A Program Of The

City Of Columbia

Contingency Emergency Response Plan Training

CW2020 Employee Newsletter Vol. 5, No. 2

The City of Columbia’s Wastewater Division came together in March for an Incident Command System (ICS) tabletop training session. The primary focus was to gauge the City’s preparedness to protect the public during a catastrophic event using its Contingency Emergency Response Plan (CERP). The CERP provides guidance and procedures for staff responding to an emergency. Working in teams, and facilitated by Columbia Fire Department staff, they were presented with an incident or catastrophic event, e.g., flood or power failure, and then had to handle the emergencies that followed such as sanitary sewer overflows, major line breaks, pump station failures, and citywide power outages. 

The team evaluated the risks, made assessments, responded to immediate needs, initiated recovery efforts to deal with the emergency, and then completed a debriefing of the exercise.

ICS Tabletop Training

Since March, staff has used the CERP and the ICS structure to prepare for impending events, such as Hurricane Irma. Following training, staff has a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities, feels more organized for emergency response, communicates with external and internal partners better and coordinates their resources across division lines more efficiently. The training has built confidence in staff to be ready, responsive, and resilient when facing a crisis.