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The Exercise Support Team has designed a self-paced virtual tabletop (VTTX) exercise to enable USCG Reserve members to gain experience with assigned ICS positions and demonstrate knowledge towards completion of  Performance Qualification Standards (PQS).


Hazardous Liquid Release Near Waterway ICS Exercise:

This is an online interactive ICS tabletop exercise. It can take anywhere from an hour and a half to four hours to complete, depending on your comfort level with each position.


This training series will familiarize responders with ICS response roles, responsibilities, and tools necessary to be effective when activated to an incident.   It is not designed to be a technical hazmat responder or operational proficiency series.   

For some of you, a hazmat response is well outside your comfort zone.  For others, it is second nature. As members of the Coast Guard, we train to an All-Hazards Approach to Emergency Preparedness and Response.  It is important to think through the process and use your tools, including your Incident Management Handbook (guidance by Section) and your PQS (performance requirements also tell you what to do in your roles).  These, along with many more tools can be found on the Resources page.

Beyond providing a low-cost, low-risk, and highly effective way to assess emergency response plans before they are needed, well-designed tabletop exercises help individuals across the organization better understand their role in an emergency, providing a safe space to think critically about potential scenarios that could impact normal operations.


Tabletop Exercises

A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a simulated, interactive exercise that tests an organization’s emergency response procedures. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines tabletop exercises as “an instrument to train for, assess, practice, and improve performance in prevention, protection, response, and recovery capabilities in a risk-free environment.” For example, the agency—which coordinates emergency response following federally-declared disasters—regularly leverages tabletop exercises to test and validate policies, plans, procedures, equipment, and more. Emergency Management also relies on tabletop exercises to clarify roles and responsibilities to ensure interagency coordination and improve communication.

In tabletop exercises, key personnel with emergency management roles and responsibilities discuss various simulated emergency situations. Because the environment of a TTX is non-threatening (i.e., a “real” emergency is not happening), exercise participants can calmly rehearse their roles, ask questions, and troubleshoot problem areas.

According to the Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program (HSEEP), a tabletop fits into four different types of exercises that organizations use to evaluate their emergency plans and procedures:

  • Walkthroughs, workshops, or orientation seminars

  • Tabletop exercises

  • Functional exercises

  • Full-scale exercises

Students will have the opportunity to earn PQS completion signatures for those tasks identified as eligible under the following codes:

O = Task can be completed in a variety of situations, such as in a classroom, exercise or simulation, incident or event, or daily job.

O2 = Task must be performed on an Exercise which is managed under the ICS. Examples of exercises that may employ ICS include oil spill, search and rescue, hazardous material response, and fire.

O3 = Training or Daily Job environment that tests knowledge/skills associated with the task.

O4 = ICS course classroom environment that tests knowledge/skills associated with the task

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