Emergency Training Session
Nobody wants an emergency to happen, but being prepared is half the battle.
Having an Emergency Plan is essential (it is one of the criteria for being an Accredited museum, of which we our). However, the plan also needs to be reviewed, tested and for all the workforce to be familiar with the document. So often the plan sits on a shelf gathering dust or is used as a cure for insomnia (the full version is about 50 pages)!
The workshop started with a scenario of a flood at the museum. The volunteers talked about how they would deal with the situation as it developed. They looked at how effectively the plan would work and how efficient their response would be in dealing with the emergency.
This was followed by a practical salvage exercise where the volunteers had to tackle some wet items.
I would hasten to add that no objects from the collection were harmed during the morning! The volunteers and David also had fun playing in the paddling pool and of course the cake went down well!
On a more serious note the volunteers and David found the session very interesting and invaluable. It was a beneficial experience, it enabled the volunteers to discuss the issues and raised some questions.
It was useful for me to hear the volunteers views and I am using the feedback to improve the Emergency Plan to make it a more workable and user friendly document. I will then disseminate the updated version to the volunteers (they have their own shorter volunteer emergency plan). It also gives me the opportunity to include the security lessons I found out about at the security seminar that I attended earlier in the year run by the Collections Trust. I always feel that continuous professional development is useful to the workforce as is finding out about new projects and possibilities for the museum so that you can develop the service for visitors.
(Photograph kindly reproduced with permission of the Marches Network)