Q4-2022 NewsLetter

Stratham Full Scale Exercise

HSEM along with the Town of Stratham and other partners participated in a training exercise on October 27, in Stratham Hill Park.

The training consisted of a full-scale exercise involving several area police and fire departments and other first responder agencies.

“Today, hundreds of New Hampshire Seacoast first responders took part in a full-scale active threat exercise at Stratham Hill Park,” said Steven Cooper, a Training Officer with HSEM. “As the exercise planner and director, I watched New Hampshire’s first responders with pride as they continue to prepare for critical incidents to keep our residents and visitors safe.”

The full-scale exercise was a culmination of about a year of work. More than 25 agencies and over 200 people participated.

“The planning and playing out of this exercise shows the importance of communities and their partners working together,” said Deborah Yeager, Assistant Chief of Preparedness and Response – Training & Exercise with HSEM. “Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed to help strengthen the response to potential threats to our state.”

Funding for the exercise came from federal grants. Towns can find information about available grants for training and exercises on the HSEM Resource Center.

HSEM Training & Exercise provides support to all New Hampshire communities, including exercise planning, development and conduct (controlling/evaluating), after action reports and improvement plans, grant guidance, photography/videography, logistics and equipment.

Participants in the Stratham Exercise.

Southern New Hampshire University Tabletop Exercise

On November 9, the Training and Exercise Unit hosted a tabletop exercise at the Southern New Hampshire University campus in Hooksett. First responders in the exercise included SNHU staff, representatives from Manchester police, Manchester fire, Hooksett police, Hooksett fire, Elliot Hospital, and Manchester’s Office of Emergency Management. Exercise and Training Officer Steve Cooper facilitated a group discussion revolving around a hypothetical school shooter event on campus. Attendees were able to test their current knowledge and plans in a controlled setting, solidifying current practices and relationships while discovering new paths of communication among the campus’ emergency partners. Several participants also were tested on their media interview skills.

The Training & Exercise Unit can assist in the design, documentation and facilitation of an exercise, and can provide logistics, personnel, resource support, and grant funding. Your community can schedule training with the NH HSEM Training and Exercise Unit by emailing exercisetraining@dos.nh.gov.

1,000th School Assessment – Campton Elementary

On October 14, HSEM’s School Readiness Program completed its 1,000th school security assessment. the assessment took place at Campton Elementary School in Campton. This particular assessment was conducted by School Readiness Liaison Kevin Partington alongside representatives from the school district and local police department. The assessment included discussions about improving surveillance, access control, and emergency alerting at the school. After the assessment, a report of suggestions for enhancing the overall emergency readiness and safety of the campus was sent to the school. This was Campton Elementary’s second security assessment by the School Readiness Program

The School Readiness Program was created in 2014. It conducts security assessments for public, public chartered, and nonpublic New Hampshire schools.

To schedule a security assessment, request technical assistance for a school emergency operations plan, or to inquire about training and exercise opportunities contact schoolreadiness@dos.nh.gov to be connected with your School Readiness Liaison.

Choose Love New Hampshire

On October 18 and November 28, Shannon Desilets, Program Director for the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement for the State of New Hampshire, gave presentations to the staff at HSEM. Shannon’s presentation centered on improving our mental health and focusing on solutions to everyday stressors rather than dwelling on them. The uplifting theme of adopting a solution-based mindset is how the Choose Love Movement aims to create a world that is more nurturing, healing and loving. In particular, Shannon focused on the reinforcement of four character values at the core of the Choose Love formula: courage, gratitude, forgiveness and compassion. She led the staff through a number of everyday relaxation techniques as well as several science-based social and emotional health exercises meant to get people out of their comfort zone and stimulate personal reflection and growth. Activities included: Brave Breathing, Brave Posing(shown below), Tapping and writing forgiveness notes.

The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement is a nonprofit organization founded by Scarlett Lewis in honor of her son Jesse, who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. The Choose Love Movement endeavors to make social and emotional development a larger part of the national conversation with the ultimate goal of providing a more a safe and nurturing environment inside of our schools, homes and communities. The movement has grown to reach over 120 countries, all 50 U.S. States and over 3 million children. 599 Schools in New Hampshire have accessed choose love resources.

Under the direction of Governor Chris Sununu, New Hampshire has chosen to make the choose love movement a statewide initiative: the first and only state in the nation to do so.  

