Friday, 6 March 2009

Saving the "City" from "Disaster"

Hi all,

It's taken me the last 24 hours just to "decompress" from this course! What a blast (no pun intended)! And really educational too.

So there were 50 of us in two different "ops centers" running very realistic simulations of how to respond to a major disaster. We saved a ficticious city from disasters caused by an airliner crashing into a residential neighborhood, a train derailement that spilled chemicals into the water supply and a multiple tornado strike.

We had to track down the mayor and persuade him to declare an emergency, coordinate with the fire, police, ambulance and health services (and more) and make decisions in the midst of a high tempo scenario with constant interruptions, communications disruptions and sometimes info that was plain wrong. And then there was dealing with the media - always a treat (not).

We weren't perfect. We made lots of mistakes. But better here in the classroom than in real life ;-) And by the third scenario we were a pretty well-oiled machine.

It's amazing what it does for your confidence when you've assumed command in a situation like this. Even though the situations weren't real, the whole set up was so realistic and the action so intense that you "forgot" that part while the scenario was running.

Anyway, you too will profit from this as I digest the valuable info and procedures from this course over the next few weeks. As I said in the previous post, there are lots of real life lessons here for us all.

Now it's time for a cold beer... (more decompression therapy ;-)

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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