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67 CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS functional exercises, in particular, are usually organized by the state emergency management agency (EMA) and other agencies, are held infrequently, and offer less schedul- ing flexibility than other kinds of exercises. Also, in many cases, the transportation unit is not viewed as an important operations section function in the Incident Command Sys- tem (ICS); thus, state DOTs and PWs may have a hard time being viewed as equal partners by the emergency manage- ment community. The synthesis identified the following key implementa- tion challenges for state DOTs: â¢ Scheduling difficulties and conflict with work priorities â¢ Limited budgets â¢ Lack of training staff â¢ Employee turnover â¢ Limited training content â¢ Insufficient information about available training â¢ Infrequent need for training â¢ Lack of PC/Internet access â¢ Distance issues. Other issues included the lack of refresher training and the need for more clarification/training on emergency sup- port function (ESF) and ICS roles; more exercises designed for field personnel; training for field support personnel such as procurement, construction, and human resources; and training on coordination among state DOTs, PWs, law enforcement, fire, and other emergency response providers. Emergency Training and Exercise Sources The synthesis identified sources for emergency operations and hazards awareness training and exercises; these sources are included in the toolkit. One of the primary federal sourcesâ the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)âoffers training through the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), and the National Training and Education Division (NTED). Other important sources include the National Highway Institute (NHI), uni- versities and colleges, local and tribal technical assistance pro- gram (LTAP/TTAP) centers, and the National Transit Institute (NTI). OSHA offers numerous resources and training guid- ance on occupational health and safety. Some NCHRP and TCRP products also provide useful training content. Training and exercises enable state department of trans- portation (DOT) and public works (PW) field personnel to prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters. Emer- gency training and exercise issues, challenges, and solutions (including delivery methods and training sources) were iden- tified in this synthesis. Individual course information and relevant resources were integrated into a spreadsheet-based toolkit based on information from the screening survey, lit- erature review, case examples, and several organizations. These organizations included AASHTO, the American Pub- lic Works Association (APWA), FHWA, the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA), Local and Tribal Technical Assistance Program (LTAP/TTAP) centers, TSA, University Transportation Center (UTC) Consortia, the National Association of County Engineers (NACE), and the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). Twenty-five state DOTs and 22 PW agencies responded to the screening survey. Guidance documents were also identi- fied, incorporated into the toolkit, and referenced in the text of the synthesis. KEY FINDINGS Emergency training and exercise needs are identified using federal guidance and requirements, as well as an agencyâs emergency operations plans, standard operating procedures, and other plans and procedural documents. Needs are also identified through after-action reports from exercises and actual incidents. In particular, the National Incident Man- agement System (NIMS) is a standardized approach to incident management that enables personnel from different agencies and entities, disciplines, and jurisdictions to work together on any type of incident. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, security awareness became an even more important responsibility for all transportation person- nel, especially those in the field. Because field personnel are familiar with what is normal in terms of transportation infrastructureâroads, bridges, and operationsâthey are able to recognize what is not normal and alert supervisors to suspicious activities. Synthesis findings indicate that while state DOTs strive to include their field personnel in exercises, many find it dif- ficult to schedule a large number of these personnel for an exercise or training at any one time. Full-scale exercises and
68 Online and computer-based training resources include the ICS Training Program and Resource Center (FEMA), Independent Study Program (FEMA), NIMS Training Pro- gram and Resource Center (FEMA), NRF Resource Cen- ter (FEMA), National Transit Institute (FTA), National Highway Institute (FHWA), LTAP/TTAP centers, and universities/colleges. The sources in the toolkit are organized as follows: â¢ Federal (FEMA)âsources within FEMA â¢ Federal (Other DHS)âsources in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or its agencies â¢ Federal (U.S.DOT)âsources in the U.S. Department of Transportation â¢ Federal (Other Federal)âfederal government sources that are not part of DHS or U.S.DOT â¢ Stateâstate-level sources identified from the survey and from case examples â¢ Localâlocal sources identified from the survey and from case examples â¢ Universityâsources in universities and university- affiliated training and research centers â¢ Associations and Coalitionsâsources in trade associa- tions and regional coalitions â¢ Private Firmâsources in private firms. STRATEGIES AND TOOLS TO DELIVER EMERGENCY TRAINING AND EXERCISES The synthesis identified effective training strategies and tools, including some that make use of existing agency activities (such as field crew meetings) and training that offers scheduling flexibility. These solutions, all interactive to varying extents, were as follows: â¢ Field crew meetings: Delivering condensed emergency training through regularly scheduled field crew meet- ings or similar activities for field personnel alleviates scheduling difficulties. â¢ Just-in-time training (JITT): JITT is provided when the need for the training arises. Online training