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Recovery, E-learning and strategic leadership - Editorial Board Member update 

Andy Marshall, Director of Civil Contingencies for Staffordshire, UK, writes: Staff at the Civil Contingencies Unit (CCU) in Stafford (UK) are currently preparing to run a CBRN response and recovery exercise to validate Staffordshire’s multi-agency CBRN plan and the CBRN element of our multi-agency recovery plan. The exercise will be run over two days in October and will involve all member organisations of the Staffordshire Resilience Forum partnership.

We are also preparing to launch the next in our series of day-long multi agency exercises based at our Response Assessment Venue (RAVEN) facility in Stafford.

Perhaps, in this case, we should change the title from ‘Response’ to ‘Recovery’ as the new scenario is based purely around the recovery phase. This is the first time that we have devoted so much time and attention specifically to recovery exercise planning. It has been quite a challenge to prepare such an exercise and we’d be interested to share similar experiences with other readers of Crisis Response Journal.  All too often recovery seems to get forgotten in exercises…or perhaps left to the last half hour when perhaps our minds are on other things!

The CCU is making significant progress in the field of E-Learning. We have worked with colleagues from Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service to launch two new learning packages, one about recovery for the multi-agency audience, and the other an introduction to the CCU for operational firefighters.  Based on the success of both initiatives, our aim is to roll out a programme of E-learning packages covering key plans and refresher courses for niche skills such as loggist.   

On a personal level, I am close to finishing writing the next in our series of one-to-one coaching sessions for strategic leaders. This one will be called Exercise CO-STAR and will place the leader in the situation of having to take over from the Chair of a Strategic Co-ordinating Group (SCG) after its first meeting. Success will therefore stem from a quick appreciation of what has already happened, before coming to terms with a few additional ‘curve-balls’!

On a multi agency footing, I am working with our partner organisations from Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to support preparations for the 2012 Olympics and Torch Relay while keeping an eye on the emerging picture around potential industrial action in the public sector, which could conceivably occur this coming Autumn/Winter.

Andy Marshall, Director of Civil Contingencies, Staffordshire (UK) 

Andy Marshall, 14/09/2011
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