Drills, Firefighter Training, Firefighting, Hazmat, Industrial Firefighting

Increase the Value of Training with a Full-Scale Exercise

Issue 11 and Volume 171.

By STEPHEN L. HERMANN and WILLIAM A. HENLE To judge their capability of effectively responding to a hazardous materials emergency, many jurisdictions and departments run a training exercise, usually a “full-scale exercise” (FSE). As defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), “FSEs are typically the most complex and resource-intensive type of exercise. They involve multiple agencies, organizations, and jurisdictions … FSEs often include many players operating under cooperative systems such as the Incident Command System or Unified Command.” (1) This full-scale exercise (FSE) for the Burns, Hines, and Burns Piute Tribe fire departments involved a simulated sulfuric battery acid spill. The objectives included addressing areas for improvement from a previous FSE after-action report/improvement plan. (Photos courtesy of Steven L. Hermann.) Many departments receive funding grants of federal dollars from either the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the U.S. Department of Transportation, typically administered at the state level…

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