Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 2:15 PM
DSS Deployment Boot Camp - a Prototype Training Environment for Improving Collaborative Emergency Response Support Skills
Room 243 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Over the past three years, National Weather Service (NWS) Central Region has become increasingly active in deploying decision support services (DSS) personnel to high impact events operating under the Incident Command System (ICS) structure. In 2011 alone, Central Region supported four separate incidents with damage costs to the American economy totaling more than a billion dollars each. In addition to ensuring candidates possess the proper technical knowledge and expertise, other areas have proven to be crucial for maximizing success in these ventures. Matters such as a fundamental understanding of ICS terms and organizational framework; an appreciation for the need to coordinate and deliver a unified message across jurisdictional boundaries; a demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and simply to a diverse, non-scientific audience; the use of mobile technologies, cloud networking and social media for collaboration, communication and incident documentation – all these are important requirements which have not been formally addressed in the context of a training plan outside the Fire Weather IMET program. Creating a baseline training structure which addresses the critical skill sets and technological tools needed for these deployments is the primary motivation behind the DSS Boot Camp being developed by NWS Central Region. This first prototype workshop combined instructional training sessions with sharing of insights from actual on-site incident experiences, a series of incident simulations, and a panel discussion which explored perspectives on incident support challenges from representatives of several partner agencies.