ACS & MST Plan a Field Exercise for May

March 15, 2009

The leadership of Seattle ACS and the King County MST have formed a team to plan a field exercise for Saturday May 30, 2009.  The team is made up of Joel Ware, Todd Heuer, Bob Helling, Brian Hagler and Mary Ann Chapman.  Joel has agreed to be the team convener and Mary Ann is our exercise consultant.  Mary Ann has had considerable training and experience in exercise planning and currently works with US Coast Guard Sector Seattle. 

Purpose of the exercise

The purpose of this exercise is to improve the readiness and effectiveness of Seattle ACS by including new members as well as longer term members that have not participated in recent exercises and mentoring.  Activities will include  practicing and refining the EOC comm-center’s field tracking and dispatching procedures; improving coordinated interaction with MST by including MST activity in the EOC and cross-training ACS members with MST.


Needs Assessment – why is conducting a field exercise a good idea?  here are some of major reasons to be addressed by this drill:

1. New members are sometimes reluctant to jump into the action. We need to

kick-start them and get them involved. Training and practice will help overcome

this reluctance. Some longer-term members have the same issue. The exercise can

help build a base-line of skill and participation by all.


2. ACS and MST have developed and MOU but have not have integrated the teams

into a common mission. Design the exercise to begin the cross-training of MST

and ACS members in procedures and protocols such that members may feel

comfortable supporting any mission which they may be called upon by the served



3. We need to work on internal EOC procedures to effectively manage

participants and assignments, handle message traffic, and address developing

situations and re-assignment of resources. Development of these procedures will

be ongoing, and they should be tested whenever possible, starting with this



4. Resource requirements in a real-world incident will require participation of

more people than have been involved in past exercises. To be effective in an

incident, communicators need training and practice ahead of time. We need to

increase number of participants in exercises to accomplish this.


5. We need to incorporate the MST Region 6 Mednet Seattle sub-net control

function into the Seattle EOC and into the MST net hierarchy, effectively

handling hospital-specific message traffic, addressing developing situations and

re-assignment of resources as needed. Development of these procedures will be

ongoing, and they should be tested whenever possible, starting with this



6. Review prior exercises and lessons learned to find capabilities that need to

be tested. Some of these may require work prior to the exercise to get solutions

into place.


7,  Exercises are team building experiences and help develop a sense of community among members and reinforce a sense of purpose and commitment.  Drills also need to be as much for fun as for learning.   






The Planning Team is working hard to get this event planned – stay tuned for more information

Put this on your Calendar for Saturday Morning May 30, 2009


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