The term ‘major incident’ is a broad one and is widely ascribed to any event where there is a loss of life, a serious injury or substantial damage to property or the environment.
Although these incidents are rare, when a major event does occur, multiple agencies are generally thrown together in a highly pressured, chaotic environment, and expected to work together and co-ordinate an effective emergency response. Problems can occur if Joint Emergency Planning Teams from local authorities, Emergency Services and personnel from the affected company all train their teams independently, working to different priorities and specialising in different areas of emergency response.
In particular, first responders are faced with many different challenges, and often have to take the lead role. No two incidents are the same, and in recent years the potential causes of incidents has increased considerably, ranging from the dangers of an industrial explosion to dealing with the increased threat of terrorist attacks. In the past, training personnel consistently was relatively straightforward. Today, that task is far more complex and there is a far greater need for consistently training the relevant personnel to the highest standard.
However, all is not lost, and the advent of intelligent, app based simulation training systems such as Argon’s PlumeSIM-SMART, has meant that first responder training can now be interactively delivered via both practical, highly engaging table top exercises and also using live field training scenarios. This training can cover events incorporating gaseous, radioactive, Hazardous Material (HazMat) and Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) threats and releases and, using PlumeSIM-SMART, you can also rapidly deploy scenarios involving nuclear reactors, radiological sources/devices, industrial or petrochemical facilities and toxic substance releases, meaning comprehensive training is easier to deliver, whoever the audience.