Training

SenseMakers offers a variety of training courses focused on emergency management, law enforcement, fire, EMS, and public health disciplines. SenseMakers’ flagship training courses are designed to enhance communications, information management and workflow in the emergency operations center, department operations center, and incident command post environments.  SenseMakers training is unique in that we do not rely on traditional lectures and PowerPoint bullets to teach.  Our training emphasizes student participation in a non-threating, low stress environment.  While our instruction does include a combination of lecture and PowerPoint, we also include the use of graphics and visual representations that promote retention of abstract concepts and theories.

In addition to graphics, we  also break up lectures with discussions, video, and novel activities. Students perform hands-on activities in the classroom to develop a deeper understanding of concepts, practice a skill, and experience the application of theory.  Many classes rely on cookie-cutter emergency response scenario-based activities in their training to accomplish this.   At SenseMakers, we have a training philosophy that seeks to avoid the traditional scenario-based activities.  We do this for a number of reasons.  First, student feedback reflects an appreciation for how our activities offer something fresh and new.  Second, students enjoy the activities because they are characterized as games with learning points “cloaked” within them.  Third, we endeavor to entice students out of the comfort-zones of the “response scenario” in which they might have a competing frame of reference or some previous experience to rely on.   Put into a novel situation, we find students are more inclined to rely on the tools and techniques they learned in class.  Examples of our unique practical activities include titles like: Interrogation, Sort the Cards, Triple Blind Stratego, How to Make Toast, and the Marshmallow Challenge.

SenseMakers training also includes a consistent emphasis on more than just the “what” but also on the “how.”

Traditional courses tend to focus on describing and explaining tasks, functions and deliverables without providing instruction on how the tasks are performed.  SenseMakers training courses begin with a foundation of concepts and theory, then address capabilities, and culminate with a description of the process—the steps involved with a particular task and how to perform them.  Our training on “how” tasks are performed includes a set of tangible templates—tools, techniques and best-practices—we provide to the students as a take-away.  Examples of this include our SA/COP Toolkit and EOC Playbooks.

Our instructors are all information/intelligence and operations center subject matter experts with decades of real-life experience working in complex operational environments.  While our instructors’ come from law enforcement, counterterrorism, public-safety, emergency management, and the military, they are also all experienced speakers and master trainers.  In addition to being world-class trainers, our instructors are also considered Homeland Security training thought-leaders who are frequently sought out to help our clients design unique and tailored training courses.