Career Fairs

The fall kicked off a round of career fairs at several schools. HSEM employees greeted students and alumni at the University of New Hampshire, Plymouth State University, Southern New Hampshire University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Colby Sawyer College.

Program Specialist Joshua Bradley Representing HSEM at the Massachusetts Maritime Career Fair.

At the fairs, we make connections with students from all majors to discuss internship and employment opportunities.

If you or someone you know is interested in a career with our division, our job postings can be found on the state’s employment portal or you can reach out to hsempio@dos.nh.gov for more information on open positions.

If you or someone you know is interested in an internship with our agency, applications are available on the HSEM Resource Center.

L0105: Public Information Basics

HSEM PIO Vanessa Palange guiding a group of students through the L0105 course.

On October 4-6, our agency taught the L0105: Public Information Basics course at Monadnock Hospital in Peterborough. This three-day course is the replacement for the old G290 and 291. It considers the value of communication before, during and after an incident and helps PIOs identify critical audiences, both internal and external. The primary audience for this training is individuals who have public information responsibilities in their main job or as an auxiliary function at the federal, state, local, tribal or territorial level of government, and in the private and non-governmental sectors.

Thank you to employees from the New Hampshire Department of Corrections and the Maine Emergency Management Agency for assisting with teaching the course.

HSEM will have two opportunities in 2023 to take the course. The first will be in Portsmouth from April 11-13. Registration is currently open. The second will be in Concord later in the year.

SEOC Election Activations

On September 13 and November 8, HSEM partially activated the State Emergency Operations Center to assist the offices of the Secretary of State and Attorney General during elections. During the activations, we took time to train some of our new employees in the different roles of the SEOC as well as what might happen in real-life events and which Emergency Support Functions might be needed for those events.

HSEM in action during the November midterm elections.

109th Annual PTA Conference

On November 19, Assistant Chief of School Readiness Austin Brown attended the 109th Annual NHPTA Convention at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham. The event featured a host of workshops and guest speakers, giving PTA members and leadership a chance to share ideas and learn new skills. Austin gave a presentation on HSEMs school readiness program detailing the resources available on the NH School Resource Center website, how his team assesses school security and opportunities for parents and teachers to contribute in making their local school districts safer.

Operation Santa Claus

Items collected for Operation Santa Claus on their way to be wrapped.

The NH Homeland Security and Emergency Management team of elves extends their gratitude to everyone who supported and donated to this year’s Operation Santa Claus effort. Through the generosity and support of community businesses and members, the team was able to raise almost $2,500 to help give a merry Christmas to 18 local children, ranging from toddlers to adolescence, this year.

Governor and Executive Council Breakfast

On December 7, HSEM hosted a breakfast for Governor Sununu and members of the executive council. Attendees were treated to a breakfast spread as they began their bi-weekly meeting. Director Buxton led a powerpoint presentation with updates on current HSEM operations, and along with the section chiefs, answered questions on the Division’s ongoing efforts. Topics included the progress being made on open disasters, open funding opportunities and the School Readiness Program.

Governor Sununu and Executive Council Members.

ESF Meeting

On Wednesday, December 14, HSEM hosted an Emergency Support Function (ESF) meeting in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) with all 18 ESFs, consisting of a large number of State agencies. Participants were both in-person within the SEOC as well as online via Microsoft Teams. It was our largest attendance to date and will serve as a great platform going forward for such meetings.

We had 4 segments to the meeting. Kurt Blomquist, Emergency Management Director (EMD) and Department of Public Works (DPW) Director spoke to the ESFs about the role of DPWs in time of emergency, disasters, etc. It was great to hear the details of what happens on the ground as events happen and local DPWs work with the State Department of Transportation (DOT) and local emergency responders simultaneously. It provided a great overview to ESFs on how they can best support DPWs as they integrate into the incident command system at a given event.

Rich Cloutier, State Training Officer, provided an overview of a multi-year, phase approach to the brand new FEMA National Qualification System (NQS) wherein states work toward a professional standardization of its emergency management community members. This was followed by Tayla Jacques, State Exercise Coordinator, discussing the new Integrated Preparedness Plan (IPP).  The IPP will plot out state and local exercises over several years to make sure we are pursuing “All Hazards, All New Hampshire” — HSEM’s training and exercise philosophy wherein we seek to make sure we are covering the totality of threats across a wide range of possibilities and do so in every corner of New Hampshire with equal attention and passion.

