ICS Training Recap

During the week of November 4-7, Jacksonville Spillage Control (JSC) sponsored three advanced Incident Command System training courses. A BIG “THANK YOU” to JEA for providing their spacious and conveniently located Conservation Center for the training.

All of these courses were a huge success and were offered at no cost to our members. We encourage all members to make every effort to attend all available ICS training. We know it is difficult to send employees to training they may never need, but anyone who could be involved in a response on your facility or vessels needs a basic working knowledge of ICS.

The training was conducted by Doug Schuster and Ken Jones of Planning & Prevention Solutions. Both of these gentlemen are retired U.S. Coast Guard officers with over 50 years of combined experience in incident response and emergency management. Doug and Ken have mastered ICS by working on some of the nation’s largest spills and incidents including the Exxon Valdez, Hurricane Katrina, and the Deepwater Horizon.

On November 4, we held an Operations Section Chief workshop that provided great insight on the development of strategies and tactics to implement the Unified Command’s operational objectives. We also learned how to monitor and evaluate current response operations while simultaneously identifying the required resources, personnel and work assignments for the next operational period.

On November 5, we held a Planning Section Chief workshop where we learned about the critical role the Planning Officer plays in the management of the ICS process and development of a complete and sustainable Incident Action Planning. We also delved into the vital units supervised by the Planning Officer such as the Situation Unit, Resource Unit, and Documentation Unit who all have critical roles in a successful response.

On November 6 and 7, we held a two-day Initial Response Team course. During this training, we learned the skills to successfully manage the chaos that often occurs in the initial stages of a response. We all know now that during the first hours on an incident we must:

  1. Ensure safety of personnel,
  2. Make required notifications, and
  3. Develop an accurate assessment of the situation.

Students participated in multiple exercises that provided realistic hands-on training to master the development of a comprehensive ICS-201 and build the skills required to be a member of an initial Incident Management Team.