Information gathering and good communications during an incident are crucial to effect a positive outcome of that incident. The control room staff on an industrial site are under immense stress in dealing with the situation. Notifying personnel, receiving and passing information from and to different sources, reacting to process system panels and interpreting the data displayed on those systems to give the response teams a good awareness of the situation. But how often is this really trained in a realistic environment and are the staff competent in a stressful situation?
RelyOn Nutec thinks control room staff are a very important link in the emergency organisation and also need to be trained. Traditionally fire training has centred around the Fire Brigade and on their skills to control and extinguish the fire. However, decision making and tactical options are playing a more important role in the training. Making a decision to commit personnel to the risk areas or recall them in the event of a dangerous escalation can only be taken if accurate information is known about the process and promptly conveyed to the decision makers.
More and more companies are recognising this and are sending extra personnel such as technical staff who in the course of the incident will advise on the process to compliment the firefighting responses being carried out.
At our training centre we have six industrial fire training simulators and each has been designed with a process flow through a network of pipes between vessels and pumps with valves to isolate those lines. This process schematic can now be brought into the training objectives. For example, emergency shut down is common practice to control an industrial release, but what happens if those isolated lines become more of a hazard due to pressure build up as a result of exposure to the heat?
To compliment the fire training simulators we have now created a virtual control room which reflects the process layouts. The control room is designed as an incident command information management system (ICS) together with process panels where alarms or process ‘excursions’ (something happening outside the norm) can be generated by the instructor in order to stimulate a reaction. The control room is fully equipped with various communication means, visual aids and white boards required to manage an incident effectively. The control room staff are now able to interact with the incident commander or fire ground process unit supervisors.
For higher-level command training there can also be a separate crisis room set up, equipped with the necessary facilities to develop teamwork among the crisis team.
With our new control room we can train the following objectives:
- Interoperability between panel operators and emergency response personnel.
- Interpersonal skills required for efficient control room operator (CRO) competencies.
- Test and develop your own company procedures at all levels, from single resource up to multi-agency responses. The system can be modified to compliment the client’s own emergency response plan.
- Test of backup systems in the event of a digital system fallout.
The control room can be used in conjunction with our live fire simulators or in a virtual world. It can be used not only for the oil and gas sector but also for other disciplines such as command of protracted civil defence scenarios. The software used in the control room can be modified to reflect the needs of the client such as utilising their own emergency response procedures and even can be used at a client’s location.
Talk to our consultants at RelyOn Nutec Fire Academy for further advice on specific CRO or other command training.
For more information, go to www.relyonnutec-fireacademy.com