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Disaster, Salvage and Recovery

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By West Midlands Museum Development / Posted on Thursday 29th March 2018

West Midlands Museum Development funded places for staff from four West Midlands museums to take part in the joint Historic England and West Midlands Fire Service Disaster Salvage and Recovery course in Handsworth on 6 – 8 February.

During the three day residential course delegates were immersed in the realities of emergency planning, response and recovery. Read some of their comments below:

“The case studies presented were very thought provoking and emphasised how much the initial response can impact the final outcomes. It was useful to hear other organisations’ experiences of the obstacles they faced in the salvage and recovery process.”

“The case study was absolutely fascinating and harrowing, but really brought home the reality of an emergency. The case study gave an interesting insight into the timeline of an emergency and a realisation that the situation does not end with the extinguishing of a fire or the end of a salvage operation. The activity goes on for many months and a variety of different people are involved.”

“The water exercise was extremely useful as it gave us an insight into what conditions we would be working in and the pressures of time. We were given full access to a store of materials but still scavenged for additional items from around the site to achieve our goal. This taught me that you can be resourceful in salvage situations and use what is available to your advantage.”

“We were able to handle and pack a variety of materials and learn basic first aid for them. The training has given me inspiration to run similar sessions at my property with more confidence in my collections care abilities.”

“Upgrading and expanding my equipment and improving access to the store. I have boxes of basic equipment, but will be able to add a second rack to hold more detailed equipment. The list included from the course will help me plan this, and now I have had practical experience of using many different materials first hand.”

“I am currently updating all of our existing plans and the information from the course has been a great help in improving current plans. Keeping it simple, straightforward and clear to all, and ensuring those involved understand their role.”

“This was an amazing course and I felt very privileged to be a part of it. The trainers and facilities were excellent.”

“It was a very valuable and enjoyable course led by people with a wealth of experience and expertise. There was no extraneous information, all was valuable and relevant.”

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