Training qualifications and the activities facilitated by a trainer are essential. With the urban areas growing and more and more emergencies are happening every day. Several emergency workers are responding to situations that are out of control right at this moment in time.
Often training can be seen as something the employer wants you to do. Thus, performed so that business work health and safety are compliant. Accurate in many respects, the central role of emergency training is to keep all occupants, whether employees or the general public, safe from harm.
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Historical emergency response
A few decades ago, the emergency services throughout Australia became frustrated at the lack of coordination during emergencies. Specifically in the initial stages.
There was a real void between the incident happening and the emergency services arriving on the scene. It may take five, ten, 15 minutes for specialist help to come, and in that time, the potential for life and property losses can be significant.
The introduction of Australian Standards & training qualifications
Before legislation and linked Australian Standards were changed or introduced. Often, occupants deal with the situation in the best way they know how which makes the situation worse or puts occupants in clear and present danger.
A little training can go a long way and help substantially with life safety. For example, there is a story of a little girl who learnt about the signs of a tsunami. When she noticed some of the sign’s whilst on holiday, she informed her father, who took vital action. This small amount of knowledge helped save many lives at an Asian holiday resort.
The role and benefits of fire wardens
Fire Wardens are better known these days, as emergency wardens. Why? They may have to deal with many and varied types of emergencies during their employment. Fire is just one type of emergency. The warden system, formally known as the” Emergency control organisation, “is set up with the primary goal of life safety. They may help to save property, but that is just a side benefit for the business.
A good life safety strategy can be to move occupants in a coordinated manner to a safe location. This area is often called many things but generally referred to as the assembly area in Australia.
Managers should give the location of both primary and secondary assembly areas s a great deal of analysis before determining their location. A certified or qualified emergency consultant can often liaise with wardens and business owners to provide a suitable area for the assembly area.
Some of the activities an emergency warden might complete
The following list of fire warden duties are simply the main activities and is not limited to these: Act as floor or area wardens.
- Operate the communication system(s) in place at a business.
- Check that any fire doors and smoke doors are properly closed.
- Operate Fire Extinguishers as required and safe to do so
- The warden can close/open doors following the emergency response procedures.
- Search the floor or area to ensure all people have evacuated. This function is of greater importance than a later physical count of those evacuated.
- Ensure orderly flow of people into protected areas, for example, stairways.
- Assist occupants with disabilities.
- Act as the leader of groups moving to nominated assembly areas.
- Report status of required activities to the floor or area warden on their completion.
- And other tasks as directed by the Chief Warden
Training and the trainee
The structure of emergency service has evolved over many centuries via the military. The military often still runs fire, police and ambulance services worldwide. That is not the case in Australia. Even so, the defence forces do have a limited amount of emergency personnel.
Until the late 1990s, many emergency services operated in a paramilitary manner. They use similar structures today but are more related to established business protocols and planning these days.
Emergency wardens will have to perform the same role as emergency workers. There are many activities with training that can help prepare for the oncoming emergency personnel. Always keep those in your care safe.
Training needs to be ongoing.
With associated costs being paid for by the business. In Australia,, we have well-established guides to ensure the achievement of training goals. That guide is Australian Standard 3745-2010 which is called up in work health and safety legislation making emergency management systems within a business essential.
Onsite and offsite training is only the start of a sound system but embeds the knowledge requirements to act accordingly in an emergency.
Registered training organisations (RTO)
We are lucky in Australia to have a government body that regulates the quality of skills. They are known as the “Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)”, which registers organisations to coordinate training using established industry guidelines.
The training facilitated by the RTO’s is recognised by the industry as relevant for a given activity, generally within the workplace. Other factors like experience and ongoing training also a part of the overall recognition of qualifications.
Should businesses conduct non-accredited or nationally accredited training?
To ensure that training that qualified and certified instructors are facilitating training. National accreditation is the only route to take for a given business.
To be accredited to provide emergency training, there is a requirement to have Cert IV in Training and Assessment – backed up by verified industry experience. If businesses use non-accredited trainers, there will be the possibility that preparations for emergency response will be inadequate.
The future of preparing for emergencies in a business
Safety has come a long way with establishing guidelines over many centuries. Often as a result of frustrations generated by poor performance in an industry.
Regulatory bodies will always be required to ensure checks and balances are enforced check off as current. Thus helping to keep everyone safe during work and home life.