First, let's ask: What is the purpose of the training?
Is the "training" just to have something to do, to fill a net, an exercise or a meeting? Or is it to increase readiness of a vital aspect of the unit, or individual responder, preparedness?
If it is to increase readiness for actual use in an agency, or a field response for an agency, then consider what is it that unit participants are likely to encounter when in that agency.
If it is to an EOC, consider what they may actually be tasked to do in or at that EOC. On the other hand, if the use may be responding to the field, or at a field assignment, what will they encounter? And, in what order will they encounter what?
To whom - and where - will they report? What systems will they be expected to know or use? What personnel in what positions must they be able to visually identify and understand their authority and responsibility? What policies are they likely to need to know? How much do they need to know about the geography and physical conditions and routes to possible field assignments? On arrival what protocols must they follow before then can be utilized, and finally, how are they likely to be utilized?
At this point, if I guess correctly, you are probably asking yourself this: "Why is he asking these questions instead of just detailing training that we can do?
The answer is simple, yet complex because these bulletins reach hundreds of different units with scores of variations in their size, need, concepts, philosophy and readiness as well as a wide spectrum of served agencies.
So, the purpose here is to help the thought processes. Ask what are the systems that the trainee is expected to become proficient with, and why?
Systems? Yes. As the functional systems of agencies served by emergency communicators become more complex, there is a need to train intermittent users. Failure to do this can have adverse consequences.
Take the telephone as a prime example. Telephone instruments in use today range from the basic rotary or push button set to ones requiring an intensive learning curve due to the many functions they can perform. Paid staff that use the instruments day-to- day eventually learn most or all of the functions. However, as we learn of their difficulties with complicated telephone systems, it becomes obvious that intermittent users can face a real problem.
Continues next bulletin, next week.