Role plays and road works

In the last two days, I have done around 200kms of very boring commuting in order to attend a training course; the view above shows the lightest traffic I experienced as a drove home just ahead of the afternoon rush hour through Auckland’s newly completed central junction.  To numb the boredom, I often listen to podcast and one of my favourites is Jack Thurston’s The Bike Show.  This is always a superb blend of bikes, artistic musings, philosophy and news from the cycling scene.  The down side is that I am all too rudely reminded that my commutes used to be oh-so-different.

Luckily, the training was interesting and offered an opportunity to learn and get qualified in a new area.  The course was a two-day workshop around NZ’s Co-ordinated Incident Management Systems, training folks from the emergency services, health sector, utilities and other key agencies to manage natural disasters, industrial accidents, large scale events and environmental incidents in a cohesive, collaborative and co-ordinated fashion under one encompassing system.  By means of classroom instruction and multiple role-played real-time scenarios, we were trained to manage the ‘big picture’ of such incidents and co-ordinate the disparate agencies involved.

All the scenarios were based of real incidents and the directing staff included civil defense staff, fire fighters, police officers and a bomb disposal expert.  Over the two days, we dealt with bomb hoaxes, oil refinery explosions,
rail crashes in remote mountain passes and catering fires at crowded
festivals.  I left the course this afternoon having learned a great deal, no only from the course but from my fellow students.  Although I sincerely hope that I will not need to use these newly-acquired skills, a small part of me is intrigued to know how I would perform if I did.

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