercises FE scenarios focus on capabilities, multiple functions or sub- functions, or interdependent groups of functions. While typi-
40 conducted in a real-time setting that is more realistic than that of FEs. They provide the highest level of realism for any exercise type and require âcritical thinking, rapid prob- lem solving, and effective responses by trained personnel.â Actual personnel, equipment, and other resources may be deployed (HSEEP 2013, p. 2-6). Table 25 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 25 FULL-SCALE EXERCISES Advantages Disadvantages â¢ Highly realistic, complex situations are presented to personnel. â¢ After-action reports, debriefings, and hot washes can identify units and individuals that would benefit from additional training.* â¢ Lessons learned from the exercises can become the basis for future training content and scenarios. â¢ Significant coordination, preparation, resources, and time are required. *See âNote on identifying units and individualsâ below. Note on Identifying Units and Individuals in After-Action Reports Although identifying units and individuals in after-action reports, debriefings, and hot washes might be useful for an improvement plan or to guide additional training, it could open your jurisdiction to issues of legal liability. Readers are strongly advised to check with legal counsel on this point, as it varies from state to state and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. cal participants include managers in command and control functions, several state DOT survey respondents and case example participants indicated that their field personnel par- ticipate in FEs. These exercises are conducted in a realistic and real-time setting and use scenarios; however, movement of personnel and equipment do not occur. A master scenario events list is used to align the exercise activities with exercise objectives (HSEEP 2013, pp. 2-5â2.6). Table 24 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of this method. TABLE 24 FUNCTIONAL EXERCISES Advantages Disadvantages â¢ When training and practicing on a capability or function, experiential learning in a realistic setting will facilitate the retention of the knowledge and skills needed by trainees. â¢ After-action reports, debriefings, and hot washes can identify units and individuals that would benefit from additional training.* â¢ Lessons learned from the exercises can become the basis for future training content and scenarios. â¢ Arranging and scheduling FEs can be difficult and time-consuming. *See âNote on identifying units and individualsâ below. Full-Scale Exercises As noted in HSEEP 2013, FSEs are the most complex and resource-intensive type of exercise (p. 2-6). They involve numerous agencies, organizations, and jurisdictions, and can be used to assess and validate many activities. FSEs are