National Safety Council Debuts Emergency Training Kit
Hoping to fulfill its mission of preventing injuries and death, the National Safety Council created a new kit that enables organizations to teach their employees the skills required to weather an emergency situation.
As this month’s shooting in the Fort Lauderdale Airport illustrated, emergency situations crop up unexpectedly.
That’s why the National Safety Council, whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths, put together the NSC Emergency Preparedness Training. Geared toward companies and other organizations, the training kit gives staff members the correct actions to take before, during, and after an emergency.
“Since everyone will, at some point in their lifetime, experience an emergency of some kind we feel that this program can have a big impact on our mission,” said NSC Director of Business Development Felipe Reyes.
To that end, the training focuses on seven types of emergencies: evacuation, weather and natural disasters, shelter-in-place emergencies, medical emergencies, workplace violence, active shooter situations, and terrorism emergencies. In addition to those seven, which make up the kit’s different modules, there’s one additional module that covers emergency-related communication tips and strategies.
Reyes said NSC chose to focus on these seven modules because they are emergencies most “applicable to anyone, anywhere, anytime.” However, the training kit also includes a resource CD that covers other types of crises as well.
During the pilot program for the kit, the active shooter training got a lot of attention. According to Reyes, NSC partnered with government agencies, such as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, to come up with this particular module. NSC also conducted an active shooter drill in its suburban Chicago building.
“One of the things that our members tell us is that one of the biggest problems they have is employee engagement about safety,” Reyes said. “We have drills—fire drills, tornado drills—we walk through the paces and do what we’re told, but with active shooter, it really had an effect on people.”
For other modules, NSC worked with different organizations and agencies, as well as incorporated live video footage from ABC News. “We thought that real footage of real events would have a bigger impact,” he said.
The NSC Emergency Preparedness Training offers kits for both facilitators and participants. Ideally, Reyes said one staff member would serve as the facilitator by following the step-by-step directions listed in the kit, which also incorporates customizable power point slides and videos. Other staffers can then follow along in their own participant kits.
Each module takes about an hour, with the exception of the active shooter training, which takes two hours. Reyes said that organizations can deliver the modules individually, say every month, can cobble a few together for a half-day training, or can take an entire day and get through most of them.
Reyes also noted that organizations looking to move beyond the classroom and conduct a drill should coordinate with their local police departments.
“If we can get people being trained by their employers or community leaders using this program, then they’ll be more aware of what to do and where to find resources if they need them,” Reyes said.