that is available on demand can be used for JITT. â¢ Interjurisdictional and interagency training and exercises: Effective coordination across jurisdictions and among transportation agencies, public safety agencies, and other organizations is essential for response in large or complex disasters and emergen- cies. Interjurisdictional and interagency training and exercises provide opportunities for personnel from agencies and organizations to meet, interact, and train together â¢ Joint training: Combining emergency training with similar topics can alleviate scheduling challenges. For example, courses on incident management and response are typically mandatory for many field personnel, so emergency training could be incorporated into inci- dent management training. Joint training also facilitates intra-agency communications and helps break down any silos that might exist within the state DOT. â¢ Asynchronous training: Asynchronous training is self- paced training that eliminates scheduling difficulties arising from the need to coordinate the schedules of the trainees and the instructor. This kind of training occurs without the presence of live instructors and is usually online; however, it can still be interactive and maintain the interest and attention of trainees. YouTube is a popu- lar online video-sharing site that offers an asynchronous training platform for distributing educational content. â¢ Train-the-trainer (TTT): TTT is used to train large num- bers of personnel in a relatively short period by training one or more qualified persons who then train others. â¢ Planned events, incidents, and exercises: Planned events and incidents are excellent opportunities for field personnel to practice what they have learned. Minor traffic accidents, for instance, can provide an opportunity for field personnel to practice the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS). Exercises provide experien- tial training and allow field personnel to practice and demonstrate emergency skills and processes, and their understanding of NIMS and ICS. After-action reports of planned events, incidents, and exercises can gener- ate lessons learned and identify further training/exer- cise needs, along with training content and scenarios. â¢ Classroom training: Classroom training is a synchro- nous training method that allows extensive interaction between the instructor and trainees. While synchro- nous training methods require scheduling, classroom training can be facilitated through the use of technolo- gies such as closed-circuit television (CCTV), video teleconferencing (VTC), and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). â¢ Online training with live instructors: Online training with live instructors (e.g., webinars) is a synchronous method of training that allows interaction between the trainee and the instructor, and the trainee and other trainees. â¢ Computer simulations and virtual exercises: Computer simulations and virtual exercises can be both synchro- nous and asynchronous. They are alternatives to tradi- tional exercises that immerse participants in realistic environments, allow real-time interaction, and may use Internet-based or non-Internet-based technologies. Blended training combines two or more of these methods and allows agencies to select the desired elements of each method and adapt them to their needs and constraints. Supervision plays an important role in the development of field personnel. First-line supervisors have intimate knowledge of the work being performed by field personnel.
69 Supervisors must have the technical expertise to be able to evaluate the quality of the work produced, as well as the abil- ity to identify needed training and motivate their workers to take the training seriously and implement it in their work. FURTHER RESEARCH The synthesis study identified the following additional research needs: â¢ Field crew meetings: In what ways can learning during the meetings be enhanced? What are the most effective formats for these meetings? â¢ Emergency training refreshers are needed. Research into appropriate content, format, and length is required. â¢ Exercises are not usually designed specifically for maintenance and operations (M&O) field personnel. Research is needed to determine the optimal type of exercise design for field personnel. â¢ Further research into scenario development and a cen- tral repository of scenarios would be useful. â¢ Research into the following may be useful: â Correlation between state and agency characteris- tics and training implementation problems. â Correlation between preferred training/exercise method and state and agency characteristics. â Correlation between required training and exercises for district personnel, and whether there is a nuclear power plant within the district or in a nearby district. â¢ Effectiveness of the train-the-trainer method as addi- tional tiers of training are added. Do the original train- ing objectives and intent remain intact? If not, how is the training transformed, and how does it affect what personnel actually learn? â¢ Research is needed to understand how new legisla- tion and executive ordersâsuch as the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21)âchange the roles of state DOTs and PWs in emergency training and exercises. â¢ State DOTs expressed interest in specific training top- ics and content, including general ICS and ESF role awareness; accidents involving hazardous materials; response to flooding and storm damage; training on emergency operations plans; and training for field sup- port personnel, including human resources, procure- ment, finance, and construction. PWs noted that they desired training on dealing with trauma and prepared- ness for out-of-area deployments. â¢ State DOTs and PWs both expressed interest in research into mechanisms that will enable them to participate in all phases of emergency management as full and equal partners with other emergency response disciplines. They also cited the need to establish a stronger working relationship with other emergency response providers in order to develop protocols and policies for effective emergency response performance.