Significant incidents will often put strain on resources – both material and human.

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Sep 21, 2022

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Analyze and reflect on the materials that are presented. How have they expressed interagency disaster management concepts within the topic? Indicate if you agree or disagree with the materials. Do you feel anything should be added? Pose questions, make suggestions on how they could expand or enhance the information.
BELOW IS THE DISCUSSION I WANT REVIEWED
Training is a critical component of preparedness that enables individuals to learn and understand the theory behind emergency management. Exercises compliment theoretical training and provide hands on experience for emergency responders to better prepare them for the “what ifs”, and possible disasters that most people hope they are never faced with. I have spent a fair amount of time working with external partners and agencies and have seen firsthand the benefits of joint training and exercises in emergency management. Individuals who regularly participate in training and exercises are better prepared for their jobs and are more likely to function at a high level when they are faced with an incident or emergency (Coppola, 2021). Further, Coppola (2021) highlights how individuals who lack sufficient training increase the likelihood of secondary or cascading events that can add to an already present strain on limited resources during a response. Significant incidents will often put strain on resources – both material and human. When this happens, additional resources are often required to manage the emergency. Engaging outside agencies prior to an event provides a framework for operating alongside one another in an emergency. When the same training is provided to responders from different agencies, there is a unified understanding of process, and terminology during an incident, allowing for additional resources to be placed into an incident response without issue. Alberta has regional All Hazards Incident Management Teams (AH-IMT), as well as an interprovincial response team, known as the Alberta Saskatchewan Incident Support Team (ASIST). These teams participate in joint training and exercises to ensure fluidity during an incident and have established procedures that turn to qualified individuals who may be able to assist during an incident. The Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) plays a significant role in the “coordination and co-operation of all organizations involved in emergencies and disasters” (Government of Alberta, 2022, par.1), in the province of Alberta. AEMA offers an array of emergency management training to local authorities, supports exercises, and acts as an agency representative during significant incidents, bridging the gap between local authorities and the province during a response and helping to ensure that training is consistent and available throughout the province. Joint training and exercises can also be used as an opportunity to expand an incident management team (IMT). Not all resources used during incident response will “belong” to the authority managing the incident. Incident management teams can be made up of any qualified individuals willing and able to respond. Participation in joint training and exercises can help an authority establish more depth on their IMT. Training and exercises should provide a low stress, no-fault environment for learning. These events provide a stage to identify gaps in processes, increase understanding of functions, authorities and jurisdictional boundaries of other authorities, and agencies. Open discussions during training and exercises can foster understanding among agencies and result in smoother operations during an incident. The benefits of joint training and exercises far outweigh any potential negatives that may result from joint training and exercises. Regardless of the motivation for interagency training and exercises, these efforts also provide an opportunity to instill confidence in the lead agency who may be responsible for handling an incident. If front line responders do not have confidence in the organization managing an incident, it is a “recipe for disaster”. Training and exercises are integral to preparedness and will help a community be more resilient in the long run. References Coppola, D. P. (2021). Introduction to International Disaster Management. Butterworth-Heinemann. Government of Alberta. (2022). Alberta Emergency Management Agency. https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-emergency-management-agency.aspx

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