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Training and Exercise Subcommittee

Officers

Co-Chair: Fire Chief John Callahan, Smithville Area Fire Protection District
Co-Chair: Division Chief Brad Mason, Johnson County Med-Act

Staff Contacts

Lisa Elsas, 816-701-8392
Erin Lynch, 816-701-8390

Meeting Information

The RHSCC Training and Exercise Subcommittee meets on the last Friday of even months (February, April, June, August, October and December) at 9 a.m., unless otherwise noted.

All meetings are listed on the emergency services calendar and are open to the public.

To request meeting summaries or agendas, please call MARC's Emergency Services staff at 816-474-4240.

Approved 2013-2014 Training Calendar

The RHSCC's Training and Exercise Subcommittee (T&E) is committed to offering training in the Greater Kansas City region on a wide variety of topics to aid in prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery for a broad range of incidents. 

For the latest information about upcoming training and exercises, visit the emergency training page.

For the past decade, local officials have coordinated emergency services training and exercise activities through the RHSCC and the Training and Exercise committee. Early on, local agencies saw the benefit of training together, leveraging resources and developing exercises that included more than one jurisdiction or discipline. Thousands of responders have received training ranging from basic concepts for awareness to highly specialized operations of the region’s specialty teams.

The RHSCC’s Training and Exercise Subcommittee identifies training priorities with stakeholders, promotes available training, maintains an online training calendar, and supports the delivery of training and reporting. Similarly, exercises are designed based on priorities expressed in annual planning workshops; and a team of local officials and staff design, execute and evaluate the activities (sometimes with vendor support).

Current training and exercise priorities include:

  • Sustaining existing DHS Core Capabilities.
  • Fulfilling goals outlined in the Strategy Plan.
  • Resolving “gaps” identified in the THIRA – the region’s collective assessment process.
  • Meeting grant requirements while maximizing opportunities for enhanced integrated training and exercises. 
  • Managing the Exercise Improvement Plan Matrix and reporting to DHS as required.

Local jurisdictions benefit from the Regional Training and Exercise Program in the following ways:

  • Strengthening mutual aid response. One of the core elements of the program is to provide opportunities for personnel and teams from different jurisdictions to train and exercise together in an effort to standardized procedures when appropriate. With the specialty teams, this is a deliberate way to ensure teams have the ability to operate seamlessly together when coordinated response is required. For other disciplines, the goal may not be to standardize processes, but the benefit of training and exercising together still helps strengthen responses requiring mutual aid. Knowing who to call for help in another community makes that process smoother, more efficient and more successful. This intangible benefit cannot be overestimated.
  • Receiving cost-effective training. Courses are offered in ways to minimize costs to local agencies. This includes providing courses on shift schedules to allow agencies to send personnel without needing to pay overtime costs. Additionally, courses are typically open enrollment offerings where a local agency can send personnel who need the course (even if it is just one or two employees) without having to bear the full cost of bringing in a session to their jurisdiction.
  • Helping local jurisdictions meet grant requirements. The Training and Exercise Program offers NIMS and ICS training to assist local jurisdictions in meeting their annual requirements to ensure those employees who need the ICS courses can receive them. Similarly, exercises developed regionally are often crafted to help local jurisdictions and community partners meet requirements for exercising various components of their local response operations. For example, regional exercises often evaluate activation of local emergency operations centers to support those communities in their annual EMPG exercise requirement.
  • Learning from each other. The goal of regional exercises is to learn areas for improvement in planning, training, and equipment gaps prior to a real-world event. Following each exercise, after-action reports are drafted to capture lessons learned and make recommendations for improvement. Often, these reports are shared so that local officials can learn not only from their own experience, but also those of their neighboring communities. It has been a long-standing practice of the RHSCC to share lessons learned following real-world events in local communities. Presentations at committee meetings and the opportunity to ask questions and provide input allow non-impacted jurisdictions to learn from those officials who managed the response efforts. This has been a successful model following many events (e.g., ice storms, chemical plant fire, gas pipeline fire).