Team Member to Incident Leader

Leaders often face difficult problems to which there are no simple, clear-cut or by-the-book solutions. In these situations, leaders must use their knowledge, skill, experience, education, values and judgment to make decisions and to take or direct action – in short, to provide leadership.

Human Factors in the
High-Risk Environment

Duration: 5 hours

The Challenge

Creating operators instead of followers.  Knowing and accepting the responsibilities of being a team member in a high-risk operational environment.

Human Factors in the High-Risk Environment is an entry level human performance skills course. It is designed as a 5-hour classroom experience. Its primary purpose is to establish a cultural expectation to be an “operator”, not a follower – to establish an awareness of human performance issues and how they can impact performance as a team member, to provide a common vocabulary of human performance, and to communicate the professional responsibility to address human performance issues while on the job.

This course addresses the human factors relating to individual team members, including:

  • Situation Awareness
  • Communication Responsibilities
  • Barriers to Situation Awareness
  • Decision Making and Risk
  • Team Cohesion

The desired outcome of this training is improved awareness and standardised vocabulary of human performance issues so individual operators can integrate more effectively into teams/crews whilst working in dynamic and high-risk environments.

The program is customised to the client’s operating environment.

Who should attend?

  • New employees as part of their initial training or before integrating into a fully operational team.
  • Current team members with little to no exposure to formal human factors concepts.
  • Experienced team members as part of a Train the Trainer program prerequisites.
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Follower to Leader (F2L)

Duration: 8 hours

Making a successful transition from team member to new leader.

Emerging Leader is an introductory leadership course. The course involves 2-4 hours of pre-course work and 8 contact hours. The contact hours include one day of classroom instruction. This course is designed as a self-assessment opportunity for individuals preparing to step into a leadership role.

  • Leadership Values & Principles
  • Transition Challenges for New Leaders
  • Situational Leadership
  • Teambuilding
  • Ethical Decision Making

The desired outcome of this training is to expose participants to foundational leadership concepts in high-risk work environments and provide those with small team leadership opportunities with the ability to self-assess their leadership preparedness.

The program is customised to the client’s operating environment.

Who should attend?

  • Fully qualified team members who are beginning to assume leadership roles.
  • Experienced team members as part of a Train the Trainer program.
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At the Point of the Spear:
Fireline Leadership *

Duration: 36 hours

The Challenge

Building and leading teams in a mission-driven culture to operate in high-risk environments.

At the Point of the Spear: Leading and preparing emergency response units is a 36-hour program that focuses on helping response leaders build more cohesive, adaptive, and resilient teams. This program teaches principles for leading in high-risk and high-stress environments, building team cohesion, and resolving conflicts and problems within the team. Using a mix of theory, case studies, classroom exercises, and field exercises, this interactive program is designed to provide a framework from which to launch future organisational development.

  • Memory and Behaviour
  • Leadership Influence and Leading Adaptively
  • Building, Training and Learning as a Team
  • Error Resiliency
  • Stress as an Operational Risk
  • Accountability, Standards and Expectations
  • Communications and Conflict Resolution
  • Leading Ethically

At the Point of the Spear has a two-decade track record of success in strengthening leader effectiveness and advancing clients’ organizational change goals. Since 2001, more than 25,000 response leaders have graduated from versions of this program throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia.

Who should attend?

Those who have a current or forthcoming assignment as a unit/team/department supervisor.

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Leadership *

Duration: 16 hours

The Challenge

Applying the art of mission command in changing environments.

Incident Leadership offers hands-on experience leading a response during an escalating all-hazards incident. Students take on leadership responsibilities in simulation blocks – lasting 16-hours over five days – mirroring events in an emerging incident. Iterative learning cycles and a variety of perspectives provide students with opportunities to learn, practice, and improve command skills and leadership behaviours.

Recent incidents demonstrate the need for emergency response and support agencies to be well-schooled in the Australasian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS). Traditional AIIMS training, however, offers few opportunities to practice the leadership behaviours required to lead and work with diverse groups – others on the Incident Management Team, other support agencies, municipalities, and the public. The Incident Leadership Course provides hands-on practical experience in the skills and techniques necessary to lead successfully during emerging incidents.

  • Command Presence
  • Commander’s Guidance and Leader’s Intent
  • Team Communication and Feedback
  • Effective Teams
  • Managing Error
  • Operational Tempo
  • Mission Command

This high-intensity program helps participants learn strategies for building operational synergy in temporary teams, such as managing diverse resources, interfacing with community co-operators and leading operational planning extending into a strategic time frame.