Preparedness Outreach

Community Outreach staff are available to speak with your local organization about HSEM and its mission, emergency preparedness, and what you as an individual and a community can do to be part of the solution. Ready the Prepared Puppy is available to teach kids about personal and family preparedness at any event for kids in grades Pre-K through fourth, including at schools, youth groups, community events, etc. For more information or to schedule a visit for your organization, contact the Community Outreach Office at hsempio@dos.nh.gov or by calling (603) 271-2231.

Upcoming Training

AWR-326 Tornado Awareness, Milford Ambulance – January 25, 2023 https://ndptc.hawaii.edu/training/delivery/3279/

This course will prepare participants to understand the basics of tornado science, the weather forecasting process, the tornado warning process, and the fundamentals of tornado safety and preparedness. Multiple core capabilities will be addressed, with particular emphasis on “public information and warning” and “threats and hazard identification. Participants will be better able to implement safety measures for themselves, their families and their organizations in preparation for tornado season.

MGT-347 Incident Command System (ICS) Forms Review, MGT-904 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents (ICS 300), Concord NH – January 31-Feb 2, 2023  0800-1700                                                                                    Must register for both https://my.teex.org/TeexPortal/Default.aspx?MO=mCourseCatalog&D=FP&C=MGT347&S=739 https://my.teex.org/TeexPortal/Default.aspx?MO=mCourseCatalog&D=FP&C=MGT904&S=666

Prerequisite: IS-100.b, IS-200.b, IS-700.a, and IS-800.b must be completed prior to registration. Building on the prerequisite ICS 100 and ICS 200 courses, this ICS 300 course focuses on the Incident Command System (ICS) for supervisors in expanding incidents. ICS 300 outlines how the NIMS Command and Coordination component supports the management of expanding incidents as well as describes the incident management processes as prescribed by ICS. This course has a threaded activity that will give students the opportunity to practice implementing the incident management process and creating an Incident Action Plan (IAP) for a simulated expanding incident.

L-0449 Incident Command System (ICS) Curricula Train-the-Trainer, Concord NH-February 6-10, 2023                                                                                                                         Contact Richard Cloutier for consideration

Prerequisites: Approval of STO and current versions of  IS100c, IS, 200c, IS-700 b, IS-800, ICS-300, ICS-400, G191 and Formal instructor training such as M-410, National Wildland Coordinating Group Facilitative Instructor, EMI Master Trainer Program, Fire Instructor I&2, college, private industry, valid teaching certificate or equivalent. This course expands and improves student’s ability to deliver Emergency Management Institute’s (EMI) Incident Command System (ICS) curricula. Students are provided training on the delivery of ICS-100: Introduction to the ICS, ICS200: ICS for Single Resource and Initial Action Incidents, ICS-300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents, ICS-400: Advanced ICS for Command and General Staff-Complex Incidents, ICS-402: ICS Overview for Executives and Senior Officials, and G-0191: Emergency Operations Center/ICS Interface. A major emphasis is placed on classroom-based deliveries, including compliance with the National Incident Management Training Program, adult education methodologies, deployment of course activities, pre- and post-testing, and ICS training program management.

AWR 328 All Hazards Preparedness for Animals in Disaster, Concord NH – February 22, 2023                      Registration Opening Soon

Prerequisites IS100c, IS, 200c, and IS-700 b. AWR328  will provide livestock producers, emergency managers, veterinarians ,extension agents, veterinary technicians, rural community leaders, public and human health personnel, fire and law enforcement with tools to protect, respond to, and recover from the consequences of disasters (e.g. fire, flood, heat, earthquake, tornadoes, hurricanes, hazardous materials and catastrophic disease exposure) involving animals in rural communities.

MGT-448 All Hazard Planning for Animal, Agricultural, and Food Related Disaster , Concord NH – February 23, 2023                                                                                                                          Registration Opening Soon

MGT-448 will provide the background information needed to lead a multi-agency team of emergency planners in the development of an ESF annex for food and/or animal related disasters to supplement their community’s existing EOP. The course will address topics such as agro terrorism; detection and diagnosis; the unique challenges that rural communities face in planning for and responding to food and/or animal related disasters; utilization of Emergency Support Functions (ESF); recovery and the importance of sustainable operations during a disaster event; and mapping a community to identify areas of vulnerability and resources.

