Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear & Explosives (CBRNE) Orientation Seminar & Table-Top Exercise (TTX)

February 2014

Project Summary

On behalf of Public Safety (PS), International Safety Research (ISR) was tasked to design, execute and report on an orientation seminar and a Table-Top Exercise (TTX) for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) Emergency Responder and First Receiver Communities of Practice. The orientation session was designed to provide Provincial/Territorial stakeholders the forum to provide updates on relevant CBRNE activity in their respective jurisdictions. It also allowed for a discussion forum on the development of CBRNE Responder Competencies to allow for additional examinations of training requirements and associated delivery models. The seminar provided an opportunity for lead Canadian agencies, such as the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and PS to discuss advancements in the Beyond the Borders Plan (BtB) associated with Health Security and CBRNE Responder Competencies. The presentations, discussions and facilitated scenarios presented during the Seminar and TTX elicited feedback from the participants and successfully established a baseline understanding of the operational requirements / issues and a roadmap to future events.

This was the first time that a TTX format was used to conduct the Federal / Provincial and Territorial (F/P/T) CBRNE sub-working group annual meeting, and the format was generally very well received. A positive problem-solving environment enabled the participants to work through the issues under discussion in a highly productive manner. The capability to allow participants to generate real-time feedback on the key issues they had identified during the TTX was also well received and the participants left the TTX with an understanding of the priorities they had developed as a group and received an opportunity to comment on those priorities.

A one-day orientation session was designed to provide Provincial/Territorial stakeholders the forum to provide updates on relevant CBRNE activity in their respective jurisdictions. Also designed in the one-day Orientation was a discussion forum on the development of CBRNE Responder Competencies, which was intended to set the stage for additional examinations of training requirements and training delivery models associated with CBRNE.

The TTX was conducted on Days 2 and 3 of the exercise. On Day 2, the participants were split into four breakout groups (balancing federal and provincial participants) and each group was assigned a facilitator that led the group through a scenario which included specific injects to engage the participating organizations in discussions concerning an actual or impending CBRNE related attack.

Each group was assigned to a set of four scenarios developed for this study. These scenarios were based on the national planning scenarios developed by the US-Department of Homeland Security (US-DHS), revised for use in a Canadian context. All scenarios were very high order events to focus on multi-jurisdictional responses to a major terrorist CBRNE attack, which included a local responder component.

On Day 3, an AAR was executed within the same four breakout groups. The final activity included a Way Forward Discussion that was held in plenary. Participant responses were gathered in real time using a data capture tool and the results were immediately displayed to the group.

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