VA Hazmat Conference, Norfolk, VA (Sep 2019).
In 2016, Alliance Solutions Group (ASG) identified the need for more effective crisis leadership training among responders to hazmat incidents based on a series of Chemical Safety Board investigative reports. In 2018 alone, there were almost 20,000 incidents during the transportation of hazardous materials (hazmat) in the US (source: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration). These incidents usually involve coordinated efforts between multiple agencies and organizations, which stresses communication and coordination systems. . ASG found that many incident management courses were being delivered at the “knowledge” level and lacked learning objectives at the application, synthesis and evaluation level. This may be a contributing factor to poor crisis leadership and decision making, as well as a lack of implementation of the knowledge taught in many Incident Command courses.
To close this gap in knowledge and practice, ASG partnered with Georgia Tech Research Institute to create a course for emergency managers, responders, hazmat transporters and private sector facilities that handle hazmat. The result of this collaboration was the FEMA-certified course, MGT 457: On-Scene Crisis Leadership and Decision Making for Hazmat Incidents., which was recently delivered as part of the Virginia Hazmat Conference in Norfolk, VA.
The course’s purpose is to provide training to help leaders improve situational awareness, adapt their leadership styles, share lessons learned, implement incident command with multi-agencies, jurisdictions and external organizations, and mitigate the impacts of stress during a hazmat incident. Over the past year and a half, the course was delivered nearly 60 times in 17 states to a total of 1,024 participants from both the United States and abroad. The course is estimated to positively impact over 13 million people represented by the participants who completed the training.
Course participants routinely commended the course on the knowledgeability of instructors, the relevancy of real-life examples, and the engaging nature of group exercises. Testimonials provided by participants included:
“Practical exercises allowed interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and problem solving for real world events.”
“I appreciated the breakout opportunities to engage in unscripted conversation with my peers.”
“The case studies are powerful tools to reinforce the need for pre-planned training exercises.”
“[The course] added to my knowledge and gave some food for thought about crisis decision-making. A very good course.”
If you are interested in hosting a course on crisis leadership, decision making, and hazmat preparedness, contact the experts at ASG for more information: