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Exercising Communications: Beyond the First Responder


Dan Nelson  (Training Specialist, Alaska Land Mobile Radio)

Location: W230B

Date: Monday, March 25

Time: 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Track: Incident Management, First Responder Communications

Topic: Interoperability, P25, Situational Awareness

Format: Power Session

Vault Recording: TBD

In this session, we review best practices and tips for success when planning and executing communications exercises. One of the best ways to evaluate a communication plan and identify areas of improvement, exercises often treat radio and other communication technologies, as well as processes, as an afterthought. The session includes discussion on planning exercise objectives, exercise options that can be used, and how to evaluate exercise activity. Practices will be consistent with the Homeland Security Evaluation and Exercise Program (HSEEP), but will focus on conducting these events without requiring an overly large planning and evaluation effort. Testing communications beyond first responders will be an emphasis, such as including supporting departments, outside agencies, and departmental or emergency operations centers.

Key Takeaways from this session include: - A review of the HSEEP doctrine and how it applies to communications exercises - Key methods to incorporate communications into other exercises and drills - Evaluating communications issues, conducting a participant hot wash, and formulating the after action report to provide the maximum potential for process improvement and to substantiate future funding or change - Tips to conduct drills and exercises without an overly burdensome planning process and minimal exercise staff