Computer-Supported Emergency Response Training: Observations from a Field Exercise
Mona J. Crissey,Magnus Morin,Johan Jenvald
With growing population centers and an increased incidence of chemical spills, the lives of many innocent people are at risk. Intense media coverage has heightened public awareness with the demand for better emergency response that includes well-managed crisis teams who can respond to all facets of a large-scale emergency. The result has been a growing need to train emergency responder teams not only to perform their individual specialties, but also to coordinate and cooperate with multiple agencies to accomplish this training. A most unique emergency response exercise was staged in central Florida to meet this training need. Not only did it involve multiple police and fire-rescue agencies located in Central Florida and a team of Swedish researchers and public safety officials; various simulations, technology and computer software programs were also used to heighten realism and provide feedback to the participants. This paper explores the roles of the participants; crisis coordination among agencies and the rules governing each and the lessons learned; as well as assessing the capabilities provided to emergency preparedness exercises through simulation and their usefulness in training and evaluation.