Beating the "Winter Blues!"
JIBC Simulation & Training exercise launched January 16, 2013
In 2011, JIBC was awarded a $3.6 million research project, under the former Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear and Explosives Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI), to explore the management of psychological and social supports during disaster.
JIBC’s Centre for Applied Research, working with Health Canada’s Employee Assistance Services (EAS) Bureau, and in collaboration with Royal Roads University, has developed a web-hosted “Simulation and Training Exercise Collaboratory” (SIMTEC).
The exercises developed by SIMTEC are intended to enhance psychosocial capacity and capability management, relating to a variety of hazards. The first simulation exercise, Winter Blues!, was launched nationally and internationally on January 16, 2013.
"The Government of Canada is pleased to be providing our support for this important project,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “With the launch of the Winter Blues! exercise, we have reached a key milestone of the project, the results of which will lead to a better understanding and more thorough consideration of the psycho-social impacts on those involved in an emergency."
"This exercise is a landmark for Canada. It will provide members of an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) with the opportunity to practice for a winter-weather related scenario, in their own EOC, using their own protocols,” said JIBC Applied Research Chair, Dr. Laurie Pearce, one of three project Key Co-Principal Investigators. “The exercise will be applicable to any jurisdiction with emergency management protocols that include an EOC. Free access will be available to any community with high-speed Internet.”
The development of Winter Blues! is based on over a year’s research. Eleven EOC Teams from Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley participated in testing and evaluating the exercise. Additionally, local, provincial, and international experts from Israel, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom provided valuable contributions. Data analyses identified a number of key training points which are included in the training video that exercise participants will be able to download and view before participating in the exercise. Winter Blues! can be accessed on the SIMTEC website at https://simtec.jibc.ca/.
“It could make a meaningful difference to the outcome of future incidents, for victims and those charged with securing their safety,” says Pearce.
About CRTI and the Canadian Safety and Security Program
The CRTI was a former federal program which aimed to enhance Canada’s ability to handle CBRNE incidents. In June 2012, the Government of Canada announced the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP), which harmonizes the mandates of three predecessor programs led by the Defence R&D Canada-Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS): the CRTI, the Public Security Technical Program (PSTP), and the Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC).
The CSSP aims to develop science and technology solutions to anticipate and prevent incidents that threaten Canada’s safety and security, to prepare and respond to these incidents when they happen and, ultimately, to recover from their aftermath. DRDC CSS is a joint endeavor between the Department of National Defence and Public Safety Canada.
Last updated June 12, 2019