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1.The first step in determining the kind of exercise that should be conducted in your facility or community is to systematically study an updated HVA or conduct a needs assessment, then write SMART objectives. List at least four SMART objectives that you think should be included in designing a response to a natural hazard such as a tornado, which has created a collapse requiring people to be rescued. Make sure that they all meet SMART criteria.


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Participants in the tabletop exercise will be a facilitator, 5 paid paramedics, 10 paid EMT’s, and at least 7 volunteer EMTs. To be the most effective, it will be a multi-agency exercise, including representatives from law enforcement and the fire department. There will be 3 sessions for the tabletop exercise so that there is a rotation of medics attending on their day off. It is an informal learning session that will occur in the conference room at Headquarters. In the meeting room will be several 2-way radios, a laptop with a power point presentation, a conference table & chairs, and paper and pen for notes. Proper communication between medics will be demonstrated by the facilitators. There will be the opportunity for medics to read scenarios and determine how and what they will communicate. The skill to properly switch to the correct disaster frequency on the agency’s radio will be reviewed and tested.

Email will be as follows:

To (participant’s name):

Please attend the tabletop exercise at Headquarters on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday at 09:00. We are concerned that interagency communication has been less than adequate. We plan to review plain language skills as well as radio etiquette. We will also review expected information that should be communicated to dispatch during a disaster. Although this is a required training session, it is informal and so you are allowed to attend in street clothes.

Communication scenario will include the pre-incident warning, notification, response, and recovery. A scenario for this exercise will be for a plane crash at a local airport with over 100 injured passengers. It will be “enough to exhaust initial local resources, challenge mutual aid systems, and highlight potential areas of weakness in the communications systems” (Department of Homeland Security, 2013). The scenario will be as realistic as possible for the local airport with challenges that do not overwhelm the participants. This particular TTX will be focused on the interagency communication skills of the participants. There will be a review that follows the exercise to go over the strengths and weaknesses discovered.


Department of Homeland Security. (2013). Communications-Specific Tabletop Exercise Methodology[Ebook]. Retrieved from…


We will conduct a tabletop exercise (TTX) focusing on the suboptimal communications that has become a recurring trend amongst the various Emergency Medical Technicians (basic, paramedic) (EMT) and responding units in our urban pre-hospital system.

The TTX will be held at the EMS Headquarters Command Conference Room (CCR) on Thursday, 12 July. The CCR has video teleconference (VTC) equipment, encrypted Wi-Fi for portable devices, four whiteboards, satellite television feed, and ten two-way radios. Deputy Director, Logistics, will ensure all attendees have writing materials. The exercise will be broadcast live using Adobe Connect to maximize attendance and participation while maintaining adequate coverage in the urban area.

Participants will include the facilitator, five EMT-P, ten EMT-B, a minimum of seven volunteer EMT, and at least one representative from the following from external agencies: Fire and Police Departments, City Council (e.g. Infrastructure, Communications), Anywhere General (AG) Emergency Room (ER), Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), American Red Cross (ARC), Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Service (EDS), and Team Rubicon. The TTX will be recorded so it can be used as a training aid for those unable to attend and by the external agencies as part of the TEP. An after action review meeting is planned so major findings and recommended improvements can be widely disseminated.

The TTX will begin with an overview of important concepts, terms, and ground rules that are key to participation in the exercise. The catalyst for the exercise will be a disastrous flash flood in the urban area that severely degrades digital and analog communication systems. Attendees will work through three modules: general discussion of what the immediate communications priorities for responding to the event are, identifying the shared interoperable communication platforms (digital, analog), and standard terminology plus determining shortfalls and/or gaps, and finally, codifying the lessons learned, best practices, and way ahead for the pre-hospital communications system.

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