Strengthening Idaho’s Emergency Response: A Year of Third Thursday Trainings

The Idaho Office of Emergency Management (IOEM) team stays ready and prepared thanks to Third Thursday trainings! These monthly drills are opportunities for the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) to work on plans and procedures, work through issues, and review those plans and procedures, so staff are prepared during an emergency or disaster.

March 2024 marked a significant milestone for IOEM as it celebrated one year of engaging in these monthly trainings at the Idaho Response Center (IRC). These sessions have proven effective in honing procedures and fostering a culture of readiness among team members.

Led by the Plans section of Idaho SERT, March’s Third Thursday training focused on the Situation Report (SitRep) process. The primary objectives were to acquaint the SERT with the SitRep process and to provide hands-on practice in its creation. Knowing how to craft a clear and detailed SitRep can help leadership to coordinate a timely and effective state response. It ensures all stakeholders are informed about the state of the current and/or changing situation.

The exercise received valuable support from emergency managers of Blaine, Kootenai, and Valley counties, along with the Department of Administration and the Department of Health and Welfare’s emergency support function coordinators. Their collaboration was integral as they provided essential information for the SERT Plans Section to incorporate into a SitRep.

Participants enthusiastically embraced the training, as they engaged in group activities and utilized job aids to help craft SitReps. The collective effort demonstrated great teamwork, with each member contributing relevant ideas and ensuring the creation of SitReps with accurate and actionable information. IOEM team members who participated in the training shared their enjoyment with the collaborative learning experience and emphasized the importance of such exercises in strengthening preparedness capabilities.

Remember, strong SERT = strong Idaho!