Participants come away with firsthand experience applying the leadership skills required to put the incident command system into actual practice. They gain confidence in their ability to hit the ground running as part of a quickly assembled incident management team. This program builds new trigger points and recognition skills that are directly transferable to future operations and incidents.

Who should attend?

Level 2 IMT or aspiring L2 personnel. Also suitable for team building for new Incident Management Teams.

  • Fire Services
  • Law Enforcement
  • Emergency Management
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Public Works
  • Public Health
  • Health Care
  • Public Safety Communications
  • Agriculture Security
  • Food Security
  • Corrections and Private Security
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Organisational Leadership
– Intent into Action *

Duration: 5 days

The Challenge

Building high-functioning teams to manage large-scale complexity and chaos.

A high-intensity, hands-on program, Intent into Action: Advanced Leadership for the Command and General Staff cultivates proficiency beyond the technical requirements of doctrinal systems, such as the Incident Command System (ICS) or the Australian Inter-service Incident Management System (AIIMS).

The program offers command staff and Incident Management Team members (Australian Level 2 and Level 3) the practical skills and tools to build cohesion, adaptiveness, and resilience during complex incident planning and operations. At this level, the ambiguous, undefined, and dynamic nature of incidents requires a degree of teamwork and integration beyond what is needed for smaller incidents. IMT members need to function as an integrated unit in order to build a common operating picture, plan strategically and conduct effective operations. Salient themes – leadership, teamwork, intent, communication, and operational culture – extend beyond the confines of the incident organization to have a significant effect on co-operators, jurisdictional owners and political-public spheres.

This program picks up where fundamental IMT process courses leave off. It concentrates on integrating leadership and incident management acumen to achieve strategic results in large-scale incidents.

The course focuses on guiding the staff as a highly functional and integrated team that can leverage incident management practices to its best effect:

  • Developing ethos and team culture as a professional staff.
  • Establishing an effective command climate aligned with a Mission-Driven Culture.
  • Developing and maintaining a common operating picture.
  • Providing functional integration and resilience.
  • Thinking critically and strategically.
  • Leading at the team, section and stakeholder level.
  • Influencing the political, social, infrastructure, information and economic elements of the operational environment.
  • Developing and communicating intent at an incident level.

This 5-day program provides practical experience using ICS or AIIMS structure in the context of a large incident response. Students work in iterative simulations to review, practice and improve the application of doctrinal tools along with leadership skills as appropriate for the staff. They graduate with a portfolio of feedback upon which to base future development activities.

The hands-on character of Intent into Action makes it valuable for both trainees and veteran IMT members to deepen understanding and strengthen effective command behaviours. In addition, its flexible structure allows the accommodation of both individuals and standing teams.

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* These programs run in collaboration with Mission Centered Solutions (MCS), a prominent service provider for the wildland fire industry that has developed and delivered training programs to thousands of agency personnel. In 2008, MCS expanded the application of its systems beyond wildland fire to serve other emergency service organizations. In 2010, they again extended their offerings in include the private sector. MCS’s service record now encompasses more than 1,000 program deliveries and 20,000 program graduates, along with clients from more than 60 domestic and international government agencies. MCS has conducted more than 250 programs in Australia and New Zealand.

We have engaged Jamie over the past 9 years to lead tabletop exercise scenarios for the Falls Festival, Amy’s Gran Fondo, Nightjar and Pier to Pub. We love working with Jamie because he brings such an intelligent, dynamic approach to emergency planning for these major events.

Kate Patterson, Surfcoast Shire Council

Jamie tailored a training/workshop that met our specific needs and that enabled us to understand what happens to the mind and body when we are placed under stress and how to harness that energy to make effective decisions. I cannot recommend Jamie highly enough.

Paula Hives, Eastland Shopping Centre
Jamie has played a vital role within our community, helping us to engage with stakeholders and develope the now award-winning and internationally recognised, Strathewen-Arthurs Creek Bushfire Education Partnership. Every year, Jamie’s inspiring workshops are eagerly anticipated by our students.
Jane Hayward, Strathewen Primary School
The Tabletop Exercises facilitated by Jamie McKenzie have become a key aspect to our planning throughout the year. By acting out different emergency scenarios, the training has assisted us to review our processes and highlight areas for improvement.
Ruth Blackhirst, The Falls Music and Arts Festival