ICS Training Sucks… So Let’s Fix It

To be honest, a lot of EM training sucks. There is way too much linear thinking in the field and training and ways of working both need an overhaul.

Exploring Emergency Management & Homeland Security

A great many of you are familiar with the piece I wrote in June called Incident Command System Training Sucks.  In it, I identify that the foundational ICS courses (ICS-100 through ICS-400 – but especially ICS-300 and ICS-400) simply do not provide the skills training that emergency managers across all disciplines require to utilize the system efficiently, effectively, and comfortably.  ICS Training Sucks turned out to be a popular piece which had a great deal of support from the first responder and emergency management community – which I am very grateful for.  The amount of comments and feedback was indicative to me that I was on the right track and that I need to revisit the topic and explore more.

At the center of my argument stands Bloom’s Taxonomy.  Bloom’s is a learning hierarchy which helps to identify the depth of instruction and learning.  Here is Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy.  We’ll…

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California wildfires could spell disaster for local winemakers

This video of a baby elephant chasing birds will make your day

Therapy for those of us who have to read about and watch videos of destruction more than we’d like….

Washington man arrested after bizarre standoff involving banjo

Hello Vancouver!

Q13 FOX News

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A Vancouver man was taken into police custody after a standoff that featured the suspect serenading officers with a banjo, KPTV reports.

Officers were called to the 8500 block of NE 36th Circle on Sunday after reports of a naked man walking around with a knife. When they arrived at the man’s home, he refused to surrender.

Neighbors saw the man, identified by police as Andrew Helmsworth, yelling at officers, and said at one point, Helmsworth walked outside with a banjo, which he played for the officers.

Witnesses said the officers eventually subdued Helmsworth with what appeared to be a non-lethal round and took him into custody.

According to police, the investigation revealed that Helmsworth had assaulted a family member.

Helmsworth was arrested on a charge of felony assault and lodged at the Clark County Jail, police said.

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University of Saskatchewan professor calls for wildfire strategy

Americans Less Annoyed With Facebook Than Last Year, Still Dislike LinkedIn

I don’t dislike LinkedIn. I dislike people “networking” by asking to connect to me without knowing me. That is not networking; it is artificially increasing your following.

Americans Less Annoyed With Facebook Than Last Year, Still Dislike LinkedIn

I don’t dislike LinkedIn. I dislike people “networking” by asking to connect to me without knowing me. That is not networking; it is artificially increasing your following.

Planting trees with drones

So, yeah. If you want to fly your drone around forests, this would be a better thing to do than to interfere with firefighters’ work….


Photo credit: Science Alert

New project plans to plant one billion trees a year using drone technology

Time for some industrial scale REforestation.

30 APR 2015

US-based organisation, BioCarbon Engineering, has announced that it will begin planting one billion trees per year using drone technology, in an effort to combat the massive levels of deforestation that have affected many of the world’s jungles, bushlands, and forests.

Led by ex-NASA engineer, Lauren Fletcher, the team looked at the issue of how rapidly trees are being felled, and reasoned that on their own, people aren’t able to combat the problem. So why not use technology to combat technology? “We are going to counter industrial scale deforestation using industrial scale reforestation,”they say on their website. “Destruction of global forests from lumber, mining, agriculture, and urban expansion destroys 26 billion trees each year. We believe that this industrial scale…

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Lessons From a Town That Runs on Social Media

AFTERSHOCK: A Humanitarian Crisis Game is now available for order!

This looks really interesting (though a tad on the pricey side). Hat tip to Brad Sweet for the link.


We are very, very pleased to announced that AFTERSHOCK: A Humanitarian Crisis Game is now available from The Game Crafter. Click the image below to visit the order page.


Tom Fisher and I would like to thank everyone who assisted with the development AFTERSHOCK. Many of the initial ideas for this game came from participants in the “Game Lab” at the Connections 2012 interdisciplinary wargaming conference at National Defense University, which focused on humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations during the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Special thanks are due to Game Lab co-facilitators David Becker, Brant Guillory, Ty Mayfield, Gary Milante, Joshua Riojas, and Brian Train. The game also drew inspiration from the Crisis Response humanitarian assistance card game developed by Gary Milante and from the Zombiton NHS zombies-in-a-hospital game developed with Jessica Barton.

The design of the game was refined with input from a large group of playtesters. These included attendees at subsequent Connections and Connections…

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