In preparation for the upcoming Gotham Shield exercise in April, EMSI recently delivered Intermediate Incident Command System (ICS-300) and Staging Area Manager (ICS-236) training to the Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) in Fort Eustis, Virginia. Gotham Shield (also known as Vibrant Response) is directed by U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and executed by U.S. Army North (USARNORTH) to test the capability of federal responders to manage a catastrophic incident. This exercise, centered around a 10kt Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) detonation, will take place in New York and New Jersey. Assisting with this exercise series since 2013, EMSI works closely with state and federal emergency management agencies including the DOD, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The mission of JTF-CS is to anticipate, plan, and prepare for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense Support of Civil Authorities (CBRN-DSCA) response operations. When directed, JTF-CS deploys within 24 hours of notification to command and control DOD forces in support of civil authority response operations in order to save lives, prevent further injury, and provide temporary critical support to enable community recovery. Established in October 1999, JTF-CS is assigned to USNORTHCOM and conducts CBRN response operations planning and preparedness to maximize mission readiness and capability.
EMSI is one of the only training providers in the world to offer an ICS Staging Area Manager course. Historically, the Staging Area Manager position has been provided simply with a job aid and no formal training course, but there has been an increasing demand for more structured Staging Area Manager training. Given the considerable interest in the course from a diverse audience, EMSI developed training to assist the Staging Area Manager in their role. The course focuses on establishing Staging Areas, effectively managing Staging Areas, managing resources assigned to Staging Areas, and includes a practical exercise in actually designing and laying out an effective Staging Area. This course is taught with the EMSI Staging Area Manager job aid.
At the same time that this training was being conducted for JTF-CS, EMSI personnel were also delivering nuclear and radiological response incident management training in preparation for Gotham Shield for state and county emergency management officials in New Jersey. With the goal of preparing New Jersey emergency management officials for the Gotham Shield exercise, EMSI subject matter experts briefed the attendees on:
The cascading effects of a 10kt nuclear detonation, including impacts from nuclear fallout and blast pressure;
Strategies for organizing and managing the response to an IND detonation; and the
Impacts to all-hazards operations and decision-making.
EMSI’s vast experience in complex incident management and hazardous materials response has helped inform some of the advanced incident management approaches to CBRN incident management. EMSI personnel have been involved in the management of a multitude of complex hazardous materials incidents, including Anthrax at the Capital (2001), the oil and hazardous materials response following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005), Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010), the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster (2011), and the oil and hazardous materials response following Hurricane Sandy (2012).