AWR-148 Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents–Partnering Rural Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Local School Systems, Concord NH – March 7, 2023                                                      Registration Opening Soon

Prerequisites IS100c, IS, 200c, IS-700 b, and IS 800c. The purpose of the Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents – Partnering Rural Law Enforcement, First Responders, and Local School Systems course is to educate rural law enforcement personnel as well as school administrators and personnel on the elements that must be in place to effectively respond to an emergency at a school building or an entire school system.

PRE-100 Active Shooter Exercise Development Workshop, Concord NH – March 8, 2023              https://my.teex.org/TeexPortal/Default.aspx?MO=mCourseCatalog&D=FP&C=PRE100&S=268

The goal of the Active Shooter Exercise Development Workshop is to provide first responder and city, county, and state officials with the knowledge, skills and abilities to lead an Active Shooter Tabletop Exercise. Scope: Past Active shooter events have proven the need for realistic exercises delivered in the community. This course answers that need by providing a train the trainer (TtT) course on how to design and deliver a Tabletop exercise (TTX). This course will also provide template materials needed to deliver five (5) different TTXs, with one (1) of the five TTXs delivered in the afternoon of the training day.

L-0105 Public Information Basics, Portsmouth NH – April 11-13, 2023

PREREQUISITES: IS-29 Public Information Officer Awareness. This three day class will equip the participants with the skills needed to be full or part-time PIOs, including oral and written communications; understanding and working with the media; and basic tools and techniques to perform effectively as a PIO, both in the proactive/ advocacy times and crisis/ emergency response. This is the replacement for the old G290 and G291.

MGT-905 Advanced ICS-400 Command and General Staff-Complex Incidents, Concord NH – May 2-3, 2023   https://my.teex.org/TeexPortal/Default.aspx?MO=mCourseCatalog&D=FP&C=MGT905&S=514

Prerequisite: IS-100.b, IS-200.b, ICS-300, IS-700.a, and IS-800.b must be completed prior to registration. ICS 400 is intended for an audience of experienced responders and other senior emergency management personnel who may perform in a management capacity for major or complex incidents (Type 1 or Type 2 incidents). Large and complex incidents that require the application of area command don’t happen often. Although this is an advanced ICS course, it is not intended to develop mastery of area command. The purpose of this course is to expose students to the concepts of utilizing area command in major and complex incidents.

MGT-417: Crisis Management for School-Based Incidents for Key Decision Makers, Concord NH – May 9-10, 2023                                                                                                                       

Highly Recommended: AWR-148 recommended IS100c, IS, 200c, IS-700 b, and IS 800c. MGT-417 is to bring school officials and personnel together to participate in drills and exercises that will strengthen their collective crisis management capabilities when responding to and recovering from school-based incidents in rural communities. With the intent of building upon the groundwork of the AWR 148 course, this two-day management level course enhances the participant’s knowledge, skills, and abilities in regard to successfully managing a school crisis. Audience: School Officials, Emergency Management, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Service, Governmental Administrative, Law Enforcement, and Public Safety Communications.

MGT 403: Underserved Populations Preparedness Planning for Rural Responders and Volunteers, Concord NH – November 2, 2023                                                                                                                         

Prerequisite: IS100c, IS, 200c, IS-700 b, IS-368, and IS-242. This eight-hour planning and management-level course will assist in preparing communities to meet the assistance and safety needs of older adults, and people with access and functional needs during a crisis event in rural communities using an approach with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Whole Community initiative. Due to the expected diverse student population, general information regarding crisis planning and response (incident command system (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), etc.) will be discussed, flowing into a narrower discussion regarding the needs and care issues of older adults. Included in the discussion are short- and long-term care, pet care, medication, and the need for durable medical equipment and healthcare. The issue of individuals from assisted-living and nursing homes will be emphasized in lessons learned from various disasters.

MGT-312: Senior Officials Workshop for All Hazards Preparedness, Concord NH – November 8, 2023             Registration Opening Soon

This 6 hour workshop is for local jurisdiction elected and appointed senior officials. Its purpose is to provide a forum to discuss strategic and executive-level issues related to disaster preparedness, share proven strategies and best practices, and enhance coordination among officials responsible for emergency response to a disaster. Participants receive an Executive Handbook outlining the emergency management framework (protection, preparedness, response, and recovery phases), as well as other key senior level issues and discussions topics.