Mission Support Alliance
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About Our Customer
Mission Support Alliance (MSA) is the cornerstone of a multi-contract structure at the Hanford Site, collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and all Hanford Site contractors. Services MSA provides range from critical emergency services and training including the Hanford Fire Department and Hanford Patrol operations to infrastructure services like environmental integration and land management, fleet and road maintenance, water/electric and utilities and cyber security and information management.
Within MSA lies the Hazardous Materials Management and Emergency Response Training and Response Center, referred to as HAMMER. HAMMER’s one hundred people are responsible for training for the entire Hanford site population. One important piece of that is the training of emergency responders – those people who are called upon whenever there is a disaster that involves U.S. – controlled energy interests.
This group is known as Emergency Support Function #12, or ESF #12. This group is intended to facilitate the restoration of damaged energy systems and components when activated by the Secretary of Homeland Security for incidents requiring a coordinated Federal response. Under Department of Energy (DOE) leadership, ESF #12 is an integral part of the larger DOE responsibility of maintaining continuous and reliable energy supplies for the United States through preventive measures and restoration and recovery actions.
With travel budgets eliminated, it was no longer possible to send these responders to the FEMA sites for training. There was also a need to minimize the amount of time these responders were away from their original posts. The challenge became not so much about how to deliver the training – it obviously had to be done virtually – but rather how to do it in a way that replicated the effectiveness of the on-site experience for the responders.
Taking into consideration the desire for more up-to-date training and the travel budget constraints, Vivid developed an innovative virtual program aimed at increasing realism while at the same time reducing costs.
The DOE saved approximately $200,000 annually by not sending responders to FEMA sites for training. There was also additional cost savings for the DOE in terms of productivity. The responders no longer had to lose a day or two of work for travel, and the simulations were carried out over the course of one day, rather than two. Therefore the DOE was able to take advantage of two to three extra days of productivity from each of their responders.