Removing Barriers to Incident Command System Training

Incident commander vest Vanguard EMC is proud to introduce our new, free online course “Orientation to the Incident Command System” (ICS 100). How does it work? Simply take the course and follow through to the 20-question exam. Students who achieve over 80% on the online exam will be sent a digital certificate.

This course is available free of charge and at any time. It is self-directed and interactive with periodic knowledge checks to help learners reinforce their knowledge. It is designed to leave someone who has no previous knowledge of ICS with a ‘big picture’ overview of how and why ICS works. Time to completion will vary but should be a couple hours to a half-day for most participants.

Why should I learn about ICS?

ICS is the standard for managing the incidents requiring multiple agencies across North America. Its effectiveness in practice, like that of email or a fax machine, is tied to how many people have adopted it into use. Promoting the adoption of ICS among Canadians is an objective of Vanguard EMC.

In Canada, ICS was first adopted as a way to coordinate efforts among many organizations in fighting forest fires on the West Coast. Since then, it has grown to encompass all first response organizations, including paramedics, police and firefighters. It is quickly becoming the norm for proactive private companies and government departments to use ICS in their emergency planning. Operations Chief vest

Vanguard EMC and ICS

Vanguard EMC’s objectives in providing free training are threefold. First, we aim to raise awareness and understanding of the Incident Command System in Canada among professionals who do not work in emergency management. Second, we want to lower barriers to ICS implementation for organizations. The online option will give planners the ability to quickly introduce many in their workforce to the concepts of ICS. Third, we hope to provide a sample of Vanguard EMC’s expertise to a broader audience and encourage you to enrol in our more advanced training.

Professionals who want to know more about ICS are welcome to register for our ICS 200, 300 and 400 level courses or a related course in emergency management, listed here. In addition to training, Vanguard EMC offers auditing and consulting services in emergency management and business continuity.

 

Tips on Preparing a 72 hour kit

The following list is credited to  CEO at UNITED SPIRIT OF AMERICA from a LinkedIn posting entitled “Experts defined the 12 Biggest Mistakes when preparing for a disaster… I like your comments, additions and objections to them.” As this LinkedIn group is a members only site, we have edited and posted the information to this blog.

Tip 01

Buy products that do not require clean water to work.
One of the most common effects of a disaster zone is the inability to get clean water.

Tip 02

Buy products that are light and easy to carry.
Assume that you may be injured and/or may not have the strength to carry heavy objects after a disaster occur.

Tip 03

Buy products that are not scented or do not have strong odors.
Wildlife is attracted to scent. From mosquitoes to large predators their sense of smell is one of their most effective sources for finding food.

Tip 04

Buy products that do not depend on electrical power.
One of the first things that fail when a disaster of any kind strikes is electrical power, buying products that require electrical power may be just a waste of money.

Tip 05

Buy products with long shelf life.
Products with less than 3 years of shelf life may be expired and unusable when you really need them.

Tip 06

Buy first aid products and hygiene products that are needed on a daily basis.
People will use hygiene products regardless if they are injured or not, but most people buy first aid products and forget what they use on a daily basis.

Tip 07

Buy based on how good it works not how cheap it is.
Everybody wants to save money but when a disaster call you need to have the best most reliable products… your life my depend on them

Tip 08

Buy products that can perform for a least 72 hours.
The first 72 hours after a disaster are key, most emergency and survival support agencies and institutions can’t reach you. If you don’t have enough to survive those 72 hours a simple thing such as antibacterial protection could become a serious health issue.

Tip 09

Do not take wind, sunshine, protection from bugs and water for granted.
When disaster strikes your “normal” environment disappears and too much wind, sunshine and/or bugs can make your survival very challenging.

Tip 10

After food and shelter is secured the most important issue is your hygiene.
In a disaster the possibility of getting sick by contagious diseases grow exponentially with time, hygiene products are just as essential as shelter and food, make sure you have enough.

Tip 11

Whenever possible, include extra supplies rather than the minimum.
When people buy their products they should take into account that some people close to them (neighbors for example) may not have theirs or could have lost them in the disaster and then everyone would have to share…

Tip 12

Buy products that were designed for an emergency.
People sometimes buy products based on price rather than effectiveness and at the time of a disaster they wonder why their products don’t perform to the task ahead.

Tip 13 (Credited to a comment by Jennifer Robitaille )

Do not forget about your pets.
Pets are like a member of your family and will need access to clean water, shelter and food.

Tip 14 (Credited to a comment by Guy Cullum)

Include simple entertainment like books or cards.  Most survival is waiting and dealing with the waiting. Having things to keep the mind active and people not focused on what has happened is vital for mental health for adults and children.

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